I Got Hot Sauce in My Bag: Making a House a Home

Sabrina Hunte
September 1, 2018

Hey everyone!

My name is Sabrina and I go to Bowdoin College in Maine. I'm majoring in Environmental Studies and Government with a concentration in International Relations, so the EU program is a near perfect match for me! It's my first time in Europe and I'm excited to learn about the EU, go to a concert or two and most importantly, eat EVERYTHING. On campus, I'm known for my music taste, abundance of maroon colored items in my closet, exaggerated facial expressions, and most importantly my fierce love and loyalty for my family. My love is so strong that honestly, I should have put home in quotations. "Home" away from home. To me, I will forever have one home and it is New Jersey. Specifically, it is wherever my mother and my sister fill rooms with their laughter, and lay their heads after a long day. Home is not a dorm or a campus, which is why when my friends at college ask me if I'm going home after lunch (referring to my dormitory, of course), I throw my head back and exclaim, "Lol, Jersey's so far from here".

Before college, I had never been away from my home for more than a couple weeks. I remember the beginning of freshman year being a whirlwind of emotions, mostly excitement and trepidation. As I left for Freiburg a few days ago, the same feelings brewed in me; making me ask myself if I was truly ready to be away from family and friends for so long. Even with my doubt, I boarded my plane and here I am. The main things keeping me grounded can be found in my luggage. My mom was eager to load my checked bag down with things she called "essentials that the Germans don't know about". According to my mom's quick Google search, Caribbean tings (the Carib way of saying "things") are sometimes hard to find in Germany and since I like to cook, my mom deemed it "truly unacceptable" to send her oldest daughter off to foreign lands without her fair share of Adobo and Sazón, two Goya products that are a staple in any Caribbean household. She would have probably stuffed plantains and scotch bonnet peppers in there too if I had the room so I assume I should be expecting it in my first care package.

To some, this might be over the top but this is who my family is. They would never let me go away without being able to enjoy and share some aspect of my identity, and I applaud them for that. They taught me to be proud of who I am but also be open to learning about others. The main way I foster cross cultural exchange is through music and food, so it's not unusual that I packed curry powder and both my Haitian and Guyanese flag to hang on the walls. I want my new house to smell like curry and sound like soca music. 

Though my definition of home is narrow, I acknowledge this and am actively challenging myself to think outside of my own box. So with my Sazón in one hand and my Adobo in the other, I'm am ready to step out of my comfort zone and share bits of identity with everyone I meet. Hey, you never know, maybe by December, I'll be calling Freiburg home- only this time, it'll be without quotations.

Sabrina Hunte

<p>Hi! My name is Sabrina and I'm from New Jersey but I go to Bowdoin College in Maine. I'm studying Environmental Studies and Government with a concentration in International Relations to prepare myself for a career in international diplomacy (fingers crossed!). Outside of academics, I am the president of the Caribbean Students Union (shoutout to my fellow Haitians/Guyanese!), a member of Bowdoin's Entertainment Board which coordinates concerts and activities for the student body, help low income families make their homes more energy efficient through AmeriCorps, and DJ two shows at my school's radio station. On my rare days off, I enjoy painting, binge watching rom coms on Netflix and hosting new album listening parties in my room.</p>

2018 Fall
Home University:
Bowdoin College
Newark, NJ
Environmental Studies
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