By Grace Stewart
On Saturday, December 8, the Beaufort Academy Varsity girls basketball team had the privilege of playing a team of eight girls from Raupehu College in New Zealand. From the perspective of the Beaufort Academy players, interacting with the a team that proved to be the New Zealand mirror of our own team was truly an experience of a lifetime.
While we were fascinated by their country, accents and experiences, they were equally enthralled by the traditions, accents, and foods of America, and more specifically those of the Lowcountry. While the game was fun, we were looking forward to the post-game dinner at the home of Maryanne and David Blake. The backdrop to the barrage of questions back and forth was a dinner composed of Frogmore Stew, steamed oysters, corn bread, boiled peanuts, and sweet tea. To our surprise, they were extremely open to trying everything and thoroughly enjoyed the boiled peanuts! After dinner, we all went outside and just started chatting away as typical teenagers.
We were interested to learn that they had five years of high school, our fast food small soda is their largest size, and they had never heard of red Solo cups, Pop Tarts, Yoohoo, or Cheetos. Cheetos? Before you could even say Cheetos, I was at Food Lion stocking up on typical American junk food. They absolutely loved it.
We kept trying to impersonate one another’s accent and they became obsessed with saying “y’all” the rest of their trip. As our kindred grew, we travelled to other local high schools to rout them on but after they feasted on IHOP and Wild Wings, we had to say goodbye so they could experience that American milestone known as Disney World.
For now, it’s nice to know we can all keep in touch with Chiao, Catherine, Amber, Tessa, Miki, Kataraina, Lucy, and Hayley. We hope to someday take that nearly 6,500-mile trip to visit their country because, after all, as Mackenzie Blake of Beaufort will tell you, “They’re just like us — with accents!”