Aug. 2, 2013 Live from the road

Tweed Heads, NSW - Byron Bay, NSW

Reported by Ion Frunza, Stacey Marsh, Steve Elliott 80.0 km

This morning our team departed Queensland – again! We had run over the border yesterday but returned into Queensland to stay in Surfers Paradise for the night ...

By 9am today the Peace Run Team had made it to their first school in NSW – Tweed Heads Public School.

Here we were met by a sea of smiling faces and our message was received eagerly by everyone present ...

We were also honoured for Tweed Heads Mayor Barry Longland to be there to welcome us. He gave a nice speech supporting the principles of the Run, saying it was very special to be able to come to this school as it was his first time here. He felt the students really embraced the Peace Run message.

The Mayor was delighted to receive a letter from the ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher – and he gave us a letter of greeting and goodwill for Katy for us to take back to her in Canberra.

We lit a second torch so that all the students could hold the Torch and make their own wish for Peace. At the end of the ceremony some students were selected to run with the Peace Torch around their field before we departed to start our running for the day ...

... tt is always incredibly encouraging to meet so many new friends on the Run and to discover that we ALL have this genuine hunger for Peace ...

... it is particularly universal in the children we encounter and this fills me with hope for the future.

As we ran along today ...

.. we passed beautiful flora ...

... and we met some people.

Our girls team meanwhile had only a short 5km run to start, so two of us jumped out and ran the gentle hills into Tumbulgum ...

It was a beautiful run up and down a winding road that eventually lead into the township and along the river ...

The road leading up to Tumbulgum Public School passed the magnificent River Tweed and the awesome Mount Warning imposed itself on the landscape.

Fiona, the Acting Principal, welcomed us and introduced us to her staff and children.

Once again, we were delighted to discover keen minds and wide hearts as we were asked many great questions about the Run and the runners ...

Here we all were treated to seeing the Peace Run DVD ...

... and they were all very excited to hear that we would be teaching them a song. It seemed the whole school loved to sing!

We then went outside so that all the students could hold the Peace Torch.

As it was passed from student to student, you could hear them asking each other what they had wished for. One boy said he couldn't say because then it would not come true and that he would hold it in his heart so it came true ...

... another two boys were happy to share their wish, one wishing for world peace and the other boy wishing to help the poor kids and to stop poverty.

We certainly made more new friends at Tumbulgum and we hope to see most of you next year!

The Certificate of Appreciation was accepted by Samuel, the school captain.

We met some more people as we ran along towards Murwillumbah ...

At noon all the teams converged once more ...

... to meet at Sathya Sai Primary School – the Principal remembered us from the last time we went through in 2008 and said they were all very excited that we were coming back again.

As the students waited for our arrival they were asked to sit in silence and feel peace within themselves. Every morning the students have quiet time where they offer goodwill to the world. So they were very practised at these moments of stillness ...

... after we sang for them they offered a song to us - their school song. The words speak of their five core values of Truth, Right Action, Love, Peace and Non-Violence. Wow what a school! The Principal said that they take Peace very seriously at the school and you can really feel it!

At the end of their school song they chanted for us. This is what they sing after they have had their moment of stillness in the morning. It is simply:

Peace peace peace
Peace on Earth
Peace peace peace

To hear this chanted by these sweet pure voices was something I am sure we will all never forget. It was not just the harmony of voices singing as one, but the song and tangible feeling behind those words.

Skye and Pancho came up to receive the Certificate of Appreciation (Skye is the school captain but Pancho is the sub School Captain as the other School captain is away).

Skye then thanked us on behalf of the whole school for coming to their school, saying they really appreciated us coming. She had such sincerity in her voice that it humbled you to be standing there among all these students who over the course of each day at school consciously focus on Peace and try in their own way to bring this into the world ...

A number of the students had written Peace Pledges. They include:

I pledge to follow my heart.

I pledge for world peace and for everyone to be happy.

To finish we all went outside and formed a circle so that all the students could make their own wish for peace.

As the students were waiting to hold the Torch, the teachers went ahead and reminded them to really think of their wish and to hold it in their hearts ready to make it when they hold the Torch.

The lunch bell signalled the end of the official ceremony with the school, but because it was their lunch break they all stayed outside ... and so did the Peace runners.

A few of us sat down and talked to the students and just relaxed. They all then formed a circle around us and with folded hands offered a short and simple song. In return our runners also folded their hands over their hearts and thanked them for their heartfelt offering.

Bahumanya was challenged to a running race by the two school champions, both 11 years old. It was close and Bahumanya just won it – though we feel that he was a little bit too pleased with his victory and we’re sure that the positions will be reversed in the next couple of years. Well done boys and keep running!

As all the teams were together at lunch we decided to have another picnic.

The school was right next to Knox Park: a perfect place to recharge before continuing our run into Byron Bay.

Our girls team only had another 20km to run, so again opted to run in pairs so we could all get a good run in, and boy did some of us get a good run!

There was either a 5km uphill or a 5km downhill!

Both teams of runners seemed happy with what they got.

Later on we saw some people entertaining themselves somewhere ...

A big thank you to Byron Bay YHA and Kayla for hosting the team tonight!

Torch carried by
Avanayaha Tsendee (Mongolia), Bahumanya Guy (Great Britain), Drishalu Grunstaudl (Austria), Elsa Paillaman (Argentina), Ion Frunza (Moldova), Jaival Dudko (Ukraine), Odgiiv Jadambaa (Mongolia), Purevdorj Dashzegve (Mongolia), Rupasi Young (United States), Stacey Marsh (New Zealand), Steve Elliott (Australia), Sukhajata Cranfield (New Zealand), Uugantsetseg Otgonbayar (Mongolia).  
Jaival Dudko, Stacey Marsh, Steve Elliott
The torch has travelled 80.0 km from Tweed Heads, NSW to Byron Bay, NSW.

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