May 12, 2022 Live from the road

Chula Vista, San Diego

Reported by Dhavala Stott 2.0 mi

We started today with a visit to Hawking STEAM 2 school in Chula Vista.

Some of the students joined the team to run into the assembly where the whole school was gathered.

The ceremony was started by a group of students performing a Color Guard with flags to welcome the Peace Runners.

The students were very excited and enthusiastic to hear about the Peace Run from Harita. They had all been working on artwork on the theme of peace to prepare for the visit.

The Hawking Middle School Band performed 2 songs- Dixie 2-Beat and then West Side Blues, which ended with a drumming performance.

The band director, Mrs Harrison holds the torch after their upbeat and uplifting performance.

Two of the students then read their own poems on peace, Dariel Flores and Lisa Perez. Thank You for sharing your words with us, we are always inspired to hear poetry on school visits.

We had a large team, with runners from many different countries for the students to guess in the country guessing game. Here is Udita from Bangladesh giving clues to her country.

This boy guessed Alexander's country from his flag- Ukraine.

The school had invited a former pupil, Mike Gilligan as a guest speaker. Mike serves on the Hawking Charter school board and gave a thoughtful speech, quoting from peace advocates such as Martin Luther King and John Lennon's Imagine.

Lisa Perez from 8th grade was nominated to receive the Torch bearer award. She was introduced as someone who exemplifies harmonious behaviour and is kind and caring to the other students.

The other student recipient was Sasha Gonzalez, also from 8th grade. Sasha was introduced as an outstanding student who shows peaceful actions in many ways and is a role model for other students.

Miss Moreno, the school counselor was the next to be given a Torch bearer award. To huge cheers from the students, we heard how she spreads peace and love to all in the community and goes above and beyond in her duty to serve her school and family.

The final Torch bearer medal was presented to Dr Chavez, the executive director of Hawking Charter Schools. We had visited both of the Hawking schools this week and Dr Chavez attended both presentations. Her sole purpose is to bring peace and joy to the children as they learn. The schools are run to an extremely high standard and Dr Chavez has a passion for teaching which was shared by all the staff at the Hawking schools.

The school principal Dr Monica Ruiz, who led us through todays ceremony receives one of Sri Chinmoys' artworks on behalf of the school.

Pujari getting a memento of the impressive artwork.

During our stay in San Diego we have been very well fed with delicious meals by Jyoti Bihanga restaurant in Normal Heights. We are very grateful to all the staff there for fueling and nourishing us so well.

In the evening we had an event at Noble learning in San Diego which is owned by Peace runner and one of the co-ordinators for San Diego, Vasudha Deming. Noble Learning offers an inspiring gift store as well as training, exhibitions and free classes. People were invited to come along, hold the Peace torch and meet the Peace runners.

Sujantra McKeever, long time supporter of the Peace Run and owner of another local business, Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga studio came along to offer his wish for peace.

Smiles for Peace! Mark and Alana Rusnak were excited to hold the Peace torch.

Missy Scott made her wish for Peace and spent some time meeting the runners and enjoying the exhibit of Peace Run photos on display inside.

The exhibit showed Peace Run images from around the world to give a flavour of how much of the world the torch has visited.

We were happy to have Utpara from Los Angeles come to join the team for a few days.

We were happy to meet Midge Butler who came by after her yoga class.

Several other locals and passersby took time to stop on a beautiful evening and offer their Peace wishes.

Our neighbour Zaw Zaw at Zia Gourmet Pizza takes a moment to meet the team too.

Cabetos pops is next door to Noble Learning, some of the team couldn't resist sampling their ice-cream creations once the evening was over!

Torch carried by
Agragati Siegel (United States), Alexander Marchenko (Ukraine), Atulya Berube (United States), David Morrison (United States), Devendra Cheatham (United States), Dhavala Stott (Great Britain), Gabriele Settimi (Italy), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Manorath Morrison (United States), Olivia Lopez (Mexico), Palyati Fouse (United States), Papaha Gosline (United States), Pransukh Marks (United States), Pujari Schaffer (United States), Samarthan Vandeman (United States), Santiva Morrison (United States), Tanuja Konečná (Czech Republic), Udita Laboni (Bangladesh), Vasudha Deming (United States).  
Devendra Cheatham, Harita Davies
The torch has travelled 2.0 mi in Chula Vista, San Diego.

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