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Showing posts from March, 2008

Stony Ground: Lessons from Aborted Walk to India

At the beginning of the month “peace pilgrim” Mark Bishop’s planned two year walk from Bristol England to the birthplace of Ghandi in India came to an early end. His plan was to carry no money and rely on the kindness of strangers to get free food, lodging and transport. This worked well from Bristol to the south coast of the UK and across the English channel, but it failed when he reached Calais on the other side where he could not explain his project to the local people. The problem is that the French speak French.

There are many lessons that you can draw from this episode. First of all it shows the value of language learning -- last year I already blogged the point that you cannot rely on English alone. It also shows the value of research; the fact that the French speak French is noted in many reference sources, including Wikipedia. Research would also have told Bishop that he landed in the worst possible part of the country. If you talk to friends in the north of France …