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World March Blog
13 November 2009

Geneva – the end of the road from Cairo and Istanbul

We finally arrived from Italy at 2:30am!  Dani met us at the church centre which was the place for breakfast and after coffee showed us to our rooms.

Now, I’ve stayed in some unusual places during my time on the World March (you will all remember the Marae in New Zealand and the Buddhist temples in Seoul) but this was something special.  We stayed in a nuclear bunker for the night!  It’s underground and the doors are half a metre thick and made of steel or something similar.  The beds are arranged in layers of three with thin foam mattresses, a sheet and a thin blanket to keep you warm.  Fortunately we had no problem with the cold because the place was excellently heated, but on arrival at 3:30 it was a bit of a shock.  I did my normal routine (accept and don’t complain – clean my teeth and go to bed in hopefully the quietest part of the room by the back wall).  However others in the team were messing around and getting ready for bed for about another hour!

In the morning we got up, used the communal showers, packed and left.  By 11:00am the bunker was one more memory in rich fabric of memories that I will take with me from this March!

The day itself was quite sunny most of the time and there was a luminosity in the sky as we walked along the lake side during the March.  Three or maybe four hundred people were with us and when we arrived in the main square where the speeches were we had quite a crowd.

The Mayor of Geneva immediately endorsed the Nobel Laureates charter, and others gave fine speeches including Colin Archer from International Peace Bureau.

We had music, some dance, jugglers and then we released pigeons into the air, each one carrying with it our hopes for the demands of the March to come true.  It was a very special day.

It was also a special day because the Balkan team met the Base team from New Zealand.  I had the chance to meet friends I hadn’t seen since Moscow and together with the friends from Zurich, the team who had marched on foot 120km from Chambery and a bus load of Italians from Perugia it was a fantastic point of encounter for the March.  Everyone had a great day and we were all very happy.

You can see Isabelle’s latest video here.

Really, considering that there’s no World without Wars in Geneva and no members of the Humanist Movement, what the local organisers have prepared has been excellent.  Just like everywhere else the World March has been…

Thank you everyone for what you’ve achieved.

With a big hug

Tony

2 comments to Geneva – the end of the road from Cairo and Istanbul

  • Kereru Pounamu

    Paimarire(Good Peace, to our World March for Peace Whanau(Family of the Core Team)! We have been following you, here at Kawai Purapura(Wellpark); from your first Powhiri(Welcome), into your first beginning Country, Aotearoa(New Zealand)! You know our Karakia(Prayers), have continued to follow you as you all have been travelling; plus many many more of our Worldwide Whanau are also sending you their Aroha(Love)& Karakia! Aroha to Apito & Zeneriff; who are Spirit Caretakers over you, whanau! Several of us here intend to see you in Argentina,,,as at the beginning,,, so at the end! Blessings from us all here! Paimarire..ake ake ake!(Good Peace Always!) Kereru.

  • Mayra

    Arohanui Aotearoa!!! Kia Kaha!!! o as we say in the Andes JALLALLA!!!