On Wednesday the Peace Run visited the children at The University of Melbourne Child Care Centre. The children, ranging in ages from just 3 to 5, were joyful, enthusiastic and utterly delightful.
The children had been eagerly anticipating our arrival for some weeks and had all learned the World Harmony Run song which they enthusiastically sang this for us, with actions.
In preparation for our visit the children had also made their own colourful Peace Torches from cardboard and cellophane. However once they saw our "real" Peace Torch they were all eager to hold it and make their own heartfelt wish for peace.
Children always like games so as three of our Peace runners are somewhat proficient in the languages of countries that the Peace Run has visited this past year, they each greeted the children in a different language and asked them to guess the country. Vilasi spoke Chinese (she is Australian, not Chinese) but this did not fool one very bright little boy who guessed straight away.
The teachers had set up 6 banners for each continent under each of the 6 trees in the playground. The Peace runners with all the children in tow then ran from "continent" to "continent" with their Peace torches and personal Peace Run passports.
At each "continent" the children had to name the different animals that lived there. Some of the answers were quite amusing and inventive. We accepted answers of "Polar Bear" for Antarctica but the best response was from one child who when asked who lived in Europe replied - "Santa Claus!" Well who was going to argue with that!
Each child's passport was stamped by one member of our team, officiating as a passport control. Kangaroo stamps for Australia, Elephant stamps for Africa etc...
We were scheduled to visit for just 30 minutes but we ended up staying for over an hour. We would like to express our gratitude to Kuvarani and to her colleagues at the University of Melbourne Child Care Centre for hosting the Peace Run. Thanks also to the parents who came and most of all thank you to the children who gave us all so much joy.