Indonesia 25 January: Sudaji, Bali

Southern Hemisphere Run begins in Sudaji, Bali

Today we took the first steps that will take us around the world - visiting every nation in the southern Hemisphere. To light the torch and send us on our way we were deeply honored to have the Vice-Governor of Bali Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati aka 'Cok Ace' light the torch. Accompanying him was Chief of the Buleleng Regency Pt Agus Suradnyana.

Local priests from Sudaji began with an early morning puja, or sacred ceremony, to invoke blessings from the God's for an auspicious journey.

The priest lights the torch held by Cok Ace - a flame of peace that will encircle the world.

We were also honored to have the head of the village of Sudaji, Jro Bendesa Nyoman Sunuada, SH.

Cok Ace even took a ride on the ceremonial cow plow.

It is traditional to have fun races with the bullocks at big festivals in Bali.

Cok Ace meets Nikolaus from Austria, who will be running with the torch in South America.

Many members of the local village came out to enjoy the spectacle.

Zanzan our main organizer for the day and founder of Omunity even found time for some fun.

Grahak from Australia began his journey on this year's global southern hemisphere Peace Run dragged along by two bullocks.

Many students ran with our team 8 km to visit 7 schools in the local area.

We headed up to Omunity for part two of the ceremony with Paramanda holding the torch and his sister Dektam (centre) and Omang (right) holding the banner.

Puja purifying the flame.

Bali Vice Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati and Chief of the Buleleng Regency Pt Agus Suradnyana hold the torch with Zanzan and his three children Paramanda, Dektam and Omang.

We introduced the Peace Run to all the local students who were going to be running with us for the day.

Zanzan's mother is very integral to the love and kindness we find in Omunity.

The young boy from Hungary joined us with his father for the entire 8 kms.

Entering our first school.

Learning the actions to the World Harmony Run song.

Moment of silence.

Group torch holding.

Victoria from Columbia greets the students.

We presented each school with a certificate of appreciation and one of Sri Chinmoy's Jharna Kala artworks.

Teachers making a wish for peace.

Running through the beautiful rice paddies of Sudaji.

Enthusiastic welcome from the school head.

Nikolaus, Homagni and Grahak acting out a skit for the students.

Danny and Dave from NZ demonstrate the Haka. It can be a little scary.

Special prayer at one of the oldest temples in the area.

At the final school Zanzan and Putu's daughter Dektam performed a skit with Harita.

Our final group picture for the day.

Returning to Omunity we had a delicious meal.

Back at Omunity we presented Putu and Zanzan with our Torch-Bearer medals.

Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude!

Here are all the women who helped Putu create the delicious meal we had after the Peace Run.