Australia 31 October: Gawler, SA - Adelaide, SA
We were greeted this morning by Erica, who had come in early to organise an early breakfast for the team and get one last photo of us underneath the Peace Rose. Mandy and Mark, the owners of Lyndoch Hill, have surrounded themselves with good-hearted people who have showered us with such love and affection. I believe we all wanted to stay here for quite a few more days in this oasis. Our deepest gratitude to Mandy, Mark and everyone at Lyndoch Hill for embracing us so wholeheartedly. We are humbled by their kindness.
Our tummies filled from our 5 Star breakfast, we departed slowly down the rose-lined driveway to our first school of the day – but first a team photo for the local Gawler newspaper.
... Gawler East Primary. Here we were greeted by the Deputy Mayor of Gawler, Brian Thom, and two of the students.
... and into one of the classrooms. Here we met two of the classes who had been preparing for our arrival. They had been watching the team's progress on peaecrun.org/au and seeing the different schools we had gone to both here and overseas.
The students had made peace doves that were on the tables and all had written Peace Pledges. As we were waiting for the video to load, a number of the students came up and read them out.
Selections of them are:
I will try to stop and think what I should do.
I will try and help people calm down.
I will speak in a nice way.
I will try and spread peace and harmony.
I will try not take it serious when it’s not that serious.
I will try and do deep breathing when I am angry.
Deputy Mayor Brian Thom then came up to say a few brief words to the team and school, and was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for his and Mayor Brian Sambell's support both during this year's Peace Run and last years as well. Brian and Brian are both retiring from office this year and we wish them well on their adventures!
Three students were then selected to come up and receive the Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the school: Claudia Wight, Seth Claxton and Sheane Schulze.
... where all students were then given the opportunity to hold the torch and run with us before we departed.
It was kind of fun our running today, as we all split up the first 14 km between three teams so there was some short sharp running for all!
The whole assembly were gathered in the large hall and we ran down the centre aisle to an area they had designated for us to take a seat. Jordan Lewis and Rhys Whiting were the MCs for today’s ceremony and welcomed Deputy Mayor Duncan MacMillan and the Peace Run team. Jordan spoke beautifully about the Peace Run and gave all the students a brief overview of where we had been and our message.
We all stood for the Australian National Anthem – played by the school band – and I was happy to see the words on the big screen, giving the International Runners the chance to sing along with all of the Australians present today.
We were then called on stage to speak about the Peace Run. Team captain, Prabuddha Nicol, took to the mike and introduced us all and the message of the Peace Run.
Deputy Mayor Duncan MacMillan was then called to the stage and welcomed us to Playford; he spoke so proudly of the city and council area and how they embrace diversity and cultural understanding – a mittor of our own culturally and ethnically diverse Peace Run team, also living each day embracing cultural understand and diversity.
At the conclusion of the ceremony we all ran back out of the building, passing the Torch around and talking with some of the students.
Our next stop was only 15 km away and with 30 minutes to get there we again split the miles in three.
All of us were aware that the lack of time meant we had to cover the ground quickly – meaning fast runs! – something we hadn’t done for a while so good to get our legs moving a little faster.
We arrived at St Augustine’s Parish School to be welcomed by the Student Captains; they led the team to the hall where over 500 students were waiting for us.
This school was full of so much joy and laughter and when our Icelandic Viking team member came up to give clues to where he was from, it was hard at times to hear the right answer under all the laughter!
As we all started to depart from the hall to assemble outside with the student leaders, the rest of the school sang “Go now in Peace” as we made our way down the centre, clasping many hands along the way.
The rest of the school then lined the oval as the student captains and sports leaders ran with the Peace Torch around the oval.
The bell soon went for lunch break and we bid farewell to our new Peace Runners at St Augustine’s Parish School ...
Each in their own unique way, finding ways in which they can be more peaceful in their lives, from being kind, to smiling more or not bullying.
To conclude our day of school visits and running, the Mayor joined us for a Peace Walk around the block of their school, taking time to reflect on peace and try in our own way to cultivate it a little more each day.
A big thank you goes out to Padmanandana Marek, who for the first time organised school visits for the team coming into Adelaide. You can really see and feel the dedication and love he put into arranging all this in the beautiful and touching functions we had all day. Each school we went to had spent so much time learning about the Peace Run and finding ways in their own lives to cultivate Peace. Gratitude!
The team then all converged on Joy-Discovery cafe, owned by Spira Lloyd of the Adelaide Sri Chinmoy Centre, who along with a dedicated team of helpers will be hosting us for the weekend. We were treated to a most scrumptious vegetarian meal and had time to see all our friends in Adelaide and prepare ourselves for what will be a wonderful weekend.
Some of our team are so grateful to be staying for the next three nights in Adelaide at the Adelaide Traveller's Inn & Backpackers, courtesy of our generous host, Gary.
More of the team are staying here at the Adelaide Motel and Backpackers. Thanks to Darren for your generosity!