Snapshot: Living around the world
November 3, 2017
Hallo, Hola, Hello!
Three languages represent part of Raquel DeArriba’s story: German, Spanish and English. These languages are spoken in each of the three different countries Raquel has lived in throughout her lifetime.DeArriba, junior, has only lived in America for two years, yet she has already learned to adapt to another life. It all started in…
On Dec. 15, 2000,DeArriba was born on the capital city of the German state of Lower Saxony: Hannover. The tourist city is deeply populated with tourists; however, in Raquel’s eyes, Hannover is a lot more than a big city.
“I consider Germany my home. It will always have a special place in my heart,” she said.
DeArriba was only one year old when her parents made the decision to move back to their birthplace….
The young family moved to Burgos, a city North of Madrid: another big city composed of hundreds of thousands of people. The ‘big move’ signified the first set of unforgettable memories created through DeArriba’s lifetime.
“Spain is my motherland,” DeArriba said.
DeArriba recalls the stereotypical yet magical nights in Spain filled with dancing and festivals where her friends and family were joined by the classically common Spanish music: “We liked to stay up way too late, especially since all meals are eaten at very late times.”
When she was eight years old, DeArriba’s parents made another huge decision to move back to Hannover: “I remember the day I moved from Spain like it was yesterday. Saying goodbye to my best friend, who I have known for two years made me bawl my eyes out; I did not want to move,” DeArriba said. And just like that, 84 months and four little brothers later, the DeArriba family moved back to….
DeArriba lived an additional seven long, memorable years in Hannover, a city of diversity and acceptance where DeArriba established a lot of her integrity and morality as the positive attitudes of her peers grew an influence on her.
Mrs. Solórzano, Spanish teacher and chair of the world language department commented on DeArriba’s experiences: “Moving to a different country can only positively affect a student. It opens up the student’s mind and heart to many different perspectives and a different cultural reality than his/her original one.”
The worldly student went to an American international school for five years then transferred to a German school where she mastered the German language. The very social DeArriba quickly learned to make lifelong friendships at the new environment: “The friendships I made during those years were so genuine; friends I could count on for everything,”
Culturally adapting to a different country came with its struggles as DeArriba was forced to comply with the German society: “People in Germany tend to be very strict; raising your voice to an adult is unheard of.” Little did she know what was coming next.
Her parents were about to break the news to DeArriba and her brothers and, with excitement for the future yet sorrow to leave the present: “We are moving to…
Although another depressing episode had to take place saying goodbye,DeArriba says the move to the United States was an exciting experience for her. Adaptation came easily and smoothly since DeArriba had already dealt with similar situations in the past.
As if by natural instinct, she instantly made friends and learned to live as an American. One of her closest American friends, Samantha Crivello, junior, shared her pride regarding her friendship with DeArriba: “I love how quickly Raquel and I became friends over the past two years! We’ve gotten super close, and it’s so cool having a friend from a different country,” Crivello said.
Throughout her journey,DeArriba has learned to alter her mindset regarding all different kinds of people. She reached a level of maturity that is rarely achieved by children who are familiar with one environment throughout the course of their lives.
Regarding DeArriba’s unique life and her transition to Homestead, Mrs. Solórzano commented: “It is wonderful to observe the interactions that Raquel has with her peers and to observe, first-hand, the magic that happens when we have our Highlanders from various backgrounds but with common aspirations and goals, together.”