Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"My Childhood Memory," by Rosie Romero

One of my childhood memories is when I was almost three years old. At that time, I was the fifth member in our family and the only toddler around. I remember that my Dad used to play poker at my godfather's house every afternoon. He would always take me, but when I would fall asleep, he would take me home. But, one day, I fell asleep earlier than usual and my Dad didn't take me, and so he left me at home. But when I didn't find him, I decided to go look for him at my godfather's house. I was half way there when I got lost in the middle of some coffee trees. I remember I tried to cross a fallen tree, and I fell on my forehead. Suddenly, I couldn't see anything, only dark spots.

When I woke up, I was home surrounded by a crowd of people, all of the ones that had been looking for me. I hadn't told anyone where I was going. This didn't make me give up. From then on, I would look for my Dad wherever he went.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Loving Science and My Family" by Flor Monteza

I was born in Lima, Peru. I had a family with 3 brothers and no sisters. I studied in a religious school with nuns and excellent teachers. What a wonderful time I had with friends who were like my sisters! I have happy memories of my school time. My father was a biochemist, and his life was always very busy at work, and my mother was a school teacher. So I was strongly influenced to pursue a college career like them.

My decision to chose a carreer was made naturally. I feel a strong love for Biology. So I studied at the University (UNA) for four and a half years until I graduated in Microbiology. It is fascinating to know about microorganisms like viruses that surrounded us. I worked at the laboratory of the University for some years.

Definitely love changed my destiny. I got married and moved to San Francisco in 1991. I formed my nice family with four children and an adorable husband who I met in the university where I had graduated.

Now my life is to be a housewife and a teacher. I give my knowledge and love of Science to my daughter and three sons. And now my daughter is thinking of being a geneticist.

And all of them like science and math. What a wonderful surprise! I believe that the Knowledge and love for Science can be extended to the future generations.

"When I Was Twelve" by Margarita Parodi

When I was 12 years old, I remember one day, my whole family and I went to the beach, and we played volley ball on the sand and the ball fell on the head of one person who was sitting near where we were so everybody started laughing, but at the same time we felt sorry about it.

After we played for a long time, we started eating some food that we brought from home, and we drank water, ate watermelon, apples, oranges and for dessert, we ate ice cream, that we bought from the people who sold food on the beach.

We had a good time and we went back in the afternoon, tired but very happy about the nice day. I've never forgotten the time when I was young. For me it was a memory that I have always cherished.

In those years when you are younger, you live more happily because you aren't worried about anything. Your childhood is different. You have everything. But after you're 18 years old, and you become more independent, you have to study and work to survive and help your parents if they are poor, and if they always need something.

I always helped them when they were alive, but they passed away a long time ago. But always they are in my heart, I can never forget them.

This is my story, and I don't have anything else to write.

"I Don't Wanna Stop Fighting" by Jorge Sandoval

It was May 22nd. I was working at my job at T.G.I Friday when this guy asked me if I was interested in being a fighter. I asked him if I would get paid for it, and he told me that if I was good, I was gonna get paid in about a year. That sounded great, so I took the chance, and now I'm almost gonna get paid and then I can give my wife and son a better life, the kind of life that everyone wants. Plus, in probably 2 more years I'll become a cop because that's what I want to be: a police officer or a sheriff. But I think I need more writing lessons. What do you think?

I'm sure soon, with God's help, I'm gonna make my dreams come true.

Let's talk about me back in Nicaragua, now. I was one of the best kids at my school but i don't know why the other kids wanted always to fight with me. Maybe because the prettiest girls in the school all liked me or maybe because I was the best good looking kid in the whole school. Hey, I'm not just kidding, I was one of the best good looking kids in the whole school! lol!

When I came to the United States, I was really happy. I thought, wooooow, now I'm living the dream! But I didn't know to live the real good life you had to work your *** for. But you know that if you work hard for things that you want you'll appreciate more those things. That's why I fight and study to get those things I want to give to my family you need money for. I know they don't want me to fight anymore but I just don't wanna stop fighting.

Let me tell you why I don't wanna stop fighting. First it takes all my stress out of my body, and second, when you get inside the cage, it is just something I cannot explain, but it feel good when it is done. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a angry person. I just do it for my family and partly for me and thirdly for the money!! (lol)

Well, another thing I miss are my grandparents back in Nicaragua. I really regret when I was giving them a lot of trouble. Now that I don't see them, I see what they gave me. They gave me love, and I can't wait to see them again to repay them.

Let me tell you something about my son. He's the best thing to ever happen to me. Now I know why I came to the United States, to create my beautiful son and meet the most beautiful woman in the whole world, my wife.

"Yosemite Park, A Magical Experience" by Joanna Hidalgo

I heard that this park had something that other places don't have. Something that you can imagine. A friend of mine who is a very good photographer was showing me some pictures that she took there. People were referring to Yosemite Park, saying it was a special place to visit and spend time, take pictures, and even to spend the night there.

They told me that grizzly bears live there. So... I was looking at the pictures, and I could see how beautiful it was. My friend told me that she spent the night over there in order to take the best pictures she could. It was a very important moment for her. It was one of the best opportunities to have the best shots ever.

She provided all the necessary advice, how to spend the night and not get frozen, keep warm, and have enough comfort, and of course
avoid getting hungry. She said that you can't bring too much food, especially smelly food with you, or you can attract the presence of the grizzly bear.

I learned that the grizzly bear is becoming more and more intelligent so he actually has learned to open doors, cabins, tents, and even some bags. If he can't open them, he just rips them, so you have to be really smart.

My boyfriend, Roque, wanted to bring me there very much so one day, when we were in Fresno, he started to go straight to Yosemite Park. From Fresno it took one hour and a half to get there. It was 3:30 pm at that time.

He started to drive as fast as he could, without exceeding the speed limit. By that time we were already tired after almost 3 hours of driving from San Francisco to Fresno that same morning. But he insisted so hard that I couldn't say no. And there we were driving as soon as we could to get there before the sun went down. It was winter, when the night came out at 5 o'clock, and everything fell into the darkness.

We kept driving. I was like a bear falling sleep just with the first lights of the night, but he kept driving.

We arrived at one of the many doors of the park at 4:30. And from there we still needed to get closer into this huge place. He kept driving, it was so cold. I started to set up my camera, and I remember perfectly: I have the moment in my mind clearly like a movie. After that, we crossed a long tunnel and I could see spectacular, colorful, brilliant, amazing images of these huge, gigantic mountains that take out your breath.

I can't find the right words to describe the scene, but I can tell that you can feel thankful to be there, and appreciate this gorgeous scenery that became almost like an spiritual experience. I feel so lucky to have been there. Thank you "Madre Naturaleza" to give us just a wonderful scenery. Let's please take care of our planet.

"Cecilia" by Cecilia Pelayo

Cecilia was born and grew up in Chihuahua, a city in the North of Mexico. She had an older brother already, and six more sisters and brothers later. She went to kindergarten when she was 4 years old. She liked singing. When she went to elementary school, she learned something about music, achieving the ability to play the mandolin and the accordion in the "estudiantina" (musical group). At that time she had a guitar at home because her father used to play and sing as a hobby. She tried to play the guitar since then. However, she still doesn't know too much about it.

She went to High School without any specific goals in mind. She had matured on things of life so early. Suddenly she began to dream on become an Agricultural Engineer, to work the land and help the world with natural meals, but the University was far away and her father wasn't be able to pay for it, even though education in Mexico is less expensive than in the U.S. Faced these circumstances, she had the opportunity to get a degree even though it wasn't exactly what she had planned for.

She got the Bachelor's degree on Industrial Chemical Engineering in 1985. She worked as a production supervisor in a parent Company of the Westinghouse of the U.S.A., in Chihuahua.

Other of her dreams was to get married and have kids. So she got the first of those, but a little bit late, in 1995. Has her biological clock stopped? We really don't know because her husband didn't want to have babies.

She's lived in the U.S. for quite some time. She's worked and lived among people who only speak Spanish, and she's studied English when she hasn't been working. She's been struggling with her new language, and she hopes she'll be able to speak English very well before she dies, at least!

"My Childhood in Ecuador" by Angela M. Kabatznick

I spent the greatest part of my childhood with my grand mother. It was a "home sweet home," where all the family had a profound respect for her. She was surrounded by love, care, and help. In other words, she was treated as a queen. I remember she liked to spend time sitting on her rocking chair, looking through the window at the nice garden, flowers, and people going by. My aunt and uncles taught us how to give her love and respect. The first thing we had to do as soon as we got home, was to go and see Grandma, say hello, and kiss her. Because she was sitting on her chair, we almost had to go in our knees to greet her and give her a kiss on her forehead. She was a very nice lady. She never had to work. When Grandpa passed away, her children took care of her. These wonderful memories have been with me since I was a child. In her home I learned good manners, respect, love and the warm feeling of a beautiful family home.

The area around my grandmother's home was a nice residential place years ago. The houses were chalets with large gardens: flowers, trees, and pure clean air. I do remember listening to the birds and frogs singing or making cluck, cluck, sounds asking for water. We knew so well that they were calling for rain. Yes indeed, usually we did have rain. However, in time, the city and population grew, and all of this neighborhood has changed into a developed business sector.

The small houses, changed into apartment buildings. The gardens became stores, discotechs, hotels, restaurants, night clubs. The area became a very touristic place that is called " La Mariscal". The city where I come from is Quito, the capital of Ecuador, a small country in South America. We are between Colombia and Peru. Though we are a small country, we have the privilege of being recognized as having a rich and varied landscape full of butterflies, birds, and one of the largest varieties of orchards and medicinal plants. Our jungles have bananas caocoa, coffee, and our tropics thrive with fruit, vegetables and the most fabulous and beautiful roses and flowers. All of this abundance is exported. There is a saying: "Any seed that is dropped on our soil will grow." We are fortunate to have all these natural privileges from our mother earth.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"My Story" by Asenaida Escober

My name is Asenaida Escober. I was born in Honduras, and I grew up in a small urban town that was beautiful with fresh weather and a lot of pine trees. My ancestors settled down and established the town. My last name is the last name of most of the people of the town. The small town just has a big school, and two or three preschools, a middle and high school, a health center with three nurses and a doctor, a park and town hall, and recreation center. I remember playing with my relatives and friends in the evening. They were great moments. I have six siblings, and I am the oldest of them. When I had to move to the capital, at first I was scared but later I felt comfortable and enjoyed the city. There, I lived in my uncle's house. I went to the University National Autonomy of Honduras and I studied nursing there. After that, I got a job. A few years later, I decided to come to The United Stated of America, and I ended up in San Francisco. I have a daughter three years old. I leave her on the day care so that I can come to school to improve my English. Every day I spend time reading children's books, such as "Little Toot", and take care of my daughter. She loves the books. She is good at solving puzzles. She likes to listen to music and to dance. She is very smart. I would like to speak clearly and correct my mistakes, but it is taking a lot of time for me. I wish some day my dream will come true and I will feel confident in my ability to speak English.

"My Childhood" by Eduardo Cisneros

Hello, my Friends, this time I want to write something about my real life and something also of my country, Peru. First, I want to take you back to the early 1800s. Then, the Spanish brought a lot of African Slaves to Peru. It was at the time Peru was fighting for Independence also. Peru finally got its independence in 1821.

Peru is a beautiful place and if I'm not mistaken, it is the only country in the World has the the Andes mountain range, The Amazon River and jungle, and beautiful Coast, with 1300 miles of very nice beaches to the North, and the same size coastline to the South. It is a big Country, but it doesn't have enough population. We are almost 40 million of mix raced Peruvians that live in Peru: White: 30%, Natives: 50%, Black:15%, Chinese and Japanese 2% each. Also we have small populations of Italians, Jews, Germans, and well the list goes on. I guess I've been talking too much about my country. I do so because I love it.

I was born in a Village a 100 Miles away from the Capital, Lima. The name of this place is Cañete. It is a big Village with a large black population. The region has older villages, too, named San Luis, San Vicente, Luna Uana, and Asia. The Spanish brought the slaves to live in the Port of Chincha near Cañete, about 50 Miles a way. But some of the slaves came to Cañete to look for work. It was the time when in that place, Cañete was a vast land of sugar cane and cotton plantations. To do that job, the plantation owners needed a lot of big and strong men, and this is the reason why they obtained black slaves. You can't imagine how difficult this work was. They had to get up at 4 am in morning and come back home at 6 pm. The people doing this job only had machetes. I don't know how they did it. They had to eat something while they were working. I really don't know how they survived the hardships of this exploitation and abuse. It was at that time when nobody got paid for work, or benefits, or health care.

I also I want tell you about my childhood. I was born in that place, but I didn't live there because my parents brought me to Lima. Cañete for me is a place I'm never going to forget. I love that place because there are large valleys, nice Mountains, very nice clean rivers, large acreage full of vegetation all around. The weather is like Paradise. Most the 12 months of the year is Sunshine. The beach is not to far, and you can go walking on it.

Now I'm going to tell you the sad part of this story. In 1900 my great grandfather, whose name was Manuel Cisneros, bought his family to Cañete. Unfortunately, he was a racist. He was a white man, the owner of a lot cotton plantations and he had a nice place to live. My mother says he never had any relationships with the black people. He was never interested in knowing about the black people. No one knew where my great grandfather came from. It's possible he was from Chile, but no one knows for sure. My great grandfather was from a big family, too. There were eight children. But the the big problem was the fact that he was always angry and never could agree that anyone but a white woman would marry his son.

My mother told me she only met my great grandfather when she saw him in the cotton plantations, riding his horse, overseeing the labor of his workers. She recalled his horse had a lot of silver metal decorations, and he wore nice clothes, and a big hat. She said it looked like everything was expensive.

My mother was hard worker too. At a very young age of 16, she started working on the plantation. She got up at 6 am, and went to pick cotton in the field. It was a very hard job because at that time the cotton companies didn't pay salaries for a day's work. They paid only by weight like 60 pounds or 80 pounds. It depended how many sacks you could load that day. She remembered at that time nobody gave the workers adequate equipment to deal with dangerous dried bunches of the cotton plant such as gloves, masks, or clothes to cover the body to avoid scratches on her arms and face. My mother fell in love on her job with my father. My father at that time worked as the driver of tractors. They met and got married very young, when she was 17 years old. They had 8 kids.

My grandfather was an educated person. He went to the university and graduated as teacher of general studies. He taught primary and secondary school. He worked for the Government in Cañete, and also when he was on vacation, he went with his horses and mules to different places in the Sierra to exchange groceries with the people that live there, like rice, sugar, noodles, and beans. He brought back cheese, dried meet, dried fish, and many things they had in the Sierra.

My grandfather was a very different man. He was a lovely man and everybody liked him, but he died very early when he was 60 years old. At that time I had just been born. Well my friends, I guess I've been talking too much. To finish this conversation, I want to tell you guys, that my great grandfather since he figured out that his all sons would marry black woman, he decided to move with his wife to the place he come from. That was a time when Peru didn't have roads or cars and everything had to move by horse. I guess my grandfather and his brothers married black women because they weren't any other women to choose in that village. Well, that's it for now. Adios, my friends, or as they say around here, Hasta La Vista, Baby.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"My Autobiography" by Jonathan Quiroz

It happened last year while I was in Ecuador before coming to the US. It was a beautiful afternoon around noon, and I was expecting a call from DHL Express Mail Service. I was at home when suddenly the phone rang and guess what? It was DHL Mail Service calling me to go pick up my package. I was surprised because I was expecting the call, but I did not know that it was going to be so fast. I went to pick up my package, and I noticed that it was my visa which had been approved. By the time I picked up my packaged visa, I had already known that I was going to come to the US, and I was sad, but at the same time happy, because I was going to have a new life.

It was really a challenge for me because I had never traveled to any other country before. Actually, I had never traveled by plane. After that, I told all my friends and family about my trip, and everybody was happy and they said "You have to take the plunge, don't miss the opportunity." So I came on May 20th, 2009. When I arrived in San Francisco, I realized that this city was for me! But one of the most difficult things was that I did not know how to speak English. My parents told me that I did not have to worry about that, I just had to go to school and learn it, and that's what I did.

Now I feel thankful for that advice. After a few months I got a job. I had never worked before when I went to work by first time. I was afraid of doing something wrong, but none of that happened because there were friendly people who explained to me what to do among other things. I worked as a server at pier 9 in a boat which gave cruises around the bay. It was really good experience. I learned a lot there, such as how to treat people and be helpful to them. We stopped working when the company notified us that it was going to be out of business. I only worked one month there, but anyway it was a good experience. Now, I feel good and thankful for my last job and school. I thank them that I have learned a lot of new words, acquired some experience and how to speak better than before. I have already set my long and short-term goals which I know that I'm going to accomplish.

"An Unexpected Situation" by Pedro De Avila

Lately I been through a situation I had never expected. I got news from someone I hadn't seen in many years, 20 years to be exact. This person that I hadn't heard from happens to be my wife. This sounds kind of strange or crazy, even for me, but it's the way it is. When I was young and had this relationship, I was very young, and I think I didn't know exactly what I wanted at that moment. Maybe it was immature, but it doesn't mean I wasn't in love with the person I was going out with. Listening to her brought me a lot of good memories and took me to the city where I was living when I was 15 years old. She made me remember the good times we had together, and of course the crazy thing that we did, getting married.

I don't regret it, but I also know it wasn't the smartest thing to do. But it's done and there is nothing we can do to change it. She told me she was surprised the moment we first communicated, and so was I. You don't get in touch with your wife after 20 years everyday, that's what I said to myself. Since we first get back in touch we've been having a friendly and a good communication. Sometimes we talk in a way that makes me feel we still have something in common.

To be honest I'm kind of happy knowing about her after all this time. It seems like she is happy and that makes me happy in one way. Relationship sometimes marks the life of people in a good or bad way, and fills us up with experiences that will make us choose what we want or don't want in our lives. In my case meeting the person I've been writing about gave me a beautiful moment and experience that has elevated my life. I thank her for all we gotten in this point of our lives and also for the chance we had getting in touch and talking to each other. I wish someday I could talk to her in person and get to know her new life, her dreams, and all she is up to.