Hilliary reflects on Day 1

Hello, my name is Hilliary Frank and I am writing about my experience thus far. To start off this journey, I had to get to Ohio so me and 9 other people took 3 buses to get here. I must say it is very hard and uncomfortable to sit on 3 buses and to sleep when it was extremely cold on the bus and the person that was sitting next to me kept his phone on all night so I heard music and games in the background. What I did though was buy pre-made food and brought juice and water so eating on the buses wasn’t a problem.

When we got off our first bus it was 6 in the morning and everyone was drowsy due to lack of sleep but we kept ourselves occupied by playing card games and telling jokes. After we got off our second bus at 10 we waited till 11 to get on our next bus from Columbus in order to get on the last bus that took us to Cincinnati. When we got there we still had to wait 45 minutes for Rachel and Joaquin to come and get us from the bus stop with the truck.

Once we got on the truck we drove for an hour to Maysville, Kentucky to the local Super 8 motel to sleep for the night. Even though Super 8 is a motel, it felt like the best place to be because it was humid outside and there was no breeze so it was just plain hot.  At about 8, there was a crazy hail storm with giant pieces of ice falling from the clouds. But with all that said, it is important to make the best out of every situation.

Today we went to three locations; each had something to do with the other. First we went to Reverend John Rankin’s house. Rankin was an abolitionist who was taught at a very young age that slavery was wrong so he worked his whole life to free slaves from slavery by hiding some of the slaves in his house.  To get to his house we had to climb an extremely steep hill. At first it seemed like an easy hill to climb but as you went higher up it was harder then it seemed.  I also thought about  how a slave would feel climbing it and I felt more tired and hurt because slaves must have been running for days on no food and they could of also gotten hurt on the way there so it even seemed impossible to me.

When I did make it to the top, it felt amazing because of the view and the fact that a slave was one step closer to becoming a free person. While in the house I saw many things such as an old bible, old piano, and also a list of people who were apart of Rankin’s group that wanted to stop slavery.

The second place we went to was John Parker’s house. I liked this man because of his story of how he obtained freedom. He tried to run away many times but always got caught by people so then he worked to buy his freedom. After he got his freedom he worked hard to go across the Ohio River to get slaves and take them across to Ohio that was a free state at the time. It was also interesting that he eventually became a really wealthy man with 7 kids who all finished college!

The third place we went to today was a museum about the Underground Railroad in Cincinnati. At the place we saw things such as little movies about a person that went with John Parker across the river to Ohio.  Also they had stories about other people and how they tried to escape to freedom such as dressing up as a slave owner or going into a box and shipping themself to the North. What I also liked was that they had things such as songs people would sing to show how they were here to come help escaping slaves and put candles at their windows to show that they were safe places for the slaves.

Tonight we are camping by a river and there are fireworks starting right now! After, we have to have a discussion and I am the discussion leader so I will probably talk about the different places we went to today and see how everyone is feeling about riding in the heat tomorrow.  I am nervous for the long hot days, but we are all having fun and I think it is going to be a great week.

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