United States 28 April: Columbia, SC - Sycamore, SC

A Sea of Children in Swansea

We are very grateful to the Marriot Hotel of Columbia for the beautiful and refreshing accommodations they so kindly donated to our women's team.

We are also thankful for Country Hearth Inn & Suites for their contribution of rooms to our men's team.

The early run started with one of the men's teams carrying the torch towards Swansea where we would meet with a large group of young children.

Himadri from Hungary runs strongly.

Salil enjoys a grassy run on this stretch.

Led by Samunnati finally the team is ready for the school.

The Ambassadors of the school were eagerly waiting for us right at the entrance.

Smiley faces and real smiling faces were so encouraging as we entered the large and spacious Sandhills Primary School.

Hundreds of children lined the hallways to greet us with high fives, smiles and artwork they created for peace.

They surprised us with colorful paper torches...

This young man was proud to hold the torch he made in his broken hand.

Beautiful artwork accompanied by big, happy smiling faces.

A beautiful creation even with the 'typo' error.

Salil addresses a group of very interested students.

Arpan talks to the children as more children keep filing into the gymnasium until over 500 filled the hall.

We started our presentation with our banner, our video and a guessing word game.

What word are we trying to spell?

Yes, it's HARMONY.

It's the kind of peace we feel deep in our hearts.

Samunnati and Yashodevi from Ukraine address the sea of children and sing a song in their native language.

Over 500 people and over 1000 arms helped to make our song very beautiful and powerful.

After helping us with our songs, the teachers ran a couple of laps around the large gymasium to the delight of the children.

Some children were thrilled to hold the torch and offer a good thought or wish for peace.

This employee at the school was thriled to run the whole length of the hallway with the torch as Arpan accompanies her on the harmonica.

After the ceremony we hit the road again.

Yes it's true, there is always hope.

Let's get some veggies for the dinner.

Melons too.

This young girl and her grandmother joined us for some photos as the runners passed by her fruit and vegetable stand.

Puroga feels the heat as we go further towards our destination.

A little stretching after a long run.

We stopped at a boiled peanut vendor on the side of the road where Betsy, Ken, Cecil and Chad greeted us. Cecil remembers two years ago when one of our women runners stopped by with the torch and they took photos.

It seems we took a wrong turn because our team ended up in Norway.

Since when does Norway have palm trees?

The women's team took over in Norway and ran the next section of our route this afternoon.

They met up with this friendly woman who remembers our Peace Runners coming by in the same place and she happened to greet them then as well.

We almost had a new vehicle donated to the run. Actually we do not accept that kind of donation but our runners looked happy in there anyway.

Jumping sideways for joy.

Friendship and harmony.

Getting near the end of the day the girls are all smiles.

Time to stop....

...in Sycamore, the final destination of our long day.