It’s clear that Vedananda has thought of everything and Ramchandra has transformed the 2 1/2 acre school campus to a beautiful destination. The most common comment about the Ashram from participants is “magical.”
The food has been terrific: vegetarian, mostly grown by them. Although they now have several major building here, every other square inch is dedicated to growing food for here. They also grow food on their other campuses in Terai and Gulmi.
They are also broadcasting some of the IDEC on the Internet. Derry Hannam in England e mailed that he saw my intro virtually. He couldn’t make it here. Yaacov Hecht couldn’t either, with the war going on there but he joined the opening by Zoom. Peter Gray made a Zoom presentation later.
The workshops are going on full swing. I saw some of the presentation of Charley Moreno on the democratic public school in Estonia.
I am going to list some of the other activities of today to give you a feel for the ways things unfold at this IDEC.
1. At the morning IDEC meeting there were a lot of announcements of workshops to take place today. People also made other general statements, such as a plea for IDEC to make a statement opposing the UN Rights of the Child using the “right to compulsory education,” and changing or clarifying it to mean the right of every child or family to have education for their child. I announced that my workshop would be everywhere and people could stop me anywhere to tell me or ask me anything. People took me up on that. For example I helped one woman who was volunteering at a school she loved in India but wanted help to figure out how she could expand that and still be involved with her IT work, but she hated the corporate world that came with it. I give her some solid suggestions. Many people stopped me to ask if I could give them table tennis lessons.
2. I went to the video documentary of the Estonian public democratic school.
3. I went to a workshop about democratic process in one school.
When taking a group picture afterward I suggested:
“Don’t block the light. Let the light come to you!”
Maybe a profound and apt photographic observation? : )
4. I talked to many people about their schools during meals.
5. I talked to a woman who wants to host the IDEC I 2025 in Austria. She and I were the only people here from the first IDEC meeting in Hadera in 1993.
6. I talked to more people I’ve sometimes known for decades from around the world, leading the promotion of learner-centered education in their countries.
7. In the evening there was a powerful presentation by the students of various kinds of dance and music.