Today we visited the Oneness-Family School – a school we have been visiting since it’s foundation in 1989. The school is truly amazing and true to its name you can feel the family atmosphere there. When we played the “guess the country game” with the kids, where they have to guess which countries are the team members from, they guessed Czech Republic just from a Czech tongue twister!!!
We were welcomed by a group of children singing our World Harmony Run Song accompanied on instruments. Then we all observed a moment of silence and our presentation could start.
Director of the school, Andrew Atmatyagi Kutt, introduced the team.
Feeling peace in the heart.
We gave the school our certificate of appreciation.
The program ended up with a song composed by the founder and director of the Oneness-Family School, Andrew Atmatyagi Kutt called “Peace by Peace”. It was sung by the students and everyone present.
The first verse goes like this:
Some folks say they don’t believe
This world can be made right
That humanity is violent
And always going to fight
But once upon a time
People thought the world was flat
That you’d fall off of the edge
And somehow just go splat!
After that we all went outside and everyone got a chance to hold the torch and have their picture taken.
More wishes for peace...
The whole Peace Run Team with the director of the school. Oneness-Family School is also called International Peace Academy. How very fitting.
Staff members also held the torch.
The runners were then escorted for a tour of the school – we were all impressed by their classrooms and their way of learning – e.g. in the classroom of 3 years olds you could read on the board about Turkey – the capital and highest mountain. No wonder the kids guessed all our countries so easily!!
We really liked their classrooms.
Happy to learn...
Another cool classroom :-)
We were treated to a great lunch.
We were delighted to visit a gift store owned by a local Peace Run coordinator Suprabha Beckjord.
A long-time friend.
Next we attended a tree planting ceremony. The day was really perfect for this, as well as the location. The Tregaron Conservancy is a beautiful and large green park right in the heart of Washington. The tree that was selected was a Yoshino Cherry Tree, which is a beautifully blossoming tree. Bonnie Le Pard, the executive director of Tregaron Conservancy, was the main instrument for establishing this conservancy. She very kindly welcomed the runners and said she was very happy we have chosen the Tregaron Conservancy for our peace tree.
We introduced the Run and sang our Peace Run song.
This ceremony was also attended by some of the children we visited earlier. They read out poems on peace...
...and sang a song entitled “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”
David Bowen, who takes care of the park, then planted the tree, with the help of Bonnie...
...and Peace Run team captain Arpan De Angelo.
Everyone had a chance to put soil around the tree while thinking some peaceful thoughts or having a peace wish.
The plaque says:
Sri Chinmoy Peace Tree
A moment’s peace can and shall
Make the world beautiful.
We had more time to talk to the kids and were very happy to hear that some of them would really like to join out Peace Team in the future.
They promised next time they would definitely run with us. We are looking forward to that very much.
We had fun and some of us exercised a little...
After this ceremony the team ran 6 miles to Thomas Jefferson Memorial. We were accompanied by our very good friend Suprabha, an ultramarathon runner, who ran the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race an unbelievable 13 times!!
On the way we met different people who wanted to hold the torch.
Torch carried by Abhejali Bernardová(Czech Republic),
Arpan DeAngelo(United States),
Harita Davies(New Zealand),
Jennifer Cluck(United States),
Phaedra Rosario(United States),
Scott Schuetzler(United States),
Subrabha Beckjord(United States),
Zuzana Klaskova(Czech Republic).
The torch has travelled
in Washington D.C..