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Promoting peace on Earth

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Dec. 30, 2008) – A man from Nepal who has been touring the world using a donated bicycle is currently on Saipan to promote his personal journey for peace on earth.

Pushkar Shah made a courtesy call on Mayor Juan B. Tudela yesterday, saying he is making Saipan his 139thth stop in his odyssey on wheels.

The 40-year old graduate of education said he has been doing this since 1998.

He previously visited 138 countries in six continents, including the remotest places and the most dangerous jungles in Africa.

He just came from the Philippines, Palau, and Guam before flying to Saipan. He will fly back to the Philippines on Friday.

Shah said he doesn't need any money for this but accepts whatever kindhearted people would offer.

All his travel expenses, including food, airline tickets, clothing and even his bicycle are all donated by Good Samaritans.

Shah, whose father was killed by terrorists, said he decided to devote his time to this personal journey as a way of calling an end to terrorism, war and fighting around the world.

Mayor Tudela honored him with a plaque of appreciation.

"I cannot imagine how you would be able to find us in the map as our island appears so tiny compared to other places in the world," Tudela told Shah.

Tudela said the people of Saipan "commend you for the courage, effort and patience to travel for the last 11 years in an attempt to set foot and to be on your bike as part of a record-breaking attempt in all the 138 countries, and Saipan," Tudela said.

The mayor hopes that, with Shah's visit to the island, many local cyclists will be inspired to do the same "as you already did throughout the 11 years of traveling to prove that nothing is hard to accomplish when it is something that you really desire."

Shah is currently living with a couple who are members of the Saipan Cyclers.

The association is also committed to donating money to pay for his plane ticket back to the Philippines.

Shah told some of the many dangerous and funny things that he experienced throughout his 11-year odyssey on wheels. For instance, he was kidnapped in Mexico in 2002 by bandits. He was also held up at gunpoint along a street.

His current bicycle is now his third. The first one was broken in Hong Kong, the second one was stolen in New Zealand.

In New Zealand, he met the famous Mt. Everest conqueror, Sir Edmund Hillary, who donated the bicycle he is now presently using.

Shah said the most peaceful places on earth he ever visited were the countries in Europe.

Shah said the most dangerous places on Earth are in war torn countries like Congo, Sierra Leone, East Timor and Liberia.

Saipan Tribune

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