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Our readers write from the Napa Valley

(Editor's note: These stories were written by students in Lorraine Ruston's Napa Valley College ESL class.)

Walking through the desert

by Lila

After I lived in the U.S. for three years I decided to go back to Mexico because I did not like it here. I had to depend on other people to go to the store or church.

When I was in Mexico I did not think about coming back to the U.S. until my husband told me that he wanted us with him. One day he called me and said, "Some friends are coming to the border and I would like you to come too." He said, "If you need help, they will help you."

I was not scared because it was my first time walking through the desert and I tried not to think about it. We arrived at the border in the evening and we had time only to buy some fruit and water. Then they drove us to the desert. I got nervous, but I was trying to think that it was just for fun.

We walked all night, but in the middle of it, we got tired. We decided to rest, but it was worse because our bodies got cold, and so we preferred to walk again. For me, that night was unforgettable because the night was so cold. We made a circle to keep warm and slept all together. Later we started to walk again and it was better but my legs and all my body hurt, especially my feet. I think the worst was coming up...

In the morning it was so hot and we did not have enough water. We spent all day under some trees, but at noon, we heard cars near us and I thought, "If I need help I can run and stop a car because I don't want to die here." All the way I was praying and thinking, "If I come out of here, I will never risk my life again in this manner." The hours passed slowly under the sun. Well, eventually, the Border Patrol found us and sent us back to Mexico.

People that never walk through the desert think that it is easy, but it is not because you could die without water and food and from the cold. That was the worst thing that I have done in my life.

After that experience I went to my town in Mexico and relaxed. I did not go out of my house for a week.

My brave story

by Omaira

My brave decision has been to leave my family in Venezuela and to leave my sick mother in the midst of the humanitarian crisis that Venezuela is going through.

Being brave

by Rosi Ortiz

I don't remember the last time when I needed to be brave but I admire many women and men who have been brave. Sometimes we hear a lot of sad stories about how some people risk their lives to save themselves or their families. I think in this life we need to be brave sometimes, especially women, because we need to give our children calmness in difficult situations. The best advice when they feel lost is to be strong and keep themselves safe and secure. Being a woman is to be strong and brave because we can handle different things at the same time and we can be brave when we need to be. You can see some very quiet and sweet women, but you never know how brave they can be. Be careful!