I know we should be posting photos and daily reports about the event – after all it IS the first of its kind in history. But it’s been unbelieveably full. From early morning until late at night.
I’ll just list a few highlights and come back later to give a fuller report.
We’ve had Plenary sessions every day. There are usually three speakers and a moderator. The moderator really has only done introductions and kept the flow going. To give you a brief taste – today – Henry Manna from Kenya did the moderation. He has the greatest deep, deep rich voice welcoming the community (and by the second day it truly felt like a growing community). He spoke briefly about his life as the early education curriculum writer for the Dept of Education in Kenya. He grew up in a grass hut, one of ten children. He told us that so many said that it was shocking for him to take the job because he was a man. But he has helped to recruit more tha 60% men to the training program. Yes, that’s 60%! I’ll get the numbers from the report he distributed at his workshop to give you a more detailed report.
After his talk – Craig d’Arcy from Australia was golng to give a talk called: Mining, Rugby and Preschools (or something like that). He said that after the conference progressed he decided to totally re-do his presentation. He talked a bit about his work and history – a fascinating account about his being the only guy with lots of women in his training program. And that as a young man, he saw his first birth – the doctor doing the delivery assumed he was a medical student and not suspect that he was an early childhood education student.
After his story, he showed two powerful movies of men with their children. The men were primarily aboriginal men. He prefaced the movies by saying the common message about men is of alcoholism, abuse and drugs. The movie showed men both holding, bathing and loving their children while talking about the greatest joy for the men was having their child.
I later found out that one of the men talking turns out to be a very famous rugby player. It was great to learn this – and as aside – this happened numerous times – learning something about another country that I had no idea or understanding (e.g. cricket).
There’s so much more but I’ve got to head to another gathering!