The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

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The forensics team mascot Loy enjoys Marquette Park after a successful tournament.  This plushie joins the Forensics Team in all of their tournaments throughout the season and has become a valuable member of the team.
Go goose: Forensics Team takes flight to Mackinac Island’s tournament
Josephine Velo and Amelia Wood May 28, 2024

On Friday, May 17, the Forensics Team piled onto the Mackinac ferry and said goodbye to the mainland. The fancy Grand Hotel, fudge and a...

A sign promotes a garage sale in the Westnedge Hill neighborhood. On Saturday, there were many signs around town promoting the sale.
The Westnedge Hill Neighborhood garage sales bring the community together in one special day
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Connecting with neighbors and spending time outside can be difficult nowadays. Weather, lack of neighborhood activities, construction, the growth...

Loy Norrix Athletic Director Andrew Laboe sends 10 Knights off to college at the annual signing day event.
Loy Norrix Athletics congratulates seniors playing sports in college
Ethan Williams and Max Berlin May 24, 2024

Unexpected bonds: a story of cross-cultural friendship

Credit: Sophia Ciokajlo
Student ambassador Kauê Derval Gonçalves Alves shares a secret with fellow ambassador Maria Eduarda de Souza Mendes.

Editor’s Note: This story is part of the Global Ties Kalamazoo series published by Knight Life News. From Monday, Feb. 12, to Friday, Feb. 16, related content can be found on our website, Instagram, and Facebook. 

On Jan. 24,  Knight Life met with special guests from the Global Ties Kzoo program — a group of Brazilian students who were first-time travelers to the United States. During their travels they visited Washington DC, Chicago, and schools of Kalamazoo, one of them being Loy Norrix high school to meet with the student reporters and observe how we run the student newspaper. Unexpectedly, a friendship blossomed from this special encounter. 

At a random selection, I was grouped with Ender Ross, the executive web editor, and our new Brazilian buddy, Kaue Derval. As I and other friends like to call him “Bacabal,” Kaue was the first student I met. We immediately connected, sharing personal stories, touring the school, sharing parts of our daily lives and discovering common interests. 

Despite our cultural differences — or perhaps because of them – we quickly developed a bond with one another. As a reporter, I’m used to having scripted interactions, but my conversations with Kaue were not. They were quite the opposite: they were genuine. 

I found myself more interested and engaged in the conversations than I imagined. It seemed that Kaue and I had talked for the majority of our time, so during lunch and the remainder of our time, I used the opportunity to converse with other Brazilian students and met four more lovely friends: Yazmin, Bruna Souza, Luana Ferreira, and Maria Mendes. 

Each of the Youth Ambassadors showed much appreciation and enthusiasm to be here in Kalamazoo. The feelings were mutual, and I was more than appreciative for their visit and willingness to  teach me new things about their culture. We shared music during lunch that originated in Brazil called “Reggae.” The first day of their visit was filled with laughter.

 The next week would be our second and final day with each other, which was a bit of a bittersweet moment. In the beginning, the day was filled with lots of conversation and new connections. I shared moments with a variety of other students that I didn’t quite get a chance to speak with before. 

Later I came back to my first friends, Kaue, Yazmin, and Bruna. After spending some time getting to know Luana and Marie more and becoming more comfortable and open to asking one another questions outside of the topic of just school and their experience here in the US. 

After an hour and sharing our very last pizza together, it was time to say our goodbyes and wish my new friends well. I loved every part of the experience. Although it’s sad to see the Global Ties Kzoo Youth Ambassadors leave, I am truly blessed and more than happy to have created the friendships and connections that I did. We exchanged social media info to keep in touch and all plan to see each other again some day when my Portuguese is better, that’s the promise I’ve made to them.

Believe it or not, you are more alike and compatible with strangers and people of different origins than you think. Open up and live a little: you’ll learn that true connections can’t be denied.

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About the Contributors
Alize Gonzalez
Alize Gonzalez, Staff Writer
Hello, I'm a new staff writer for Knight life this year! I decided to join due to wanting to further my knowledge in Journalism; This is also an opportunity to create and hear more stories from students here at Norrix which will help push me to get more involved with the school newspaper and Loy Norrix community as a whole. This is my senior year and i'm just trying new things as well as pushing myself to go for all my goals and interest before graduation! pronouns: She/Her
Sophia Ciokajlo
Sophia Ciokajlo, Photo Editor
Hi, I am a senior and this is my second year on knight Life. This year, I am the Photo Editor. I chose to join Knight Life to stay informed on school events. In my free time, I enjoy playing lacrosse, hanging out with friends and trying new things.
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