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World Harmony Run, U.S.A.

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  • arpan_deangelo
    Our first six days on the WHR in Florida were quite productive and inspiring, although a bit on the hot side. Reaching the mid 90 s F or mid 30 s C, the
    Message 1 of 2 , May 10, 2007
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      Our first six days on the WHR in Florida were quite productive and
      inspiring, although a bit on the hot side. Reaching the mid 90's F or
      mid 30's C, the weather was no match for the energy generated by the
      children and adults alike who greeted us in Florida. Here is one of
      many recent stories written for our website www.worldharmonyrun.org

      Please visit that site for more stories and lots of wonderful photos,
      not only of the events in the U.S.A. but in other countries, mostly in
      in Europe at this time.

      I will try to keep contributing stories here as regularly as I can
      just to keep everyone inspired to visit the WHR website and to inspire
      others to possibly get more involved in any way you can this year.

      May 7,Monday, Tampa Bay Area, Florida

      After a very busy two days of ceremonies in the Miami area, yesterday
      was our day off to relax and enjoy harmony with nature as we spent
      part of the day at the beautiful Blue Springs State Park in Orange
      City, north of Orlando. The Morrison family, our good friends who have
      arranged many events for us so far, planned this trip for us as well.

      We enjoyed the fresh air of a beautiful wooded area and the cool and
      clear waters of a small river running through it. Some well groomed
      trails through the woods made for nice, relaxed and private running
      where I saw no other runner for over an hour as I enjoyed the Cypress
      and Pine forests. Although we had to do lots of driving back and forth
      to get to and from this park, it was well worth the time and effort as
      we all enjoyed this peaceful and harmonious day with Mother Nature.

      A fast moving storm shortened our stay there by mid afternoon, so we
      made our way back to the La Quinta Hotel in Tampa where we were
      offered two complimentary rooms to stay in for a few nights by Mrs.
      Borkowsky, the mother of our good friend Mahesh. We also were treated
      a wonderful meal at the nearby IHOP Restaurant by Shannon, the
      manager, and Barry, the General Manager. Hector, our waiter, surprised
      us as he spoke English, Spanish and Italian, all the three languages
      that our four man team speaks. It was great service and delicious food
      and we are so grateful for their kind contribution.

      Today was a very busy day which saw us visit four schools and run
      relays with the Torch in between three of them. We ran to the first
      school in Clearwater, called the Blossom Montessori School for the
      Deaf. It is one of only two Montessori schools in the country for the
      deaf. We were joined there by some of our local friends from the Tampa
      area, Tilvila, who arranged all of our ceremonies and meals, and
      Ahana, Norma, Terry, and Linda, who ran with the Torch today as well
      as take part in the ceremonies. It was our largest team on the trip so

      This Montessori school was unique and incredibly heart-warming. Julie
      Rutenberg, the Principal, and Carol Downing, the head teacher, were
      very excited to have us at the school to share our experiences with
      the children. Most of the children could not hear or were hard of
      hearing, but some of the students were siblings and could hear
      normally. It was a wonderful mix of hearing abilities and ages
      combined with incredibly adeptness at signing, the language of the deaf.

      Everyone could sign here and we even learned some words in that
      language. It is like an art form, a very creative dance of hand and
      body movements which speaks very clearly to all those who know the
      language. Offering our experiences while everything was being
      translated mostly by Carol, was a challenging and at the same time a
      very rewarding experience. Over the years some of us have visited
      many, many schools and have had memorable experiences at most of them.
      But our unique experiences at this school have touched our hearts and
      minds deeply and we shall never forget our morning there at the
      Blossom school.

      As we started our run to the next school, the temperature was rising
      as the sun beat down on the hot pavement all along the route. We
      finally made it to the Wellington School in Seminole, the next town
      over. Cindy Moon, the Director of the Wellington Schools, and Linda
      Mileski, the Principal of this school, helped to arrange this exciting
      reception as the children lined the sidewalks into the school,
      cheering the runners on as we carried the torch into the auditorium.

      The children started the program with the Pledge of Allegiance and
      performed America the Beautiful, beautifully, I might add. There was
      some poetry and singing and finally all the children had a chance to
      hold the Torch and offer their wishes, prayers and goodwill. Some of
      the young children were very thoughtful and grateful and one very
      young girl was so moved that she very sincerely hugged one of our
      runners after she held the torch.

      Directly after this Wellington School, we hurried to another
      Wellington School, the upper school for the older children on a
      different campus. Karen Matthews, the Principal there, along with
      Cindy Moon and most of the teachers and staff, again organized a
      wonderful program with the children. We enjoyed two different
      orchestras performing a song each, as well as a solo performer on

      Our presentation varies slightly according to the ages of the children
      involved, and in this case we had a high energy and very receptive
      audience of over 150 children in the bleachers. The excitement really
      swelled as Karen and most of the others teachers, including one
      teacher who is expecting a child in about one month, all ran around
      the auditorium with the Torch as the children very enthusiastically
      cheered them on. Heading outdoors we passed the Torch around to all
      the children to offer their wishes and prayers for harmony and
      friendship. Before we left, a few of the high school girls decided to
      spontaneously sing our theme song for us once more as they enjoyed the
      rhythms and the music and positive message generated by this song
      written by the founder of the World Harmony Run, Sri Chinmoy. The
      words are: "Run, run, run, run, run, run, world Harmony Run. We are
      the Oneness and Fulness of tomorrow's sun."

      Running the Torch to our last location, we made it to the Rio Vista
      after school program in St. Petersburg before 4 pm. Katie Brewer, the
      Program Director, along with the staff,(`Coaches' as they are referred
      to), and over 150 children, all welcomed us to this beautiful campus.
      Starting our program indoors in an auditorium with a big stage, we
      then proceeded outdoors where the children and staff executed a long
      and serpentine Torch run around the huge field. After a session of
      photos with the children and the Torch, we had to leave another
      exciting school experience, hopefully leaving behind as well as taking
      with us valuable lessons on harmony and friendship.

      We ended the day with a very nice dinner offered by Tilvila, our local
      coordinator, and other friends who live and work here in the Tampa
      area. It was also a surprise party for one of the workers in her
      restaurant in Palm Harbor, called Consciousness-Blossoms. Katya just
      returned home from a successful 6-Day race in New York City, sponsored
      by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team. In her first attempt at a multi-day
      race, she completed 300 miles in 6 days, a very noteworthy
      achievement. Our combined mileage here running with the Torch has not
      even come close to that in the last five days.

      Our small team of four core members have only been in Florida for five
      days so far, but with all the wonderful experiences offered by our
      friends here as well as our new friends in all the schools we have
      been to, it seems like weeks that we have been enjoying the sun and
      warmth of this beautiful state and all of its people.

      Arpan and The Core Team U.S.A.: Francesco, Salil, Banshidhar
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