Sheila reflects on Day 7

Hi.  This is Sheila.  I am 14 and I am from the Dominican Republic.  This is our second to last day of the bike trip!

Today we all woke up at 6:30 and started taking our tents down and making sure that we had all our stuff in the van. I had to lead today and I had to talk to Chuck about the map and how many miles we had to do.  For me it wasn’t that hard, but I did get confused a little bit while we were biking and we did made some wrong turns, but we kept going and eventually got back on track. I felt a little bit bad because I thought I was going to get everybody lost and maybe mad but I guess that I just needed motivation from the group telling me it was ok.   It was raining a lot while we were riding and we took a long time waiting for it to stop but finally we made it to Oberlin and the Oberlin Historical Society.

In Oberlin, a beautiful young woman gave us a tour around an old school building that was used about 100 years ago.  Oberlin is very special because it began as a utopia and many people were against slavery.  We learned about a little girl who was taken from Africa and shipped to Cuba where she was sold.  She was put on a boat to go to a plantation in the Caribbean, but the boat was the Amistad.  Some slaves on the Amistad took over the boat and she was freed.  She went back to Africa and learned to read English and then went to Oberlin College.  We also learned about a fugitive slave that went to live in Oberlin and when the slave catchers tried to take him back, the people form Oberlin helped him run away and scared the slave catchers away.   Slave catchers did not like Oberlin because so many people were involved in the Underground Railroad, they could never get any slaves back once they made it to the town.

After our tour, we got to play with all the old toys in the schoolhouse, like stilts.   Then we came back to our campsite and put our tents up and prepared everything to eat dinner.  The cooks made tuna melts and rice and beans.  All of it was delicious and now everyone is just hanging out and writing journals.  I am glad I came on this trip even though I am the only girl and the youngest.  It’s been hard, but in a good way.

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