United States 14 June: Seattle,WA - Port Angeles, WA

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

We are so grateful to the Burmeister and Steinman family for so kindly inviting the men's team to stay at their very spacious and beautiful home during our visit to Seattle.

We also wanted to thank Charubala for hosting the women's team and for their wonderful accommodations while spending a few days in Seattle.

We had to leave Seattle this morning and board a ferry from Edmonds to Kingston.

It was a scenic trip as we met some very friendly people on the way.

Even our RV camper was in good company on this huge ship to Kingston.

Our first destination after leaving Seattle was the Kingston Middle School.

We were welcomed quite warmly and enthusiastically with many colorful signs made by the children and teachers.

One of the 6th grade students was documenting our visit here for the school news.

Encouraging and positive signs were everywhere to remind the children of the positive qualities we must all try to cultivate.

We finally made it to the huge crowd of over 500 students and teachers gathered in the gymnasium for us.

The school choir sang two songs beautifully for us to open the program.

More colorful signs surrounded us as we started our own presentation to the enthusiastic crowd.

Nikolaus introduces the Peace Run.

Teresa -Jagadambika was our local coordinator who worked very hard at getting these events to happen today.

One of our activities is to take a minute of silence to feel peace in the heart.

These young children seemed to easily find peace in their hearts.

A peace pole was created by some of the students inspired and directed by the Art Teacher, Diane Stewart.

The creative students also made one thousand peace cranes which they so kindly presented to our team. They were inspired by the story of the Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki who was diagnosed with leukemia after being exposed to radiation in Hiroshima. Inspired by a Japanese myth that if you make 1000 paper cranes your wish will come true, she made over 1000 before her death at the age of 12. Because of her inspiration, paper cranes have become a world wide symbol of peace. There is a statue of Sasaki holding a golden crane in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. At the foot of the statue is a plaque that reads: "This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world."

Principal Craig Barry and Art Teacher extraordinaire ,Diane Stewart, accepts our gifts of appreciation for this wonderful event organized by them and their staff and the children as well.

A proud teacher and some of her students share a Peace Torch as it was passed around for all to share.

We are extremely grateful to all the creative peace loving students and teachers of Kingston Middle School.

After the wonderful school program we started a run to Port Angeles on the scenic Olympic Discovery Trail.

The beauty of the coastline inspired us to take some photos along the way.

There were very nice people we met along the way as well.

Afterwards some of us were on duty to feed the hungry and thirsty team.

Upon reaching Port Angeles we were warmly greeted by our two very good friends Jake and Abanna Kalagian.

Abanna helped to coordinate some of the events here today along with local coordinator Jagadambika.

Mayor Sissi Bruch kindly greeted us at the Gateway Center in Port Angeles and read out an inspiring Proclamation for the Peace Run.

We are very grateful to Mayor Bruch and here kind words of wisdom and peace which she offered to us here at this colorful venue.

We were then greeted by on of the Port Angeles police officers who kindly esccorted us as we ran to our next destination through town.

It was a hilly but cool and sunny few miles through this very lovely city.

We finally made it to the Boys and Girls Club of Port Angeles, greeted by a very curious and friendly group of children and staff.

Some of our women's team today just joined us as they had a great time interacting with the children here.

The children participated in our program very cheerfully.

After accepting some of our gifts of appreciation the children and staff members shared the Peace torch and had some fun running around the playground on the Peace Train.

Afterwards the children did not want us to leave so we spent some time on the playground equipment with them.

We are very grateful to the Boys and Girls Club for having us and sharing the joy and peace of their wonderful facility.

Later, for dinner, we were hosted by Michael Rivers and his daughter Tess at their beautiful home in Port Angeles.

After a delicious feast prepared by Abanna, Michael and Tessa, we were treated to some wonderful music composed and performed by Michael.

Michael sang powerfully and beautifully for us as he played his guitar and had us spellbound.

After the wonderful dinner and entertainment our photographer, Banshidhar, finds the perfect position to catch some nice photographs of us under a rainbow which just happened to appear on this auspicious day in beautiful northern Washington.

It was a wonderful and colorful way to end a peaceful and eventful day.

We are very grateful to Michael and his daughter Tessa for hosting us. Unfortunately his wife Nancy could not make it here tonight.

Jake and Abanna, who helped to organize this wonderful evening and meal, also deserve a very heartfelt gratitude from all of us all the way from 'somewhere over the rainbow.'

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