Entry 3 - Fall 2005

What I Wish I Could Tell Someone…

I’m from New Orleans. Here, we eat fried food, listen to jazz music, and celebrate Mardi Gras all year long. On Bourbon Street.

Our dear friends from Traverse City, Michigan thought so, anyway. But what do they know? They’re Yankees! They eat bland food and go to Ivy League colleges. They ski. They can survive temperatures below 50 degrees.

St. Francis High School in Michigan adopted my school, Archbishop Chapelle, as a sister school. They sent backpacks and checks, as well as students for a student exchange. And I got to be exchanged. I boarded the plane for Michigan with visions of blizzards dancing in my head.

I forgot my hot sauce.

But as it turns out, I needn’t have worried. I learned those three days that Michies are just like New Orleanians. We both try new food and love it. We both like cheering for our school’s basketball team. We both stretch school uniform rules to their limits. And we both cry when we see the destruction that a hurricane like Katrina can bring.

I guess the best thing I got out of my visit (besides my first sledding adventure) was the knowledge that people, especially teenagers, are the same everywhere. Chapelle students from New Orleans can become great friends with St. Francis students from Traverse City.

So what if they ask for a pop and we bring them a soft drink? We can learn to understand each other. And that’s a great thing, ya’ll*!

*Northern translation: you guys