By Mark Ambrogi
Annan Li was quick to form an opinion about American food.
“This food can make me fat,” Annan said. “I’m not used to it.”
Annan, 17, was among a group of 12 students and two teachers who visited Carmel from its Chinese sister city, Xiangyang, from Aug. 18 to 29.
“It’s a colorful life here,” Annan said. “Students here are very outstanding.”
Chenglu Zhang, 15, said visiting the high school was the best part of her visit.
“I like the students and the big basketball gym and the playground sessions,” Zhang said. “We went to a concert there. We had many interesting classes, such as American history and babysitting. We don’t have that in China. I liked it.”
Zhang had trouble adjusting to American food, too.
“I like peppers, but the peppers here are sweet,” Zhang said. “I don’t like sweet.”
Jinhua Li, an English teacher in Xiangyang, said the food is sweeter here.
“In Xiangyang, the people like spicy food,’’ Jinhua said during the visit to The Center for the Performing Arts.
For Jinhua, seeing The Center for the Performing Arts and listening to the center’s president, Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, speak to the group at the Palladium was an interesting experience.
“Visiting the Carmel Fire Station, the people there worked very hard,” Jinhua said. “They explained a lot of information to the students. The volunteers of the sister city have done a lot of work and made contributions to this visit. All of us are moved by their contributions. The teaching staff and students at Carmel High are very friendly to the teachers and the students.”
Jinhua said the Chinese students shadowed CHS students.
“It’s a good chance for them to have a better understanding of the daily life of American students,” Jinhua said.
During the visit, the group also attended the Carmel Farmers Market’s Celebration of Diversity. They also visited the Monon Community Center, Clay Terrace, the Museum of Miniature Houses, Butler University and the Indiana State Capitol.