South Africa 12 September: Cape Town

Peace Run in Cape Town - Day 2

Our Peace Run day was filled with rain, rainbows and bright eyed children. With rain pouring down we visited our first school, Ukhanyo Primary, situated in Masiphumulele.

A school that took in learners from surrounding township areas and that is proud to be HIV friendly with zero tolerance for discrimination.

It was clear to us that this school is very much a part of the community.

Beautiful paintings depicting the qualities that define the culture of the school decorated the wall of the school hall.

Mr Sello and Mrs Jafta, seen here, introduced us and mentioned how happy they were for their school to be visited by the Peace Run. They hoped that we would visit regularly.

We were wonderfully greeted by the school choir with soul-stirring songs and harmonies which included an african drum beat, dance and a soulful solo. It made us feel very special for having just arrived.

We taught the World Harmony Run song to the grade 7 learners and choir which they all sang beautifully back to us including all the actions.

Balarka led the presentation ...

As usual, the skit was very popular ...

... and so was the "feeling peace in the heart exercise".

We also presented a certificate of appreciation to Mr Sello and Mrs Jafta. They are both amazing teachers and we were so grateful to have this opportunity to visit Ukhanyo Primary.

The handing of the Peace Torch to the learners was accompanied by more beautiful singing as they each patiently awaited their turn to hold the Peace Torch and make a wish for peace.

A run with the Peace Torch began around the circle of learners ... which started a little like the scene from the film, "Chariots of Fire" where two runners sprinted together around a university quadrangle.

The run eventually ended in a fast sprint as the learners cheered the faster runners as they made their way around.

On our way to the next school, we stopped by PG Glass where Barry, seen here with the Torch, and his colleague generously helped us free of charge with emergency repairs to the moulding around the windscreen on Cliff's car.

The next school, Surrey Primary, is situated in the suburb of Athlone, relatively close to Cape Town International Airport.

Twenty years ago this school was almost fully destroyed by a tornado recalled Principal Adams. He was principal for just 2 years when this incident occured and is still serving the school today.

Many learners come from homes where a meals cannot be guaranteed and so the school provides free meals twice a day for learners.

This school visit was organised by Western Province Athletics (WPA) and the Cape Town Marathon organisers. We were therefore joined by some of our good friends from these two organisations.

Here, Allen Barnes, of the WPA introduces the Cape Town Marathon and Cape Town City Councillor, Mr Mzwakhe Nqavashe...

Councillor Mzwakhe spoke wonderfully to the children as he explained the important role that the Fire Department and Police perform within their community.

Allen Barnes then introduced the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run and handed over to Abhijatri for the Team's presentation.

Abhijatri led the presentation...

The students shouted the Peace Run motto "Peace begins with me" with such gusto that all the teachers had to block their ears and no further prompting for a louder shout by Tafadzwa was required.

Shree, Tafadzwa and Cliff performed a skit on "what is peace and what is not peace".

Penny then explained to the learners "how they can feel peace in the heart".

The team presented a certificate of appreciation to Mr Adams, the Principal.

And as a final gesture, Councillor Nqavashe stepped into the throng of learners for a special photo shoot.

All the learners then had a chance to hold the Peace Torch in groups.

Together with some of the teachers.

Thank you Mr Adams for a wonderful visit to your school.

It was a time for celebration and gratitude. Some runners were serious, others happy and cheerful.

After our visit to Surrey School we had time for a quick picnic lunch near one of Cape Town's iconic beaches. We soon attracted the attention of some Malawian artists who came to show us their paintings. Malawians are such friendly people and following our visit for our very first Peace Run in Malawi earlier in the year, we had lots to share and talk about.

Here, Joseph Kennedy, John and James offer their sincere wishes for peace as they hold the Peace Torch.

Our last event for the day was the elite runners photo shoot at the Nobel Square, where there are statues of South Africa's four Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

It was also a time to catch up with old friends, including our very good friend Elana Van Zyl (Meyer), Olympic Silver Medallist, who greeted us so warmly and wholeheartedly, that we really felt welcome.

The athletes then gathered on the platform in front of the statues for a group photo followed by individual shots with the different statues.

Our team also had a chance to pose with Elana and Janet Welham, race director for the Cape Town Marathon.

The event was attended by many press photographers.

This athlete was noticeably moved by Nelson Mandela's statue. It was a fitting end to a day filled with so many different but beautiful experiences.