Nov. 20, 2014 Live from the road

Queanbeyan, NSW - Canberra, ACT

Reported by Atul Arora, Nurari Merry, Stacey Marsh 14.0 km

Team A: Today was our first day visiting schools in Canberra; it was fun not having to travel to another town, as this is our finish location. Team A's first school was St John Vianney's Primary in Waramanga. The whole school assembled in the hall to meet the Peace Run team.

Here Amalendu Edelsten spoke to the students about our travels and found out what Peace means to each of them.

Yashodevi Samar from Ukraine taught them the Peace Run song along with the accompanying actions.

Rhys Parritt and Piper Davies came up to receive the Certificate of Appreciation, before we all went outside to run with the torch. It was great to have so many keen runners with us. Our apologies that, due to technical issues, we are not able to bring you more photos of this lovely school.

With not much time to spare, our team made our way to Rosary Primary School in Watson, a school we had visited last year and who were asking us when we would be returning.

Here we were met by Shakira and Miranda from Year 6 who led us into the hall and kindly held our banner for us for the first part of the presentation.

Teacher Philippa Brotchie participates in a number of the Sri Chinmoy Races in Canberra and knew we would be returning, so booked us in early. She expressed how the Peace Run values really mirror their values here at this school.

There were plenty of eager responses to our questions.

After we watched the video of the Peace Run around the world, students from Year 5 and 6 were invited us to read their thoughts on Peace.

“I pledge to be nice to everyone to listen to my Mum, Dad, Teacher and everyone who asks me to listen. Not to fight with my sister, share with everyone and try to include everyone."

“Peace is the new Sway.”

“Peace is Unity.”

“Peace is being a grateful person and respecting all people, Peace is hope, friendliness, caring, forgiveness and most importantly harmony.”

Year 5 had worked on this some more and all students had to try and find ways to be peaceful; first looking at a situation that was unpeaceful for them and talking about it at a calm time, their next step was to ask the other person(s) involved what they thought about it and their plan to be more peaceful. They then presented this to their family for feedback before bringing it back to the teachers.

One student, Luka, had taken all this onboard and had worked through some difficulties he was having wish one of his siblings. Luca’s parents Ida and Denis were invited to come to the assembly to see full circle what he had been working on and to meet the Peace Run team.

He asked each member of his family what peace meant to them.

Mac – peace is being nice to one another and showing respect to one another.
Dad – Peace is not fighting with other people or other countries.
Mum – Peace keeps the world safe from war.
Me – Peace is when you say hello to people and you have nice conversations.

Well done Luka for working so hard on this most important quality in all of our lives. You have inspired us all.

Luka and Aslinn then came up to receive the Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the school.

Next we all went outside to hold the Torch and make our wish for Peace.

Now we all got to run with the torch.

Sadly, we would have to leave because it was now into their break time.

Thank you, teachers! ...

... and thank you, students!

As we walked out, one of the teachers pointed to their sign that reads, “Peace begins with us”. It was so nice to see the simple and powerful message of peace such a strong foundation for this wonderful school.

We almost left Felix and Misha behind in the playground.

Team A's last school of the day was St Benedict's Primary in Narrabundah, where we did indeed feel most welcome!

This was another school the team had visited last year and were looking forward to seeing again.

We met with the whole school in their hall.

It was a most attentive audience.

When we taught them Sri Chinmoy's World Harmony Run song it was so great to hear such strong voices joining us, clearly remembering the song from last year!

We each felt peace our moment of Peace.

Lachlan, Maddy, Alex and Isaac came up to receive the Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the school.

There was so much energy and enthusiasm as we went outside to hold the torch and make our wish for peace before going for a run around the school grounds.

It was fun then just to stay a few minutes more and talk with some of the students.

Team B: Our first visit this morning was to Sacred Heart Primary School in Pearce. The School Captains, Mia and Charlie received us and led our team into the hall.

About 300 children were gathered for the presentation.

When the have to guess the runners' countries ...

... there are some 'interesting' clues ...

... and a lot of eager answers!

The children joined in with the World Harmony Run song with gusto.

Next it was quiet time – to feel peace inside ourselves.

The students displayed some of the art they had prepared for the occasion.

Mohammad and Jorga received the Certificate of Appreciation.

Then we all had our chance to hold the Torch for Peace.

The children all made their wishes for peace respectfully and soulfully.

With two torches ablaze, we walked and then ran around the playground.

What a great school!

Farewell to a wonderful school.

Our second school today was St. Anthony’s Parish Primary School in Wanniassa. Taneisha and Danita came to welcome the team ...

... and lead us into a hall of around 450 waiting students.

The Peace Run visited this school last year and the children were excited to see us again.

Atul led the presentations for our team. This was to be his final school visit before flying out to India this afternoon.

Once outside, they had a good idea of forming three rings to pass the torches.

A perfect conclusion to our school visits for today!

There remained only the short disctance to run from the NSW/ACT border, where we had finished the previous day ...

... along the cycle paths into Canberra.

We took the path alongside Lake Burley Griffin.

We have more school visits around Canberra tomorrow, and then the weekend off before our Closing Ceremony for Peace Run 2014 on Monday morning.

Happy to be here!

Torch carried by
Amalendu Edelsten (Australia), Atul Arora (India), Felix Lindner (Switzerland), Kaspars Zakis (Latvia), Mikhail Vasilchenko (Russia), Nurari Merry (Great Britain), Prabhakar Street (Canada), Pranava Runar Gigja (Iceland), Stacey Marsh (New Zealand), Steve Elliott (Australia), Sukhajata Cranfield (New Zealand), Tanya Kvasova (Russia), Yashodevi Samar (Ukraine).  
Kaspars Zakis, Prabhakar Street , Stacey Marsh
The torch has travelled 14.0 km from Queanbeyan, NSW to Canberra, ACT.

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