Tuvalu 28 March: Funafuti

Arrival in Tuvalu

For the first time in the history of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run the Peace Torch arrived into Tuvalu. Departing early from Fiji we caught Fiji Airways ...

... on a quick 2 ½ hour flight to Tuvalu ...

... a small nation in the South Pacific made up of 9 islands and atolls.

Tuvalu is situated about midway between Australia to the west and Hawaii to the east.

The Peace Run arrived into the island of Funafuti which contains the capital Vaiaku where half the population of Tuvalu live.

Funafuti is a narrow stretch of land between 20 and 400 metres wide which encircles a large lagoon that is 18km long and 14km wide. At its highest, the island rises 4.5 metres above sea level.

One of the tourists on the plane came to meet us; she had heard about the Peace Run from friends when she said she was going to New Zealand and was thrilled to meet us as we landed today. We hope to meet up with her to run with us tomorrow.

We were met at the airport by Mr. Eliuta Niuone from the Ministry of Education Youth and Culture, who is the main organiser of the events to be held in Funafuti tomorrow. After finding our accommodation – we discovered we had been double booked so we were sent to a friend’s accommodation tonight with the offer to let us cook our meal at her lovely place tonight.

Confirming tomorrow's schedule: the program for tomorrow is to run the length of the Atoll with different groups joining us for some or all of the relay, stopping in at local schools, churches, hospitals and groups en-route.

Our first stop was to meet with Lilly Teafa from the local radio station who interviewed the team and will broadcast the interview this evening.

Radio is in most of the houses in Tuvalu and is a great way to invite everyone in Funafuti to come and be a part of the Peace Run.

Niuone took us to one end of the atoll to see where we would start from.

This was our first time to really look out over the Pacific Ocean and what a beautiful sight it was – such clean, clear and blue water, as we drove from one end to the other.

Niuone explained the local area and some of the schools we would stop at tomorrow.

We made our way back in time for Uddyogini to cook a delicious pot of dhal for our dinner.