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NRG Motoaction


Ρεκτιφιέ Κουρνούτης



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Why Not Cycles

Making a difference

   First of all, I would like to make something clear – I am not traveling under any charity work. I am traveling in order to meet different people, to get familiar with their civilization, live the way they live and comprehend their way of thinking. I am traveling because this is the way for me to be happy! Nevertheless, while traveling, I am trying to make a difference, within my power, and make our world a better place.


Cultural exchange

   Travellers, whether they like it or not, make a huge impact over the local societies they visit. The most important exchange that takes place is the cultural one. It may sound quite theoretical, but it actually happens every second a foreigner stays among the locals. Think of the perception we have versus some nationalities, with people coming to Greece, getting drunk till they pass out, wandering around half-naked, quarreling and beating each other. That is a typical example of an irresponsible tourist.

   I, on the other hand, try to be a responsible traveller. I consider respecting one’s culture, religion, customs and way of life to be the most important thing. This is why I spend months studying all the features of the local societies I intend to visit, in order to be prepared and know how to behave without insulting them.

   In this way, the locals do not get a wrong point of view about Westerners. I try to bridge the gap between different people and build understanding and tolerance amongst them. I try to make the Westerner accept the fact of a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf, if she feels like it. I try to make each and every one of us realize that the immigrants of Asian, African or Latin American origin do not come to the West to take over our jobs and cut back our living – the immigrants are just trying to survive.

   In the same way, I try to explain to the local communities I visit, the Western way of thinking and living, the freedom we enjoy more widely in every aspect of our lives, and which I consider fundamental, as well as basic human rights for which many of us care and stand up for.


Anti-war action

   Building understanding between different communities is something that should not be neglected. In this way the world’s biggest problem, which I consider it to be wars, would be automatically solved. Many people fight day after day against diseases and natural disasters. Their work is admirable and their effort should be highly appreciated. But the truth is that most of these problems cannot be fully extinct, as they occur due to natural hazards that cannot be avoided or predicted.

   Wars, on the other hand, are projects orchestrated by us, humans, and guided by huge financial interests. I see no reason in fighting the Turks, for example, with whom Greeks had often political disputes in the past, as, during my trip in Turkey, I met many wonderful people, who insisted on having me as a guest in their home, without even knowing who I am. I do not really see why I should fight any nation, being in the service of enormous interests, in order for the monstrous tycoons that rule our world to expand their bank accounts.

   If we could spread this idea, then who would fight in the name of any of our criminal leaders? I know, it may sound quite utopian the fact that no one would volunteer to fight. Money can buy everything, after all. It is not a coincidence that in most countries the army and the police forces consist of people with a poor background, who do not have second thoughts in selling out all their believes and ethics in exchange of a certain salary for the rest of their life.

   If you consider wars to be a minor problem nowadays, check out the list of military conflicts taking place somewhere around the world this very moment:

   I would like to make clear to the sceptical ones that I am no foul thinking that I could just put an end to wars as simple as that. What I try to do is put an effort in the world anti-war action, let the Armenians know that the Turks do not perform any human sacrifices (yes, that is what I have heard by some Armenians!!!), let the Turks know how wonderful people the Armenians are, in spite of what they are being told since their childhood. I just try to bring people together. And that is the most important thing to do.


Financial aid

   I never had much money nor I would like to make much in the future. What I try to do, though, is to spend the money I have, no matter how little, in a rational way. Just think about that, during the 2 years and 2.5 months that my trip in Asia lasted, I have spent 9,514 euros. This amount was all spent in Asia, as you can see in the Financial issues. Most importantly, it ended up in the budget of poor Asian families, and not in the huge pocket of some multinational company.

   I never spent a single night in a luxurious hotel managed by wealthy businessmen. I always stayed in small and cheap guest houses, sometimes being the house of a local family hosting travellers. As far as it concerned food, I had my meals wherever the locals were dining. In this way, I try to give the little money that I have to people who really need it.


Volunteering in Armenia

Teaching photography to my students in Lejan.

   After having met Andrea, an American volunteer in Lejan, which is a small village on Lesser Caucasus in Armenia, I decided to spend the winter there. So, I became a volunteer as well. I was helping in everything I could, from painting the interior of an eco-advocacy office to assisting the projects that Andrea was working on. My main occupation, however, was teaching computers. We thought that this was the best I could do for the youth of the village, as this would be their only chance to learn how to use these precious tools. We truly made a difference as, through the volunteer projects Andrea was working on, the English lessons, developing some basic ecological consciousness and the computer lessons, we managed to change the lives of some villagers to the better and help, especially the youngsters, to have more opportunities and choices in life.


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