In February and March I traveled completely around the globe for the second time. The first was on the ship University of the Seven Seas (now called The Semester at Sea), a trip of 4 months. This trip is packed into one precious month.
It was very exciting (and very cold!) to be able to attend an Eagle Hunter competition not so far from Ulaanbaatar, the capital. If you have not heard of this ancient sport I highly recommend the movie “The Eagle Huntress” which tells the story, through a true documentary, of a young girl who became the first female to ever enter this male dominated sport, and she won! (Oops, hope I didn’t ruin the movie for you. No I do not think so for I have seen this movie 3 times and am sure you will enjoy it.) Hunting with eagles has been the way of getting food in this part of the world for many years and during a competition the horse and rider and eagle must work together to obey commands, just as though they were hunting for food. It was a beautiful sunny day but so cold that I had to turn my face to the sun to convince my brain that I was not freezing.
Above is a short video clip of one of the riders. The eagles are trained as babies and after 7 years returned to the wild with gratitude of the hunter.
Above is one of the statues of the revered Eagle Hunters found at the amazing monument, The Genghis Khan Equestrian statue, the largest equestrian statue in the world.
To see more, on a YouTube video CLICK HERE: Equestrian Statue
The Montessori work!
My good friend and AMI trainer, Lhamo Pemba, gave the 10-day AMI Assistants course, an introduction to Montessori for ages 3-6, and allowed me to contribute. Also I gave a 1-day workshop based on the book The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to three, and we held a book signing with the participants because it is now available in the Mongolian language, translated by the president of the AMI affiliate society in Mongolia, and soon to be graduate of the AMI 0-3 diploma course in Denver, Co, Tsolmon Namkhainyam. The cover art is of an oil painting of a baby whose herder family, living in a ger (yurt in Russian) out on the steppe, we interviewed the last time I was in Mongolia.
Here is a picture of two members of the AMI affiliate board as they presented both Lhamo and me (both in Mongolian dress) with beautiful scrolls of our names written in the ancient Mongolian script.
To Sweden – and the Mindfulness Talk
In both Mongolia and Sweden I gave a talk based on the book, “Montessori and Mindfulness”. The book was inspired by a presentation at the AMI congress in Prague last summer. It was something I had been thinking about for a long time.
Montessori and Mindfulness has been translated into Mongolian.
As adults in today’s world we are always rushing from one thing to the next, our attention usually on the past and the future. But in Montessori, uninterrupted concentration on age appropriate activities that involve the body and the mind working together, are the most important and most valuable gift we have for children. This is the most natural experience of true mindfulness.
Also, in Montessori education, instead of the teacher delivering lessons to a group of children, he or she is trained to observe each child individually, as well as the group, all day long, to adjust individual lessons to the stage of development and the interest of each child. There is no way for this teacher to be thinking about the past or the future; she is drawn into each moment of the teaching day, completely being in the moment. Thus Montessori is a method of mindfulness for both the child and the teachers. Here is the link to this book on Amazon.
Montessori and Mindfulness, CLICK HERE: Mindfulness book
Patricia Wallner and Louise Livingston, both AMI teacher trainers, were the other two speakers. Here is a picture of us with Barbra and members of the AMI affiliate organization for Sweden.
Work finished, now visiting friends
It was wonderful to be back in the lovely home of my friends Barbra Waller and her husband Tom. Jim and I have visited with them before in Sweden and Finland and they have visited us in California.
After the inspiring Montessori workshop in Stockholm I visited Barbra’s 0-3 class, amazed as always with her natural instincts and abilities with children of this age. Then we spent a day exploring in the Nordic Museum pictured here. I wish I had time a space to share much more of this visit but . . .
. . . Now it is time for me to return to our beach, where I do my best thinking, and enjoy precious with my husband and family.
All the best,