United States 5 July: Andover, SD - Ortonville, MN

Small Towns with Generous Hearts

We are so grateful to the Super 8 Motel in Aberdeen for their kind offering of very nice rooms to our men's team.

The women's team was offered a very comfortable room at My Place, a very beautiful hotel by the Super 8 in Aberdeen for which they are very grateful.

Arpan demonstrates a cheerful enthusiasm on his early morning run after celebrating the USA's Independence Day yesterday.

Banshidhar also enjoys the cooler weather in the early morning.

Atul was happy to have a break from running in the afternoon heat.

Atul was joined by Dave Trefz and his grandson Jonah to escort him in his final mile running into the town of Webster.

Mike Grosek, the Mayor of Webster receiving the torch and welcoming our team.

We met at the Izaak Walton League Wildlife Preserve where they offered us refreshments after our presentation and song.

Mayor Mike, as the locals refer to him, gave some very kind words as our team and the kind locals gathered out front.

Mayor Mike receives our Certificate of Appreciation for his participation and kind support.

Jenny Wickre, Town Clerk, offers her wishes for peace.

Finance Officer Linda Hoberg shares the Torch and passes it on along with her goodwill and hopes for peace.

Amanda from the Reporter and Farmer News was kind enough to come out and cover our arrival here.

We are also grateful to John Suhr, Editor of the Reporter and Farmer News who also had some kind words. He is also an avid marathoner.

Mayor Mike and some of his employees, including Jacob Hernandez, an excellent local runner, were very helpful and friendly as we shopped at the Mayor's grocery store. In the end he would not let us pay for all the groceries we wanted to buy. He certainly displays the generosity and kindness of a true peace lover and server.

Back on the busy roads as we get closer and closer to Minnesota here in northern South Dakota.

One of the men's teams makes their way to the next town of Waubay.

They finally reach Waubay where Mayor Kevin Jens received the Torch. Waubay means ' a place of birds' in a local Native American language.

Mayor Jens and some of the staff and local friends here in Waubay were kind enough to take some time with us in discussing peace in the community and the world at large, starting with one person at a time.

Offering his peace and oneness as Mayor Jens passes the Torch to all the constituents here.

Julie Jorgenson, the Finance Officer of Waubay, was very welcoming and invited us in to enjoy some refreshments.

Cold bottles of water and sports bars were some of the generous refreshments offered by the City Hall members here today.

Charlie Bunk and his wife Barb, Lutheran Ministers from this area, were very supportive peace lovers who work all over the world in helping and serving others in their communities.

Roger Johanning, President of the City Council also joined us for this very uplifting ceremony.

Linda Walters, Editor of the Waubay Clipper Newspaper along with Loyal and Sharon Saugstead, on right, retired school administrators, show us where we are on the map of our route. We are very grateful to all the townspeople who came to greet us and share their important stories on improving the quality and peace of their communities.

Another local gathering like this is a common scene in this part of the country where these peaceful cows gather to socialize and take refreshments. They would not pass the Peace Torch around with us but seemed quite happy and curious as we ran by.

The women's team runs the late afternoon shift to finish in Ortonville, Minnesota.

This young man from New York who is studying in Minnesota stopped his car to see what is happening when he saw Nayaja carrying the Peace Torch down the road.

Kshema running by grain elevators and barns, a common sight here in South Dakota.

This police officer stopped to make sure the women runners were safe and to share the Peace Torch with them.

The women's team reached Ortonville, Minnesota, and met with some very welcoming people from the Chamber of Commerce there.

We are grateful to Vicki Oakes who has a blog called MN Bump and wanted to do some photos and interviews with the Peace Runners there.

We are very grateful to Mary S. Hillman, Executive Director of the Big Stone Lake Chamber of Commerce, Don Sherman, a local artist, and Kevin Benson from the Chamber of Commerce for welcoming our women's team and sharing the Peace Torch.

Putu tries to pass the Peace Torch to Buddy, a peace loving dog, who looks ready to run a mile.

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