Posted by markquattrocchi
(The Cycling Crew: El Trapiche, Nicaragua)
Lesson #2- People Are Friendly: Say Hello
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~ Desmond Tutu, Social Activist
—-> Ni Hao, Tashi Delek, Salaam Alaikum, Privet, Namaste, Ç’Kemi, Ciao, Bongu, Jambo, Moni, Hallo, Bonjour & Hola. All of these mean the same thing. Hello or greetings. The most important word in the beginning of a conversation with someone I had never met before. Hello is the link that separates us from strangers and finding new friends. That simple exchange has left me with friends from all parts of the planet. The worst part of ‘Hello’ is ‘Goodbye’.
We have the notion that the world is full of horrible people. If you watch the evening news, that is what we would be made to believe. You hear pieces of the good and a full dose of the bad. Countries throughout the world are painted with a broad stroke of the media’s brush. They do not show the normal people that live in these countries. Places are vilified because of a few individuals and greedy governments.
The most welcoming countries on my journey were Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Sudan, South Africa, Paraguay, Colombia, and Mexico. These are typically all places you do not hear much about in the world. The only time you do hear anything about these locations, are when terrible things happen. When was the last time you heard a positive story out of Sudan? But, I assure you that the vast 99.9% of people there are kind and welcoming. I have never felt so at home in a country, that was so foreign.
Parking my bike on the side of the road and walking up to a person I said ‘Salam Alaikum’ (Peace be unto you) then asked for a safe place to sleep. With a curious smile whomever I asked quickly assured me I would have a safe place to sleep. Oftentimes, the places I slept were right out in the open, a few feet from the road. I never felt the least bit uncomfortable. No one ever even thought of saying no and often whisked me off for dinner or into their home for the night.
Throughout my journey, I said ‘Hello’ in dozens of languages to thousands of people. Almost none of them treated me unfairly. Mostly, I was met with unconditional kindness and genuine curiosity. People I had just met welcomed me into their home, gave me a place to sleep, food to eat and water to drink. We shared stories, smiles and laughter.
It all started with a ‘Hello’. Don’t be afraid to take that first step.
*We have now reached the fundraising goal for fifth and final schoolhouse in El Trapiche, Nicaragua for a grand total of $50,000. I can’t say how thankful I am to everyone for their wonderful contributions. Thank you to the last three donations by Chris & Doug Good, my wonderful fiancee Eliza as well as the final donor Marina Quattrocchi, to take us to the $50,000. Over the course of over two years, there have been more than 300 indiviudal donors. I am happy to report that our fundraising journey for ‘One Adventure Please’ has met our ultimate goal. This type of dream is something I never imagined we would achieve when I set out on this adventure. It really shows you the power of collective action. Thank you for making change a reality for the kids in El Trapiche, Nicaragua as well as our other four communities in China, India, Kenya & Ecuador. An update on all five of our schools will be coming soon. Thank you one and all!
**If you would still like to donate to help with other projects you can still, CLICK TO DONATE. The following donations will continue to help with the community of El Trapiche. A specific need will be identified later on.
***The final installment of the ‘10 Lessons from Cycling the World’ series is tomorrow. Thank you for reading and stay tuned. 🙂
Greetings Around the World Clip
Tags: 10 Lesson, 10 Lessons From the Road, 10 Lessons I learned, Beautiful, Biking for Charity, change, Charity, Cycle Tourism, Food, Free the Children, Hello, Hello around the world, how to cycle the world, How to Live Simply, Lesson #9, Lessons from Cycling the World, Lessons from the Road, Lessons from Travel, Mark Quattrocchi, Me to We, Minimalism, nature, One Adventure Please, One Adventure Please Cycling, Post of the Day, Saying Hello, Saying hello in difference languages, Sudan, Taking that first step, Ten Lessons, Top 10, Tourism, Travel, Wanderlust, We