Student letters-poor children, rough waves, deep water

On 2/22/2012 11:34 AM, Ms. Mrley’s student Armando wrote: > Dear Miss Yarbro, > > How did you know the people in Ghana were very, very poor? Why do you think they were so happy since they are poor? What kind of toys did those children have? Could we send toys to those children in that home? If we can, what do you think we should send? > Where would we send it? How many children live there? What kind of food do they eat? > > What kind of animals live in Ghana? > > What did you eat for supper last night? > > How is Cuddles? > > Yesterday in art, we learned how to write our name in Egyptian. It was hard. For an A, I had to draw an arm with a hand. R is kind of like an eye without the dot in the middle. M is an owl. N is six points. D is a mitten. O is a decorated cup. > > My favorite color is green. I have one turtle and 14 chickens. I have three sisters and no brothers. I am the youngest. > > From, Armando > >

Hello Armando,
Wow, I really enjoyed your email. You put a lot of thought into the people of Ghana. I think it is wonderful that you want to help. The Ghanaians are really poor because they live in 1 or 2 room “houses” that might only be shacks or cement houses with tin roofs. A lot do not have electricity and some cannot go to school because they’re families need them to work to get food. Can you imagine working 14 hours a day at a dangerous job just so that you can eat 1 meal that day? That is what many children from ages 3 and up have to do. It is very sad and there are a lot of good people that are trying to help families get good jobs and children go to school.
That is a very good idea about sending toys!!! How neat that you asked this. I don’t have internet (besides this email) here on the ship but if you write down this information, I’m sure your parents or gaurdians can help you write them about your desire to help. It is called the City of Refuge and if you look online they rescue children slaves from Lake Volta. They are such happy children, especially because now they do not need to work for 14 hours and can play and go to school like normal children. But I know they would LOVE toys. There library had about 20 or 30 old books which was exciting for them, but made me think about our huge libraries at home that are not used enough. Thank you for your thoughtful questions and wanting to make a difference. Let me know what else I can do to help Armando!
* We’re going around the tip of Africa at the moment and so the waves are really rough. The boat moves so much that we run into walls as we’re trying to get to class. It’s hard to describe what it feels like to be on a huge ship that is rocking. It’s like you’re walking along the class hallway and one second your climbing up a really steep hill and then next second your trying to stop from running down the hill. Everyone is seasick, but it affects everyone differently. For example, I get a little sick to my stomach and Kara gets really, really sleepy. It’s kind of funny because our stuff slides off our desks, we have to hold our plates down while we eat, and it is nearly impossible to take a shower or study our homework haha. It’s like trying to study while on a roller coaster, except that there are no seat belts 😉 My poor friend is in an art class and she was struggling just to draw a straight line! 🙂 I was trying to play the piano today but the piano bench kept sliding around 😀 It’s a cool experience really, especially since we will arrive in South Africa tomorrow and will be on dry land! Yippee!!! We hear that after our stay in South Africa is when the seas will get really bad, so we’re going to enjoy stable land a lot. 🙂
I’m not sure when I will have internet in port but I will write you as soon as I can during or after South Africa. Thanks! Destiny

On 2/21/2012 8:31 AM, Laurie Marley wrote: > Dear Miss Yarbro, > > How are you doing? Were you holding the dolphin in the water? Ms. Marley showed us the pictures you sent to your aunt. > > Were you nervous when you went piranha fishing? How did you fish for them? > > It is Tuesday at 8:30 AM here, what time is it there? > > Were there geese on the Amazon river? Were the alligators scary? Did you hold one? > > How is Cuddles? Where does he/she sleep? > > I have five sisters, all of them are younger than me. I have one older brother. I won fifth place in the science fair on Thursday. My favorite color is blue. > > Love, Seth >

Heya Seth,     Thank you for your letter! We are now 10 hours apart! So while you’re sleeping, I’m going to class, to the cafeteria, and hanging out with my friends. It’s kind of weird 🙂 It is REALLY bright here. I don’t know why exactly but it hurts our eyes to even be outside in the afternoon.  Cuddles sleeps right above my bed in the window sill. Don’t worry, I have him secured so he doesn’t go flying when we hit a big wave 🙂 Did you know our ship is over 3,500 feet above the ocean floor? The water is SO deep! We passed by the coast of Angola and Namibia the last two days. I can’t help but wonder what those countries must be like because I loved Ghana so much. I think it is amazing how different places around the world are, but how much people are the same. We all laugh, cry, and want to enjoy life.
There were no geese on the Amazon that I saw but there were alligators and yes, I did hold one. It was so cool!!!
5 sisters is a lot! But I like big families, they are a lot of fun.
Have a wonderful Thursday! Destiny

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