Being the daughter of two archaeologists, I get to spend every summer with my parents on one of their digs. It sounds kind of boring, but it’s really a lot of fun. While they’re at work, I get to learn about other cultures and how to speak new languages. I have a lot of pen pals from all over the world and I’ve gotten to see some pretty neat sights. My favorites include the pyramids of Egypt, the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the statues of Easter Island, and the ancient Inca fortress city of Macchu Picchu in Peru.
One summer, we traveled to Tokyo, Japan, to visit my grandparents. I got to climb part of Mt. Fuji, learn about the ancient Japanese religion of Shinto, and practice various kinds of martial arts including Karatedo (The Way of the Empty Hand) and Kyudo (The Way of the Bow). I also got to wear a traditional Kimono dress, attend the local Aomori Nebuta Festival and try my hand at Origami and Ikebana, the ancient arts of paper folding and flower arrangement. Oh! I almost forgot - I tried sushi (rice and raw fish wrapped in seaweed) and calamari (that’s octopus!) for the first time as well. It sounds gross, but they both taste really good and they’re easy to pick up with chopsticks!
Some of my friends think it’s weird not to go to school every day, but when I tell them of all the cool things I get to do they want to be home schooled too! One of my favorite things to do is hang out at the University (where my parents work) and talk with students from other countries so I can practice my language skills and learn more about their cultures. I also get to use the University library and read about ancient civilizations and how language has evolved over time.
One day I was studying at the University and Sergeant Sam was speaking to the librarian about finding a book on Egyptian hieroglyphics. Since my mom had let me help her translate a tablet on one of their digs, I followed him to the section on ancient civilizations and asked him about his interest. He told me that he was teaching some of his students about using different languages to communicate in code. Since I knew a lot about different languages, he asked me if I would like to join the group and help the other kids with their ciphering. With an enthusiastic yes, I met the group the next day and we’ve been making and breaking codes ever since.
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