Belgium 12 February: Brussels - Waterloo

Going international in Brussels

On our second launching day of the European Peace Run we began our day again at the European Parliament.

We had to be at the main entrance at 9 a.m. for a short run with the Peace Torch.

We met with our generous hostess Mrs. Werthmann for a last photograph together.

We were accompanied by Anna Becker from Germany, who works at the Parliament as an assistant to MEP Evelyne Gebhardt.

Anna showed great spirit by braving the cold weather to come running with us.

We passed the building of the European Commission.

Our run took us to elementary school Ten Nude...

...where about fifty children were eagerly awaiting our presentation.

Guessing which country the runners are from.

Doing the moves of the World Harmony Run song.

The children were really well-behaved and very sweet. When we practiced feeling peace in the heart they all maintained pindrop silence.

Passing the Torch and making a wish for peace.

Thank you Ten Nude school for your wholehearted reception of the Peace Run!

Our guest runner Anna really enjoyed the Run and being with the children. Their enthusiasm is definitely one of the best ingredients of the Run!

On our way back to the Parliament.

Colorful architecture.

Majestic architecture!

The European Parliament.

We had another school presentation at St. John´s International School in Waterloo, 15K south of Belgium. Since our official continous running route doesn´t start until next week in Portugal, we drove the distance (else we wouldn’t have made it!).

We are international too!

St. John’s is known as one of the best international schools in Europe, serving expat children in the ages from 2 to 18. We were received in the school’s beautiful and large theatre, where the children from grade 5 were waiting for us.

We had a full hour to do our presentation, which was real luxury for us. It gave us the opportunity to really dive deep into the many aspects of the Run and to explore the different aspects of peace.

The children of St. John’s had also prepared songs and skits for us. They surprised us with their creativity, enthusiasm and sharp wit.

The elementary school Principal Mrs. Bambridge talked about the school’s peacemaker program, where children are taught how to resolve conflicts peacefully. It tied in perfectly with the ideals of the Peace Run.

Our Irish runner Sadanand discusses peace with the children.

Feeling peace in the heart.

Some Q&A.

At the end we all went outside, where the Peace Torch was passed round.

...and ran together! Despite the cold our hearts felt warmed with the joy of running.

Thank you St. John's for your generous reception and enthusiastic response.

Salil answers some last questions.

The elementary school princial Mrs. Bambridge told the kids that they are the future of our world and that they should take the message of peace to heart.

We also met the school director, Mr. Hawkins, who invited us to his office.

Mrs. Bambridge invited us to a sumptuous and delicious lunch in the school’s excellent cafeteria. Mrs. Bambridge is moving to Paris to start leading an international school there and we promised to pass by her new school in the future.

The school's director Mr. Hawkins had been head of an international school in Bejing from 2002 until 2010. In Bejing he had the honour of running with the Olympic Torch as it made its way into the Olympic Games of 2008. He told us it had been one of the most special moments in his life. He still had the original Olympic Torch right there in his office!

Naturally we didn’t pass the opportunity for a nice photo with the Olympic Torch of Bejing.

A group photo in front of a mural of Waterloo. The mound on the right of the mural is the monument that was erected after the famous battle where Napoleon was defeated. Nowadays Waterloo is all for peace!