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Kristin Hurst participates in a peace walk in Brazil. Julie Alexander

Kristin Hurst participates in a peace walk in Brazil. Julie Alexander

Plans for a clean world

Cathryn Clinton
March 25, 2008

AKRON, Pa. – Kristin Hurst's plan for a clean world is happening one step at a time. During a peace walk in Brazil, many joined Kristin in her work.

Seven-year-old Kristin Hurst and five-year-old Kyra Hurst, together with their parents, John Hurst and Julie Alexander, Mennonite Central Committee workers, took part in the first peace walk in Candeias, Brazil. A number of the schools in the region sponsored the event with the objective of promoting social peace, environmental peace and internal peace.

Children, youth, and adults wearing white shirts filled the streets for the two-mile walk. Some waved white handkerchiefs, and some, like the Hurst's, carried a peace flag. The crowd sang along as a truck at each end of the walk played peace songs over loudspeakers.

There were tents along the way with water for the walkers. Ignoring the trashcans, many carried their cups and dropped them in the street when they were finished.

Kristin noticed this and picked up the discarded cups, but soon her hands were full. The father of a schoolmate found a bag for her. It was quickly filled, so he went into a store and got another one.

Other walkers noticed, and both children and adults began to help Kristin and Kyra, who had joined her sister. Kristin thanked people for their trash deposit. Kristin's mother pointed out to Kristin that her actions had encouraged others to take care of the earth.

Kristin grinned and said, "Then my plan is working!"

When asked for specifics about her plan, Kristin replied, "Well, I hope that if I pick up litter, then maybe other people will see me and want to do it too. If they do it, then maybe it will spread to other people and on and on until the whole WORLD is clean!"

As her mother said, "Why aim small?"