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Our readers write from the Napa Valley, California

(Editor's note: Napa Valley College ESL teacher David Wexler used the book "Fortunately" by Remy Charlip to provide motivation for his students to write their own "Fortunately" books. They illustrated each page with photos and drawings.)

Fortunately, once upon a time there was a girl named Libertad.

by Omaira Baptista

Libertad dreamed of growing up and being big. But unfortunately, one morning she was surprised by hopelessness. Fortunately, her friend Faith visited her. Unfortunately Libertad had a deep sadness in her heart.

Fortunately, she planted a good tree on the land. Her name was Love.

Unfortunately, Love the tree did not bear fruit. Fortunately, Libertad dug a hole to make a cave to save the nutrients of Time, Wisdom and Constancy for the tree. But unfortunately, Anguish visited her. Fortunately, Serenity passed by and dissolved the anguish. Unfortunately, Libertad was tired.

Fortunately, she remembered that in the cave she had Wisdom. She ran to look for it. But unfortunately, inside the cave was Knowledge and it told her: "Libertad, leave everything behind. Forget your troubles!" Fortunately, Wisdom, Perseverance, and Time were safe in the cave and they restored Libertad's hope.

About the author: Omaira Baptista is an ESL student. She is learning English with teacher David Wexler in Calistoga, California. She is from Sabana de Uchire, Venezuela. She is married and has one daughter. They live in Calistoga.. She likes to dance and enjoys life.

In January 2018 we planned a trip.

by Martha Urzua

Fortunately, my husband's boss gave him ten days off for vacation. We wanted to travel to Mexico. But unfortunately, we couldn't find cheap tickets. Fortunately, we went to Los Angeles to spend time with our relatives. Then we went to San Diego to visit Legoland and on to Tijuana. Unfortunately, we had to come back to the U.S. and the lines at the border were long. Unfortunately, we had to wait three hours to cross. Fortunately, we didn't get a car inspection. Unfortunately, our vacation was over and we had to return to Calistoga. Fortunately, we had a good trip. We relaxed, ate delicious food and my kids were excited and happy. Unfortunately, my kids want to go on vacation again.

About the author: Martha Urzua was born in Atacheo, Michoacán, Mexico. She is a housewife and ESL student. She is married and has three kids. She has been living in Calistoga for twenty-two years. She likes to dance and travel.

Fortunately, it was my child's graduation.

by Irma Munguia

Unfortunately, we went to buy a bunch of balloons, but the line was long. Fortunately there were a lot of people working in the store. Unfortunately, we did not get to the ceremony on time and we could not give the surprise to them. Fortunately, my sister got to the ceremony and she had already brought some balloons. Fortunately, they were having a great time. And fortunately, my kids liked the surprise party that we had prepared for them.

About the author: Irma Munguia is a line cook at the Calistoga Inn Restaurant in Calistoga, California. She is from San Miguel, El Salvador. She lives with her husband, and her six children. She takes ESL classes in Calistoga. She loves exercising and dancing Zumba.

Fortunately, my family is happy in my house and my children are very nice.

by Maria Elena Solorio

Fortunately, the people practice and exercise every day and they walk for a good life. Unfortunately, learning English is very hard. Thank you teacher for your patience in the English class three days a week. Fortunately, the students take music classes at school, and fortunately, every day the people live a happy life at Hidden Valley Lake. And fortunately, in Napa and Calistoga, there is a lot of work in the field. Fortunately, at the quinceañera party, my granddaughter was very happy in Mexico City. Fortunately, my teacher David is happy. Fortunately, he is a good teacher and good with the students. Fortunately, I'm going to English classes.

About the author: Maria Elena Solorio lives with one of her sons at Hidden Valley Lake near Calistoga. She is from Mexico. She is studying for the citizenship exam.