United States 6 May: Brinkley, Arkansas - Little Rock, Arkansas

Big Run to Little Rock

Abraham, from the Los Pinos Mexican Restaurant we dined in last night, was excited about carrying the Peace Torch early this morning.

Along the way he met up with a curious young man who wanted to share the Torch.

In the town of Hazen we were welcomed to the Oasis Baptist Church by Pastor Teddy Walker.

Tami Lackie saw our women's team running with the Torch in the morning and stopped to offer her goodwill. She invited us all to her church in Hazen.

The church was packed with the regular congregation and other groups as well.

This group of women from the 'Teen Challenge' organization sang a few soulful songs for us.

We made our presentation and sang our official Peace Run song written by the Founder of the Peace Run, Sri Chinmoy.

Pastor Walker is thrilled as we offer small tokens of our appreciation.

We wanted to visit a Baptist church this morning but we had no real contacts until we 'accidentally' were discovered by Tami who invited us to the Sunday morning service.

Another group attending the church were some of the local high school graduates who were proudly wearing their caps and gowns as they shared the Torch.

Some the fundraising material for the Teen Challenge support group who have helped numerous people and families over the years.

After the service many of the people in the congregation were happy to offer their smiles, prayers and wishes for peace.

Friends and families alike shared the Peace Torch.

These women from the Teen Challenge group which offers hope and opportunities to people who are struggling in life with very serious challenges.

One very proud graduate.

Tami was so overjoyed with our event that she made a generous offering for our meal. Her enthusiasm and support will never be forgotten.

Some of the 'Teen Challenge ' group proudly display one of our colorful artworks representing an aspect of peace by Sri Chinmoy.

A group prayer for Peace.

Pastor Walker's wonderful smile says it all.

The men's team takes over the Torch in the heat of the afternoon.

A very scenic route was relatively flat toay

If we run into any flooding this vehicle will be our 'go to' Peace Run vehicle. We can also go over any traffic jams that may come our way.

The flooded 'bayous' along the way offered us some shade and a peaceful, natural environment to enjoy.

Nikolaus stretches in the shade as he waits for his turn to run.

Kaspars pauses for a moment of peace before carrying the Torch.

Ending the run on a newly built bridge over the Arkansas Ruver into downtown Little Rock, the Capital of Arkansas.

The beautiful Broadway Bridge in Little Rock.

Meanwhile the women are running on another section of the course towrds Little Rock.

It was hot and sunny but quite flat and scenic in some areas.

Locals here are quite friendly and sometimes stop to inquire about what we are doing as we run down the highways with a flaming torch. They usually offer some form of support and encouragement.

Rupasi cheerfully does some of the miles despite a few muscle problems.

Tanuja from the Czech Republic, formerly Czechoslovakia, is thrilled to fins a Slovakia sign in the middle of 'nowhere'.

Zuzka from the Czech Republic cheerfully finishes her run for the day.

Harita has some long miles on this hot day in central Arkansas.

Virangini has a moment of peace before doing her run.

The women's team paid a visit to Little Rock Central High School which was involved in the landmark 1957 desegregation crisis. Nine African-American students persistence in attending the formerly all-white Central High School brought international attention to the situation which was the most prominent national example of the implementation of the May 17, 1954 desgregation act in the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Their courage and bravery is a most inspiring example for all of us of the power of our individual dedication to truth and higher ideals.

At the Visitors Center one can see the history of the Civil RIghts movement with accounts of the difficulties in implementing the desegregation act at that time.

The Torch was welcomed here by some of the staff members at the Visitors' Center.

Front entrance to Little Rock Central High School which was established as a National Historic Site on November 6, 1998.

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