United States 12 March: Miami

Bienvenidos a Miami

We were able to visit the beautiful Consciousness-Blossoms Gift Store before leaving Tampa.

A big thank you to Tilvila and friends for a wonderful experience in Tampa!

On the drive from Tampa to Miami, we went through Alligator Alley, a long stretch of road renowned for Alligators. Since we didn't see any on the side of the road, some of us took a small detour into the beautiful Everglades National Park where we managed to spot a few Alligators- this one is 11 feet long!

Spotted on the wall at Miami Beach High School- the message is spreading! ;)

Upon our arrival to Miami Beach High School, a member of the Jr. ROTC led everyone in The Pledge of Allegiance.

The Principal of the school, Dr. Maria Rodriguez, gave us a warm welcome and started out the proceedings with a few inspirational words.

Miami Peace Run Coordinator, Dr. Tom Pliske introduced our esteemed Torch-Bearer recipient, Dr. Martin Karp, Miami-Dade County School Board Member.

Dr. Karp has been serving in this position for 16 years. He been successful in advancing the sciences and championing special needs education, among many other causes.

He kindly presented the Peace Run with a Proclamation.

The Miami School Band serenaded us with a couple of beautiful songs.

Long time Peace Runner, Arpan DeAngelo, gave some background to the run and introduced the team.

The students were excited to find our countries and cities of origin on this large map of the world after offering them clues as to where we were each from.

Local Peace Runner, Lunthitha Dutherly, led us all in a moment of peace.

We took a few deep breaths and listened to our heartbeat, this is a wonderful way to feel some peace amidst the daily hustle and bustle of our lives.

Our dear friend Cathy Oerter joined us for the Miami events! She spoke about the values that her husband, the great Olympian Discus Champion Al Oerter, strove to live up to and share with the world: to always strive to be the best you can be in all walks of life.
Cathy invited some students to share their own visions for a peaceful world.

She asked them the question: "if you could change anything in the world, what would it be?"

There were some interesting and insightful answers, among them were: "create more renewable resources", "end world hunger", and "that everyone would be treated with respect".

What would YOU change?

Tenth grader, Gabrielly Andre, articulately shared some of her own words about peace and then invited the run to begin!

Finally it was time to run! Some Miami Beach athletes came to run with us- these two waterpolo players lead the pack.

As the run continued, the PeaceTorch was passed.

The Jr ROTC crew belted out a catchy chant as they ran.

The cheer squad cheerfully continued the run!

Dr. Karp even ran a lap with us!

Jr. ROTC Commander Louidor took a moment to hold the torch.

A big thank you to the Miami Beach cheerleaders for so enthusiastically taking part and showing us what team work is all about.

Assistant Principal Dr. Cespedes has been participating in the Peace Run for over 15 years! Thank you for your support.

Thank you so much to Dr. Rodriguez for enthusiastically welcoming the Peace Run for so many years!

Miami Beach High School- thank you for your energy and hospitality- we were thrilled to spend the morning with you all!

Our newest team members arrived tonight after a long drive from New York. Danny and Jeremy are both baseball players, and today happened to be Jeremy's 29th birthday! Happy Birthday Jeremy!

Much gratitude for a delicious discounted team meal at Zaika Indian Restaurant- a perfect end to a wonderful day in beautiful, sunny Miami!