Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Coral's Letter


This afternoon, I was in my room, playing with my cats. My friend Coral was on her way over to eat dinner while her au pair had the night off.


I heard a voice and turned- there was Coral!

"Inky!" she called. "My letter came! I'm scared to open it! Did I get into the summer intensive or not?"


In Coral's hand was a letter addressed to her from her #1 choice of ballet school. Coral had already heard positive replies from two other schools, but she really wanted to attend my school.


"Open it!" I said. "It's better to know than it is not to know."


Coral walked over to the bed with the letter in her fingers, her hand trembling.


"Okay," replied Coral, "here I go!"


Coral took a deep breath and opened the letter. She scanned her eyes over the page nervously.


"I'm in!" she cheered. "I got into the top ballet school in the United States!"


I'm so happy for Coral! If she does well at the Summer Course, she might be asked to stay at the school for the rest of the year. Coral had missed the regular auditions in the fall, since she had just moved to the US- so the summer program was her big chance. She did it! Go Coral! Have you ever worked for something really hard- and then it came to be?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Flushing Meadows Park

Recently, my friend Coral and I went to Flushing Meadows Park in Corona with her au pair. (An au pair is like a nanny.  Coral's dad flies back and forth to New Zealand often, so her au pair takes care of her.)

Flushing Meadows Park

Coral has been waiting to hear about a summer intensive ballet program. I've been talking with her a lot about ballet.  Coral is a very dedicated dancer.  She was a regional associate back in New Zealand with their national ballet school. Now, she goes to the JKO School.  However, she loves my school and applied to a summer intensive there.  I'm still in the Children's Division, so I don't have ballet class in the summer.  This year I'm dancing in a ballet though- seven performances starting in a little over a week.

Flushing Meadows Park

Coral auditioned for the summer intensive program at my ballet school, but she hasn't heard back yet. They say you usually hear right away, so she's pretty worried.  Do you think you guys could cross your fingers for her? It's really important to her- she wants to be a ballerina and she works very hard in her classes.  I haven't decided if I want to stay with ballet when I get older. It's hard work and sometimes I get bored during class. Other times, I wish I could stay home and play instead of taking the subway all the way to ballet class. Do you think that's normal? I feel a little bit guilty since my school is well-known and most kids who audition don't get in.

Flushing Meadows Park

Coral is really nice- she knows all about what it's like to be a kid who dances. She's been feeling sad lately because it's been a year since she was back in New Zealand. Luckily, one of her friends might be moving here. Her name is Pippa and she's also a dancer! She's coming to NYC because her cousin, who is half Australian and half American, lives upstate.

So that's the news 'round these parts. How is the start of your summer? What do you think I should do about ballet- should I keep going? I love performing, but sometimes class is so long!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pecos National Historical Park


Hi everyone! During my last few days in New Mexico, my family mostly spent time together visiting cousins and aunties.  Still, we had time to make it up into the mountains to visit Pecos National Historical Park. I really wanted to visit this park, because they award Junior Ranger badges in Spanish! My moms and I drove through the hills, past a truck selling chile powder, and finally arrived at Pecos.


The hike at Pecos is pretty short- it only took about 30 minutes.  As we headed out from the Visitor Center, we saw this sign. Yikes! I thought it would be awesome to see a rattlesnake, but we didn't.  I guess that's probably for the best.


Pecos Pueblo was one of the many Pueblos in New Mexico, but about 100 years ago, their numbers grew too small, so they left and joined other Pueblos.  The village is still there and it's fun to explore a bit! I imagined what it would have been like to be a girl living at Pecos a hundred years ago.  Next to the Pueblo was a large Spanish mission, so there were many Hispanic families living at Pecos as well.


Even though the hike was short, my family got to see the beautiful landscape surround Pecos Pueblo. Some of my friends have told me that they imagine New Mexico as being brown, but in many places, it's very green.  The weather is a little crazy though- even though it was mid-April, it started snowing pretty hard on our drive back down into Santa Fe!


Here I am with the Pecos Mission behind me.  Hundreds of years ago, Spanish priests came to settle this part of New Mexico.  They built a large church, but it was destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt in 1680.  The Pueblo peoples rose up against the Spanish and kept them out of New Mexico, but they came back after 12 years.  This church is the second church.  It was abandoned when everyone left Pecos.


When we finished the hike, I still had a few more questions to answer in my Junior Ranger book.  The Visitor Center has a really nice museum that tells about the Pueblo and Hispanic people who lived at Pecos. When I finished the booklet, this retired ranger swore me in.  Even though Pecos is one of the smaller park sites in New Mexico, I was the third Junior Ranger that afternoon! Two boys from France finished just before me.  The retired ranger let me choose if I wanted an English-language or Spanish-language badge, so I chose Spanish!

If you're ever in Santa Fe, this is a fun little park to visit.  You can check out their website at this link: www.nps.gov/peco.

This is my last New Mexico post. A few days after we visited Pecos, my moms and I flew back to New York City.  Even though I'm homeschooled, we only had a week off because of my parents' work and my ballet lessons.

Have you ever been to a place where different cultures lived at the same time? What was it like?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bandelier National Monument

Our trip to New Mexico was really nice.  After we spent a day each at Petroglyph National Monument and Chaco Culture National Historical Park, we drove up into the mountains to visit Bandelier National Monument.  My mama told me that she and her family used to camp there often when she was my age.

Bandelier National Monument

The main part of Bandelier is in Frijoles Canyon. (That means Beans Canyon- isn't that silly?) The walls of the canyon are made of compacted volcanic ash, called tuff. The rock is really soft, which is why there are so many holes and depressions in the walls. The Ancestral Puebloan people used the holes as places to live- you can tell where they were because the roofs are blackened from the smoke of their fires.

Bandelier National Monument

My family did the Main Loop Trail. It's a bit over a mile long and you can buy a trail guide in the park's bookstore.

Bandelier National Monument

You walk through the bottom of the canyon and then climb about through some of the cavates in the canyon walls. Cavates are the holes in the canyon walls- they're like tiny caves!

Bandelier National Monument

Visitors can climb ladders into some of the higher caves. Here I am looking down from a cavate onto Tyuonyi Pueblo below. Wouldn't it have been a beautiful place to live? When the Ancestral Puebloan people lived here, they grew the Three Sisters- corn, beans, and squash. Yum!

Bandelier National Monument

After we wound past the ancient homes, the trail goes through a little forest by the Frijoles Creek. There was a big flood not long ago, so there were downed trees everywhere. There were also places where you could see big piles of brush all gathered up around the bases of the trees. The damage was so bad that half of the parking lot isn't usable anymore, which is sad.

Bandelier National Monument

At the end of the trail, I went back to the park bookstore. There, a friendly ranger swore me in as a Bandelier Junior Ranger. As always, I promised to explore, learn, and protect our nation's park areas. Bandelier was a great park to visit. I hope I can go back someday with friends. If you'd like to learn more about Bandelier National Monument, visit nps.gov/band!
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