South Africa 11 September: Kommetjie, Cape Town
Peace Torch arrives in Cape Town
We began our South African section of the Peace Run in the beach town of Kommetjie (means small basin in Afrikaans) and Ocean View
Our first school \was Marine Primary school in Ocean View. We were met by Mr Lawrence , the principal of the school, and approximately 300 grade 3 - grade 5 students in their quadrangle outside their classes.
The principal , Mr Lawrence, and the school's dedicated teachers listening intently to the presentation.
Kleinberg Primary was the second school that we visited. The school has just over 1000 students and is in an area where gangs and violence are unfortunately fairly common. The principal, Mr Oppelt, opened the Peace Run presentation saying how we should not simply accept gangs and violence as a normal part of life. He was very happy to have the Peace Run visiting his school to help spread the message of peace.
Balarka emphasized to the students that they all have peace within and that they all have the strength to access it at anytime.
Raphael (left) ,the school's ground caretaker, had made great progress in planting new gardens and trees for the school. A newly planted tree was dedicated as a Peace Tree
and the Peace Run presented the school with a Peace Tree plaque to commemorate the initiative.
We arrived at our final school for the day, Kommetjie Primary. This school had many international students and teachers.
The Peace Run presentation was given to Kommetjie Primary School students under the cool shade of the trees in their school courtyard.
After singing the World Harmony Run song to the students , the students decided among themselves to sing their school song back to us. This song contained lyrics in both English and Afrikaans.
The Principal , Mr Gueorguiev, receiving a certificate of appreciation from Penny on behalf of Kommetjie Primary School.
The students ran with the torch enthusiastically around the grounds after they had all
made a wish for peace with the Peace Torch.
After visiting the schools, the Peace Run team headed to the beach with the Torch to enjoy a run in the spectacular Cape Peninsula scenery.
Holding the Peace Torch with James , the security guard, at our accommodation. James remembered us from our last visit here in 2013. James hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country that has suffered many years of conflict.