Indonesia 10 February: Surakarta (Solo)

A big day in Solo

We began our second busy day in Surakarta by be being honored to attend an exercise class at 6.00 am at the kind invitation of Ibu Sujiatmi Notomiharjo, mother of the President of Indonesia.

The class was led by well known fitness instructor "Yanto".

The class was entitled "Brain Exercise" and focused a lot on coordination and performing all kinds of very challenging movements along the lines of pat your head and rub your stomach - but quite a bit more difficult.

As you can see it was a lot of fun.

After the class we had an opportunity to speak with the participants about the Peace Run.

Ibu Sujiatmi Notomiharjo, Indonesian President Jokowi's Mother, offers a prayer with the torch.

We even ran some distance.

Kanyaka, from Bali, was delighted to be with her President's mother.

The entire exercise class proved that age is no barrier to healthy and enthusiastic living.

HRH Gusti Dipokusumo and HRH Gusti Febri's second youngest daughter, Gayatri, read out a poem on peace.

Our first school was Surakata's Focus Independent School - which is also where HRH Gusti Dipokusumo and HRH Gusti Febri's children go to school.

HRH Gusti Febri, our remarkable and tireless host, arranged for us to break into groups and invited each student to write what peace means to them. HRH Gusti Febri leads an inspirational and motivational organization called Fresh, Healthy, Dynamic Motivation which serves companies, organizations, schools and community groups both locally and nationally.

Homagni's group, deep in reflection on peace.

Boijayanti's group dives deep within.

One of the reflections on peace from Alfra - "Peace is: We are near to God and always kind to people we meet."

HRH Gusti Dipokusumo in deep reflection for peace.

HRH Gusti Febri offers a prayer for peace.

Everyone held the torch and offered a prayer.

HRH Gusti Dipokusumo and HRH Gusti Febri's eldest daughter Maharani holds the torch.

We were also accompanied by some members of Solo's Rotary club.

We even managed a little running in the front of the school.

A parting group photo.

Presenting a certificate of appreciation to the Principal.

Our next visit was to SMK Negeri School, a vocational school, with over 1,200 students.

Here students were learning arts and trades in a wide range of subjects from fabric design and batik production to hotel management to culinary skills and much, much more.

HRH Gusti Dipokusumo led us in through their Guard of Honor.

Two girls met us as we entered a class room.

They were wearing elaborate costumes and performed a traditional dance. Apparently the costumes took about three months to create and close to 45 minutes to put on.

The students presented us with flowers.

We sang the Peace Run song and shared the vision of our founder, Sri Chinmoy, about the Peace Run.

A moment of silence for peace.

We sang the World Harmony Run song complete with actions and you can see HRH Gusti Dipokusumo was an enthusiastic participant.

HRH Gusti Dipokusumo, Salil, Ami Kadiono (President of the Rotary Club Solo), Solo City Official, HRH Gusti Febri held the torch.

Lucas leads us on a few laps of the school quadrangle.

The students then paused to reflect on what peace means and expressed that on heart-shaped notes.

Pinning reflections of peace to a banner.

One of the notes.

Many students came out of their classrooms to share their encouragement.

These students were studying for jobs in the hospitality and hotel industry.

Aparajita, HRH Gusti Dipokusumo, HRH Gusti Febri, Maria (a Rotary exchange student from Mexico) and SMK 4 Vice-Principal join with the students.

Our next appointment was with the Surakata city officials who met with us in the Surakata council chambers.

We were received by the Vice-Mayor Dr. H. Achmad Purnomo as well as other city officials.

HRH Gusti Dipokusumo, HRH Gusti Febri, Kepala Kantor Kesbangbol Suharso, Vice-Mayor Dr. H. Achmad Purnomo, Assistant Administrator Rakhmat Sutomo, Ami Kadiono, President of the Rotary Club Solo, Salil Wilson, Executive Director of the Peace Run.

Outside of the City Hall.

We were very graciously hosted for lunch by Mrs. Ami Kadiono, President of the Rotary Club Solo, in her beautiful home. Her kind and generous husband Mr. Giyoryo is also pictured.

After a truly delicious lunch we spoke about the Peace Run to many members of the Solo Rotary Club.

They had great fun with our country guessing game.

Our last official event was a visit to Muslim faith-based boarding school called Pondok Pesantren Kyai Haji Agung Syuhada.

The leader of the school led us in prayer as each child passed the torch.

Homagni, Lucas and Devashishu delighted the students with some skits.

Boijayanti created a sensation passing the torch.

Thank you for a lovely visit.

Ms. Lies Herlambang, owner of Adem Ayem, a lovely restaurant in Solo, very kindly hosted us to a delicious meal.

Adem Ayem is enjoying its 44th year. It began as a tiny street stall and now seats over 100 people on at least two floors.

Ms. Herlambang offers a prayer for peace.

Ms. Herlambang with her son Jeffrey (centre), with the team.

Our last event of a truly unforgettable day was a late night visit to a traditional theatre performing the Mahabarata.

Lo and behold, half way through the play Devashishu and Homagni appeared onstage and presented the Peace Torch.

They invited Salil onstage in celebration of his birthday the following day.

The cast and Peace Run team.

Thank you HRH Gusti Dipokusumo and HRH Gusti Febri for a remarkable, inspiring and fruitful visit to Solo. We are already eager to return to Solo!!!