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USA 29 April: Spring Bluff, GA - Orlando, FL
Get up to the minute photos from the road at worldharmonyrun.tumblr.com.
More photos from Becky and Tom White here.
Letter to the runners from Florida Senator Bill Nelson.
Today's theme: Happiness.
Happiness is waking up refreshed in a nice hotel room and having a shower. Happiness is soaking your aching legs and muscles in a hot tub after a long day of running miles.
Happiness is enjoying fresh mangoes and ripe bananas for breakfast in preparation for the day's miles. Happiness is finishing the multifarious tasks that are involved in doing the World Harmony Run; laundry, web work, reviews, cooking, cleaning, running, driving for hours, ceremonies, cleaning torches, stocking vehicles, shopping for food, phone calls, coordinating and on and on.
Happiness is arriving at a beautiful campsite with a lake filled with swans and ducks, surrounded by lush green trees. Happiness is taking out the guitar and singing a few songs. Happiness is meeting new people and seeing the twinkle in their eyes when we share the torch and the message of the Harmony Run.
Happiness is finding your destination on the GPS, and arriving at the location. Happiness is enjoying good down home cooking with your teammates. Happiness is running down a special street carrying the torch. Happiness is seeing children holding the torch and making a wish for harmony.
Happiness is finding some nice food stored in the RV. Happiness is taking a nap at odd moments when traveling down the road across the country. Happiness is having interesting conversation with Theodore "Bro" Williams while waiting for the runner or while driving to the next destination. Happiness is always having that next destination in life that keeps our aspiration kindled and inspires us to keep moving towards our goal.
The running for the day was pretty straightforward running south on 17/25. Atulya and I did a two-man leap out of "Greeny" ( our green van) which means that each runner carries a key, runs to the empty van, and leapfrogs the next runner. I had a problem with opening the back gate. My key just wouldn't open the back where we keep the torches, fuel, water, paper towels and lighters. So I had to access this stuff from the side which was a bit of a hassel but still got the job done. Atulya had no problems opening the gate.
Later as we finished our miles we drove ahead to meet with the other team to help them finish their miles so that we could make it to the ceremony in time. I got out to run another 2 miles putting my total up to 7. I was running on the fringes of Jacksonville and over some bridges that spanned areas of the inlets coming in from the ocean, interesting views. After twenty minutes or so I hadn't seen "Greeny" so I wondered what was going on, but then I saw Arpan with "Kiwi", (the other van) which picked me up. An unexpected vehicle switch. Then Tom, who was running, also had an unplanned support vehicle switch to "Greeny", but Tom took a wrong turn on an exit and was missing for some time. Sometimes on the Harmony Run you have to expect the unexpected and be prepared to change the game plan. Most of us made it to the ceremony on time!
Today we had a nice run into Jacksonville, Florida and were met by some local runners from the "Girls on the Run" organisation and the 1st Place Sports running club. We ran together a few blocks to the City Hall where we shared our presentation, and they also shared their team chant.
Although it seems trivial to run just a few blocks with locals, actually the opposite is true. We rarely run with locals so it is always a meaningful and fulfilling experience for us. Without meeting people and running with people, the World Harmony Run is nothing but running.
Durjaya and Drishti organised the event! Thank you:-)
Monica Landeros, the publicist, was instrumental in bringing everyone together. Unfortunately, the Mayor had to attend to other pressing business, but celebrated on his behalf. Hope to see you next time.
The "Girls on the Run" group is very progressive and teaches the girls that nothing is impossible, and teaches them to be leaders in their community and to give back. This year they helped to provide beds for homeless animals.
Our next meeting was scheduled in Kissimmee, FL a popular city to stay when visiting Disney World. We visited "Give Kids the World" and gave a presentation to the volunteers that work there. The volunteers here were very international and could really understand the World Harmony Run because of the similarities in our mission.
This organisation does wonderful work by offering terminally ill children and those with life threatening illnesses and their families a fun and activity filled week of vacation.
They aim to provide memorable, magical cost free experiences. On site they have many themed buildings that are very fun and interesting for the children.
There is Christmas every Thursday and Halloween every Monday, a "Dive In" theater where you can swim and watch a movie at the same time, ice cream for breakfast, a golf course, and more.
Give Kids the World was founded by a Holocaust survivor named Henri Landwirth, as a way to provide hope and happiness to those who need it most.
The joy the children get is so healing for them and also this is an opportunity to get away from hospitals and doctors.
A unique thing is that they could accept a family in 24 hours because sometimes the children don't have much time to live.
This "Marc's DinoPutt" was a mini-golf course that helped to fulfill the dying wish of a child named Marc to help people, and to be remembered always.
Thank you to our tour guide who was a very special person who has dedicated her life at this very special place. She gratefully accepted the torchbearer award on behalf on the "Give Kids the World" foundation.
Thank you so much to the Hilton Garden Inn, Lake Mary, FL for providing a large suite for the boys team to rest and recover.
Video Message from Davidson Hepburn, President (2009 - 2011) of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for 25th Anniversary of the World Harmony Run and a vision for the decade: "Toward a Oneness-World".
Full Text of the 25th annversary message and link to 25 language informal Translations: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/25or Click on language button for separate youtube videos wth sub titles in varous languages
- Youtube video on African experience which illustrates IYY slogan "Our Year Our Voice" International Year of Youth - Zambia World Harmony. They surprisingly mention Presidents and UN Secretary-General in a unique way!
Distance: 62 miles
Atulya Berube (San Diego), Jagadhata Amrhien (Chicago), Teekhnata Berube (USA), Arpan DeAngelo (New York), Shobhavati Davies (New Zealand), Jana Duskova (Czech Republic), Tom McGuire (New Zealand), Katya Percheklii (Ukraine), Larissa Zub (Belarus), Zuzana Klaskova (Czech Republic), Matthias Eckerle (Germany)
Gallery: See more images!
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