April 25, 2024 Live from the road

Bethesda, Maryland - Washington, D.C.

Reported by Arpan DeAngelo 5.0 mi

We have been looking forward to visiting the Oneness-Family School located in Bethesda, Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C. since we left New York on our first day last Sunday. This International Peace Academy is based on the Montessori methods of teaching and has been growing as well as helping children of all ages to grow since 1988.

Andrew Kutt, the Founder and Principal of the Oneness-Family School proudly welcomes the Peace Runners to the school.

Salil Wilson, Executive Director of the Peace Run gives a brief introduction about our mission to share and celebrate peace around the the United States and Canada as other runners are also doing in various parts of the world.

We started our program by showing one of our videos of the international scope of the Peace Run throughout the world over the years.

We are fortunate to have some foreign Embassies represented here today as well as teachers, parents and students. Due to certain limitations on photography of young students we unfortunately cannot include their photos in the coverage of this event.

We introduced ourselves by having the audience guess where our international runners are from by offering them clues of our countries of origin.

Through simple and amusing skits we offered the children a chance to judge if they demonstrated peaceful or non-peaceful behaviors.

These short plays, though amusing, demonstrate how simple behaviors can either help to facilitate a peaceful attitude towards others or contrarily create unnecessary conflict.

Prakhara, one of our members who works tirelessly as a coordinator and public relations person, introduces a very special guest, Jan Du Plain.

Jan Du Plain, who is receiving the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award here, has many accomplishments related to serving the diverse cultures of world through her business enterprise called, Du Plain Global Enterprises.

Jan is a liaison for the Washington,D.C. Embassies and sets up programs and events to share their diverse cultures with each other and with the public as well. She believes that if we can educate, encourage and expedite people from various cultures to come together and share their good qualities that this will inspire understanding and support world peace.

Jan loves people of all cultures and they love Jan.

Jan was so grateful and happy to join us today and to receive the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award that she posted this collage of our ceremony on her instagram page.

We are so grateful to Jan, her friends and colleagues,  and to our other guests from various Embassies including: Ambassador Hanene Bessassi of Tunisia, Maria Fusco from the Embassy of Italy, Lucia Cherinda from the Embassy of Mozambique, Priyanthi Kanakaratna from the Embassy of Bangladesh, Joan Brammer and Janae from the Embassy of Trinidad&Tobago, Natividade Almeda and Gabrielle Pinto from the Embassy of Timor-Leste. They all helped to make this ceremony a very special occasion for our Peace Run Team.

Andrew Kutt receives our Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of this wonderful school including the teachers, staff and all of the children who offered us songs and their own feelings towards creating more peace and harmony, in the school, the families and the world at large.

Andrew also offered a few original songs on the theme of peace and of caring for the earth along with the accompaniment of the children.

The teachers and staff then ran a lap with the Peace Torch around the auditorium to the amazement and joy of all those present, especially the children.

The teachers were having as much fun as children in a playground.

After our indoor event, we all went out into the playground to light the Peace Torch and pass it one person at time as each person offered their own personal wishes or prayers for peace.

Our team member, Sweta, from Nepal happily shares the torch with one teacher who is also from Nepal.

Our team with Jan Du Plain and some of her friends and Ambassadors who really helped to make this day a very special one for us.

Andrew then kindly gave us a tour of the school with all of its incredible student bulletin boards with posters of children's work and art, as well as colorful displays of the school's philosophy and principles.

All of the teachers appreciate Andrew and his approach to education and they love to work in this creative and peaceful environment.

Later in the day our international team of Peace Runners visited the beautiful gift shop, 'Transcendence-Perfection-Bliss of the Beyond', owned and run by Suprabha,(holding Torch), one of our very active local team members here in D.C.

The gift shop is beautiful and colorful, with a wide range of large and small gifts, toys, greeting cards and more.

Our next stop was the Byblos Deli just a few stores down from the gift shop. Our team, with Suprabha on the left and Marcos, the owner in the middle.

Marcos, owner of Byblos, makes and serves excellent Greek cuisine. He always is happy and grateful as he greets our team with delicious greek style food whenever we pass through Washington, D.C.

Some of the women's team enjoying the meal at Byblos. Saranyu, in the foreground, is enjoying her last day with the team, for now.

At the nearby John Eaton Elemantary School we met with the children and staff in the 'after school' program. It was so nice to be greeted with all of their beautiful smiles and artwork on the theme of peace.

Salil, our Executive Director, introduces the Peace Run to the attentive and excited children.

Sweta from Nepal introduces the country guessing game to the children. They try to guess what country each of our runners come from after the clues we offered to them. Nepal was a more difficult one to guess but these children were quite knowledgable.

This young man even found New Zealand

Children had no problem guessing New York, U.S.A. when seeing this clue. An attempted pose as the Statue of Liberty made it easy for many of the children to guess the city and country.

We promised the children that we would sing them a song if they guessed all of our countries correctly, which they did. We sang the Peace Run song, written by the Founder of the Peace Run, Sri Chinmoy. He believed that music, along with art, athletics, education and public service all add to the cultivation and spread of world peace.

We also taught the children another song by Sri Chinmoy. It is called the 'World Harmony Run' song, and it also involves actions to the words which the children and teachers always love to do along with us.

We give the children and staff  the opportunity to feel peace in the heart with a minute of silence. This quiet peace is very uplifting and inspiring, especially with a large group of children and teachers like we had today.

We also entertain the children with a couple of short skits which demonstrate either peaceful behavior or not so peaceful behavior. The children are the judges of these amusing but effective actions.

This not so peaceful behavior always gets a 'thumbs down' from the audience. Being able to offer the kindness of the good behaviors and avoid the 'bad' behaviors is another way to cultivate peace in the world.

Sharing the Peace Torch with a sense of teamwork always gets a 'thumbs up' from the children.

One of the enthusiastic teachers leads the children around the school block on a mini Peace Run which is always a treat at the end of our visit to schools.

This event always brings smiles to the children's faces.

We offered the school two small gifts of our appreciation. The colorful painting is by Sri Chinmoy representing World Harmony. The young boy is proudly holding our Certificate of Appreciation for the school and their enthusiastic participation in our Peace Run events here in D.C.

We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to visit this after school program at the John Eaton School. The children and staff were very joyful and welcoming. Ending a busy day in D.C. with them was a real joy.

After our uplifting events of the day, we enjoyed a group meal of delicious Indian cuisine at a nearby restaurant called Bethesda Curry Kitchen.

We celebrated the birthday of Saranyu, from Australia, this evening at our dinner. It was also a farewell party for her as she is leaving for home after being with us since the start. We will surely miss her.


After dinner we drove south to experience the amazing views of the National Monuments there. This is a view of the Washington Monument which is dedicated to George Washington, first President of the United States. He was also the main General who helped to finally secure the U.S. freedom in 1787.

Saranyu from Australia at the entrance to the Jefferson Memorial before leaving for home.

Two Peace Runners enjoying their visit to the Jefferson Memorial on a very chilly evening.

Joszef, from Hungary, reading some of the illumining words of wisdom from Thomas Jefferson engraved on the walls of the Memorial.

The Declaration of Independence in the left hand of the large statue of Thomas Jefferson. He wished to be known as the author of the Declaration of American Independence, as well as author of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and as the Father of the University of Virginia.

Many groups of people, including hundreds of students from all over the country come to visit this Memorial and the many other tourists in this area of Washington, D.C. There is no entry fee to visit these historic and educational Memorials and museums which encourages many schools and visitors to enjoy the beauty and to learn about the historical significance of each of them.

Our Peace Run team stands in front of the stately statue of Thomas Jefferson,. Besides his many great accomplishments, he became the third President of the United States, (1801 to 1809). It was truly an honor to end this long and eventful day of sharing peace by celebrating a bit of the history of the founding of this country almost 250 years ago.

Torch carried by
Amalendu Edelsten (Australia), Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Atmatyagi Kutt (United States), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Jozsef Dicso (Hungary), Nastya Konova (Ukraine), Prakhara Harter (United States), Pransukh Marks (United States), Preetidutta Thorpe (New Zealand), Puroga Theobald (Hungary), Salil Wilson (Australia), Saranyu Pearson (Australia), Sweta Pradhan (Nepal), Thamara Paiva (Brazil), Uugantsetseg Otgonbayar (Mongolia).  
Accompanied by  
Arpan DeAngelo, Thamara Paiva
The torch has travelled 5.0 mi from Bethesda, Maryland to Washington, D.C..

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