Micronesia 18 May: Kolonia - Pahnial

Greeted by the Governor

Our first full day in Pohnpei, Micronesia!

We started our run this morning along the road around Pohnpei Island.

Lush vegetation lined either side with an abundance of blossoming trees and beautiful flowers on the curb side.

We were greeted by many enthisiastic locals all along the way.

It was hot and humid.

Between us we ran 18 kilometres, occasionally cooled by a rain shower.

Lots of dogs! Most of them are unleashed, guarding property, which could be somewhat disquieting when running past. Some were cute though.

After a lunch of local roasted taro we headed off to the Welcome Reception at the Governor’s Conference Room.

Several guests had come from various government and overseas agencies. It was wonderful to meet Eliza and Joyce from the Australian Embassy and Liz from the Red Cross who had been in touch with us by email.

Eliza, Joyce and Liz might be able to join us for some of the Peace Run on Saturday which we look forward to; they gave us some great suggestions.

We were presented with the gorgeous head garlands known as a Mwaremwar, made by Serpina’s Mother. Rev. Daniel Edgar gave an opening prayer in Ponupeian.

The Honorable Reed Oliver, Acting Governor of Pohnpei State, welcomed us all. He spoke about the importance of peace efforts during these changing times and how projects like the Peace Run show us that all the people of the Earth do want Peace. He welcomed us to Pohnpei with an open heart and arms and offered his ongoing support for genuine peace for all times. He gave his sincere thanks to the Peace Run Team.

We shared the Peace Run DVD (the first time is has been possible!) and our Coordinator, Stacey Marsh from New Zealand, gave an inspiring introduction. Our 4-girl choir sang Sri Chinmoy's Peace Run song to conclude.

The Acting Governor of Pohnpei, the Honorable Reed Oliver, proudly holds the Torch of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run.

This is Destry, who has kindly organised all the school visits for us in the coming week.

Eliza Woolcock – Second Secretary and Consul at the Australian Embassy and Joyce Gehr – Assistant Aid Program Manager at the Australian Embassy, who had come for the program.

Stacey was delighted to meet with Liz MacDonald from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies – a fellow Kiwi!

The Sports Commissioner Coordinator had designed a short walk which gave participants and spectators a lot of joy – complete with Police Escort.

One of the groups taking part was ‘Mad Mums’. Their goal is to run/walk 1 mile every day: a fantastic idea!

Champion sprinter Detrickson Anson led the way with the Peace Torch. He has represented Pohnpei in 100m in the Micronesian Championships, the Pacific Games in Guam and the World Championships in Greece.

In the true spirit of the Peace Run, the Peace Torch was passed from person to person and they all took turns leading us through Kolonia.

Dana who not only runs but also juggles – and well, usually only runs and juggles!

Happy Peace Run team!

We arrived back to platters of fruit and doughnuts, with mangos straight from the Governor’s tree.

Marshall Ferrin, Aid Coordination Specialist with the Pohnpei State Government.

With members of MAD Mums.

Latoya was very happy to hold the Peace Torch.

As we departed we were given a beautiful woven basket full of the fresh mangos and bananas to help refuel us in the days ahead.