Mayo 6, 2024 Live from the road

Atlanta, Georgia - Oxford, Alabama

Reported by Arpan DeAngelo 47.0 mi

The women's team was first to run this morning as we headed towards our first ceremony of the day.

Along the way they met some teenage boys waiting for their school bus. They were happy to hear about our Peace Run and shared the Peace Torch together.

Mananya, who just arrived from New York, is happy to start her first run, of many, with the women's team.

While waiting for the runner to come, Harita finds an interesting structure, a water tower most likely, in front of an interesting cloud formation.

Later in the morning we were welcomed to a wonderful school called Villa Rica Elementary in Villa Rica Georgia, located in a rural  community just 45 minutes drive from Atlanta.

A group of children who were chosen to run in with us each carried a country flag representing some of the 160 countries that the Peace Run has visited since 1987.

Even the kind local policemen were involved in helping us at the school.

Road Runners coach Brittany Gore leads the way.

There were over 450 children, teachers and staff greeting us with ear-popping enthusiastic cheers.

Some of the children made their own paper torches which they proudly displayed to us as we ran in.

Salil Wilson, our Executive Director, introduced the Peace Run, showing everyone our route through the U.S. and Canada that will take 4 months in total. We just started our third week running as a team as we share the Peace Torch with hundreds of people of all ages as we pass through many towns and cities along the way.

Our current team of 10 members from 7 different countries introduce ourselves with a guessing game.

We offer the children clues as to where we come from and they try to guess what state or country we are from with help from this huge world map as well.

Salil hops like a kangaroo and most of the children guess Australia correctly.

Uugana performs a sweet Mongolian dance before giving clues to her country. After guessing all of our countries we promised we would sing them a song about the Peace Run.

We then sang a song with the children as well teaching them the simple actions to the song composed by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run. It is called the World Harmony Run song with the words: "Run, run, run, run, run, run,  World Harmony Run. We are the oneness and fulness Of tomorrow's sun."

Next was an exercise in feeling peace in the heart. With a moment of silence and reflection on the qualities we all have inside of us we try to feel and share peace, love, friendship and oneness.

Some of the students then share some of their expressions on peace by reading out their poems for us.

The poets also offered their peaceful smiles while sharing the Peace Torch together.

The music instructor, Geoffrey Harden, introduced his choir of students and the song they will sing: 'An Old Irish Blessing'

It was a wonderful performance by all.

One of the school counselors read out some kind words for the Peace runners as well.

We then offer Principal Alison Lyle our Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the whole school for their enthusiastic participation in this Peace Run event. A colorful 'World Harmony' painting by Sri Chinmoy. Founder of the Peace Run, was also presented to the school.

The teachers and staff and the work that they do to help the children to learn and grow in positive and peaceful ways is something we also feel deserves our appreciation and gratitude.

We invited all the teachers and staff to run a few 'Peace Run' laps around the gymnasium to the delight of all the children.

Brittany Gore, the coach of the student 'Road Runners', organized this group of children to run with the Peace Torch outside. They ran around the front of the school passing by the other students who lined up to offer their farewell wishes as we move on down the road towards Alabama.

The Road Runners share the torch together one last time, or until we meet again some day in the future.

The students who greeted us outside all had a chance to hold the Peace Torch and offer a kind thought, wish or prayer for peace and harmony.

The children received our Peace Run cards representing many of the countries around the world where the Peace Run has been.

Mananya(left), enjoys her first event with us as she just arrived this morning to join our team for a month. Here she shares torches with some of the teachers who had a great time with us along with their students, for which we are so grateful.

A beautiful replica of our Peace Run logo held by some of the children as we leave. They ended up kindly giving us this sign before we left.

After this wonderful ceremony we had to switch vehicles, a ritual which happens every day as we all take turns running our miles accompanied by minivans or cooking meals in the camper we call the RV.

Pransukh leads off on his run for one of the men's teams.

Arpan runs down the road which sometimes can be quite narrow. We carefully and safely navigate the course so we can carry the Peace Torch as much as possible to the next destination.

Jozsef, from Hungary, is the third member of this men's team as he proudly carries the torch and all the peaceful thoughts and wishes we receive along the way.

We usually meet very nice people along the way and offer them a chance to hold the torch and offer their kind wishes as well.

These workers who were repairing the road were very friendly and were happy to hear about our Peace Run journey through their city.

Leaving Georgia, we finally reached the Alabama State Line with the Alabama sign across the street.

Finally we cross into Alabama from Georgia at the end of the day's run.

Keeping our vehicles clean is an important aspect of our long journey.

Time to set up camp at the Scenic Drive RV Park and Campground in Anniston, Alabama.

Two of our cooks for tonight's delicious meal prepared in our trusty RV camper.

We are grateful to Max, one of the owners of the Scenic Drive RV Park, and to Christina, sharing the Peace Torch with Arpan here. She is a long time employee of this wonderful park and the hostess here who helped us find a perfect location for our vehicles and tents to get a good night's rest.

Torch carried by
Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Jozsef Dicso (Hungary), Mananya Galante (United States), Pransukh Marks (United States), Puroga Theobald (Hungary), Salil Wilson (Australia), Santiva Morrison (United States), Uugantsetseg Otgonbayar (Mongolia), Virangini Afzal (United States).  
Arpan DeAngelo, Harita Davies, Jozsef Dicso, Salil Wilson, Uugantsetseg Otgonbayar
The torch has travelled 47.0 mi from Atlanta, Georgia to Oxford, Alabama.

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