Tuesday, 6 October 2009

My Journey to the New World

Dear Journal,

I do not want to go on this rotten journey! But I have no choice. My siblings are very ill, and I have to leave my mama and papa at home to take care of them. My elder sister died just a month ago, I am tired to death from the chores, but I know the boat will be worse. I do not want to leave my home, my family. But I've got to. I've got to.

I know many people on the ship will be ill, and it is crowded in the hold. I really hope we will see land, as we do not know the precise way to get there. I will have to work hard to earn a living, as a laborer, and when I have earned the money, I will bring over ma and pa and we will live in the New World together. Rest your bones, Emily. I promise I will. I am seeing the ship now, it smells of freshly cut wood... covered in dead fish. I know many people will not survive... the stench, maybe. But I am not being funny. This is a life and death matter. Many people have now crowded in around the dock, waiting to board the ship. This is a little embarrassing, but I do think I am getting a little scared.

I can only take a large sack of things. I am working as a farming helper for my Master, who will be telling me what to do. I am taking two dirty old rags and no shoes. To pay for my voyage, I had to sell all my clean new dresses and all of my shoes. My Master is a farmer, and he grows tobacco and corn. I know it will be hard work, but I also know it will give me my freedom.

I am leaving because of religious tolerances. My family and I wish to serve God alone and in peace. I will soon. But I am not so sure.


Dear Journal,

When will we see land? I miss my family and friends. I suddenly have a feeling I want to turn back, back to my home, my family. I dream for food. There is only rotten fruit and half-cooked meat. It smells in here, and I cannot sleep. I fear I will get the illnesses that other people have gotten in my cabin. There is another girl in my cabin, just about a head or two taller than me, and her name, such a beautiful name, is Star Light. I call her Starry. I tell her my name, Charlotte, and she asks for my last name, but I cannot tell. Honestly, I do not know of my full name.

Mama has never spoken of my last name, but she has explained. Before Emily died, she had made a lot of debts, and we are now being searched for. My real name is Holly, I love it, but I must change it. Charlotte. Ugh!

Starry offers me her food, as her heart was as wide as the dreaded ocean we were sailing through. But I say no. Starry is a trained basketmaker, and I love the little cloth basket she has made me. Maybe this trip will not suck so bad after all. Maybe.


Dear Journal,

We have finally landed! Starry and I were weeping in our cabins, homesick, when we heard the two most important words of our life: "LAND AHOY!" I jerked my head up, opened the door, climbed up the stairs, then peeked outside. A crowd had formed on the deck of the ship. I grabbed my sack, and leaped out onto the deck. A beautiful, aroma-filled lady with three children by her side who seemed very, very rich (lucky her) looked at me and smiled. I felt so good that my eyes filled with tears of joy! I later asked the captain, who held his nose (I smell?!) and said she was a lady, and that her name was Samantha Lee.

Samantha? Samantha??? This is my little sister's name. I feel tears right now, as she is very ill. I miss her very much, she is beautiful as a rose, she sings like a lark, and she has... has... the most kindest and the most loving smile. I miss her. I miss Little Timmy and ma and pa. But I am happy here, too. My master seems nice, he has a kind smile, like Samantha. My master, whom I am not permitted to know his name, is growing tobacco. I don't want to grow tobacco.

I asked the captain for a trip back. This place is a rock. Seriously! It is just a big fat rock, spreading out in all directions. In the distance you could see a dark, empty forest. I gasped when I stepped onto the ground. The captain laughed and pointed at me. He whispered something to his mates and they pointed and laughed at me too. I could not hold back my tears this time. I practically burst. The captain and the crew frowned and said that I would be fine here--I hope it is not a lie.


Dear Journal,

Oh, God bless the captain and crew! They did not lie. Master is giving me good pay with food and little money. He has given me a worn out pair of shoes, but I am grateful. I wear my rags every day, but it feels unusually comfy. I later learned that Master's indentured servant has sewn patches on my dresses for me. I love it here.

I sometimes go around with a few coins in my hand, hoping to buy myself a new dress. But they all have been much too expensive. I will soon have enough to by some fabric to make some at least. Then I will ask for permission to visit the tailor. I feel I am much happier and have much more freedom here. I feel full like I have never been, Master feeds me every day. The more hard I work, the more he appreciates me. If I really really try hard and get a lot of work done, he may give me a few more things to eat and a few more coins. I am lucky to have a Master who is pretty rich. Very, very lucky.

Maybe I will invite ma and pa here.


Dear Journal,

I have a cold and cannot work well because of many painful body aches. It is not bad, but I am Master's most trusted worker and I must not rest. I hope I will get better soon, as when I do not work, I cannot eat. I have tried many, many times but I am not getting much work done. It's hopeless, even though my cold is not too bad.

I have gotten better and can now fully work! I had gotten thin and pale from not eating and still working, but now I am pink and plump. I have no eagerness to return home. This is my home, the New World. Our colony's name has been chosen as Eldorado, and I love it. We also have a compact:

1. Equality for all
2. Freedom of speech
3. Town Hall meetings regularly
4. Peace
5. Fairness
6. Providing for common defense

I think it is the best set of rules, ever, that I have seen in my short life so far.


Dear Journal,

I am almost on my way to total freedom! Master is increasing my salary every single day. Ma and pa are soon to come. I hope that Timmy and Samantha are still alive. I wished my eyes out yesterday for them to be healthy. I do not smell as much, as I have bought myself some nice-smelling liquids, (I keep on forgetting what they are called... Oh right, perfume or something like that.) and I don't have to walk around with people holding their noses up at me.

Tears of joy are spurting down my eyes like a waterfall. Ma and pa are here! Pa will be a carpenter and ma will be a basketmaker. I have much money and have bought myself another two pairs of shoes and three pairs of dresses. Timmy has died but I am not as sad as I thought I would be, I am free! I still work for master, though, as I am grateful for all he has done for me. Samantha visits a lot, and Master says she is the kindest and loving girl, just like I described her smile. I think that too.

I hope this freedom will never end and I know it will, because the rules are fair and are not making my life bad. In fact, my life in the New World is amazing! I am being called Holly again, I have never known such happiness. I am now a part, and an important one, of the colony of Eldorado.This life is too luxurious for me, I need to get used to being happy all the time. I have seen Starry many times, and I have many friends. I love Eldorado. I really do.


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