Tanzania 4 November: Dar es Salaam

Miss Tanzania meets the Peace Run

The day began with team members pacing sleeplessly the lurching corridors of the Tzara train or bouncing half-awake on their bunks as the train continued on its wild progress towards Dar es Salaam.

There was some doubt as to just when the train would arrive and whether it would be in time for the team to make its appointments. However, 64 hours after it began, the epic pilgrimage by train across the heart of Zambia and Tanzania drew to a timely conclusion.

With a certain amount of difficulty the team found transport and that transport made its way through the bustling Dar es Salaam traffic to find, with rather more difficulty, our accommodation - Wista’s Chalet Inn.

Amina Nchahaga (on right above) our adopted team member and run organiser with Stacey in Dar es Salaam met up with the team and all set off for Dar es Salaam International School. Her employer Lakeland Africa had been incredibly kind to the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run giving her time to work on arrangements for the run.

As the students came trooping out of the school to meet the team, each carrying his or her own heavy wooden chair, the heavens opened and the first rains after six months of the dry season descended. The team – sheltering in the administration block – chose to see it as an auspicious blessing. With the weather quickly clear again, the Peace Run presentation proceeded overlooking the blue Indian Ocean.

Headmaster Augustino Ntami welcomed the team.

The presentation took place right on the shores of the warm Indian Ocean.

The children enthusiastically took part in everything!

Here they are guessing which country Amina came from - there were cries of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya before they got her home country of Tanzania. I found out later that she had indeed lived in Botswana and Zimbabwe for many years as her father was based in Francistown with the UNDP.

Feeling peace in the heart.

This was Antonya from Italy who very kindly helped us to hold the flag.

Students presented both musical and dramatic performances on the topics of peace and the importance of people utilising their talents. The performance was all about the fact that everybody has a talent and that these talents could be anything.

Acrobatics.

Football

Or singing and dancing.

One of the children's bracelets!

The teachers hold the torch and make a wish for peace.

Each of the performers got a chance to hold the torch first.

We were very happy to present one of Sri Chinmoy's beautiful paintings on peace to the school.

There was joy all round!

Now this little girl is really trying to feel peace!

These two teachers were from Zimbabwe like Shailaja.

Stacey with the two sons of Silva Muniko, the director of Lakeland Africa, who has so kindly assisted the team with innumerable aspects of the Peace Run in Dar.

Students from Tambaza High School met the team at the school. These students, along with the team, ran from Dar es Salaam International School, accompanied by a two-man police escort, to East Africa Academy.

Running through Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam has a unique feel in Africa. Its warm tropical climate an lively street life a a special aspect.

Our police estcourt also ran with us!

Here the team was met by enthusiastic students from East Africa Academy outside the gate and Mercy Githurua, head of school, welcomed the team.

Mark from Canada did the presentation to the school on the Peace Run.

Michon testing out Afrikaans on the students - they guessed where he was from quite quickly.

Singing the world harmony run song with actions.

Thank you from the Peace Runners to East Africa Academy and Head Teacher Mercy Githurua for so graciously hosting us.

Presenting this beautiful painting of Sri Chinmoy's to the school. We found that these paintings were universally treasured by the schools that we visited.

After the main Peace Run presentation and singing by both team and pupils, all were surprised and delighted to discover that Miss Tanzania – Brigitte Alfred – had spontaneously joined us at the school. She offered kind words of encouragement and prayers for peace in the heart.

Amina and Brigitte share a peaceful moment. Bridget also offered a very kind message of support to the Peace Runners.

Brigitte was "mobbed" by enthusiastic kids!

The runners from Tambaza High School with Miss Tanzania 2012.

After this surprise addition to proceedings, the pupils of Tambaza High School made their presentation. These pupils were members of the school’s Peace Club. Their chair - Venance – spoke of the group’s charitable activities and interest in economic and political issues.

Eunic e Tossy recited a beautiful poem that she had written “. . . Imagine the happiest face in one part of the world . . . ”

Shabani Said, read from his essay on Tanzania’s contributions to world peace and development.

The team were inspired and encouraged to meet such young and earnest proponents of peace here in Tanzania.

The runners from Tambaza High school unfortunately had to go - here we bid our fond farewells.

We then made our way to our next school - delighting in Dar's colourful street life on the way.

Here our police escorts make their wishes for peace.

The team then proceeded on to Kawe Primary School – a school with 1,600 pupils.

The pupils met the team beneath a beautiful spreading tree at the school where the Peace Run ceremony was held.

The students performed some rousing songs for the team and enthusiastically embraced not just the message of the Peace Run but, quite literally, the Peace Runners as well.

We were treated to some beautiful singing and dancing performances.

Teacher Audax Gervase translated much of the presentation to spare the pupils the team’s very limited Swahilli leant on board the train from the ever-helpful conductor Baba.

Often Haryaksa would say that he comes from a state where they had cowboys and indians. This was a dead cert clue.

The children who were from all backgrounds showed showed a simple beauty and purity.

They all knew where Amina came from...

Learning a new song with actions.

Here the children show their oneness.

Saying thank you to the Head Teacher of the school.

Presenting on of Sri Chinmoy's unique paintings for peace.

Holding the torch with Amina and making a wish for peace. The Head Teacher is in the background.

The head teacher with some of her students.

An enthusiastic run around the school with the torch.

On of the teachers carries the torch through the school

to bid farewell to the team.

The warm heart of Africa!

A first day in Tanzania for many of the team - and a most inspiring one.