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S: Simply Aries

FC: Simply Aries | By: Salina Natnael

1: Simply Aries By: Salina Natnael

2: Published by Nile Publications Copyright © Salina Natnael April 18, 2011 3722 Bromsedge Ct. Fairfax, V.A. 22033 U.S.A. All Rights Reserved

3: Preface

4: Foreward

5: I am dedicating this book to my parents, Paulos and Lemlem Natnael. My parents have helped me be the person I am today. I know they will always support me in my decisions, yet look out for me at the same time. They have guided me throughout my life and gave me experiences that I will never forget. I thank them for looking out for me in every way like parents should. I thank my dad for always helping me in school and encouraging me. I thank my mom for always pushing me to my greatest. And I thank them both for what they have provided for me and for making sure I don't forget my culture. | Dedication Page

6: So it would make sense that all the kids played with one another. Everyone used to play in a little clearing in the woods behind our homes. There was a ditch back there; so we would take turns swinging across it from a vine. That was, until someone had to cut it down because it wasn’t safe anymore. In addition, there was a small island-like space of trees on our street. All the kids in the neighborhood would take turns climbing them. No matter how old, all the kids were together. My family and I were really close to our neighbors. In particular, we were close to the Veatch Family. When I lived there, my best friend was a boy named Cal Veatch. We were about the same age. He, my brother Shedon, and I all grew up together. However, I was also close to the rest of his family. We used to have barbecue parties together. Also, because our decks were so close together, our parents would set up a little ice cream bar on their deck. They would then pass it out to us. Casey, Cal’s dad would always take Cal and me around the paths in the woods. He would also take everyone on crazy rides. This means, when we were alone on the road, he would swerve and make sudden stops. It would always make us laugh. Broomsedge Ct. was where I grew up. I lived there from when I was born until I was around eight years old. I have so many happy memories from living there that helped me be the person I am today. I will always remember my old neighbors. | Many people move to new places every year. Some people may move five times, while others just once. I am one of those people that only moved once. My family and I moved from a neighborhood called Franklin Glen, in Fairfax, to South Riding. Franklin Glen was a nice neighborhood. There was a neighborhood pool there, and a playground. Yet, all I remember from the pool is the tiled alligator logo at the bottom of it. Near the playground, there was a sand volleyball court. My friend, Cal, and I would always go there to play in the sand when we were little. We were neighbors, on Broomsedge Ct., which was a small neighborhood of townhomes. Our street felt like a small town. Everyone knew each other, like one big family. | BROOMSEDGE COURT

8: Many people try new things while on vacation. Some even become more adventurous as they forget their normal lives. When I was six years old, my family and I went to Eritrea, a country in east Africa, for the summer. It was there that I rode a camel before I had even ridden a horse. Later on in our vacation, my family and I decided to drive down to the beach for a while. The name of the beach was Massawa, which stretches along the Red Sea. Once we arrived, we soon figured out that the temperature gets really high in Massawa. I quickly craved the cool, air-conditioned hotel rooms rather than the outdoors. But, the water is all worth it. | I was a few days into our trip that we saw the camel. It was walking along the beach with its owner. Its tall legs made it tower over the people, but its fur made it blend in with the surrounding sand. It wasn’t until the camel got closer to me that I realized that camels are much taller than they appear. However, even though I’m scared of heights, I got onto the camel’s back with my three year old brother in tow. Once the camel stood up, I finally looked down. My brother and I were higher up than I expected. The height made my dad look so much smaller. Yet from my viewpoint, I could see the entire beach; from the white sand, and the people, to the blue, sparkling water. In addition, the view allowed me to see the beauty of this humid beach. Whenever I look back at that memory, I wonder how I was even lucky enough to see a camel. And then, I got the chance to ride on one. That day is an experience in my life I will never forget. | THE TIME I RODE A CAMEL

10: especially if the Baltimore Ravens are playing. Also, my brother and my cousins get into many arguments about who the best football team or player is.They get into this loud, heated discussion that takes forever to finish. They always bring up the fact that Virginia doesn’t have a football team. But, it’s hilarious to watch. The holidays bring so many good memories and fun times. Even though my cousins live in Baltimore, we don’t really see them too often. So the times I have with them are always special, even if I don’t realize it at the time. | find a way to watch what we want to. Everyone starts to eat a couple hours later. The adults eat in the dining room, while we just stay and eat at a different table. As always, both my aunt and my mom cook way too much food. In addition, my mom always makes appetizers to add to the main meal. After everyone has eaten, we go back to watching T.V. or playing UNO while the adults start the coffee. However, they make it from scratch. In my culture you always start from the beginning, instead of pressing one button. First, they cook the beans, grind them, and then start making the coffee. Later, we always end up watching a movie or too many football games, | In my family, we have somewhat of a holiday tradition. For Thanksgiving, my family and I visit my cousins in Baltimore. Then, when Christmas comes around, they come to us. Each time, I can’t wait to see them again. We always do the same exact thing each time we visit each other. My family and I always get to their house around 12:30 pm. Once we get there, we greet one another. Later on though, the adults stay upstairs while the kids go downstairs. Well, “kids” isn’t the right world since most of them are over eighteen. Once we get settled downstairs, the guys always want to either watch football or play videogames. But, my cousin, Bitsiti, and I always | COUSIN TIME

11: It sways back and forth Giving us beauty and fear Yet brings happiness

12: Each year, families all around the world go on vacation. Some fly to their destinations, while other drive. My family falls into the second category. We drive everywhere, including all the way to Florida and Canada. So, I’m going to use all my experience to help you find a way to survive your family trips. When you drive for long periods of time, you can become very impatient and restless. This is the reason why you need something to distract you. Always bring something to do or you will go crazy just staring at the passing trees. You should bring music, a book and/or magazine, movies, or anything else you can do in a car. The music is really important because you can use it to drown out any background noise, such as your siblings. A book can be used to mask the long hours because you won’t notice the time passing by. Movies also help because they allow for silence from any viewers. If you try to bring all this, you may not get too annoyed with your family. Another thing people don’t remember until it’s too late is the value of space and comfort. With that being said, don’t pack too much or you won’t have any leg room. Another tip is to bring a blanket and a pillow. This allows you to sleep, which may make the trip seem shorter. A blanket is good to have because it will keep you warm if the air conditioning is blasting. When you are in a cramped space, remember to dress appropriately. Don’t wear too many layers. Simple is better. You never know when you are going to make a stop. That means you never know when you are going to get food. That is why you should always bring snacks with you. In addition, you should bring some gum and candy. This way, if you don’t stop for a long time, you won’t go hungry. However, if you forget or if you stop at a rest area, you could also bring money. There are always vending machines where you can buy drinks and snacks. These tips have gotten me through all my family vacations, and I hope they help you. As long as you are prepared, you should be fine. Just remember not to shut out your family too much because road trips always lead to fun conversations. For me, road trips always make me look at my family in a new perspective. Me and road trips have a love and hate relationship; I love them, yet I hate them. | HOW TO SURVIVE A ROAD TRIP

13: MANDALA

14: Many people in this world have siblings. Some may be older, while others may be younger. Others may have one brother, while someone else may have four sisters. I am one of those super lucky people that are blessed with a younger brother! Please note the sarcasm of the sentence above. My brother is three years younger than me, and always makes sure I know he’s there. Even though my brother, Shedon, is three years younger, he is slowly catching up to me in height. And he never lets me forget that. That is one way my brother annoys me throughout the week. He also barges into my room without knowing. And whenever he does knock, it’s because the door is already locked. Don’t even get me started on his communication skills. If you ever talk to him, he always says the same thing to make people go away. Someone might say, “I got an A on my test”; all he says in return is “That’s beautiful”. Isn’t that just beautiful? Throughout his life, Shedon has gotten himself into some weird situations. These situations are frequently caused by him of course. I remember one incident that happened when my family and I drove to Canada. I was around five years old when this happened. We were on a road completely surrounded by trees and there were little to no cars around us. Apparently in my brother three year old mind, that meant we had stopped driving. This meant that he could open the door. Once we realized what he did, my mom and I were racing to get the door closed, while my dad tried to park. Luckily, everything worked out in the end. There was another incident that was hilarious to watch. It happened when my family and I went to Eritrea. We went to visit a village with my cousins. While we were there, Shedon found some chickens. My brother then thought it would be hysterical to bother them. And by bother, I mean chase. So there he was, around three years old, chasing a bunch of chickens through the yard. But, what happened next was even funnier. After a few minutes of him chasing the chickens, the chicken thought they should chase him. So there he was, around three years old, now being chased in circles by a bunch of chickens. Shedon has made my life interesting and fun, not that I would ever tell him that. He annoys me like a younger brother should, and I act like an older sister would. But in the end, he’s family and I’ll always want him in my life. | That's Beautiful

15: TOP TEN PLACES I WANT TO VISIT 1. Italy 2. Greece 3. France 4. Spain 5. London 6. California 7. Australia 8. New York City 9. Niagara Falls 10. Eritrea

16: For adults, weddings are a time of joy and happiness. For children, it can be one of the most boring events in their childhood. In my family, weddings are a common occurrence. I often go to at least two weddings a year. By now, I have created a technique on how to live through one. Some advice is to bring something to keep yourself busy and to sit with other people you know or are your age. Weddings can take a while, usually at least one day. But in some cases, weddings can take up two days of fun. First, there’s the actual wedding ceremony, which takes forever. Then there’s the wedding reception, which can mean you are stuck there until about 12:00 am. It doesn’t help that you can’t sleep through it. The only way to get through the ceremony is to be quiet and just keep to yourself. There is no way to make this part go any faster, and you can’t exactly bring a book or an iPod into the ceremony. Nevertheless, the reception is much better. You get free food and time to talk to some family members you may not always get to see. But, that also means they might make you dance. If you love to dance, spend the evening on the dance floor. If you hate the idea of dancing, give them an excuse. If that doesn’t work, simply run away. Go hide in the hallway, you can usually find many kids hiding out there too. With all the weddings I have been to, I know when to run and when to socialize. But, sometimes weddings can get too repetitive. Next time you go to a wedding, you how to get out of there alive. | How to Survive a Wedding

17: PROS - everything is near you - clean - pretty - South Riding Fair - fireworks - playgrounds - pools | SOUTH RIDING PROS AND CONS LIST | CONS - houses to close together - too many people - so much snow, no where to put it

18: I didn't know this would happen...honestly. Who knew riding bikes could be so dangerous? I mean, it started as just a regular summer day. My brother, Shedon, and I were heading home after leaving the park bored. The park was deserted; the sweltering heat driving children back inside their cool, air-conditioned homes. So, with both of us sweating through our clothes, we climbed onto our bikes and started pedaling. As we rode our bikes, we couldn't help but race. Some people would call that an unhealthy rivalry, but we called it bonding. I started pedaling faster and faster, trying to gain some distance between us. I knew I could win this race. My legs started to ache, so I took a break and cruised down the street. I loved the feeling of the summer wind flying around me. I could still smell the lingering odor of an old barbecue. I looked to the left and saw the houses whizzing by as I gained momentum. I looked to my right and saw some kids playing in their yard, braving the heat. In addition, I could see an abandoned lemonade stand, wishing it was still open. | Then, I started pedaling again, hoping to watch the trees blur into a sea of green as I went faster. I then realized that I couldn't see my brother anymore. I skidded to a complete stop. Because I couldn't see Shedon, I didn't see my brother tailing me throughout the race. After my mind wrapped around that fact, everything else happened in slow motion. As I stopped, I felt something crash into my side from behind. Little did i Know, it was my brother's bike's handlebars digging into me. My brother let go of his handlebars as the momentum sent him flying like a bird over my handlebars, leaving his bike behind. He then hit the ground and rolled over once, trying to cushion his fall. All I could think of at that moment was, "OH MY GOSH!" Luckily, besides a few bruises, he didn't get too hurt. However, right after it happened, he just lay there on the side of the road, stunned. As he stood up, I chuckled nervously saying, "Oops...my bad." He just stared at me in silence; that was until he started yelling, "Why did you stop?!" | oops...my bad

19: mu-sic (meu-zik) -noun 1. a way to express ones emotions and ideas 2. a harmonious sound played using an instrument or singing 3. a form of entertainment Origin: 1995-present; Natnael Family -Related forms mu-si-cal, adjective mu-sic-less, adjective

20: I have been to many weddings in my years; some are close family, while others are friends of my parents. However, what I’ve noticed is each wedding is basically the same and takes forever. But, this year there was one special wedding that made me happy to attend. It was the wedding of my uncle, Paulos...finally. The Dallas wedding took place on October 16, 2010. Since my mom loves weddings, she flew out a few days earlier to help with the preparations. The rest of my family and I flew to Dallas from Dulles Airport on the 14th. This day also happened to be my brother’s birthday. Lucky him. Ironically, luck wasn’t on our side because are flight was delayed three hours. Apparently, someone used up all the emergency air so they had to go borrow some from Reagan National Airport. Of course, this had to be during rush hour, through Washington D.C., in a hazard materials truck they had to use to transport the air in. All I can say is do not, under any circumstances, fly with United. | Once we got there around 10 pm, we had to get our rental car, check in to the hotel, and go visit our extended family. As the two days passed, they were a whirlwind of wedding activities. These activities ranged from hair appointments, to flower arrangements, to reconnecting with my family from Germany, Canada, and the bride, Mihret’s, family. Before this experience, I never really thought of all the little details that go into a wedding. Finally, the morning of the big day came. Being the close family that we are, we woke up early and went to the bride’s home. However, the bride’s home wasn’t the last stop of the day. Once everyone was ready, my whole family found a way to fit in to all the cars and drive to Mihret’s sister’s house. From there, we took pictures of the wedding party. My brother and I both had to pose for pictures considering how well we knew the bride and groom. Also, it might have to do with the fact that I was sort of like a junior bridesmaid. But, that doesn’t mean I got to ride in the limo. The next stop was the church where the ceremony took place, where I had to wear a matching dress. After the ceremony, we went to a nice park where we had to try to follow a map to a precise location. This was in Dallas, in the middle of the day, with the sun high in the sky. Once we got there, we ate some food before we went back to the hotel to relax for a few moments. I should tell you now that weddings in my culture take two days. First, there is the wedding ceremony and then, following that, there is the reception. Then the next day, there is the more traditional reception with a few less people. This is when everyone dresses up in their traditional clothing. Then it finally all ends. | The same thing goes for my uncle’s wedding; except I had to help out more. Apparently, my duties were to help pass out the cake with the other junior bridesmaids. However, there wasn’t enough cake for everyone...oops. The wedding was still wonderful and very loud, as always. And in the end of the whole thing, I had fun help out, got more experience in heels, and a new aunt. If only United didn’t delay our flight on the way home too.

21: Many people have fears in their lives. When I was around the age of 6, I had a fear of dogs...big dogs. There was one dog in my old neighborhood that always scared me. I remember when I would ride my bike with my friend, Cal; we would turn back right before we reached that one house...usually. It was a typical summer afternoon. Since school was out, all the kids in the neighborhood were always outside playing, including Cal and I. Once outside, we went into the woods where all the other kids would gather. Everyone stayed here because there is a path that leads to an open area with no trees. There was also a vine, which everyone used to swing from one side of the ditch to the other. After we got tired of the woods, it was about mid-afternoon and we decided to ride our bikes around our neighborhood. We started our ride from my house and followed the sidewalk until it makes a full circle around Broomsedge Court. As we went around a second time, all of a sudden there comes a big dog running straight at us from its backyard. And to make matters worse, it wasn’t a cute, little, fluffy dog but a big Rottweiler. | As soon as Cal and I saw the dog chasing after us, we started to pedal faster. I don’t know why we did what we did next, but I blame my 6-year-old mind. We decided to drop our bikes and sprint to our homes, which happened to be right next to each other. So, we were running as fast as we could across the street with the dog chasing us. As I looked behind us, I see that the dog is gaining on us. In addition, the Rottweiler did not look happy as it was barking at us. Of course, while this was going on, no one was outside to help. As we neared our homes, Cal headed for his house while I followed him close behind. Cal opened his front door and sprints through the tiniest of openings. All I was thinking was get in the house, lock the door, and then I could scream. However, my plan didn’t work because right as I was half way through the door the dog was behind me and was quick enough to get through too. As soon as that happens, all we did was run through his house, up the stairs, and into his room, all while the dog was on our tail. Luckily, this time we got the door shut and locked before the dog found a way in. Little did we know, Cal’s mom came out of the bathroom because of our yells for help and found a mysterious dog in her hallway. I still really don’t know how Cal’s mom, Lisa, got the dog out of the house. Yet, a few moments later, we saw her and the dog’s frantic owners meeting together in the middle of the street. We saw this entire exchange from the window in Cal’s, still locked, bedroom door. It took a lot of reassurance from Lisa before she got us out of that room. She later told us the dog had gotten out of its leash while the owners weren’t paying attention. Till this day, I think about how I wish I had closed the door in time. If I had, all of this could have been avoided. But, now I have a funny story to tell people if I ever need a laugh. I never thought I would get chased by a dog. Nevertheless, it did happen to me; and I don’t remember those dog’s owners ever putting up a fence. | i think we should run now

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