Monday, November 28, 2011

Letters from Africa to the US

Here are some letters from Nigeria to 5th Period Environmental Science Class!

Dear Celene,

To start with, I would like to let you know my data. I am Gabriel and I am fifteen years old. I hail from Ijero in Ekiti State, Nigeria. My nationality is Nigeria. I speak English, French and my native language, Yoruba.

I am also very religious as you are and I don`t wish to miss a service in the church. My parents and elder brothers always work together in order to achieve my future ambition .I would like to be a lawyer so as to render selfless service to the people and safeguard their rights.

My mentor has always been the Chief Justice of my country land (Nigeria) because of his vantage position in the country. The way and manner he is been respected always motivate me and make me think of getting to such position one day.

In my leisure time, I always wish to browse with my PC and get connected to the people. I always wish to listen to music and visit people. In my school, what motivate me most is the `I CAN` statement teachers do say to encourage me.

In my conclusion, I always wish to eat the local food that is pounded yam in addition with melon soup. I do not wish to go to restaurants .

How are you doing academically too? How is Law profession in your country?

I will be willing to hear more from you.

Sincerely yours,


Dear Elyza,

Hi, my name is Bamidele and my friends call me Afobam. I am of a Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. I speak English and my native language. I am 15 years old.

My Mum is an Accountant while my father is a Businessman. I am the last born in a family of five. I live with my parents in a four bedroom apartment. I like to hang out with my friends during holidays. I listen to gospel music, hip hop and pop.

I am a Christian and I like the gospel. My future ambition is to become a Radio activist and a Neurosurgeon. Africa his lovely here except for some corrupts practices. I would like to hear more about you in America. You can add me on Facebook “Afolabi Bamidele”. You can also follow me on Twitter “afobam001”.

Yours sincerely

Bamidele Afolabi

Dear Frank,

It’s quite fascinating to know that we bear the same name. Anyway, my name is Frank but my friends call me finest probably because I look cute. I am from Nigeria, I was born in Lagos,a city in Nigeria. Indeed, one of the biggest cities in Nigeria. I speak English and two other local dialects.

I love sciences and hate Arts Subjects with passion. I wish to be a medical doctor, a neurosurgeon, like my mentor Benjamin Carson. My values are; writing, and researching.

I love people who never give up trying. But my interests are limitless. I am a very optimistic person. I have a girlfriend whose name is Mercy we have been together since we were in grade five. She’s caring. She is 19 years now. Well she might seem a little old but she is very humble, that’s why we have been friends this long. I think you would like her.

Sometimes I wonder how schools over there look like. Well, my school has facilities which aid learning to a great extent. My school happens to be the biggest school in this state (Ekiti State, Nigeria), however, also the oldest school. An average class is about 38 students .We often engage in extra curricula activities every Friday. When we were in grade 10 we were given laptop computer by the Governor of our State. Isn’t that cool and good?

I love you and I know you would be one of the greatest people around. I would love to be your pen pal. Take care.

Yours sincerely,


Dear Karen

My name is Emmanuel, I am from Nigeria and currently a final year student of one of the best schools in Nigeria that is - Christ`s school (Nigeria – Giant of Africa). I am 16 yrs of age, happily living with my parents who do care about me so much and want the best for me at all cost. I have two elderly sisters and a younger brother who also care about me. I am a boarding house student of that great school (Christ`s school), so I find it difficult to stay at home not until the vacation day that we usually go for holiday. I live at Falegan a street in Ekiti State (one of the 36 state in Nigeria) a new area/site which is also very quiet .

I was born in Nigeria and also my parents are from Nigeria, fair in completion and I do like designing on the computer so this makes me choose my best subject as ICT (Information and Communication Technology). I love playing with my friends who also love me too.I love reading my key subject in science class especially Physics, Chemistry anBiology text books. My best food is pounded yam with a palatable soup, I also enjoy playing football with my friends, in our leisure time I love teaching them in any area they find difficult.They usually enjoy my class. This makes them to call me Professor Phato Phato is my nickname.

My ambition is to pursue Computer Software Engineering . I hope my dreams will come true. Kindly let me furnish me with more information about this field.I mean you can enlightening me more about it. I belong to a Christian group and also a leader therein but I have no pen friend ever since but you will be the first pen friend I will ever have so I am happy even to write to you. This is my email address fatokimiemman at yahoo and you can also join me on Face book “Fatokimi Emmanuel”. Thanks a lot I am ready to hear from you the more through the email address next time.Please don’t forget my request.

Yours ,

Emmanuel Fatokimi

Dear Juanita,

Hi my name is Temidayo, I am sixteen years old, I am a student of Christ’s School Ado Ekiti. My nationality is Nigeria. I hails from Ise Ekiti, Ekiti state ,Nigeria. I speak English and Yoruba.

My religion is Christianity , I go to Church at least four times in a week, I’m a chorister in my church . I also play musical instruments.

My future ambition is to become a chartered accountant in a Bank or Government established firm or company. The main purpose of becoming a chartered accountant is to check against bankruptcy and embezzlement of funds. I know with the help of God I will become what I dream of.

In response to your question, Juanita, I like playing football and basketball and listening to music during my leisure time, but it was unfortunate that I don’t like dancing, I prefer swimming to dancing, I also like some of the things you like doing like talking to a friend. In Africa, especially in Nigeria days are Sunny, cool and interesting. In short,our weather is friendly.

It’s a pleasure meeting you, looking forward to hearing more from you. You can email me on my email address temidayoakindahunsi at yahoo.

Yours sincerely


Dear pen friend,

My name is Isinkaye Segun I am 12years old and I was born on march 5 1999 . I am dark in complexion and I am also a native of Ijesa Isu Ekiti. The names of my parents are Mr. and Mrs. Isinkaye. I am the second born of my family and we are five in my family. I am in JSS3, and my best food is bread and tea. I like it because it gives me energy and also build my body tissues. My best subject is mathematics and I love it because it involves calculation and formula.

My best colour is pink and the name of my best club is Manchester united while the name of my best friend is Afolabi Bamidele.

My future ambition is to become medical doctor and my favorite tourist centres are Ikogosi warm spring and zoological garden. I have a yahoo mail and a face book account and my hobbies are reading and drumming. Thanks I will like to hear from you later.

Yours sincerely

Segun Isinkaye

Dear Pen Pal,

I am Dada Oluwatunmise Israel, a son to Mr. and Mrs. Dada. I am a native of Orin Ekiti, in Ekiti state[south-west Nigeria], Nigeria[which is between latitude 4˚N and 14˚N of the equator and latitude 3˚E and 15˚E of the Greenwich meridian] in the western part of Africa. Counting days and month lived on earth, I am a boy of seventeen years of age, and born on the precious day of November 29. Also I live presently in Ado city, in Ekiti state, Nigeria.

Educationally, I am in grade 11. There is a maxim, which says, ’’egg hash and grow to become a cock”, before my present educational stage, there’s a lot of life educational success, which have been achieved. Prayer and hard work makes one proceed, progress and achieve success in this life. I am willing and I will become an engineer in electronics and computer engineering in future by God’s grace. My focus on this profession is to change the world for better, through electronic gadgets and make the world a more advanced global village.

Physically alertness and sport hobbies, I love sporting activities because it will make you to be physically and mentally alert. Structurally, I am a senior boy in measurement, according to sport personnel. Meanwhile, I’m huge and giant enough to be a sporting boy of valor. Racing is best sporting hobby; in racing, I gain fame, discipline and respect. Also, I love music; music also makes me mentally alert, especially western Christian gospel music. The wordings or lyrics and the habit of distinct pronouncement, also makes me a good chorister. Music is my best recreational activity. Reading also is not lest out, I love to study things and know how it comes into existence, the mode of creation and the practical uses. This makes a scientist.

Reaching me via email :outshine22me at hotmail, or outshineworld at live, also via facebook account: outshine Dada oluwatunmise With all these, I will like to know you; location of your residence, town, state and country; state of education in North Grand High School; your future ambition and your best recreational activity and hobby.

Yours sincerely,

Tunmise [a.k.a Outshine].

Dear Julian,

Hi, my name is Tobi, I am a student of Christ’s School Secondary here in Ekiti State. I’m now in the graduation class. I am 15 years old born in the beautiful month of April. I’m a Nigerian indigene probably from Yoruba land. I hail from Ikole Local Government. I love to speak two languages which are English and my native language Yoruba.

I’m a Christian attending “The Redeemed Christian Church of God” (RCCG) and I am proud to be an Usher in my church. Whenever I’m bored, I do hang out with my friends or play indoor games.

Something funny about me is that I love to cook, I also love to chat with friends through any chatting medium i.e Facebook. I love listening to music be it Hip-Hop, R&B, Christian music and any interesting music, meanwhile my favorite musician is Chris Brown.

I live with my Parents and I love my family for one thing which is that they do collaborate to help me to finance my academic work, and what they aim at is for me to attain my greatest height in life.

In response to your questions Julian, I love playing soccer just as you do, and pertaining to my future ambition, I will like to be a Mechanical Engineer which I’ve been working towards.

In conclusion, it is a coincidence meeting you, I will like to have some personal data about you. Till then, Stay cool. A friend of mine sends his regards. You can add me on Facebook with my Username “Oluwasakin Tobi”. You can also message me on my email oluwasakintobi at yahoo.

Yours sincerely,


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pen Pal Letters from NGHS- Environmental Science Class_Ms. Saez

My name is Anissa I’m 17years old i have one sister and four brothers. My favorite color is purple and red. I’m Puerto Rican and Cuban. I was born in Illinois. I always wanted to visit Africa to see what it’s like, but never did. I hear you guys don’t have very much to do out there. I’m sorry to hear that I wish I can help. But things that I do for hobbies are hanging with friends, dance, but most of all gymnastics. I don’t know if you have that in Africa but it’s really fun. Because you do all kinds of different of flips. Our schools are no different than yours. We do pretty much everything like you guys, read books write, talk to friends and much more. I would like to hear about you and everything you guys do out there: school, families foods and more. I will love to hear about it.

To whom it may concern
Hello my name is Ashley Wright I attend North Grand High School. I must admit I know little to nothing about Africa except that it has a desert like climate and it’s very dry. I would love to know more about the climate and the desert lands. I live in Chicago where the weather is always changing one day it snows the next day it’s sunny. Do you see a lot of wild life such as lions, cheetah’s, hippos? I would love to see a lion up close the closest I have seen one is at the zoo. I hope to one day visit Africa and learn about the climate/ culture well that’s all for now.

Ashley Wright

What’s up ? My name is Marimar Salgado I’m 17 years old I live in Chicago IL, The weather from Chicago is horrible the only months we love is June & July & August other than that we have below 0 temperatures. However, Chicago has beautiful places like Down Town, and we have many malls that we could shop. My favorite season is winter because we get to wear fancy clothes like jackets and sweaters and so on. Chicago has different types of food like Mexican food, Puerto Rican Food. I love doing cheerleading because I feel it fits my personality. Cheerleading means is 20 girls cheering and supporting their schools to do good. I will love to know what you guys do and what types of foods you guys eat. We have a nice community we always keep it clean. Teachers from Chicago are very nice their always trying to help us out they teach us different subjects like writing, math. Reading, and science. The name of the school that I go to is North Grand High school and I’m currently a Junior. The school is very clean and organized. I love how my school does different projects like basketball, volleyball, softball, cheerleading, swimming and more. I think if you guys will come to Chicago. You guys will fall in love with Chicago specially girls because they got all different types of designers the thing right now is pupping is zebra and lea pored. Will peace out take care guys and be safe hopefully I get a respond back.
Hi my name is Edwin I am from the United States of America in IL, Chicago. I go to North Grand High school. The school I go to is pretty good, the teachers are nice. The one thing I don’t like about the school is the food, it doesn’t have any flavor. The neighborhood is alright. It’s a Hispanic area the people are nice once you get to know them. Things I like is to do is play some video game, watch some TV, hang out with my friends. The weather in Chicago is always changing so you never know what to expect the next day.

I would like to know what do you think about the project we have to do ? I would like to know the type of person you are and I would like to know more about your country , like what do you think of it and if you like your country.

To whom it may concern: Hello! I’m writing to you from Chicago, Illinois. I am a seventeen year old student at North-Grand High School . I am curious about how you live over there in Nigeria. I think it might be very different to the way we live here. Your country might have some things that my country doesn’t and vice versa. Right now it is winter here in the US. I really don’t like the winter because it’s so cold and then it snows but I guess that’s the crazy weather, right? How is the weather over there? Warm I suppose. You’re so lucky! What do you think about this project, the whole writing to someone else all the way across the continent? I think it’s really exciting I’ve never done this before. I am sitting here and I don’t know what to write..I could tell you a bit about myself. I am Mexican mixed with German, I LOVE to draw, I own a pet kitten named Puma, my favorite color is red, and I have two piercings on my lip!…you should try to guess my name then I could try and guess yours J (by the way, I’m a female). I hope you don’t think I’m weird ha-ha I’m just very friendly! I would love to hear about you and learn more about your country.
Hello there, my name is Ruby I am from Chicago I’m sixteen I love hello kitty. I attend North Grand high school. I am currently a junior in high school; I take four classes a day. It is very cold where I am how is the weather over there? There is going to be snow here soon. I hate snow its just so cold and wet. Next week Thursday is Thanksgiving. Me and my family make a big dinner and eat together and give thanks. We make a big turkey, arroz con gandules, mashed potatoes etc. This is the best time of the year. I would really like to hear about you, I hope you write back soon.

Sincerely, Ruby

Hey, am writing to you to so you could know a little bit about myself. My name is Itzel Arroyo but my friends call me princess Nana. I am 17 years old and a senior in North Grand High School. I live in Chicago, Illinois, but I am Mexican American. I know how to speak Spanish and English of course haha. I am a funny girl that like to have to fun and chill with my friends. I don’t really like school but I have to come every day so I could graduate and go to college. My teachers are good teachers they help us with a lot when we need help with something or if we need someone to talk to they will be there for us.
Chicago Illinois is a great state/ city I love living here, I specially love the summer even though it gets to hot when summer comes but it’s really fun because they open the pools, six flags and all this cool places. What kind of fun things you do in Africa? But right now its November and its getting cold but the good thing is that thanksgiving is coming yayyy!! That means am going to eat a lot haha J How is thanksgiving over there? Do you like it ? I hate the winter and its coming up already specially when it snows sometimes is fun because w e go ice skating play snow fight but it be super cold and I hate the cold weather. What I like about the winter is that I could get to play with my little sisters my dog my family because we don’t get along that much but when winter comes and it start snowing we be spending time together. Also because Christmas is coming up and new years I can’t wait because my whole family always get together and enjoy the holiday. Well I will love to know about yourself? What do you think about this project we going to do ? do you think is lame ? I think it will be kind of fun because we will get to know each other and work as a team.

Hey my name is Dalvin Ramos
I attend North Grand high school and I’m a senior. I’m from Chicago Illinois and I been living in Chicago for 7 years. I only been in Chicago for 7 years because I moved to Chicago from Puerto Rico. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico until I moved to Chicago. Chicago is a nice area to live in because you get to witness all the climate changes such as fall, winter, and spring. My favorite time of the year is spring and summer because that’s when baseball starts and baseball is a sport I’ve played since the age of 6 so I basically live to play baseball. Every summer I play for 4 teams in different parts of Illinois Chicago and some of the teams are traveling teams so I get to travel to other states to play against other competitive teams. The position I play is centerfield which is outfield and that’s been my position since I started to play baseball. My jersey number is 15 and that’s my favorite number because the player who I admire is Carlos Beltran and he also wears the number 15 and plays centerfield. Baseball is my way to get away from mostly everything especially bad influences so it motivates me to always do my best in school because without the grades I will not be able to play baseball for the school team. So that’s mostly what I and hopefully I get scholarships from colleges for being good at the sport because my lifelong dream is to play for a D-1 college and hopefully continue to play ball after college which is pro baseball/MLB-Major League Baseball and that would be a dream come true. So besides baseball I’m basically a laid back person who doesn’t really like violence and I’m a funny person and easy to get along with person. So hopefully after you read this I hope to get a letter back from you and tell me about the sport you like to play or whatever you like to do.
Sincerely:Dalvin Ramos

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hello from Chicago fellow AFARA students!

Here are some of the letters we have written to introduce ourselves to you. We look forward to hearing back from you

You can view photos of us writing our letters and collecting soil samples at the following link

Dear fellow students,
            To begin with I would like to introduce myself. I am Celene and I am eighteen years old.  My nationality is Mexican even though I been living in the United States for almost all my life. I was a baby when my family came to the US so really I don’t remember my country.

            I am very religious and I go to church every Sunday morning; I believe in the Virgin Mary, I pray when I eat when I go to sleep when I wake up.  My parents are very supportive of all my sisters and my one brother especially when it has to do with our education. What I would like to do in the future is become a nurse  because I like to help people.

            My hero is my dad because he is a hard-working men that has always been there for his family. No matter what, he has always talked to his daughters about how to get through life without getting in trouble.
            In my free time I like to write and listen to music. I am a senior in high school, so it is my last year. My school is very supportive of our dreams and they try to help us. What I like most in school is how the teachers want you to succeed in life to go college and have a bright future . 

            I used to live in the suburbs outside the city. Over there is very different from where I live now, on the North side. This neighborhood it is alright, I guess.  It has its goods and its bad. For example, it has gangs that can be violent,  What it makes it hard each day is that you never know what’s going to happen next. For me the world has to be clean I think it is important for the world to be clean.  The world it might not be perfect but it is very nice that it has a  lot of positive aspects that we need to save.  I  would like to ask you some questions. For example,  I would like to know what it is like over there were you live.  What do you do in your free time? What do you eat? Here there are all kinds of foods but different neighborhoods have different kinds of food like Mexican restaurants in this neighborhood and Chinese restaurants in the Chinese neighborhoods.                

Dear students in Nigeria,

My name is Emanuel. I’m 16 years old and I speak both English and Spanish. I’m full Puerto Rican but I was born in Chicago, Illinois. Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean. It takes like 4 hours in an airplane just to get  from Chicago to Puerto Rico, so it’s pretty far from here.

In Chicago, there are a lot of buildings and skyscrapers. People also call Chicago “The Windy City”. People are always on the move too – it is a very hectic and crowded place. Downtown is especially busy with  everyone rushing to their job.

I have a sister that’s in college and a brother that goes to middle school. I live with my mom because she’s a single mom. My mom is from Arecibo, Puerto Rico and my dad is from Lares, Puerto Rico. This makes me full Puerto Rican because basically everyone in my family is Puerto Rican.

In the future for my career, I want to be a car designer because ever since I was a baby, I was always interested in cars. I also want to have a real nice house and a nice car too.

I’m also a Christian myself. I’m a musician at my church and I the instrument I play is the bass. I basically grew up going to church till this day. I also like animals and sea animals as well. In other words, I like nature and how it works on Earth. I would like to hear more about you guys in Nigeria and how it is over there. 

 Emanuel. R

Dear Pen-Pal,

            Hi, my name is Elyza I am of Puerto Rican and Irish decent, I’m from Chicago Illinois, and I go to North Grand High School. I am 17 years old and I’m turning 18 on November 25th, I was born on Thanksgiving Day which is a very big holiday here.

            I live with my mother, step-father, and my grandfather in a two bedroom apartment. When I’m bored I like to hang out with my friends and go shopping at mall and out to eat. When I’m down and feeling depressed what helps me feel better is listening to music. The types of music I love to listen to are Hip-Hop, R&B, Bachata which is Spanish music, and Pop.

            What is your family and home like? What do you like to do with your time when you are not in school? Do you like music too?


Dear Pen-Pal,                                                                                                                                        

         Hello my name is Francisco but you can call me Frank. I am 18 years old and I am from Chicago, Illinois in the United States. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers and I am the oldest child in the family. I live in a neighborhood called Kos. Park, it is a fairly good neighborhood in my opinion.

         I am Roman Catholic but I don’t practice it religiously as everyone normally does. I am Mexican, Puerto Rican, and White. My mom is 100% Puerto Rican; my dad is Mexican and White.  I come from a very big family, I live with my grandma because my mom lives too far from my school and it’s easier for me to travel living with my grandma. 

         I speak English and Spanish, and I’m taking Polish for my job. I am a senior in high school; it is my last year before I move on to college so I am really excited. I plan to study law, and medicine so I’m going to be in school for a long time.

         In my high school l love my Science and English classes, and hate my Math classes. When I’m not working I like to spend my free time swimming and hanging out with my friends. I work for the Fire Department in a small city next to Chicago called Berwyn. I am a Supervisory Paramedic in fire house 3, I work 3 days out of the week and when I’m not working I try my best to focus on having fun to let all the stress out.

         At the moment the most important thing in my life and world is my girlfriend Nancy. We have been together almost two years now, and she’s an amazing person.

         I’ve always wondered how the education system in Africa works. How big are schools, and how big are your class sizes. In my school there is an average of 32 students in each class. So not big but not small either.  I am looking forward to hearing back from you and learning more about you and your school.

Sincerely your Pen-Pal,


Dear pen pal

         Hi. My name is Diana R. I’m 15 years old and I am a freshman at North Grand High School. I was born and raised at Chicago. Both of my parents are Mexican. My father speaks both English and Spanish and my mother only speak Spanish. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers.

         When I was 6 years old, I went to a public school that only teaches English. Most of the adults expected me to speak Spanish. I told them I was only taught to speak English. They thought I speak Spanish because of my parents. When I try to ask my mom something or answer her questions, I ask one of my sister or brother to translate what I say to my mother. I can sometimes understand what my mother is saying.

         On Sundays, I go to church with my mother, father and one of my brothers. We always go when the priest speak Spanish for my mother to understand what he is saying. My mother always believes in God and that he is always watching her. I believe that God is watching because there are things that can’t be explained in my family.

         Here in Chicago, there are many buildings that are being built and destroyed. My favorite building is the Willis Tower which has 110 floors and is 1,400 feet tall. When I went to top floor with my parents and sister, I loved the view. There were so many building and there was the huge Lake Michigan which is one of the 5 Great Lakes. At that time, the sky looked foggy at first but then cleared up to reveal the blue sky.

         So, how about you? What is it like at Nigeria? I look forward to hearing about your family and your city.

Diana R. 

Dear Pen-pal,

Hello, my name is Juanita. I’m seventeen years old and I’m Puerto Rican, but I’ve lived in Chicago, Illinois my entire life. I enjoy living in Chicago. The streets are busy, and there are always kids outside playing. Although, there are some neighborhoods that are full of violence and aren’t safe, my neighborhood is pretty good. I’m somewhat of a free spirit; I love to just be me.

Growing up, I’ve always been surrounded by family and loved ones. My religion is Catholic, but I don’t go to church as much as I should; that’s going to change. I speak English and a little bit of Spanish. In my household, Spanish is spoken more often, which is why I’m trying to learn more. Even though I don’t understand every word, I love dancing to Spanish music: bachata, meringue, and salsa, as well as hip hop.

I’m in the process of applying to college, being the first in my family to do so. I hope to go to Aurora University and continue to play softball on the team there. It can sometimes become stressful thinking about college, the very high cost, and being on my own are the two things that make me worried. The thought of how much my parents have sacrificed for me encourages me to never give up.

In my free time I usually am playing video games, talking to my friends, dancing or playing sports. Dancing always helps me feel better whenever I’m upset, it makes me feel free for just a moment. Other sports I play besides softball are basketball, and volleyball. As long as I’m with my friends or family, I’m having a good time. What do you do with your free time? Do you like any of the same things I do? What is an average day like in Africa?


Dear, Pen Pal,
         My name is Julian A., and I attend North Grand High School, located here in Chicago, Illinois. My high school here consists majority of Latinos. I am from Mexico, which by the way is cool. You know, living here isn’t as easy as many make it seem. The neighborhood in which I live is becoming more dangerous because of gangs. 
         The bright side of this city is that there are so many things to do for fun. I like going downtown which is full of big buildings and many stores to visit. There is also Millennium Park which is awesome to go to.
         One thing you should know about me is that I love playing soccer. I’m wondering if you like to play soccer. I also speak two fluent languages: Spanish and English. What languages to you speak?. I bet it’s interesting.
         I still can’t believe I am a senior and about to graduate from high school. I am nervous about my future though, I do know what I want to be but colleges here are very expensive. I hope to become a journalist in my future. What do you hope or want to be in the future.  Hasta luego; which means until next time in Spanish.
              Sinceramente, Julian A. 

Dear Pen-Pal,
         My name is Karen and I am currently attending North-Grand High school - senior year, oh yeah! North-Grand is a two floor building with three halls across each floor. With about 900 students, this high school is small compared to others, but in my opinion I think it’s a good quality because you can get to know all the people in the school. I live on the North side and I admit that my neighborhood is a little ghetto. An accident or some other emergency always occurs. There is always something going on. There is not one night I don’t hear the police or ambulance sirens rushing past my house. Therefore, we all have to be alert of our surroundings.

         I was born here in the United States, but my parents are from Mexico, so I consider myself to be Mexican. I love music in general like hip-hop, rap,  and rock, but what I like the most is Mexican music. I am a member of a  group which named ourselves “Club Eterno” – The Eternity. We dance to different types of Mexican music but what we dance the most is called “Quebradita”. Quebradita is a dance full of style, fast turns, and flips – it is a very creative dance, and it is a work out! We as a group, practice three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays for four hours. Since our dancing includes flipping – almost like acrobats – our practice place is at a gym with the floor made out of cushion for safety. The people who dance quebradita do it for fun, we don’t get money out of it, we just do it because it is our passion. The purpose of our practices is to come up with different routines and we battle other clubs at what we call “bailes”; parties with bands playing and people dancing. We also compete and try our best to place in  1st , 2nd, or 3rd for our club; we are trying to be the champions.

         I am a very friendly and outgoing girl; I love to spend time with friends and family. I have two little bothers, Kevin who is 14 and he means so much to me, he has been there for me and always tries to make me smile when I need him the most. Kenny is the smallest, he is 4 years old and that kid is a trouble maker! Kiara, she is 9 years old and she is the sweetest little girl ever.  I like to always be busy and have something to do. My goal for now is to graduate with an A or B average and go to college. I noticed that I enjoy math and there is no doubt that I love design. Therefore, I am looking forward in earning my bachelors degree (four years of college) for Architecture. Until then, I would try my best know to reach my goal. Well, I think I’ve covered everything important about me. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and hope to hear about you soon.

     Sincerely, Karen Sotelo

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The AFARA project!

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Our next unit is about soil and water quality and we are collaborating with students at a school in Nigeria Africa. This project is called "Afara" which means bridge in the Yoruba language. We've started writing our introduction letters to the students with whom we will be collaborating. For more on the AFARA project you can explore at