To make a difference in the world, you do not have to make a major impact. You do not have to bring water to an entire country; you do not have to feed entire villages; you just have to make someone smile once a week. This is exactly what Daniel Venn does with his nonprofit organization, Helping Kids Round First, which he discusses with Hayden.
Daniel Venn works with Helping Kids Round First, doing fantastic work with kids. They collect donated baseball equipment in the United States, and give the donations to children in Nicaragua. They give children the opportunity to have a childhood in a country that does not often afford that chance, and gives them the opportunity to escape poverty through baseball. Dan also discusses the book he wrote and published, Beyond Baseball - Rounding First, representing his trip to Nicaragua with Helping Kids Round First. They work with the nonprofit organization to bring baseball, sustainable agriculture, and hospital supplies to Nicaragua.
Join Daniel Venn as he describes the smell of his childhood (warning: it is not a pleasant one), recounts how baseball brought him around the world, and shares anecdotes that detail why it really is important to learn the specific language of the area you are visiting before you go, just in case. Make sure you know how to say “towel” and “uncle” correctly, and have suitcases with children’s books and old men’s underwear on hand, or else you might not end up on the trip you thought you were going to go on.
Daniel handed out equipment village by village, meeting the young kids and adults whose lives he was changing through Helping Kids Round First. He realized how you could change the world with just a baseball bat and a smile. “Travel has become less about the places that I see,” Daniel shares with us, “and more about the people that I meet and the relationships that I form.”
- 5:35 - How did baseball bring Daniel Venn all around the world, and how did his “what the heck” moment that originally brought him to Costa Rica - and then eventually to Nicaragua with Helping Kids Round First?
- 8:20 - Daniel discusses the nonprofit organization, Helping Kids Round First, and his book, Beyond Baseball - Rounding First.
- 13:00 - Daniel is a rambler, but he does start to tell his story, which he calls: “May I Have A Towel, Please?”
- Daniel had to stay at a hotel in Costa Rica and believed he had enough Spanish to confidently ask for a towel from the attendant, but he mixed up a couple of his words. This language experience made him hesitant to speak to the Nicaraguan border agents, when they were getting all of their bags searched by security, and had to protect all their equipment from getting taken.
- A suitcase filled with children’s books and a bag filled with an old man’s underwear ended up saving the trip.
- Daniel and his team handed out equipment village by village, meeting young kids along the way who had been training hard for just this chance to come, and meeting with farmers to teach them sustainable farming processes and how to water their plants despite the drought.
- 22:54 - Hayden shares an anecdote about his Brazilian ex-girlfriend and a Portuguese language mishap he made. Daniel and Hayden relate over the fact that pronunciation is everything in these languages, and Daniel shares another anecdote related to that.
- 25:50 - How did Daniel’s perception of America and baseball in America and childhood in America change after working with Helping Kids Round First? What other experiences have shifted Daniel’s worldview?
- “Travel has become less about the places that I see, and more about the people that I meet and the relationships that I form.”
Hayden's birthday cake!
- Check out our website at: Travel Stories Podcast Online
- Email Hayden (he’ll answer everything) at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow Hayden on Twitter and send him a Tweet (he’ll really answer everything) at: @travelstoriesuk on Twitter
- All musical composition and arrangement for story scores by Cody Crabb, who can be found at his website: CodyCrabb.com
- Find all the info about Helping Kids Round First at: HelpingKidsRoundFirst.org
- Visit Dan’s website to purchase his book - a portion of every purchase through the website goes to Helping Kids Round First - at his website: DanVenn.com