By Natalia Hernandez Santiago, Upper School Teacher, Trinity Christian School, Prescott, Arizona
“Maybe I should just turn back.” Kept flashing in my head as I was making my way to a teacher’s event. I was tired after a day’s work, and to top it all off I didn’t know anyone that was going. Having recently moved to the United States; I ignored that nagging thought and decided to put myself out there. As I approached the teacher event, I was met with a closed door, this would unknowingly lead me to a better path. Completely lost and without an idea of where to go, I look around and see a group of strangers that were way too interesting to ignore. Kindly enough they waved at me and asked me to join their group. That is how I met the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows.
Our time at the dinner table was filled with conversations from our countries, cultural backgrounds, educational exchanges, and plenty of funny remarks. We talked about the role of women in the media, the political history of our countries, and shared our future aspirations. Of course, we talked about food and I even got to share a video of the melodious singing of Puerto Rico’s endemic “coquí”. From serious to trivial topics, the flurry of conversations continued throughout the night around the warmth of a campfire.
During all of it, I was just amazed at the diversity and passion of the people. After googling this group of people (In a non-stalker manner, might I add, they encouraged me to do so.) I felt privileged to have the opportunity to know these professionals, all outstanding in their field. On my way back home, I kept thinking of what made this group so special. My first thought was their professionalism, but as I drove and pondered on it more, I kept telling myself it was more than just that. It was also the diversity, humbleness and eagerness to learn more from each other. I never made it to the activity on my agenda that day, but in my opinion, it was so much better to spend my afternoon talking with these crazy Humphreys in the middle of a camp in Prescott.