Health & Fitness

October 17, 2011

Using my Spanish-speaking skills at work

It’s nice to be able to put my Spanish-speaking skills to use at work every now and then.

Most recently, I was able to have a conversation in Spanish with a visiting physician from Mexico, Dr. Carlos Cabrera. Our Spanish conversation came after the official interview, which was done in English since he’s a fluent English speaker.

Cabrera, who lives in Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatan, Mexico, was visiting Merced late last week. During his stay in the city, he gave presentations about Brazos Abiertos Yucatan, an organization in Yucatan that provides HIV community outreach, education, detention and prevention.

Since I did my interview right before his presentation at UC Merced on Thursday night, after the interview we had to walk across campus to the room where he was scheduled to give his presentation.

As we walked, we continued to talk about a little bit about the organization he’s involved with. But we also talked about Mexico and journalism. I told him I was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. He said Zacatecas is a state that has a lot of beauty, and I agree.

I told him that I’ve never been to his native state, Yucatan, but that I’ve also heard many good things about it as well as the nearby states, such as Quintana Roo, where I have family.

He then asked for how long I’ve been working as a reporter and if I like what I do. My response, of course, was that I love journalism and that I’ve always had a passion for it.

Overall, the conversation was delightful, especially since I was able to use my Spanish. Although, I have to admit that walking across campus in high heels was a little painful, but the chat made it well worth it.

-Health care reporter

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