We spent our last morning in San Francisco with a mission. Our friend, Kian, had been on board with Project Wildness all weekend and even let us crash on his couch. He shared excellent ideas, gave us a tour of the city, and was fully on board with this project from the start. Sunday morning he shared with us the effect Project Wildness had on how he looked at the world around him. He was motivated. With his own $100, he led us to the restaurant. These are his words:
“I traveled with Nate in Central America two years ago after crossing paths with him in El Salvador, and was more than ecstatic when I found out he would be in my neck of the woods. Boy did I have no clue what kind of mission Shane and Nate were on. . .
For the past year and a half, I've lived in San Francisco on 33rd Avenue and Geary -- down the block from a little place called Sugarcane SF. The owner of Sugarcane SF, Phil, has always provided fresh food at a cheap price. To add, in my bag, every time, he's added a cookie or madeleine (until recently when he switched to melon/cantaloupe slices… I guess he's trying to promote my good health).
Phil has never boasted his tip jar, and when I use my credit card, it never prompts me to leave a tip. One time I asked him why, and he said, ‘No, no, I don't want to bug people about that’ -- And now, Project Wildness has motivated me to do something that I've really wanted to do for a long, long time.
This $100 doesn't even really explain how much gratitude I have for the man that I call 'my uncle Phil,' but it's a great start.”
Phil greeted Kian and his roommates each by name. He asked about everyone’s lives, shook our hands, and joked back and forth with the guys. We finished the amazing meal Phil had prepared and paid our checks. As Phil rang up the final bill, Kian passed an envelope with a note and his $100 to Phil. He looked a little sheepish saying he might ask his daughter to help him read what Kian had written. Years ago, Phil came to the US from Vietnam. He speaks English incredibly but hasn’t learned to read it perfectly. Kian didn’t miss a beat. He read Phil the note personally, directly showing his appreciation -- such a special moment to witness. While maintaining the modesty he always exudes, Phil thanked Kian and wrapped him up in a hug. His daughter added that Phil was celebrating his 30th anniversary and what Kian had done came at exactly the right time.
To Kian… Your attitude and energy impresses everyone around you. You carry a smile no matter the ups or downs of the day. Today you shared that appreciation in what you gave to Phil. But more importantly than any money, you showed Phil your heart and let it speak. Here’s to you and all the good you do.
Sometimes family is just a stranger away. #ProjectWildness