My level of excitement went over the limit when some of my classmates and I arrived at the Jamestown Settlement Park. Everything became surreal after the long two hour bus drive, and I did not have a clue as to what was awaiting ahead of our road. This was my first time traveling without my parents and it was very different since I was across the country from my hometown in Santa Ana. It was an amazing experience that helped me gain an interest in traveling to new, different places as well as learning about history and different cultures.
I was carried away into a different time in history right when we got off the bus. The first artifact I spotted was the Powhatan Indian Village full of multiple huts of different sizes. People walked around, some dressed as Native Americans, others as pioneers, and of course many visitors from around the world. These huts were made of green saplings bent and tied into a well structured frame work with mats of woven reed layered on the outside, which I found unbelievable and difficult to construct.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2011 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
I went inside the huts and found them very cozy, enough to remain in there and sleep on the raised platforms filled with deer skins behind me. On the contrary, the floor was covered in dirt and there was not enough room for many people.
It was hard to believe that 10 to 20 could live inside each hut and about 100 to 5,000 people in each village. Other than that, the hut's construction and organization might as well be very functional for everyone to come together and tell stories around the fire pit and then sleep on the very fury, yet comfortable deer skins.
We encountered many of these skins hung around the huts. They were hung to later scrape the hair off of them with a wooden scraper and use them as clothing or inside the hut. It was very rough and thin.
We then visited Virginia in 1607 where we saw replicas of the ships Susan Constant, Discovery and Godspeed. I was enthusiastic about being able to board one of the ships. Although I expected a pirate-like ship with lots of space, I was still astonished when the “sailors” told us that the largest ship Susan Constance carried 50 passengers and 13 crew members. It was difficult to believe so many passengers traveled on the ship since it seemed very small and did not seem to have enough room for many people.
Fort James was just incredible. I was walking nonchalant when all of a sudden we arrived to many barracks and people in costumes were walking around, working, and showing visitors how people in the old time used to live. These houses were made of split wood layered with tar or thick layers of reed. We went inside and saw many artifacts and people working on weaponry. So real.
A canon outside a house was about 32 pounds, one third of my weight!
The 1600's musketeer made my day with the shooting show he hosted. It was incredible to experience a gun that required so much hand work to put the shooting powder into the gun, use a type steel rod and push it inside the gun, in order to shoot. It was loud! I have to admit I almost lost my hearing but it was an unforgettable show – and he was funny too.
Jamestown is unforgettable! Everyone loved it and I have to admit, I would go there again anytime!
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