Namibia 12 September: Windhoek

Windhoek hosts to Peace Run for the first time

We drove up through Botswana the day before for the start of first ever Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run in Windhoek

In this dry environment it seemed to me a miracle that ostriches can happily live with what seems almost no water!

The thorn trees were in bloom.

The night before the run started we camped in Windhoek.

Our first appointment on the first day of the Namibia Peace Run in Windhoek, The Waldorf School Windhoek. The sun was just rising at 7:20 am as we arrived adding to what seemed to us to be a very special moment.

A beautiful welcome to the school in art!

The Waldorf School is based on giving children a well rounded education including art, music, academics and many other things. We were immediately struck but the sound of the school musicians practicing the Peace Run song as we walked into the school.

We quickly practised the song - their arrangement of the song was perfect and enthralled us all.

The notice board displayed a collection of poems on peace from the children including this one that spelled "CHINMOY" after Sri Chinmoy, the founder of the Peace Run.

We were also extremely honoured to be joined by Lizelle Esterhuizen, Miss Namibia. She showed real dedication coming out at 7:20 am to the Waldorf School and inspired the school children with her obvious love for peace.

We gathered for a short ceremony on the steps after the whole school had sung the Peace Run Song.

Penny got a huge clap from children after talking to them about always being able to find peace in their hearts.

Penny and Cliff were were born and bred in Johannesburg but their great grandparents originally came to South Africa from China.

Kathy, the school principal, very kindly accepted one of Sri Chinmoy's paintings as a token of our appreciation for being able to visit the school. The caption reads "Imagine Peace Here and Now."

Miss Namibia held the torch so that each student could touch it and make a wish for peace.

And some teachers too...

You could see that Lizelle's support for the event really inspired the children.

This photo appeared in the next issue of the Namibian newspaper.

The musicians all hold the torch! They were fantastic!!!

Exchange students too.

And teachers.

When everybody had held the torch we all went for a Peace Run around the school.

Some a bit more helter skelter than others.

After the ceremony the school security guard put down his shotgun to hold the Peace Torch.

We set off to the next school through the dry bush on the edge of Windhoek. Here Penny is holding the torch, Cliff is on the left and Shree is holding the Namibian flag.

Running into Windhoek's suburbia.

We met Miss Namibia again at Dagbreek Special School before we met the children.

The Dagbreek school Principal, Paul du Plessis, kindly welcomed us to the school.

Balarka gave a short presentation to the attentive audience.

Our running skit is a fun way to demonstrate how peace works in everyday live.

There was also a moment to feel peace in the heart.

And learn the actions to the world harmony run song.

We were extremely grateful to Lizelle Esterhuizen, Miss Namibia for doing something concrete to inspire these children towards a life of peace. Here Penny presents her with a painting from Sri Chinmoy, the found of the Peace Run, on the subject of "Hope."

We were also grateful to be able to present another of Sri Chinmoy's paintings to Mr du Plessis from Dagbreek Special School to show our gratitude for their enthusiastic support of the Peace Run.

Here all the teachers hold the torch. Teachers are the unsung heroes of our world.

We gave each of the children a bookmark with some info on the Peace Run and a few of Sri Chinmoy's poems on peace.

The team and the school bus with Mr du Plessis as he escorted us to the school gate.

On the way to Windhoek Primary School we met up with a few locals.

More thorn trees in full bloom.

Outside the Indian consulate which happened to be on our way.

Windhoek is quite hilly...

Coming into the CBD.

It also has some beautiful old buildings that were built during the early years of the town.

Outside our next school, Windhoek Central Primary.

The principal Daniel Nundu and teacher Audrey Saukunda were the first to hold the torch and make a wish for peace. Audrey was our main contact at the school and was an enthusiastic organiser of the day. Thank you!

As usual Penny won the most popular Peace Runner award - here she is high fiving a few of the little ones.

Everybody is interested.

We gave a short presentation to the very well behaved children.

Each of the peace runners introduces themselves.

What beautiful kids! Their interest and enthusiasm inspired us all.

We taught the children the World Harmony run song.

With actions.

Here Shree poses with Audrey after we presented Windhoek Central Primary with a painting from Peace Run Founder Sri Chinmoy.

Many of the children had a chance to make a wish for peace as they touched the Peace Torch.

The teachers got a cheer from the students when they held the torch.

After which we had a fun run around the school.

On our way to the last school we met this guy who wanted to hold the torch even though he was not able to run himself.

This man who appeared to be homeless nearly got run over when he was crossing the street in his enthusiasm to hold the torch and be a part of the Peace Run.

Namibia's long term connection with Germany is evident everywhere. Look at the street names here.

Filling the torch on route. This Peace Torch was made by our friend Udar in North America and I have to say that it is the best that I have ever seen. Ultralight and long burning.

Yes flowers do grow in the desert - these were in a garden at a school.

We arrived at Emma Hoogenhout English Primary School, our last appointment for he day.

We talked to some of Grade 1, 2 and 3 students who were very well behaved.

Penny's attentive audience who were trying to guess where she was from.

Thanks to these kids for helping hold the Peace Run Banner

Feeling peace in the heart!

And singing

Onward!

Andrew Poolman of the Republikein newspaper met with us briefly in the afternoon after the run. He is one of the top sports reporters in Namibia. He published a beautiful front page story in the Republikein newspaper the next day.

Here Helge Schutz from the Namibian holds the torch with a collegue. Helge was kind enough to write an excellent and informative article on the Peace Run.

The sun sets over the desert as we drive to Swakopmund - what an unforgettable day we had had. I felt like we had seen and experienced the best of this beautiful land and asked myself why I had taken so long to visit having lived in Southern Africa my whole life!