June 10, 2022 Live from the road

Northwood, New Hampshire - Portland, Maine

Reported by Arpan DeAngelo 57.0 mi

We started this beautiful day running with perfect weather in New Hapmshire, running towards the state of Maine.

Two police officers from Sanford, Maine heard we were coming to town and they met us at our first school ceremony at the Margaret Chase Smith Elementary School. We are very grateful for thd kindness shown to us almost everywhere we go.

Many of the children welcomed us with their beautiful signs and artwork.

Scott led the children who ran with us into the schooyard.

The Peace Torch was handed over to Assistant Principal Marc Bisson, who enthusiastically welcomed us along with the children, teachers and staff.

As usual we start our program with a moment of peace as we all try to feel peace in our hearts and imagine it spreading to everyone around us.

The chldren love to guess where our peace runners come from and then show us where it is on our large world map. We give them lots of clues and a geography lesson as well. Some of the children have no problem finding our countries or states.

Chusini, second from the right, lives in Maine and is our fantastic coordinator who organized all of our events here in Maine. We are grateful to her for all of her enthusiastic hard work to the Peace Run here.

Mayor Mastraccio and Superintendant of Schools, .................. holding our peace torch and observes our clues as to where we are from, as Olivia gives her clues to the children.

The Mayor of Sanford, Anne-Marie Mastraccio, kindly attended our ceremony here at the school and offered very wise a, inspiring and kind words of support. We are are very grateful to her for her service to her city in helping to establish more peace to her community.

Principal Tracie Hallissey also offered some kind words of support as Matthew Nelson, Superintendent of Schools in Sanford shares the Peace Torch next to Mayor Anne-Marie Mastraccio (right). Principal Hallissey's contagious dynamism and appreciation of what the Peace Run is all about absolutely resonated with the children.

Two students cheerfully display their creative peace pinwheels and one of our official Peace Run cards. Along with their beautiful smiles, the children always seem to find unique ways to creatively share peace with their peers and all those around them.

Superintendent Nelson leads the teachers on a short peace run around the students who cheer them on loudly and enthusiastically.

The children were thrilled to also participate in a short peace run around the playground led by one of the teachers.

The 'peace train' passes under the bridge of peace runners and teachers .

Everyone has a chance to hold the peace torch and make a wish for peace.

The children's smiles make these events very uplifting and encouraging to us as we share these moments of peace with them.

Two children hold the colorful painting by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run, which we offered to the school along with our Certificate of Appreciation for their enthusiastic participation in the Peace Run events today.

We are so grateful to everyone who attended the Margaret Chase Smith Elementary Peace Run ceremony. They truly made this a memorable experience and an inspiring and peaceful way to start our day here in Sanford, Maine.

Pavaka and Scott preparing lunch for the whole team in our camper van we call the RV. Every day our different teams of runners share the responsibilities of cooking, shopping, cleaning, scheduling, making reports, etc., besides the running and sharing the Peace Torch with all the peace loving folks we meet daily.

Besides the pre-arranged meetings we have with schools and other organizations, some of the people who share the Peace Torch with us are local people who just happen to see us running down the road. They may be just curious at first but then they usually are excited about holding the torch to share their dreams, wishes or prayers for peace with us.

Families and individuals greet us as we carry the Peace Torch through their communities.

Our last event of the day was held at Camp Ketcha in Scarborough, Maine.

The children were thrilled with our Peace Torch and what it symbolizes.

We made our introductions using our huge map of the world and have them guess where all our international runners come from.

Our funny skits demonstrating peaceful or non-peaceful behavior is always a big hit with the children.

We also sing some peace songs with the children as they react and enact the movements of one of our songs written by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the peace-run.

One of the favorite activities we do with the children is a Peace Train, or short peace run, around the schoolyard.

The children usually seem to understand the value of passing the torch around as a symbol of sharing peace one person at a time.

Three Olivias share the Peace Torch.

Emmett, Zoe and Sarah, a happy family share the Peace Torch together.

We are very grateful Co-Directors, Kara and Liz, and to all those who came to greet us here at Camp Ketcha and make the end of our long day a very pleasant and peaceful one.

We were delighted to be able to offer our Torch-Bearer Award to Mayor of South Portland, Deqa Dhalac, who beautifully exemplifies the essence of the Peace Run in its tangible expression of humanity’s need to foster friendship and understanding.

When war broke out in her homeland of Somalia some thirty years ago, she emigrated to America and has, ever since, been fulfilling her mother’s prayer for her which in part reads: “My dear daughter — I beg God for you to be the leader of many ethnicities...and help those in need..”

From humble beginnings work-wise, Mayor Dhalac quickly found her place as a community builder — first generously and empathetically helping other Somali immigrants adjust to an industrialized country by teaching them basic skills, finding affordable housing, and assisting them obtain citizenship and register to vote. She was also an interpreter for Catholic Charities.

She advocates for changes her community members want to see, finds better housing and jobs, works to end racism and to make schools and the environment better. Her vision is, in her own words, “a community where everyone feels welcomed and included, and where people embrace and celebrate our diverse cultures”.

Mayor Dhalac learned English, Italian and Arabic in Mogadishu. She has a Master’s Degree in Development Policy and Practice from the University of New Hampshire and another Master’s in Social Work from the University of New England. Her most recent work was with the Maine Department of Education.

Most significant of course, is her current position — the first Somali-American mayor in the United States — for a city with a 90% white population. As she says, “It’s a long journey, but only in this country — only in this amazing country — can you have the opportunity to become a mayor from a country that is still going through a civil war.”

Natabara introduced Mayor Dhalac to the audience. She was thrilled to receive the award and we were thrilled to give it to her!

Torch carried by
Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Devendra Cheatham (United States), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Natabara Rollosson (United States), Olivia Lopez (Mexico), Pavaka Richot (Canada), Putu Ekawati (Indonesia), Santiva Morrison (United States), Scott Schuetzler (United States), Suhasini Septiarini (Indonesia), Virangini Afzal (United States).  
Arpan DeAngelo, Devendra Cheatham, Harita Davies
The torch has travelled 57.0 mi from Northwood, New Hampshire to Portland, Maine.

Latest reports from United States - 2024

view all

Latest reports - around the world:

view all