It has begun. Our journey of journeys from the Heart of Australia - Uluru.
The Peace Torch was hoisted here today for the first time in 2014. And what a special moment this was. This grand and sacred place has touched our hearts both in outer beauty and vastness and in the inner beauty and vastness that is so tangibly felt here. There is something so special about this place and the people. Each person we met, opened his or her heart and showed us such tremendous love.
Following the advance party who have driven our vehicles from Canberra over the past 3 days, most of the team arrived at noon today, compressing the 3 day drive into a 3 hour flight.
Straight from the airport, we were fortunate to be welcomed by Nyangatjatjara College.
There was scarcely time to introduce the team to each other.
Team captain Prabuddha Nicol introduced the Peace Run ...
... before getting everyone involved in singing the World Harmony Run song.
Outside, everyone shared the Peace Torch experience.
Assistant School Principal, Terry Brown is presented with the Certificate of Appreciation.
After the function, our photographer Kaspars Zakis found himself in the middle of a game of indoor soccer.
Having bid farewell, and with Peace Torch in hand the runners started to make their way down the road to our final school for the day, Yulara Primary.
We first went into one of the classrooms and showed the Peace Run DVD.
Looking around the classroom we could see how much they had prepared for our arrival. Some students were holding Peace Flags for us, there was a banner for Peace on one of the walls and another class had prepared Peace Pledges.
When we asked them what peace meant to them, so many hands shot up into the air, you could see they all had spent the time to feel and understand the meaning of peace.
Feeling peace inside our hearts ...
... and singing the song together.
The team then all lined up as the students ran out of the classroom under our flags, to hold the Peace Torch and make their own personal wish for peace.
Then one of the senior students led the school (and our team) outisde ...
... for a run around their lush green oval.
This was now getting to the end of the day, and we all enjoyed spending time with the school and getting to know more of the students.
As the last few minutes of school came to an end, the team said their goodbyes and we all headed off to the Ayres Rock camping ground – our home for the next three nights.
The team just could not resist going out to Uluru to see the sunset. Two divine warriors stayed behind to cook us dinner while the rest of the team went for the first time into the Uluru National Park and found a place to watch the sunset.
Each passing moment unveiled another glimpse of its beauty and grandeur.
Standing there in awe of Uluru you didn’t feel like you were looking at an inert rock but at a living, breathing entity that was kindly showing us its inner beauty.
The crowds had flocked here and we could see why: as we stood with our Peace Torch many peopled asked about us and wanted to hold the torch and have their photo with it (and Uluru).
You could really see the international team here, we had our photographer from Latvia speaking to some French tourists – in French ...
... while Mr Lee meet some Chinese and happily chatted with them about the Peace Run in Mandarin.
At one point soon after the sunset, Uluru darkened to a deep brown. Many people turned their backs and slowly walked to their cars, while a few of us stayed and only a few moments later it was like a light from within the rock itself shone forth to give us one last parting gift before turning in for the night.
We slowly made our way back to do the same and for most of the team to spend our first night under the watchful gaze of Uluru.
Torch carried by Ankhi Elliott(Australia),
Dhiraja Mc Bryde(New Zealand),
Niribili File(New Zealand),
Nurari Merry(Great Britain),
Prabhakar Street (Canada),
Pranava Runar Gigja(Iceland),
Stacey Marsh(New Zealand),