United States 17 July: Toldeo, Ohio - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Summer camps and more miles!
Our first stop was at Common Space Centre for Creativity, a community arts centre that was hosting a fine arts summer camp for children. This camp was started 30 years ago by Martin Nagy.
Pam Ashanti, our organiser for the day, introduced us to the kids and read out a proclamation from the Mayor of Toldeo, Wade Kapszukiewicz.
Aloha! We unrolled our map and played the country guessing game with the children, can you guess which island Banshidhar is from?
They had great geography skills and had no problem pointing out Hastakamala's home country of Australia. The girl is pointing to Woolongong where she was born!
Judy Trautman received the Torch-Bearer Award in 2014 along with her late husband Woody Trautman. She said that medals are not something you expect from peace work and that it meant a lot to her to receive it. Judy is the chair of the Multifaith Council of Northwestern Ohio.
Judy and Pam have been friends for many years and are now both working for the cause of peace in their community. Toldeo is a "compassionate city" and they even hold "compassion games".
They were very talented actors as well and performed skits about how to create a better world for us all. They held up the signs for the causes that they acted out.
They had prepared a world map to show where our team members are from, they used post-it notes with each runner's name and country. They really did their homework!
There was a tour of the RV, to give the kids a peek at life on the road! The RV provides a place to prepare our lunch and dinner and gets us around. Some of the children thought that might be more fun than others!
Saranku and Nikolaus whisked us away back to the 1980's - when neon headbands were mandatory attire - and acted out the history of the Peace Run.
No matter what is happening outside of us, we can always take a moment to breathe and feel peace inside our heart.
Simple skits show how the little decisions we make each day can help to contribute to a better world... or the opposite!
We presented them with a special peace painting by Sri Chinmoy. Thank you to Leslie Geer, one of the supervisors of the camp.
We met Monica and Chris who are marathon runners, Monica decided to run for half a mile with Saranyu.
There are so many wonderful chance encounters that happen while we are out running, here are some of the lovely people we met.
Accommodation for the night was kindly sponsored by the Comfort Inn in Chelsea. Alyssa, the friendly receptionist, came out to hold the torch.
We had a nice conversation, he was very encouraging and was amazed at the running miles we do in the hot sun!
Our dear friend Kapila, who has been coordinating several states for the Peace Run for many years, took the whole team out to a most delicious Italian meal.
Arpan and Sarankhuu received thank you goodbye gifts. Arpan, who has been on the team for most of the run, is taking a break for a few weeks. Sarankhuu is also headed back to New York after a long time on the road. He did the greatest miles of the men's team!
Kshema, our intrepid Ukranian runner, also had her last day. She was on the Peace Run for one month, since Bellingham, Washington. We gave her a buffalo hoodie from the state of Montana, where she loved running through the pituresque scenery.
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