March 6, 2024 Live from the road

Tampa Bay

Reported by Brahmata Michael

The team had an early morning today, which is always worth it with sunrises like this one!

Dave, a local Floridian team member, led us in running into the ceremony.

Our first destination today was Learning Gate Community Elementary School.

We received such a lovely warm welcome from the staff and students. They prepared peace artwork which was displayed all around the schoolyard.

Santiva introduced the team and explained what the Peace Run is all about.

At each and every Peace Run ceremony we take the time to close our eyes, breathe and feel peace inside of our hearts.

These talented young poets each read out an original peace poem. The following are some small excerpts from their excellent poems:

"Peace should have started when I was born so to this day on it could live in it's glory..."

"Imagine no one is crying...everyone could take a seat, what a lovely world to see..."

"...peace doesn't come as easy as you would think..."

"... that sunlight of harmony remains as long as hearts remain magnanimous..."

"...peace is calm and fills all with joy and relief..."

Jillian serenaded us all with a powerful song, she really gave it her all!

The second graders performed a song and a dance, "The Bear Necessities" from Disney's The Jungle Book.

The Torch-Bearer Award was given to Harper for her kindness to everyone at school.

Tilvila, our wonderful organizer for the Tampa Bay area, offered a certificate of appreciation and a painting by Sri Chinmoy entitled "Peace Blossoms in the Heart of Goodness" to Principal Michelle Mason.

Then it was time for some running!

Everyone got a chance to hold the Peace Torch which has been held by millions of people all around the world in over 160 countries!

"Nature is our Best Teacher" is the motto of the Learning Gate Community Schools.

Michele Northrup was the driving force behind this ceremony and we are so grateful for her enthusiasm!

Our next stop of the day was the middle school campus of Learning Gate Community School.

They had also prepared art for the Peace Run!

Nobly read out the poem "Imagine" by John Lennon.

Austin made a speech on peace and forgiveness.

We were treated to an absolutely beautiful and moving rendition of "Blackbird" by Paul McCartney.

The students were all really good sports and participated in the World Harmony Run song with actions!

Samantha Evans, a grade 8 student was unanimously voted to receive the Torch-Bearer Award for creating harmony on campus.

Vice Principal Carlos Jordan and Samantha together held up Sri Chinmoy's painting entitled "Serve Humanity" which we gifted to the school.

Then all of the students held the torch!

Thank you Learning Gate, for welcoming us to two of your campuses!

The Peace Run could not happen without the kind participation and support of the local community. Today the team's lunch was provided by Evos. The delicious and healthy food provided good fuel for our team! We are grateful to the staff there and to the owner, Anita Rubin.

The Hungry Greek restaurant, off of Dale Mabry in Tampa, kindly provided dinner for the team. We thank the owner Khanh Lu for this generosity. Greek salad and potatoes were the perfect way to end our day!

Torch carried by
Alakananda Lebedev (United States), Antana Locs (Canada), Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Banshidhar Medeiros (United States), Brahmata Michael (Canada), David Morrison (United States), David Morrison Snr. (United States), Marina Pak (Russia), Santiva Morrison (United States).  
Banshidhar Medeiros

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