Lynne Lawrence opened the second week of EsF with a quote from Renilde Montessori and the Pearls of the Day.  She introduced the speaker for the morning, Dr. Prithika Chary, whose mother attended one of the training courses given by Maria Montessori during her time in India.  Dr. Chary gave a fascinating talk about brain development in prenatal and post-natal stages.  Dr. Chary drew on her extensive medical background to covey the natural miracle of each child.  She described how the environment can support neural growth and how issues such as neglect present obstacles to healthy brain development.  Dr. Chary demonstrated that Montessori principles such as repetition, movement and choice were significant for human development, particularly in the early childhood years. 

At morning tea, we celebrated the birthday of EsF participant, Matesha, from Tanzania, with chocolate cake delivered on a table decorated with flowers and leaves spelling Matesha’s name.  Today participants had the chance to view and purchase locally made wooden toys, and some books written by EsF participant, Christinia.  Lynne advised that all participants would be sent a link to Dropbox today where the EsF documents are now being gathered.

After morning tea, Lynne introduced Amukta Mahapatra, who is the Director of SchoolScape, a Centre for Educators offering activity-based learning in Tamil Nadu in India.  Amukta has worked to bring quality education to government schools.  She started on a small scale, without expectation of the level of success.  Amukta traced the development of the project as it scaled up and spread to other states resulting in a happy Minister of Education. 

After lunch, Dr. Prithika Chary returned to offer a second presentation on adolescents and the chemistry of love.  This was an insightful and entertaining look at how hormones shape our behavior.  Dr. Prithika also spoke on the ageing brain and introduced some natural products from our kitchens that can play a helpful role in addressing aspects of ageing. 

At the end of the day we said goodbye to Philip O’Brien.  Participants were then able to join local women to learn how to make floral decorations.  This was followed by a whole group celebratory dance around the decorations on the lawn and then an outside dinner.