The Diary of Alonso Jimenez: Entry 3

Journal Entry #3:  November 8, 1519
The past days have been dreadful, it often rained down on us, soaking us to our bones, but Cortes and the others were having none of it, pushing on. I assume that the hard work has paid off, as we had finally arrived at the city of Tenochtitlan.

All of us, including Cortes, had been cautious about entering the city of the most feared tribe, but a tall man with a headdress of the most beautiful and vibrant shade of green who called himself Montezuma, the leader of the Aztecs, had welcomed us. Moctezuma had seemed prepared; he had been willing to let us enter their city without any hesitation, I however certainly did, wondering if he had even heard of the trouble we had been making on our path to the Aztecs. I had suspected that he did not since he gave us words of encouragement to enjoy the luxuries offered to us. I would have been even more apprehensive if we did not have a translator to interpret the meaning of his words. This is all thanks to Malinche, who was a part of a tribe we had conquered, she is very talented with languages, and so Cortes believed her a valuable ally. She has not only acted as our translator, yet also as our spies, telling Cortes of what she hears others whisper amongst themselves. According to her, Moctezuma is willing to give up the land to us along with all the goods and people. We have Moctezuma under guard now, as our prisoner, and will most likely use him to persuade his people onto our side.

I couldn’t see how someone could give up a city as luxurious and ethereal as this jewel of a city. Even though I hate to admit this, the moment I had entered the walls of Tenochtitlan I was amazed, they had many buildings, a market full of people, bridges, and architecture that was like our aqueducts, bringing them drinking water. The beauty of the city is not all to the enchantment of this area, the clothes they wear are even more impressive, boldly coloured, with beautiful feathers of exotic birds, their necks covered with exquisite jewelry and gold. However, even their clothing cannot hide the atrocity of their crimes; part of the city is riddled with may temple soaring, almost touching the sky, but they are not as magnificent as it seems. I had walked towards one, once, the temple had been littered with rotting bodies, and fresh blood, dripping onto the floor. After looking around, I had heard that this was a part of their beliefs, they would kill many people in horrendous ways to please their multiple gods. The Aztecs were as brutal in war and very strategic in their alliances, which is something I must respect them for. The Aztecs had many bizarre weapons, including a barbaric looking club they used to knock out their opponents, and even a spear, which was made of woods, and against our muskets, metal armour, and horses, they did not have a chance.

Many of us realize that the impending war against the Aztecs, which they do not know of, will destroy the city, and the beauty it holds. So consequently, we spend much of our time, getting to immerse ourselves into the riches that this city can provide. This war is alleged to bring us glory, fame, and gold for our country, Cortes promised us that we will soon be the richest men who would ever cross the seas, and I, along with many of us agree.


Diary of Alonso Jimenez: Entry 2

Journal Entry #2: March 4, 1519

I cannot tell how long we have been sailing, the first few weeks I had counted, but the seasickness and the mysterious illness I had caught had taken a toll on me, but we finally reached the new world. Lucky for me, one of the men on the boat named Alvaro had been a doctor a while ago back in Spain but had come in hopes of gold. Alvaro knew of my disease and miraculously had the medicine I had been needing; I had pocketed some extra in case this was the medicine that my Hermanita would need.

Before all of this, however, after weeks of seasickness, due to my lack of experience on the seas, we had arrived in Cuba, to find Hernan Cortes all ready with the plans. Although, the basic strategy is the routine that many voyagers and conquistadors perform to take over other tribes and areas, and it seems to be working remarkably. We are to exchange words in a show of a cordial and pleasant nature, and eventually work up to the goal of capturing the leader, therefore, taking control of the tribe. This was not the only plan Cortes had, as I learned from Alvaro, apparently, he devised that the best way to defeat the ancient and powerful tribe residing in the heart of this area, is to first make allies with other neighbouring tribes. Cortes believes that we have a chance at this and seems very eager to start. So, a few weeks later, we were back on the sea, heading towards the new world.

 Now, I am standing on the soil of the mostly unexplored land, with many unknown tribes. The landscape here is very flat, filled, with many ponds and swaps. If you look far enough, you can see mountains lying proudly in the background. We have been here for a few weeks now, and during these weeks, Cortes had been brazened enough to go against Governor Velazquez’s orders even though he had been ordered to stop a while ago. Hernan Cortes declared the area of land that we were on, Veracruz, as an independent government. So now, this mission was not in the hands of the Governor, and Cortes can do as he pleases, so long as it does not harm the rule or beliefs of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

The journey to Tenochtitlan, as many tribes call it, has been very harrowing, we have already made many allies, multiple tribes seemed very willing to help. It appears that the Aztecs are very brutal, yet efficient in their ways since many of the tribes have not hesitated in taking the hand of strangers. Nonetheless, there still have been some tribes that have been reluctant to help us, but eventually, they have bowed to our graciousness, which is to help or be killed, and other tribes have decided to choose the latter. Anyhow, I will report my findings and adventures later, considering that we have packed up and are ready to move again.


Diary of Alonso Jimenez- Entry 1

Journal Entry #1: January 12, 1519

Right now, my suitcase, full of clothes for a few days, is being pulled onto the beautiful deck of our Spanish ship. Today is the day that I will sail as a part of Hernan Cortes’s men to the new world. My Madre and Hermanita even on her deathbed tried to stop me from leaving, believing that I would never make it back. To help her, I told her that I would make her a necklace of the things that I would find on my journey, and she was immediately overjoyed and said she was fine with me leaving. However, the thing is I don’t have much of choice, I have to get the money for my Hermanita, as she is sick, and with our plummeting economy, there is no way that we can afford any medicine for her. Although, I cannot blame our monarchs for the terrible amount of money, as they are only trying to create a Spain that is religiously unified due to their expanding fear that the Muslims would take over. They had started to kill anyone that was suspected of having faith in another religion than Catholicism, I had only attended one of these, although there are many more. The Spanish Inquisition would be the judge of the person rumoured to be of another religion when I had attended I knew that the consequences would be brutal, but I had not expected the execution sentenced to the man. All of this is because the Muslims came and conquered a significant portion of Spain and Portugal, and their religion started spreading and taking over the rest of Spain. They started to create large universities in the cities they had taken over and began to settle into their stolen land, but unlike us, they allowed other religions to live amongst them, which I believe is a huge mistake, and eventually, we had defeated them. However because of the executions, it started to cause a dip in our economy, as the Jews, and many others had held up the base of our economy. Now, it has plummeted, but the others who have land, had money, the nobles, and are not affected as much like me and many others, and many didn’t have to join any wars or go on expeditions. However, the other nobles that did not own any land had to join the fight, to gain money. Unlike them, I did not have a choice, and my money has decreased, which is why I believe that the condition of America may be the best way for me to support my family.

Cortes believes that the Americas will hold all the gold and resources that we need, and that we will get all the fame for it. Even though I am very skeptical about it, I still intend to follow, so that I may have a chance of getting land or gold to bring home. The journey to the new world had revealed that there was a tribe that was very powerful, and so once we convert them to Catholicism, we are also helping our duty to our God. There are some on this mission who are very afraid of the so-called ‘strong,’ indigenous tribe, but as Cortes had said, they are inferior, and they can readily be righted and changed into our pristine ways.

Now, as I watch the ship bobbing on the ocean, I have just realized that the frequent dizziness and sickness was not due to my anticipation of our trip ahead of us, rather, the early symptoms of disease. I don’t believe that it’s very powerful, as I am sure I have had it for the few days I have gone without washing. Although, I must find some way to get medicine in case it happens to be a much deadlier illness. However, I sincerely doubt that I will be affected as much, since many fatal diseases have been passing through our family for generations, and yet many survived. This must be the conclusion of the day, as the men have started to board the ship, and I am being urged to board the ship soon as well.


A world of color and beauty

Many of us are familiar with listening to music, reading, and talking, it seems that it is a normal part of our lives. However, for some people, it is much different, Synesthesia is a condition in which a person is able to smell colours, see flavours, or taste sound. We all have a type of synesthesia, such as when we smell a fruit and know it is going to be sweet, this is most likely because the pathways for taste and smell are so close, but synesthesia is a more prominent version of what many people have.This condition varies in all of the people who have it, for example, one person with synesthesia might see the number 5 as red while the other sees it as blue, it all varies depending on the person. 


Animals are not our test subjects

Imagine being captured, taken away from what you have known your entire life. You have been put in a small room, so small you can’t move. The next day, someone takes you outside, but they inject you with something that causes crippling pain, and puts you back in the room, paying no mind to the state and pain you are in. However, imagine this ten times worse and for the rest of your life. Now, as you are a human, this would be considered unlawful, and the person doing that would be jailed, but this is the reality for many animals that are tested on for experiments and products. Animal testing must be banned everywhere because it is unethical, unnecessary, and is dangerous to the environment. Expanding on this, many of the times, during experiments, animals are hurt to find out if the product is safe for humans, which is unacceptable.