Canada 3 August: Ottawa, Ontario

Inspired leaders and enthusiastic children.

The morning began with runners meeting at Ottawa City Hall. We had a moment of silence at each of the Peace Capital and Peace Nation commemorative plaques.

We then ran to the International Peace Garden at nearby Rideau Falls Park.

Many dignitaries representing different countries and faiths had gathered in the park for a Peace Run presentation. Each runner introduced themselves.

The Director of the International Peace Garden Foundation, Mr Michel Ganthier, warmly welcomed all of the guests and runners. He declared, "We are very happy to associate ourselves with the Peace Run".

H. E. Florence Zano Chideya, Ambassador of Zimbabwe, spoke of her close association with the Peace Run over many years. "I do revere this exercise profusely. Peace begins with me, peace begins with you and peace begins with everyone."

Mr Manfred Auster represented the European Union. He thanked the runners for spreading the message of peace globally. " I encourage you to continue bringing your message to the world."

H.E. Dr Beat Nobs, Ambassador of Switzerland, said of the Peace Run- "Tokens like yours are really important in contributing to more peace in the world."

H.E. Wilmer Barrientos, the Ambassador of Venezuela, spoke of the existence of wars and the need for us all to keep making efforts to sow peace for the future. He wished the Peace Run well.

H.E. Virgilio Alcantara, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic.

H.E. Nicolas Lloreda, the Ambassador of Colombia, spoke about the United Nations; its noble Charter and the universal quest for peace. - "I am here today to lend my hand. I am here today to hold this torch."

Minister Julian Juarez, Charge d'Affaires for the Embassy of Mexico.

H.E. Roberto Dormond-Cantu, Ambassador of Costa Rica.

H.E. Membathisi Mdladlana, High Commissioner for South Africa.

H.E. Shirley Skerritt-Andrew, High Commissioner for Saint Kitts and Nevis, the smallest country in the United Nations.

Mr Ja'afar M Balarabe, Charge d'Affaires for the High Commission for Nigeria.

Mr Gaminda Kalansuriya, Minister of Economics and Community Affairs representing the High Commission for Sri Lanka.

H.E. Tony Negus, Ambassador of Australia.

H.E. Teuku Faizasyah, Ambassador of Indonesia.

Ms Else Kveinen, Deputy Head of the Norwegian Embassy, spoke of Norway's long standing relationship with the Peace Run.

Mr Jiri Borcel, Deputy Chief of the Embassy of the Czech Republic.

Mr Peter Vavra, Economic and Trade Counsellor representing the Embassy of Slovakia.

Salil Wilson, Executive Director of the Peace Run, spoke about the overwhelmingly positive experiernce of the Peace Run in North America.

Interfaith leaders were invited to offer their prayers and wishes for peace.

Father John Archdiocese of Ottawa offered a soulful prayer, and said that the face of God is peace.

Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa recited a poem of Sri Chinmoy's. - O dreamers of Peace, come let us walk together. O lovers of peace, come let us run together. O servers of peace, come, let us grow together." He also quoted peace passages from the Koran.

Wendy Elizabeth James of the Bahai Community of Ottawa gave a moving chant from the Bahai faith.

Rev Robert Graham of the Christ Church Cathedral offered a beautiful prayer
Graham

Zippora Nochasak and Ulaaju Peter, Tungasuvvingat Inuit representatives, offered their blessings.

Reverend Fred Demaray of the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec.

A group photo taken at the end of the ceremony.

The three Australian team members enjoyed chatting to the Australian Ambassador.

The Ambassador of South Africa shared his wisdom with the runners.

Sharing the Peace Torch with members of the Bahai community.

Runners from Slovakia happily shared the Peace Torch with the Slovakian Ambassador and Czech Republic Deputy Chief.

Sharing the Torch with other members of the audience.

The team then visited the Taggart Family YMCA/YWCA where an enthusiastic crowd of children were waiting on the steps.

A video was shown of Peace Run activities all over the world.

Runners introduced themselves and their countries.

Decorated faces.

We taught the children the lyrics and actions to the World Harmony Run song.

A Certification of Appreciation and peace painting were presented to two students - Derartu and Abdallah, with assistance from Counsellor Caitlin.

One of the many wonderful people that we met during the day that were happy to hold our Peace Torch and offer their gratitude and encouragement to the team.

At 2.30pm the team met with Summer Day Campers at the Sandy Hill Community Centre.

Pierre made the presentation in French.

Alex, a Counsellor, and Derek, the Program Coordinator, accepted a Certificate of Appreciation and painting on the theme of peace.

At 3.30pm the team arrived at the Embassy of the Republic of Angola and was formally welcomed by First Secretary Ms. Destineza De Almeida.

Other Embassy staff that attended included Romuld, Sebastion, Adelaide, Cesar, Monica, Jose, Simao, Kilamba and Manuel. Pushparani presented a Certificate of Appreciation and print of artwork on the theme of peace.

A final photo on the steps of the Embassy.

In the late afternoon, the team enjoyed a most delicious meal at the Perfection-Satisfaction-Promise Restaurant, generously provided by the owner, Prapti.

Victoria from Colombia (left) is a videographer, and working on a video about the Run.

Brahmata preparing food at Perfection-Satisfaction Promise.

The team had worked up a real appetite!

The restaurant was beautifully decorated.

Prapti and Brahmata.

Canadian T Shirts were presented to both Homagni and Salil who are leaving the team. Pushparani also left the team today.