Botswana 26 October: Gaborone

Peace Run in Gaborone - Day 1

We kicked off the 2015 Southern African Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run with a visit to our friends in Botswana. Botswana, which is a shining star of peace in Africa, has always welcomed the Peace Runners with open arms and we couldn't believe that it was nearly 5 years since our last visit in 2010.

Camp Primary School

We started our day with a visit to Camp Primary School in eastern Gaborone.

The Head Teacher, Mrs Tsele, and her team of teachers very kindly welcomed the team to the school.

We were also honoured to be welcomed by Mrs Lois Ngope, Chief Education Officer for Gaborone. Mrs Ngope is an enthusiastic supporter of the Peace Run and helped tremendously with the arrangements for our Gaborone school visits.

Danny from New Zealand taught the children the World Harmony Run song with actions.

These kids seemed to really feel and find peace in their hearts, one of the ways we suggested they could deal with "unpeaceful" situations in their day to day lives.

After the ceremony all of the children had a chance to hold the torch.

And everyone also received a bookmark with some inspiring aphorisms from the founder of the Peace Run, Sri Chinmoy.

Running around the school!

Ithuteng Primary School

Our next school visit was to Ithuteng school where the Head Teacher, Mrs Keakopa, and a team of runners from the school met the Peace Runners at the school gate and very cheerfully and enthusiastically ran in with the torch.

Here Mrs Keakopa, the Head Teacher, proudly and reverently carries the torch.

We were welcomed by a group of children all carrying signs explaining how Ithuteng School continuously endeavoured to be a peaceful school.

This young student gave the Peace Run team a vote of thanks on behalf of the school at the end of our presentation. It was inspiring to see how proud she was of Botswana. She told us that Botswana is ranked fourth in Africa for its status as a peaceful nation and that she was proud to be a citizen of country that is so peaceful.

This was the special needs part of the school. The torch was something very special for these children and it was inspiring to see how much the effort was taken in caring for these children.

Ben Thema Primary School

Ben Thema Primary School was one of the highlights of our previous runs in Gaborone and when we returned to the school on this occasion it felt as though we were among old friends.

We were warmly welcomed by the Head Teacher, Mrs Kgwatalala, and her team of teachers.

At the conclusion of our presentation, this student thanked us for our visit on behalf of the school.

There wasn't enough time for everyone to hold the Torch, but a few children did have an chance.

The T-shirt of this little girl was a good one to be wearing on the day of our visit.

Here Mrs Kgwatalala, Head Teacher, holds the torch.

As always, we left Ben Thema Primary School overflowing with good memories and enough smiles to keep us going for many more miles.

Bontleng Primary School

Our last school for the day was Bontleng Primary School where we were hosted by Mrs Sophie Mogalakwe, Head Teacher. As soon as we arrived, we were ushered into a classroom while the children were assembled under a large tree in front of one of the classrooms. This photo was taken inside the classroom where we waited facing the volunteers that had come forward to hold the banner and flags.

It was very hot by this time, but this did not diminish the enthusiasm of the children as we proceeded with our presentation.

Danny led the actions for the World Harmony Run song.

After our presentation and the singing of the World Harmony Run song, the children lined up around the perimeter of the assembly area and the Torch was passed around.

Nearly everyone had a smile or an act for the camera!

Danny had an instant group of friends ...

After everyone had held the Torch, we attempted to make our way back to the Head Teacher's office, but we were blocked by crowds of determined children all wanting to captured on film!

It took us a while to get through the crowd, but we did get there in the end.

Thank you Camp Primary, Ithuteng Primary, Ben Thema Primary and Bontleng Primary for making the first day of Peace Run 2015 in Southern Africa such a memorable one! And thank you Ma (Mrs) Ngope for your support and invaluable help!