May 31, 2013 Live from the road

Norseman, WA - Esperance, WA

Reported by Antara-Prabhat Kalajian, Grahak Cunningham, Stacey Marsh 204.0 km

This morning our boys team awoke revitalised after a peaceful night's sleep indoors for the first time in a week. From our warm beds we could hear the downpour striking the roof of our accommodation at the Norseman Railway Motel.

Enjoying a rather sumptuous feast at breakfast, intaking the necessary caffeinated beverages and supplemental dishes ...

... including sampling several superb local honeys which has been absent from our diet since the border control between SA and WA where you must dispose of all fruit and honey from fear of fruit fly. The honeys were all delicious and gave us much-needed energy.

Bayarkhuu attempting the 'Aussie challenge' – to eat and fully swallow a dry weet-bix with no liquid, in 60 seconds. He didn't quite make it ...

... after breakfast we packed our newly dried tent flies in our bags and were ready to continue our journey of Peace ...

"There is only one perfect road
and that road is ahead of you,
always ahead of you."
-Sri Chinmoy

The weather was a brisk temperature with an even brisker southerly, a head wind ...

Luckily we avoided most of the rain and saw an unprecendented 8 rainbows ...

Unfortunately with a rainbow comes some rain but it was only light drizzle and we were driving for most of the heavy stuff.

Salil chose to follow the railway tracks running parallel to the road ...

Team 'B' – who started running 60 km ahead along the road – leaving a marker for team 'A' so they would know where to finish running ...

Our first stop along the way was the Salmon Gums Primary school. Arriving early, we indulged in a quick game on the board set up for us outside ...

A salmon-coloured gum tree stands outside the school. I wonder if there is a connection with the name of the village?

The 28 children of Salmon Gums Primary were joined this morning for our visit by a further 8 children from Scaddan Primary, 53 km away (they are the ones in front, in the blue uniforms).

Displaying a rare, virtuous blend of quiet certitude and eager receptivity, the children here welcomed us with open hearts and warm smiles.

They had created their own artworks for peace which were then incorporated into a beautiful and striking peace collage, representing the combined aspirations for peace of the whole school.

Everyone had a chance to hold the Peace Torch ...

... and to run with the Torch around the oval.

Sadly, it came time for us to depart ....

... but first, one last group photo ...

... before our runner took the torch back on the road.

Even then, after "Three cheers for the Peace Run", the children all followed the Torch as far as their schoolyard fence would allow. This was one school visit we shall never forget!

Train tracks parallel our runners' advance, leading us confidently toward Esperance.

We're pushing ourselves somewhat in today's weather; expending extra effort to overcome frequent gusts of wind and bouts of rain. Fortunately, the sky stays blue for the most part, so we may vastly enjoy its comforting aura.

This area received over 2 inches of rain yesterday and today ...

Our girls' team started today at Salmon Gums, where we stayed last night, about 100 km ahead of the other team who stayed in Norseman, so with this 'headstart' we were able to leave at 8 am, a late start for us at the moment. Our team had the last 62 km into Esperance. This area has received much needed rain over the last few days and today was no exception.

As our team started our running for the day we were blessed with a light sprinkle of rain ...

... this brought out some beautiful rainbows that seemed to follow us throughout the day.

Once we were about 30 km into our run, the wind picked up and we had a great strong head wind to keep us on our toes. Add some rain to that and it felt like hail!

Sometimes clear blue skies and mild breezes can get a bit boring: some feisty wind and rain certainly adds a little something more – let us say 'interesting' – to our day....

We arrived into Esperance in the early afternoon and all of the teams met at Castletown Primary School – starting with a media photo shoot ...

There were about 500 students there and as we waited outside for the final students to arrive they started to sing, and what a powerful group of singers they had!

They were singing a song they felt was appropriate to the occasion of the Peace Run visit about respect. And they had actions. Once the team entered they sang again this song and the team joined and learnt the actions as well. What a perfect start to our ceremony.

Once the indoor presentation was over, each class was lead out to run with the Peace Torch and some of the team. As we started running around the field we heard the students start to sing again ...

... As we drew closer we heard they were singing a song about Western Australia. We had a few WA team members and they have never heard this song before, so we all crowded around outside to listen as we waited for the next group of students to run with us. They all sang so confidently and proudly it was hard for us to move back from their voices and do another lap around the ground. But their voices carried and we ran to their song.

Music is such a powerful way of communicating and we felt they were all singing from their hearts and their music and songs will stay with us always and carry us through Western Australia and beyond.

Salil interviewed Mrs Grewer, the Principal after the meeting. She has been at this same school since 1970.

Ida from Munich, who is travelling around Australia with some European friends, met us at the service station. She had already ssen us on the road earlier and cheered our runner Steve.

Alan and Trixie of the Bayview Motel in Esperance are kindly hosting our entire men's team tonight ...

... we are SO grateful to be able to spend the night in such comfortable and convenient surrounds. We wont forget this night's accommodation, or our generous hosts!

Nearby, out girls' team is being hosted by Gipsy, a dear friend of the Peace Run who has opened up her rental property for us to say in tonight. Gipsy and Bianca will be travelling around Australia in the next few weeks and we are hoping to cross paths as we both move our way north.

We are most grateful to Gipsy for her kind hospitality and look forward to seeing her up north!

In the evening we met with the Esperance Rotary Club.

The president John Grey was instrumental and heartfelt in organising the event where we discussed the organisation of the run, how we manage so many kilometres day after day and the countries everyone was from.

The club were most hospitable and treated us to delicious meal which we were all most grateful for.

Thank you, Esperance Rotary Club!

Torch carried by
Adrien Medina (France), Amalendu Edelsten (Australia), Antara-Prabhat Kalajian (United States), Baigal Kim (Mongolia), Bayarkhuu Batbayar (Mongolia), Drishalu Grunstaudl (Austria), Grahak Cunningham (Australia), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Hastakamala Diaz (Australia), Ion Frunza (Moldova), Oyungerel Seded (Mongolia), Prachar Stegemann (Australia), Salil Wilson (Australia), Stacey Marsh (New Zealand), Steve Elliott (Australia).  
Antara-Prabhat Kalajian, Harita Davies, Steve Elliott
The torch has travelled 204.0 km from Norseman, WA to Esperance, WA.

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