SPOKANE, Wash. – A young Spokane woman will be running Bloomsday for the first time.
It is a first because just a year ago, Nedria was living a much different life in a different part of the world. With the help of a local refugee relief agency, she is putting her feet to the streets.
Nedria said she loves Spokane, at least most of it.
“I like the freedom, I like the ocean, but I do not like the winter,” she said.
Despite this winter, Nedira loves her life. It is a life that came at great expense and time for her family.
“When I was 8-years-old my dad died. My mom say, ‘My children need a new life,’” she explained.
Childhood for Nedira was a Somali refugee camp. Life for a woman was bleak and so her mother knew and hoped for something better. Then, 11 years later they came to America.
“One day I came to Spokane airport. I didn’t know anything. He had a big sign. He says, ‘Welcome to America.’ I was so happy I cried,” Nedria explained.
When Nedira, her two sisters, brother and mother made the trip, she came without hardly a word of English. Today, she listens, learns and loves to speak the language. Justin Bieber has helped her with her English and now a Spokane tradition is teaching her more about the community. About a half dozen refugees with World Relief will be walking or running in the upcoming Bloomsday event. Nedira and a few other runners will be wearing shirts showing pride that they are newcomers to the community.
“I run with refugees. It means refugees are people we are human,” Nedira said.
World Relief a refugee assistance agency has helped Nedira and her family. Each year the agency helps refugees come to Spokane and get housing, jobs and the support needed on the refugee journey. For Nedira the journey has been long, but she believes this is her place in life.
“When you wake up and you enjoy it, feel happy, it’s a beautiful place,” she said.
She has the shirt, the shoes and the practice. She’s ready for Spokane’s premiere running event. It’s just one of many firsts for Nedira, but she suspects it won’t be the last. As she says, Spokane is her forever place where Bloomsday is just the beginning.
Nedira is in school studying to become a nurse’s assistant. Her plan is to then become a nurse and eventually a pediatrician. She is also currently working at Sacred Heart.
Read more at Local refugee laces up for her first Bloomsday.