New Americans was the theme for this Year of Yay! ride, which exposed us to the lives of people who are not from this country. The people we encountered on this day were mostly new to the ways of American tradition and customs. Sometimes in order to understand people, you must jump knee deep in their culture, and that's just what we did. All in all, the ride went beautifully! The route went through various easy-going neighborhoods with kids waving and good vibes.
The weather was nice and the riders were ready. The day graced us with temps in the 70s perfectly fitting for the 17.9-mile ride ahead of us. The first stop on our cruise was Global Mall, a marketplace where you can find several different imported goods and gifts. Along the aisles, you could purchase colorful Somali garments, ceramics and even groceries that you wouldn't find in a conventional supermarket.
Next up was Masjid As-Salaamah, a mosque on Cleveland Avenue where Madhi Warsama was nice enough to speak to us about their place of worship, Islam and the daily life of Muslim people. He even let us take a peek in the men's prayer hall! He closed out with giving us info about various CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) Central Ohio activities and programs.
The last stop on our journey was the Columbus Global Academy, which houses the Columbus City School district's ESL (English as a Second Language) programs, which teach young immigrants to speak English. The principal wasn't available to speak, so our ride leader, Nancy Niemuth, talked to us in-depth about what the program entails and how it impacts the lives of students.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for the adventure, and especially Keith and Pete, who captured it so beautifully in picture and video, and Nancy for creating such a fascinating experience. See you next month!