September 17, 1432
Hello, how are you? I’m doing fine. This morning I helped my Mama bake bread. For breakfast, we had maize, which means corn. It is doing well this year.
My Papa and younger brother went out to tend the fields after breakfast. My Papa is a farmer and he is teaching my brother the trade. Hopefully one day he will be able to take over. While they were out, my Mama and I continued to work on our weaving. We are making blankets, as winter is coming soon. The one I am making looks like a tree with lots of green leaves on it. It reminds me of summer, which is my favorite season of the year. Mama’s blanket looks like an eagle. The eagle represents strength and bravery. I wish I could make something as advanced as that. Mama has been doing this a lot longer than I have and is more experienced than me, so I’m not sure if I could if I tried.
After we work on the blankets for a little while, it is time to make comida. This is a meal prepared about the time your people have lunch. Unlike your English people, comida is the biggest meal of the day. We are having chili soup, made with beans, tomatoes, and chili peppers (what is chili without chili peppers?). We are also having corn bread that we had made this morning with guacamole. For dessert, we have squash with fruit and nuts, which is delicious! We eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables this time of year. Before we eat, I must go to our well to get water. As I walk carrying the bucket, I feel the cool grass against my barefoot feet. I do not have any shoes, because they are considered a luxury for our people. Only my Papa has shoes that we make out of leather. I tie the rope to the bucket and let it down slowly. Once the bucket is full, I bring it back up and untie it. I carry it back, trying to hurry, but trying not to spill it.
After Papa and brother come in, we sit down and pray. My Papa starts out with thanking the gods for the bountiful meal. He also asks for rain and safety. When he is done, we eat. The food tastes great.
When we are done eating, we have a siesta, which means rest, before we go back to work. This siesta is appreciated by my Papa and brother, since they have been working hard. They have a lot to do since it is harvest time. Being a farmer is not easy, since in the fall you have a whole bunch to do for the harvest, but in the winter, you are not really busy at all.
Yesterday was the first time since I was 9 to go into the town. They had a special festival and there was lots of people, dancing, and other kids my age! I do not have very many friends and the few I do have I do not get to see very often. I knew two of the kids there already because they live near our farm. We played games like racing, chase the other person, and other games. It was fun… I was sad when we had to go home.
As I read what you wrote in your last letter, I see that you asked me, “What is your worst fear?” This is difficult to say, because I worry about a lot of things. One of the things that has been on my mind lately is our city. There have been rumors going around about invaders taking over our cities! These “invaders” call themselves “Mexica”. I am worried that they will come and invade our town. I cannot imagine what we would do. I think our community would fight back, as we do not just give in. It scares me to think about what could happen though.
After we finish our siesta and feel all rested, we get back to work. Papa and Diego, my brother, need help with the animals, so I go and help them. We have many animals including chickens, pigs, and milk cows. Does your family own any animals? I love them my animals, especially the pigs. One of the pigs I named when she was a piglet. She was so cute! I named her Bella. Now she is much bigger but I still love her. As Diego feeds the chickens, I collect the eggs. Papa is busy feeding the cows and pigs giving them new straw. I ask Papa, “Can I take care of Bella?” He says yes and lets me feed her and give her hay to lay on. I can smell the manure but I don’t care. I am used to it, living on the farm.
Papa and Diego go out to the fields again when we are done with the animals. Mama and I clean up lunch. We need more water, so I go and get some. I must go and get water many times a day, but I consider this normal life. When I come back with the water, Mama says I need to get a bath. I haven’t bathed for almost a week now, and I really stink. So we pour some water into a large bin. I get in and it feels cold compared to the air temperature. Although it’s cold, it feels good and I immediately cool off. I hurry up because Mama says she needs to get in after me. After we both are out, we wash our clothes. It is hard work to wash clothes.
Now it’s almost time for supper. Papa and Diego come in. We just have a light meal, and get ready for bed. I think about tomorrow. I sometimes wonder if my life was different. But this does not last long, as I love my life just how it is right now. Well, I must end here. Looking forward to your reply.
September 17, 1432