A CIESE Realtime Data Project

Reports from Louise A. Spencer School

Sydney, Australia
by Felicia M. and Relieka W.

It all started when my mother and I had a big argument because I didn't  mop the kitchen floor. She made it a big thing out of it, as usual.  After she got done yelling at me, I put my book bag on my back, stomped out the house and ran to a telephone booth where I called a cab which took up all of my allowance. I went to Port Newark and  I stowed away on a ship named "The Nicole." I didn't know where I was going,  but I was able to get the ship code DUHN . Then, with the help of my laptop,  I was able I was able to figure out where the ship was headed which was Australia. When I found out where I was going,  I did some research and I found that our port would be Sydney.  They speak English there! Here is what I found out in my research.

I will be in Sydney in December which is summer time.  I found that the high temperature will have an average high of 77F and the low 61F. Sydney is very flat. Australia exports very fine and rich minerals notably bauxite, coal, diamonds, gold, iron ore, mineral sand, natural gas, nickel, petroleum and uranium.  They don't import many products.

I found out that meat is popular in Sydney and it makes up a large part of the people's diet. Beef is the most popular meat followed by lamb, mutton, poultry, pork. Australians like plain food, not spicy. Meat is usually grilled or roasted and served with potatoes and other vegetables. Italian, Greek, and various other European and Asian  styles of cooking have also become very popular in Sydney. There are lot of nice restaurants there. People also have picnics and barbecues. Tea is the favorite hot drink; some people drink coffee. Beer is the most popular cold drink.

As for sports, everyone in Sydney likes soccer. Each Saturday during the soccer season fans watch the soccer games. The players don't wear don't wear football helmets, although they call the game "football." Another sport is surfboat racing. Sydney people have races with their boats at the beaches and others come to watch. A race begins with each team rowing a boat out and then they race back to the beach. Tennis is also big in Sydney. People like to watch others play They have had many famous players like Evonne Goolagong, Margaret Smith Court and Lew Hood. One of the most popular team sports in Sydney is cricket,  an English game played with a bat and ball. The Australian team plays against teams from England, India, Pakistan, and New Zealand.

There are many interesting things to see in Sydney, especially the Opera House, a modern building with stunning architecture . Sydney has a symphony orchestra, a ballet and other dance companies.

I will be in Sydney for Christmas. Sydney has a lot of Christmas concerts. The people in Sydney decorate a giant Christmas tree which shines throughout the city.  On New Year's Eve they have fireworks on the harbor. The ships are decorated with light sculptures and, as the fireworks are displayed, the ships sail out to sea.

I will find out more about Sydney when I get there.

Houston, Texas
by Lamar P. and Bianca K.

The ship that I stowed away on docked in Houston, Texas.  When I got into port, I called my family right a way and told them where I was. They came to get me because I was scared; I did not know anybody there. When my mother and father got there, they decided to stay for one week.  We stayed at the Terrell Hotel.

The first day in Houston my family and I went to a basketball game. After the basketball game we went back to the hotel and went swimming in the pool for one hour.  Then we went to eat at the hotel.  Later we went to our room and watched a TV movie. The movie was so good, but before it ended, my dad turned the TV to the basketball game. I was so mad.

The next day my dad and I went to the store and while we were there we met some school kids. This is what they told us about Houston, Texas.

In the Houston schools they play 12 kinds of sports. They like to wear cowboy and cowgirls clothes. The food they like in Houston is seafood, fish, gingerbread, turkeys, and ham. The Texas state flag is red white and blue. The state bird is a mocking bird and  the state flower is the blue bonnet. The state tree is a pecan tree.
There is a lot to do in Houston. They have theater, ballet, symphony and also opera, with exciting performances all season long. The 17-block theater district, located downtown,  is home to eight performance arts organizations, with more than 12,000 seats. Houston's industries include oil and gas exploration, basic petroleum refining, petrochemical production, medical research and health care delivery.  They also have people working in computer and aerospace jobs.

The kids told my dad and me that we could come to their school party. My dad and I went to the party and my mother was mad because we stayed out too late.
For the rest of the time in Houston we watched TV and went to basketball games. When we got home I made up with my brother. Houston was fun but I would think two times before I ran away again.