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Our readers write from the Napa Valley, California

(Editor's note: The stories below were written by students in Lorraine Ruston's ESL class at Napa Valley College, Calistoga site.)

Differences between Venezuela and the USA

by Omaira Baptista

One of the differences between Venezuela and Calistoga is food. In my country there is Casabe, but not here. There are not so many packaged foods in Venezuela as here. Our music is another difference. Also here there are four seasons. In my country, only two.

The differences between my hometown in Mexico and Calistoga

by Martha Urzua

I was born in Atacheo Michoacán, We came to Calistoga in January about 15 years ago. The first difference was the cold weather found on frosty mornings. I never saw frosty ice there and we didn't have heaters or air conditioners either. Even though it rains very hard for hours in Mexico, when the rain stops, the sunshine appears. Here it rains all day long and all night.

There most people have their own houses with big back yards and fruit trees. On the other hand, in Calistoga there are expensive houses but most people have to rent an apartment.

One of my favorite seasons is summer because you can eat sweet fruits like apples, mangos, oranges, guavas, melons, jicamas, and papayas, all of them fresh not frozen or in freezers.

The most popular distraction there is dancing at parties with Banda music. There people walk most of the time but here everybody has a car and drives to go to the grocery store and job. But there the most important difference is that in Atacheo we spend a lot of time with family and friends. Although now we live in the same town we don't have enough time to visit our family and friends. Even though I miss all those things I love to live in Calistoga. I think our life is better here.

Differences between El Grullo and St. Helena

by Karina Santos>

When I first came to live here I liked how this is a small town like my hometown but with the passing of the months I have been able to see some big differences. For example about the streets, El Grullo doesn't have all the streets with pavement and the public education isn't as good as here. In El Grullo you can find a Taquería in almost every block and here I only have seen one taco truck. Most of the houses here are built of wood and in El Grullo they are built of cement and brick. The majority of people that I have known are nice but also wealthy and in El Grullo you still can see a lot of poor people and many dogs in the streets. Also, there we have a lot of young population and here we don't have many places where children can go and play outside. The weather in El Grullo is warm almost all year like the spring season here. But the thing that is most important to me is that my parents live in El Grullo and not here.