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- Off Route
- Route 2012
- Schools and Kids
- World-Harmony-Run Song
- Torch-Bearer Award
USA 1 May: Clearwater, FL - Safety Harbor, FL
Letter to the runners from Florida Senator Bill Nelson.
Driving up to the Learning Gate Community School one would think they were approaching a beautiful summer campground. The school is built in a natural setting of large shade trees and spread over an area surrounded by nature at its best.
The school children have been recently awarded a top honor from President Obama himself for their use of renewable resources as water and energy supplies. To mention a few of the conservation techniques that I know of, they use reclaimed rainwater for all their non-drinking water needs. Some of the classroom floors are made from recycled plastic soda and water bottles.
Needless to say the children and students presented us with a wonderful welcoming program of songs, poems and gifts. We even received gifts of handy carrying bags made from recycled school T-shirts.
After our own presentation to the over 500 children and staff that attended, we went to a special location to plant a tree for world harmony and peace. The children helped to dig the hole, including honorary Principal for the day, Dylan
This little girl was quite strong and experienced at gardening as she told us that her dad is a professional landscaper.
This Peace Tree was so big that it took seven people to lift it into the newly dug hole.
We are grateful to 'Principal' Dylan and his fellow students as well as Michelle Northrup for organizing this event and the teachers and Principal for offering us so much goodwill and personal effort to make our visit truly memorable.
On our way to lunch we paid a visit to a nearby Sri Chinmoy Street, named after the founder of the World Harmony Run. It is because of his ceaseless efforts and inspiration for over four decades that we are, along with thousands of others across the globe, able to keep our own efforts and hopes for a more harmonious and peaceful future alive and expanding.
After lunch we visited the Safety Harbor Elementary School where the children greeted us outdoors under the protective shade of a pavilion. Their multi-cultural liaison, Ms. Karen Bort, helped to make this exciting event possible, along with the participation of their Principal and other staff members
The children ran around with the torch for a while as they felt the energy and excitement of running for peace and world harmony. Our Orlando area coordinator Santiva led the children on her last run before having to return home to the Orlando area where she had arranged so many wonderful ceremonies for us the day before.
We are sad to see our teammate Jagadhata leave us tomorrow. He plans to come back to run on another section of the USA World Harmony Run. We also had to sadly see Zuzana leave today as well. They have been with us since the start over two weeks ago and have really become part of the team in many ways.
A World Harmony Peace Tree was also planted at this school as the teachers and students pitched in to help our Executive Director, Salil Wilson, get this beautiful 'Blood Orange' tree grounded.
Our final visit of the day was to the Skycrest Elementary School where we met with the local YMCA after-school program. We are grateful to Director Amy Griffin who enthusiastically welcomed us to this event on her birthday, which we happily celebrated during our event.
Shawn and Naomi led the children in some dynamic dances to entertain us. They also offered us a welcome in Signing Language. The Cheer Stars offered us their creative and enthusiastic cheers also to make this event supercharged with energy and dynamism. Shawn then happily led the Harmony Train of children around the playground with the Torch.
Our team captain, Atulya, also has to leave tomorrow.Here we see him discarding the leftovers from his breakfast as his teammate, Matthias, starts to look quite hungry(for bananas).
Tilvila, our local Tampa Bay area coordinator, holds the torch with her dear friend Betsy Hughes. Betsy received the Torch Bearer Award in 2009 for her constant service to others in the community.
We cannot thank enough our dear friend and local coordinator Tilvila for all she has done for us in the short time that we were here in the Tampa Bay area. She and her wonderful staff at her Consciousness Blossoms Restaurant in Safety Harbor sumptuously fed us numerous times
Tilvila also organized all the ceremonies of the day and even scheduled in some time to visit the beach and enjoy the warm and clean water of the Gulf. It was truly a remarkable and memorable visit to Tampa and its surrounding wonderful communities and towns.
Our stay at the La Quinta Inn in Clearwater for the men’s team was also quite helpful and restful. We are so grateful to Nathan Wood, the Manager who arranged for two nights of complimentary rooms for us. John, a former cross-country runner, holds the Torch with Arpan on behalf of La Quinta and Manager Mr. Wood.
One more sad goodbye was to Teekhnata, seen here with her parents, who had to leave us after two weeks to get back to work.
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!
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), Salil Wilson (Australia), Priyala Carvalho (New Zealand)
Gallery: See more images!
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