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HCAU Profile: Zabrina Romero Renfrew

HCAU Profile: Zabrina Renfrew


This week, I had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing my lovely friend Zabrina Renfrew. We first met as innocent hockey Fresher’s, and the past four years have been filled with friendship, fun and most importantly… hockey.


Age: 21

Degree: Accountancy and Hispanic Studies

Hometown: Hong Kong

HC: So, Zabrina, it has been heard that you spent a year in Spain? What was that like?

ZR: I’m sure no one wants to hear about it anymore, but it has to be said it was the best year of my life. I got a nine month holiday in the sun as part of my degree! If anyone gets a chance to go on a year abroad please take it, you won’t regret it.


HC: Did you feel a bit sad to come back to Aberdeen?

ZR: Yes and no. I was gutted to have to come back to reality and face my honours years, but I missed everyone so much I couldn’t wait to come back in the end.


HC: You also play hockey, what is your favourite part about being in AUWHC?

ZR: Liqwed

HC: As well as studying Accountancy, you also are Treasurer of AUWHC, you must be very good with numbers?

ZB: Is it because I’m Asian?


HC: You have also been known to suffer from Asian Flush, tell us a bit about that and where it comes from?

ZR: Well: alcohol is metabolized in the liver, where it is oxidized first to acetaldehyde and then to acetate. However 50% of Asians lack the mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) enzyme that converts acetaldehyde, resulting in an accumulation of acetaldehyde up to 10 times the normal concentration. The exact genetic nature of the deficient enzyme appears to be the presence of an allele (ALDH2*2) that inactivates ALDH2 enzymes. The allele is, in fact, dominant, although heterozygous individuals show much milder reactions to alcohol than homozygous individuals.

Basically, my heart beats really quickly and I get really hot and red and it’s horrible, but it’s a small sacrifice to make for the smooth taste of a tropical VK.

HC: You have travelled and lived in a lot of exotic places, where has been your favourite?

ZR: It would be impossible to choose really. With Mum being from the Philippines it’s great to have a place in the sun to escape to. I’d always call Hong Kong my home, but North Berwick has such a charm about it and I love going back on the odd weekend.


HC: What is a piece of advice you would give your younger self?

ZR: Stop worrying so much, it will all turn out fine.

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