365 Days of Earrings

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Historic Voyage

404 years ago a group of 144 men and boys set sail from London on 3 ships. After a journey of 144 days, they chose a site on the river we now call the James River and built a settlement they named Jamestown.

It was a miserable location, where the drinking water was brackish, the swamps bred mosquitoes, and the local people fluctuated in their hospitality. Somehow, in spite of a multitude of setbacks, the Virginia colony survived.

Each year in late February, I board a schoolbus with about 25 third graders and head to Jamestown. We journey for 3+ hours filled with snacks and iPod music and DS chat. We visit the site of the original settlement, and discover how chilly it is along the river. We imagine the Powhatan people lurking in the woods. We stop by the glasshouse, located on the sandy bank of the James River, and imagine how hard they must have worked to stoke those wood fires and heat sand to make glass.
Then we drive to the Jamestown Settlement to visit replicas of the ships, the Powhatan Indian village, and the fort. Three hours of history without snacks or iPods. Then back on the bus for 3 more hours. Quite a voyage for all of us!

I wore coins today: my Virginia quarter necklace, and a pair of Canadian 10 cent earrings.
By the time we return to school, we're exhausted from our travels. What wimps we 21st century folk have become. 144 days below decks--now there's a reason to whine.

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