We hadn’t expected to send out a posting so soon, but here we are.
As we left our little city park campground in Bowman, ND Thursday morning, we spied a small motorhome at the dump station. It was decorated with colorful pictures and slogans, but wasn’t close enough to see clearly. As we pulled closer, we could read on the side of the vehicle, “World Harmony Run.”
The driver was about to pull away, but I flagged him down and went over to find out what he was about.
David Sigurgeirsson is from Iceland, and is part of a variable team of about 12 young people from around the world who are traveling along America’s highways this year as part of the World Harmony Run. This is an international torch relay devoted to advancing friendship and harmony between individuals and nations.
The other members of his team were relaxing at a campsite some distance away. I asked David if I could take his picture, and as I went back for my camera, he dug out some information for us to take with us.
What we didn’t realize until after we had left Bowman was what a big thing this is. This team started its USA run in New York City April 10, and will return there August 15, holding events in 57 cities and towns along the way. But they are only one of several teams that will carry a flaming torch over 30,000 miles through more than 100 countries across the globe this year.
Since the inception of the World Harmony Run in 1987, teams have run in more 140 nations, and the torch has been held by such notables as Pope John Paul II, Muhammad Ali, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Nelson Mandela, as well as by thousands of children, ranch hands, square dancers, athletes and others, each carrying the torch a few steps, a few blocks, or a few miles.
If we had realized they were holding an event in Bowman, ND (of all places! Bowman is just a very small town in the middle of the prairie, probably the smallest town in their tour), we’d have stayed over another day, or at least long enough to carry the torch. But we were there, and we became at least a small part of this world event.
You can take a look at their travels and activities on their web page at http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/
Then just up the highway we found Amidon, the smallest county seat in the nation. Being a curious sort, I had to find out more. Suzy pulled Rosie to a halt in front of the Lebanon Lutheran Church, and I trotted over to the County Courthouse where I learned from the County Auditor that the population of the town of Amidon is 16.
We like finding unusual things, and we found two Thursday as we live … Our Life on Wheels!