United States 7 May: Little Rock, Arkansas - Ola, Arkansas

Students For Peace

Our first stop of the day was at the Stephens School in Little Rock. We were welcomed with some incredible signs made by the sudents and teachers.

On one welcome sign there was a quote by Sri Chinmoy, the Founder of the peace Run, "Courage to love is the only way to become truly happy"

Principal Philip Carluck kindly introduced the Peace Run and then had the children come up to offer some of their poems and songs about Peace and friendship.

Some of the children recited their wonderful poems by heart with sincere enthusiasm.

Our runners offered our presentation starting with the guessing game of where we come from.

Almost everyone guesses New York by the Statue of Liberty impersonation.

A huge map of the world offers the students a chance to find our country or state in a colorful and tangible way.

One of our songs offers the students and teachers a way to participate and get some creative exercise as well.

It was thrilling to see that some of the children were able to make their own torches as they reflect on the meaning of the Peace Run and the Peace Torch.

Finding peace in the heart can be quite relaxing for some.

Some of our amusing skits demonstrate peaceful and harmonious behavior, and some do not.

The children get to judge which behaviors are peaceful and which are not really acceptable.

These two students demonstrated peaceful actions by helping one another finish the race.

We are always very grateful to the schools who invite us to participate with them in sharing and reflecting on peace.

The children love when the teachers do a peace run around the auditorium.

Principal Carluck and Vice Principal Barbara Griggs lead the peace run around the cheering children.

Teachers and students have a chance to hold the Peace Torch and offer wishes, prayers and goodwill for peace that we will carry to the next destination.

Nicholas and his good friend Hanson who lives in Arkansas carry the Torch together for many miles today.

Arpan also runs with Hanson as he carried the Torch for over 11 miles on this hot day in Arkansas.

Finally lunch has arrived.

This local gentleman, Greg, stopped to get some information about the Peace Run. He was very curious about our torches as he will sponsor a Special Olympics torch relay this summer as well.

Tanuja starts her run for the women's team.

Rupasi enjoys the fresh green trees and grass on her run.

Tanuja passes the Torch to Svetlana.

David, a local man here drove up to the runners to give them bottles of water. Spontanteous kindness always uplifts us and keeps us going.

Long hot roads are ahead of us today.

You can find some very interesting structures running down the road for peace.

The women's team ran to the next school in Ola in time for a ceremony with the children there.

At Two Rivers Middle school they offered a program to an auditorium full of children while the men's team was still running another long section of our route towards Ola.

We are very grateful to the children and staff, especially Lindy Minnie for organizing this event for us.

The children had also worked on their peace projects such as signs and artwork to share with us.

Of course one of the most popular aspects of our visit is the opportunity to pass the Torch and run with the Torch on a min-peace run around the school.

Harita leads the children on a peace run down the field.

The children have a chance to pass the Torch and lead the run around the school.

Happy smiles for peace. It is always uplifting to see lots of smiles after our visits to the schools. We try to carry them with us as we move down the road to our next destinations ahead.

After our long day we settled in just as the sun was setting in a very scenic spot south of Ola called Quarry Cove Recreation area in Plainview.

Nikolaus and Arpan offer a little peaceful music by the campfire before settling in for the night.

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