Check out this video to hear the story of a woman who survived for 18 years on an island without wifi and without going completely bonkers and trying to build a coconut radio. We can't say we would have been as resilient.
|5th Grade||Language Arts|
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
…but let's rewind.
What if had to stay there for eighteen whole years?
…Sure, you might get pretty good at building sandcastles, but still. [Man stood with tall sand castles]
Sounds a little bit more like a prison than paradise…
This situation – minus the sandcastles – is basically what happened to Juana Maria when
she was stranded on San Nicolas Island in 1835.
Her tribe, the Nicoleño, had lived on the island for thousands of years as hunters and [Coop teaching about the Nicoleno tribe]
gatherers who respected the land and its inhabitants.
Unfortunately, in the early nineteenth century a group of Native Alaskans arrived, and they
weren't quite as respectful as the Nicoleño. [Alaskans arrive at island on a ship]
Unless you happen to think that slaughtering seals is the height of politeness.
We recommend flowers and a greeting card. [Man brings flowers and greeting card to a seal]
But these newcomers weren't just bad to the seals.
They also killed many of the Nicoleño, and took Nicoleño women as slaves.
With all this new danger on the island, the Nicoleño decided to leave, seeking refuge
on the mainland.
Because even if you get seasick pretty easily, a few hours on a boat is definitely worth [Man vomits in the sea whilst on a boat]
getting away from people who want to kill or enslave you.
However, in this rush to escape, Juana Maria was left behind.
There are a few different stories to explain how this could've happened: some say that
a storm arose, which caused the ship's crew to panic and head for the mainland to avoid [Tribe riding in a boat in a storm]
crashing against the island…
…while another story is that as the ship was leaving, she realized her younger brother
had been left behind, and she jumped off to save him. [Juana Maria runs back to shore]
But whatever the exact reason, Juana Maria was definitely left behind.
And that's how she spent the next eighteen years of her life…and without wifi too! [Juana playing cards with a aseal]
But help eventually came!
After a few failed attempts, a hunter named George Nidever did manage to find her, and
bring her to the mainland, where she was disappointed to learn there still wasn't wifi…we guess [George and Juana jump off ship onto mainland]
it hadn't been invented yet.
However, historical records show that she was fascinated with the new world around her,
and was charmed by horses, European clothing, and all the plentiful food around her.
Unfortunately, this rescue story doesn't have the happiest of endings…only seven weeks
after reaching the mainland, Juana Maria died of dysentery. [Gravestone of Juana Maria]
And if you're thinking to yourself, "someone should write a story about her," then think
no further! …well, no, keep thinking…thinking is a good thing.
What we meant is, there's already a book that's largely based on Juana Maria's life.
If you've ever read Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell, then yup, you've read a tale [Island of the Blue Dolphins on a book shelf]
that was inspired by Juana Maria.
And if you haven't, go check it out!
It might make for some good beachside reading.
Just…try not to stay at that beach for eighteen years, okay? [Man with sun burn appears]
We can't imagine how sunburned you'd be…