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Our readers write from Petaluma, California

(Editor's note: ESL teacher Fran Frazier sent stories from students in her class at Petaluma Adult School.)

The wildfires

by Reina Pablo

Last week I felt sad and nervous and worried because the fire was only 0% contained and I was scared. For me it was incredible. I prepared to evacuate and gathered important documents, some clothes and my son`s medicine. This week I didn't sleep and had a dream about fire. I was so worried when I saw the news. My heart was broken, and I cried for the people who lost everything. I want to say thank you God for my life and for this opportunity to be alive. I think Petaluma is blessed by God. I hope everybody takes a break and thinks positively.

The wildfires

by Gabriela Garcia

Last Monday morning, when my brother told us about the big fire, I turned on the TV news on Channel 4, then looked at how big, how dangerous, and how the fires were growing and spreading.

My mind and my whole body were worried, and I thought about my family and I tried to put my thoughts on what we had to do. So the TV started to say that gas had run out in Santa Rosa, that the 101 and 37 freeways were closing and everything was sounding crazy. In that moment I got the most important things for me, my children, my dog, documents for my children, documents of my mobile home, cars, and I felt like I was not going to see my things again. I looked around my house, at my clothes, my furniture, and I felt a lot of emotions such as grief, sadness and frustration. But I had to be strong for my children and not get more scared than they were feeling. We tried to make them calm and we said, "Nothing is going to happen, God can do everything and he is going to control this situation. He loves us and He is not going to permit anything to happen." And that is what happened, thanks to God, the firemen, police, nurses, and all the people who put their lives at risk for us. By Monday night we started to see what we could do for all the people who were suffering. We were volunteering at Petaluma High School and at the Fairgrounds.

My Mexican cultural heritage

by Gloria Palomares

My name is Gloria Palomares. I have been living in this country for thirteen years, and was born in Sinaloa, Mexico. I always try to maintain my cultural heritage with my family, telling them stories of my people, how my grandmother made tortillas, how the holidays were there. That's why in my house I make tortillas and teach my daughters how. I always try to learn Mexican dishes so they know. In my house we try to make the holidays as in Sinaloa, and of course always speak Spanish. I put on music and teach them how to dance I want my daughters to grow up with their Mexican roots.