"Finding ME"

By: Jean Claude Zarate


I woke up and looked out the car window. It seemed like the sky was mourning and crying for me. I sat there knowing everything we left behind. But the memories would stay with me. At that time, as we entered Maine, I remembered some of the stuff I had left behind. We left my sister’s turtle at my aunt’s. We separated the turtle from its friends who it would probably never see again. We left our beautiful two-story house alone–empty with no one to comfort. We left my mom’s side of the family, we left my cousins, we left our friends to find Maine.
As I looked around, I was tired. We’d been running around the parking lot in the airport in Boston looking for the car. I looked at my sister. She was probably thinking the same thing I was: How was our life going to change? As I rolled down the window, the blowing wind took away the strong smell of the trees, but I could still smell them.

I bit into a doughnut and it reminded me of the doughnut shop at the mall in Lima. Their doughnuts there were baked fresh daily and you could watch them make the dough. As I bit it, I didn’t think of the difference between real donuts with fresh frosting and cheap chemically made frosting.

The car was going at the speed of light–we were already at my uncle’s house where our family had been expecting us for two hours. My uncle and aunt had arrived hours ago from the airport, but because we forgot where the car was, we were late. Our family welcomed us with warm hugs.

The next day, my uncle took us to various places. He took us to Portland Head Light and other Maine spots. I remember going to the mall thinking it was so BIG. I remember trying Panda Express, hating it and throwing it away. Now I love Panda Express. I guess my taste for food has changed. I remember as soon as we got to the food court area, I saw the McDonald’s area. It was so small compared to the one that we’d passed by every time we went to *Metro to buy food supplies in Lima. The McDonald’s in Peru was in the middle of Lima, which is the capital city in Peru. The McDonald’s store was at lest six stories high and very wide like a hotel. We never went in there because I was afraid of the Ronald McDonalds up there, always on the 5th or 6th floor. Sometimes my cousins went there and the Happy Meals were in a box like in the commercials, not in a paper bag like here.
When my uncle took us to Hannaford, I remember seeing the cereals. They were in boxes. In Peru, most of the cereals were in plastic sealed bags–just like a cereal box without the cardboard box.

The first day I went to school in Maine, I was totally confused. It was kinda useless going to school since I couldn’t understand what they were saying. When I first ate the school lunch I noticed it was awful. Now I know that it isn’t just me.

When I finally started reading English, I was reading faster than anyone. I was always the first one to finish stuff in my classes for 5 years. What we learned in Peru in 1st grade was what we learned in 3rd grade here. I was surprised the kids in my classes didn’t know how to do multiplication, division, subtraction, integers, or even addition in first grade! When we started doing long division I was so bored.

By 4th grade the school assigned me to an AG (Academically Gifted) Math program for one hour, three times a week, but I still had to do the math in my normal class.

Now Maine feels natural. School isn’t confusing. I’m learning a 3rd language and doing better than ever. Now and then, my aunt sends me a picture of my sister’s pet turtle which is now huge. School lunch is still kinda disgusting and many people if not everyone agrees with me. I have gotten used to chemically made stuff, but now our family doesn’t go to any fast-food place other than Elevation Burger which is 100% organic.

Heres another story in case you didn’t enjoy the first one:
One time there was a fish.
The fish swam by accident into a water bottle.
It continued eating plankton until it outgrew the bottle and
Stop being lazy and buy a reusable water bottle.

"From Mexico"

By: Shamir Anzures

I was born in June/17/1998 in Mexico. I lived there in Puebla in the middle of Mexico for three years. It was so beautiful and also had good weather to go in the water , the breeze with fresh air. One day, my mom and dad told me we had to move because we were so poor and that we were going to lose our house. So we all got packed and ready to leave. It was hard to leave every relative and uncle and aunt. I cried when I had to say good-bye to my grandfather and grandmother.

It was the first time going on a plane. It felt so funny going up. We got to America at 12 in the morning. Good thing my dad knew a friend in New York that we could stay with.
About a month later, my dad and his friend decided to look for a house for us and they decided to look in Maine. It took them six hours to get there to look for a perfect house and then after the six hours, my dad called us from Maine and told us he had found a perfect house. It was a big red house that had 2 floors and lots of rooms and he’d bought it. I was excited.
I never knew what would it be like in Maine. Maybe good fresh air. Maybe a place where we can play or maybe one day have our first dog. We packed up our stuff and left New York. It was a long trip and I was so tired, I felt asleep the whole ride.

When I woke up, I opened the window and felt the cool fresh air. I saw trees all over. We were getting out of the car and I saw neighbors welcoming us. They were so nice and helped us with every kind of thing we needed. But I still missed my family and I knew right then they still missed us.

Our neighbors were very nice and they helped us a lot. They even helped my brother and I speak more English. The neighbors found us an elementary school to go to and jobs for my mom and dad. Now, I always hang out with my family and we have a lots of fun. My family and I like Maine–the peace and quiet, not much going on and not much crime.

"Pancakes For Breakfast"

By: Gaby Baez

The sun was bright. It shone through the curtains. The room was so quiet you could hear the little birds tweeting from outside. I tried to open my eyes, but the room was so bright that I couldn’t. I pressed my face back against the pillow. I let my eyes get some light so I could get use to it.

When I got up, I opened the curtains and woke up my friends. Ashley threw a pillow at me and said, “Leave Me Alone ! It’s too early!” But it was already 11:00am. We had gone to sleep so late the night before that the time flew by that morning. We couldn’t go back to sleep again, so we turned on the TV.

After a while we got kind of hungry so we got up, brushed our teeth, and went down stairs to find something to eat. When Ashley went to open the refrigerator door, she found a little note on the door from her mom. It said, “Dear girls I went out to buy some things and I won’t be back for a while. Pancakes are in the cabinet if you ladies want any. See you soon! From, Mom.” Since there was no one in the house, we decided to put some music on to dance to. We picked ‘On The Floor’ by Jennifer Lopez, and then we went to look for the bag of pancakes.

We looked everywhere until we finally found them. We opened the fridge and took out the milk and eggs and started mixing the pancake mix. We poured the flour into a basket. Ashley poured the milk and I cracked the eggs. The batch got harder and harder to mix because it was thickening. After mixing the pancake mix we poured it on a little pan to cook them. While they were cooking, we decided to step outside for some fresh air.

It was so warm out. The sun was super bright. It was our first week of summer vacation and summer was actually here; the only good thing about Maine. We said we would sit down and get a quick two minute tan, but it was so quiet and peaceful that we forgot about the time. Out of nowhere we heard a loud alarm beeping. We freaked out and ran into the house. It was a pancakes disaster !!

We’d forgotten about them and they had burned! There was smoke everywhere and we were scared. We opened all the windows and brought the pancakes outside. The alarm stopped beeping and we calmed down. We picked up the mess we’d made and started a new batch, but this time we watched them very carefully. When they were done, we sat at the table and ate our pancakes with bacon. When we were done eating we continued with our “Sun Tanning”.

A while later Ashley’s mom came and she asked us “How was your morning girls? What have you done?” We answered her with laughter.