United States 19 April: Chevy Chase, MD - Washington, DC
Oneness Family Fun
Today was a special day for our whole team. We spent the whole day in the Washington, D.C. area visiting schools and friends with some sight seeing as well. The Oneness-Family School was the highlight of the day.
Some of the older children made a YinYang design outside on the playground that we visited just as the rain was stopping.
In the auditorium we had a wonderful ceremony with the whole school and some of the parents as well.
Andrew Kutt, Headmaster and Founder of this highly acclaimed Montessori School in Chevy Chase, performs some of his original songs about the Earth and Peace with the younger children.
The auditorium was full of peace loving students and adults sharing in a creative and exciting program organized by the school.
Grahak and Salil, both originally from Australia, act out the origins of the Peace Run in their own creative and light-hearted style.
Rupasi from Seattle plays Mother Teresa, one of the many famous peace-loving people who have shared the Peace Torch with Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run.
As part of our team presentation we gave the children clues to where each runner was from and they tried to guess and then find that location on the large map.
Tanuja tried to get the children to guess her country in central Europe, Czech Republic. Needless to say the children had no problem guessing all the countries represented by our runners.
Andrew presented to our team an array of beautiful creative artwork from the children on the theme of peace and caring for the Earth.
Some of the children accept our gift of an art reproduction by Sri Chinmoy on the theme of Peace and Harmony. It was the least we could do to show our appreciation for the wonderful program they offered to our team.
The very enthusiastic and creative art teacher, June Lang, gives our team a tour of her very interesting and beautiful art classroom.
Suprabha(left) is a world class ultra-runner who lives nearby and is part of the Peace Run in the local area. Her good friend Harishita from Japan has run with us from New York but unfortunately has to go back home to teach English in Japan.
Andrew holds the Peace Torch with one of the animal pets, Sheldon, in one of the classrooms. This tortoise is a very popular pet with the children in this classroom.
The sun came out in the afternoon and we were able to pass the Torch to the children, teachers and some parents as well.
Some of the children were showing off their Peace Run cards which made them 'Official' Peace Runners. One need not run necessarily to feel peace and offer peace to those around them.
Andrew shares the Peace Torch with author and parent, Ryan Jones, holding his highly acclaimed children's book called 'Dream Forever'.
The children and adults alike passed the Torch as they made some very personal wishes for peace and harmony.
Andrew shares the Peace Torch with June Lang, one of the long standing teachers here specializing in the creative arts with the children.
A happy group of peace-loving children offer us their warm smiles before we depart for our next destinations of the day.
We made a quick visit to the Oneness-Family School High School which just started up this past year. Science teacher Mike Bauer explains to us some of the properties of the basic elements.
After our wonderful school experiences we were very happy to visit Transcendence-Perfection-Bliss gift shop. Suprabha, our team member and owner of the store stands next to her trusy employee, Colette Thomas holding the Torch.
Just down the street from the gift shop is a Deli where owner Marco always loves to meet us and share the Peace Torch as we pass by.
In the afternoon we ran to the John Eaton Elementary school and were greeted by enthusiastic young children in the after school program with very colorful handmade signs for us.
After the younger children's program we met with the older students and shared some of the experiences with them.
Mr. Je leads the children in a Peace Run around the school. We had to make sure he did not run too fast as he was a world class sprinter in his youth.
One of the parents, Lynn Erskine, a consultant from Peace Direct, happily shares the Torch with us, offering her goodwill and peaceful smile.
In the evening we had a delicious meal of Chinese food cooked by our good friend from Baltimore, Ronnie Wong.
We presented him with the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award for his incredible achievements in the long distance running world. He has inspired runners for many decades with his running and racing even into his 70's.
At the end of a long day we finally made it to the Jefferson Memorial which is an impressive and powerful tribute to one of the greatest founding Fathers and Presidents at the beginning of this country.