Fiji 24 May: Nadi Airport School, Nadi - Fiji National University, Nadi
One day in Fiji
In the original schedule for the Asia-Pacific Peace Run, Fiji was not included and we were not reaching out to governments in advance like we did for the previous three islands.
However….! Thanks to enthusiastic follow-up and preparations by a locally-based professor at Fiji National University (FNU), Dr. Martin Gluchman, we managed to present our Peace Run’s activities and mission in Nadi as well!
That was a very welcome self-offering by Martin who arranged the whole morning for us: he took us to Nadi Airport School, joined and led our pleasant morning run through the surroundings and offered us a slot in his mid-day lecture at the University. So at the end of our tour, our all-girl team did manage to get a male member.
The kids at the Nadi Airport School were very disciplined and very enthusiastic to participate. They were also by far the fastest in guessing all our countries, including a very “exotic” place for them like Slovakia where Martin is from.
We were absolutely moved by their beautiful songs which they offered to us: if only we could also include their music in the report! One of them was their own version of a multicultural peace song led by their amazing music teacher.
The Principal, Setareki Rika, received the Certificate of Appreciation and invited us to come next year so that the younger students can participate as well.
School class leaders were first to hold the Torch and they also ran a relay in the middle of the circle formed by all other students.
When we stopped at the FNU campus, Martin helped us to set up our own “info” kiosk where we displayed a couple of brochures and bookmarks. They disappeared instantly: if only we had more of them left at the end of our tour…
The pleasant 4km run was through what looked like a nice countryside, but thanks to Martin’s local knowledge, we managed to meet representatives of different offices, like Firemen, Police officers, Airport traffic managers… or just regular residents.
Our hearts again and again melted by the sweetness and kindness of local people: you feel like being among your old friends.
... we started to concentrate at the upcoming lecture where we featured as guest speakers (FYI: the original lecture’s topic was “Ethics and Religion”). Now this was something new and we will not hide that this was a bit out of our comfort zone.
Although we are used to speaking in front of school children, to be part of a University lecture is something else. We all embraced this self-transcendence challenge and thanked Martin for his idea and his constant encouragement.
The four of us spoke about different aspects of the Peace Run and our experience while on the tour and we ended our talk with Sri Chinmoy’s Peace Run Song.
This seemed like a very appropriate way to finish this beyond-the-words Asia Pacific Peace Run tour.