May 2, 2023 Live from the road

San Diego, California

Reported by Arpan DeAngelo 1.0 km

Manorath Morrison(left), our local Peace Run coordinator here in San Diego, reflects on peace in a moment of silence with some of our other local peace runners, Pujari and Gabriele, before our first event in San Diego at the Burbank Elementary School.

Some of the enthusiastic students at Burbank School were eagerly awaiting our arrival and ready to run into the school yard with our international Peace Run team.

A group of students called the 'Burbank Bear Ambassadors' led us in with the Peace Torch and other runners carried flags some of the countries we were representing with our international team of peace runners.

A very large assembly of students, teachers and staff members were outside to greet us enthusiastically with cheers and with many colorful and creative works of art on the theme of peace.

It was a beautiful day with just enough clouds to make the temperature and the atmosphere in this wonderful assembly just perfect.

Our Peace Run team members were so happy to see such peaceful and enthusiastic children and adults alike as we began our presentation with some with an excercise in feeling peace in silence beginning in our hearts and spreading to everyone around us.

One of our runners, Santiva who is originally from Mexico, guided everyone through a visualization exercise in both English and Spanish.

Grabriele, originally from Italy, led the children in a guessing game as our runners gave clues as to where we were from and then located our country on a huge map of the world.

Harita from New Zealand shows where her beautiful native country is and where the sheep outnumber the people there.

Vasusdha poses as the Statue of Liberty with torch and the children easily guess what country that five of us are from.

After the children successfully guessed all of our countries we then sang a song with actions on theme of world harmony and peace written by the Founder of the Peace Run.

The children happily joined us in singing the song and participating in the actions to the words:
'Run, run, run, run, run, run, World Harmony Run.
We are the oneness and fulness
Of tomorrow's sun.'

A group of 4th grade students offered us some beautiful music with their recorders and ukeleles as well.

One of the music teachers then led the children in a performance of the song 'Imagine', by John Lennon.

A small choir of 5th grade students were then led by the music teacher in a beautifully performed song about peace.

Some of the students read out their inspiring poems and reflections on the theme of peace. Mia, Maya and Francesca kindly shared their creative inspirations with us today.

Graciela Martinez, a parent volunteer, happily receives the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award for her selfless work with the children of Burbank.

Ms. Michelle Gonzales, a very enthusiastic Counselor at Burbank gladly receives the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award for her untiring efforts in working with the children and offering them wonderful opportunities and encouragement in their efforts to learn and cooperate with their fellow students.

Principal Francisco Solis(left) with Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award recipients Graciela Martinez, Corina Hernandez, Diego Velasco and Michelle Gonzales. The Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award recognizes certain individuals for their tireless efforts in trying to cultivate and spread peace and harmony through their kindness and dedicated action in their communities and to the world at large.

Principal Solis is all smiles as he proudly displays the Peace Run's Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the whole school, as well as a beautiful colorful abstract painting by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run, on the theme of peace.

The children then had a chance to participate in a short peace run around the schoolyard, with some of the children taking turns to carry the Peace Torch, a symbol of our aspiration and our yearning for peace as we share it and spread it from person to person.

The Peace Torch was then passed to the students who enthusiastically and soulfully offered their own personal wishes for peace and harmony in their world.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Principal Solis and his staff for helping to organize such an uplifting program and welcoming our international team of runners to share these experiences with the children and teachers.

Thank you Burbank for your heart-warming welcome to the city of San Diego with our first event in a series of events to come.

Our second event of the day was at the Vista Del Mar School in the San Ysidro school district.

The students and teachers at the Vista Del Mar Middle School in San Diego were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Peace Run this afternoon.

Led by the very enthusiastic Counselor carrying the Peace Torch, our team of Peace Runners and some of the students ran into the schoolyard and assembly hall, welcomed by a cheering crowd of students and teachers.

'Sprinkle Kindness with Words and Actions'. A collage of peace invoking words from the students.

In the large indoor facility we introduced ourselves and showed a short video of some of the Peace Run activities worldwide.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the video about this worldwide event which they were now part of.

Our international group of runners assembled in front of the large group of students, teachers, parents and staff members to share some of our interactive offerings on the theme of peace and harmony.

One of the activities we offered to the students and staff involved feeling the inner peace inside our being, in the heart, and allowing it to grow and spread to everyone around us.

We then sang for the assembly our main Peace Run theme song composed by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run.

A group of students then performed beautifully some inspiring peace songs on classical guitars accompanied by a group of singers as well.

Some their colorful peace themed artwork was also displayed on the front of the stage during the performances.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the entertainment by their friends.

A traditional Mexican dance was performed by a group of students which was quite beautiful, entertaining and stunning.

Our running team introduced ourselves by having the children guess which country we were from and then locate it on our huge map of the world. Meeting runners from other parts of the world allows young children the opportunity to be introduced to other cultures and nationalities in a personal way, in a peaceful and inspiring setting.

We then presented the World Harmony Run song composed by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run, which is an interactive song and involves the children with actions to the words they sing.

The children were eager to sing and do the actions to our World Harmony Run song.

Some of the beautiful and colorful dancers who entertained us earlier also participated in our singing and actions.

A happy student expressing the sentiments and atmosphere of this uplifing event.

Peace Run Torch-Bearer Awards were offered to some of the staff and students as well who are good role models. In their own unique ways they help to cultivate and spread peaceful relations among the students, teachers and staff of this wonderful school.

Our Certificate of Appreciation expresses our gratitude and recognizes the efforts made to welcome us to their school and to participate in our events while offering their own creative and peaceful entertainment as well.

We are so grateful to Principal Irene Herrera-Cevallos, as well as Vice Principal Matthew Bandy and all the other teachers and staff who helped to coordinate this inspiring event here at Vista Del Mar.

Gabriele, originally from Italy who now resides in San Diego, appreciates one of the beautiful works of art representing peace beautifully expressed by one of the students.

Many of the students had a chance to hold the Peace Torch and offer a wish or prayer for peace in their own way.

We are so grateful to Russ Little(with torch), who is the Assistant Superintendent of the school District. Also Principal of Vista Del Mar, Irene Herrera-Cevallos, and all the staff and School District personel who helped to make this school visit possible and so successful.

From the schoolyard of Vista Del Mar one can clearly see Mexico in the background, our very close and friendly neighboring country and the original home of some of the families here in San Diego.

The U.S.A. and California State Flags proudly fly at the Vista Del Mar School whose efforts to cultivate and spread peace in their own community are a wonderful contribution to their state and their country.

Torch carried by
Agragati Siegel (United States), Alakananda Lebedev (United States), Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Dave Morrison (United States), Devendra Cheatham (United States), Gabriele Settimi (Italy), Gatisheela Truong (Vietnam), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Igor Plitsyn (Russia), Jack Morrison (United States), Marina Pak (Russia), Papaha Gosline (United States), Preetidutta Thorpe (New Zealand), Pujari Schaffer (United States), Salil Wilson (Australia), Santiva Morrison (United States), Vasudha Deming (United States).  
Alakananda Lebedev, Arpan DeAngelo, Devendra Cheatham, Salil Wilson
The torch has travelled 1.0 km in San Diego, California.

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