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Donates 400 Bicycles to Cuban Children Norwegian Child
Gathering and sending almost 400 bicycles from Norway to Cuba was a great task that demanded all of his persistence and creativity.

He has finally achieved his objective and fulfilled his dream of seeing his friends from the Cuban locality of Esmeralda riding the bikes.

His classmates and neighbors in Nittedal, back in Norway, gave him those bicycles, which they were not going to use any more. He managed to use them to "do something good for other country."

He came up with the idea during his last holidays here, on the usual trip with his mom, dad and little Ingrid, his younger sister, to the town in Camaguey - where his grandma Aydelina was born. Despite the city of Esmeralda being very different from Nittedal, Kristian loves it just the same.

He enthusiastically spoke about the details of his venture in almost perfect Spanish, a language his mother María Regla encourages him to speak back in the frozen mountains where her oldest son was born.

"In our country, we buy the bikes and then we throw them away. I thought we have to do something," he said like an adult.

But Kristian continues being an eleven-year-old boy. He has just arrived in Havana from Esmeralda and showed me a picture of him and his Cuban friends in an inflatable pool. I dont know if he knows the reasons behind the difficulties and shortages in Cuba that motivated him to make this donation that has made him feel so happy. I dont ask him either. (Does he know about the blockade, the special period...?)

For him, this project was the opportunity to do something for the people, who are "what he likes most" about the country to which he has more ties than just his maternal family.

"He is a boy, beautiful outside and inside, and he feels a special affection for Cuba and its people," says María Regla.

His likes confirm the above. "I like everything about Cuba: Esmeralda, the beaches, but what I like the most is the people: how they talk, live and dream," he said.

The bicycles, he thought, would be a present not only for the children he plays and runs around with almost every summer, but also a means of transportation that could be used by the adults.

Fulfilling this objective has made Kristian and his classmates from sixth grade in Nittedal proud. They encouraged him since he posted the first banner in the school with the help of "dad" Knut. He has supported him all the way. He sent e-mails to every company in the city and also helped with the repair of the bikes.

"Want to donate your bicycle to Cuba?" read the first banner. Then they made a brochure with more information about Cuba and Esmeralda, and the route the ships carrying the bikes would take, and a brief explanation about the island.

An interview published by Norwegian newspaper Varigen gave the final thrust of the campaign.

But Kristian never thought that the reaction of the Norwegian people was going to be so positive.

"I was surprised. Many, many people answered," he said.

So many bicycles arrived, that the backyard of his house was full. "Daddy Knut" became a real mechanic and spent weeks adjusting and repairing every bike. At the end they all looked like new!

They filled a container only with bikes, and the ones that were left out were put in another one, that was filled up with balls, rollers and toys.

A lover of mathematics and geography, Kristian is also a devoted fan of skiing, basketball and baseball, of course,.

Although he has nothing defined yet, he knows that he would like to repeat the experience sometime in the future. But his "assistant" will have to take a break first. "Daddy worked a lot," he said.

But it has been worthy if a child can say, "It makes me happy to do something good and helpful for others."


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