May 2, 2024 Live from the road

Salisbury, NC - Spartanburg, SC

Reported by Harita Davies, Preetidutta Thorpe 34.0 mi

Our first event today was a visit to Hidden Valley Elementary in Charlotte. Sadly Sweta from Nepal, pictured here, is leaving our team today to go home- we will all miss her sweet and fun presence!

Feeling peace in our hearts...

World Harmony Run Song with actions!

This young girl read some beautiful writings, interspersed  with singing from the kindergarten kids.One was about spring: I love spring, I wait for it all year. I love spring, it makes me want to cheer. I love the sun and even the rain, It never makes me want to complain. I love the birds and all the bugs, I wish I could give them all hugs. I love the flowers and the plants, Even when they are covered in ants. I love spring, there is so much to do. I love spring, do you?

The kindergarten kids sang "You Are My Sunshine" and several other songs with actions- so adorable!

They were accompanied by their wonderful teacher on the piano.

Thank you to the students and teachers for such a sweet performance!

These kids had prepared artwork with different descriptions of what peace means to them.

"Peace is so Quiet and you can read a book" "Peace is freedom. You go sleeping, relaxing and relaxing music. Meditate. Going outside and hearing the birds sing and music and school and soccer and football"

This boy read a very thoughtful essay he wrote about how to have peace in the world. We get so much hope for the future when we meet students like these!

We like to recognise  the important role teachers play in helping to make the world more peaceful by inviting them to run around the hall while the students cheer for them. We really see how much the kids appreciate their teachers!

A big thank you to Hidden Valley School Vice Principal, Kaz Muhammad, and all the students and teachers for such a wonderful presentation of peace expressed through music, art, poetry, smiles and love!

Puroga from Hungary is quite tall when standing, so he gets a whole different outlook crouching down to kindergarten height- he was once this small too!

Kids love our little country cards!

We ran through the hallway and everywhere we turned we found more kids! These kids were also holding up their artwork for us!

As we headed outside we were thrilled that the courtyard was filled with a large group of the older children! Some had made their own peace torches ;)

We passed the torch around so everyone could have the chance to share their dreams and prayers for peace.

One last big group photo with all our new friends! Thank you Hidden Valley School for a wonderful morning with y'all!

Back on the road, this woman turned around and stopped traffic to jump out of her car and cheer for Harita running towards her!

Hitting South Carolina!

Our super excellent Mongolian runner, Uuganaa, likes to protect herself from the sun.

Meeting friendly new friends along the way is a common occurence in the South!

Running into Hickory Grove, our mens team were startled by the extremely loud sound symphony of cicadas along their route. We soon found out that these little guys don't get out too often! In fact in 2024 two broods, 13 year cycle Brood XIX and 17 year cycle Brood XIII, will emerge in 17 states, Georgia being one of them!. This rare event hasn't occurred in 221 years (since Thomas Jefferson was president in 1803) and won't happen again until 2245. Lucky us!

Who knows about this beauty!

Our last meeting of the day was with Hickory Grove Mayor, Larry Earl, along with family and local Council Members. We received a warm welcome! Some history...The first settlement in what is now the Town of Hickory Grove originated sometime in the late 1600's and early 1700's. It was granted a township charter in 1888.The area around what is now Hickory Grove was a good farming area with a river and several creeks that supplied water. The settlement was named Hickory Grove due to the hickory trees that grew there, which meant there was good soil for crops. The town presently has a population of 466.

Larry's grandson, Dillon, led us on a short Peace Walk/Run down the main street.

We met the Post Master along the way!

Our team was welcomed by Lyndon Earl (Mayors grandson), Brenda Earl(Mayors wife), Larry Earl(Mayor), Harry Good(Councilman), Ollie Bankhead(Councilwoman), Don Rhodes(Town Clerk) and Dillon Earl(Mayors son- not in this photo). Thank you- we loved meeting you all and experiencing the real small town America!

Torch carried by
Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Jozsef Dicso (Hungary), Nastya Konova (Ukraine), Pransukh Marks (United States), Preetidutta Thorpe (New Zealand), Puroga Theobald (Hungary), Salil Wilson (Australia), Santiva Morrison (United States), Sweta Pradhan (Nepal), Uugantsetseg Otgonbayar (Mongolia), Virangini Afzal (United States).  
Arpan DeAngelo, Harita Davies
The torch has travelled 34.0 mi from Salisbury, NC to Spartanburg, SC.

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