My prayers this morning are centered on my homeland.
Louisiana braces once again for the landfall of a powerful hurricane - this time nearly three years to the day after the Hurricane Katrina debacle.
I've been in hurricanes. To be honest, they can be kind of fun. If you're in a place where it is safe to not evacuate, you hunker down with your family and friends. After the power goes out you cook all the food in the freezer to try to keep it from spoiling. You sit up all night watching battery powered televisions and listening to battery powered radios to get the most up-to-date information possible.
But it is decidedly more difficult to be sitting in New Jersey and watching it all unfold from afar.
It is difficult to be consumed with worry as you see those places that are so familiar, and think about the people that you love who inhabit them, and to not know what's happening.
Perhaps most difficult, however, is listening to news anchors in New York trying to pronounce Louisiana names. Here's a quick guide:
- Houma = HOE-muh (not HOO-mah)
- Thibodaux = tih-buh-DO
- Plaquemines = PLACK-uh-mihn (not PLACK-mines)
- Lafayette = LAF-ee-ette (not luh-FAY-ette, and not lah-FI-ette)
- New Orleans = new OR-lihnz (not some fake "nawlinz" - only local New Orleans natives are allowed to say it that way, and even many of them don't - nor New OR-LEENS)
And continue to pray for the people and places of Louisiana. They've had a rough go of it these past few years, and they need our support.
** UPDATE ** (2/5/2010)
So, I've notices that this is one of my "most viewed" posts. Even when it's not hurricane season, people still seem to be perplexed about the proper pronunciation of Louisiana names - even the name of the state itself. So here's the update, that I hope will be helpful to those who are finding this post via searches.
Louisiana is pronounced as follows - lou-EE-zee-AN-nuh
It is not "LOO-ZEE-AN-nuh". When northerners say that to us, we tend to be offended and feel "talked down to". Please be kind. It's true, the education system in Louisiana is nowhere near the best. But all the same, the people there aren't idiots. Please try to have a bit of respect.
If you've found this page and don't find the word that you're searching for, please leave a comment. I will respond quickly. Thanks!