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Geeseinformation Northern Autumn/Southern Spring 2011 2011 GEESE Gathering – Key Developments & Outcomes Board of Directors: Ross Jackson, Jane Rasbash, Jonathan Dawson, Potira Preiss, Michyio Furuhashi At the end of June this year, Gaia Education’s GEESE gathered at Ross and Hildur Jackson’s farm, Duesomegaard, in Denmark. The aim: to further envision and develop Gaia Education’s strategy for the upcoming years. The gathering was attended by sustainability educators involved in Gaia Education from around the world – the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and for the first time, Africa, were all represented in a group that contained a natural gender balance. With so much expansion and success having taken place since the first EDE in 2005 (2,500 EDE Alumni from EDEs across 23 countries) the 2011 GEESE Gathering came at an important and exciting time for Gaia Education. While there is much to celebrate, the gathering was guided by important questions around the organisation’s continued sustainability as a non-profit organisation; quality assurance of the EDE as its adapted to local needs and run in communities around the world; partnerships with universities & academia; and areas of collaboration between Gaia Education and her sister organisation, the Global Ecovillage Network. Product development continues to play a central role for Gaia Education. Version 5 of the EDE curriculum was given focus and will be available by the end of the year – warm appreciation and thanks to Giovanni Ciarlo for his tireless effort in completing v5. Translations of this and other products remain important in delivering to the growing Spanish-speaking network and other emerging regions. Complementing the 4 Keys To Sustainable Community Development Everywhere on the Planet, publications addressing Design and Pedagogy are now also on the cards. (continues on page 2)


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With the Gaia Education network expanding and the organisation’s presence as a leader in sustainability education growing, communications have become increasingly important. Pathways towards a communications strategy that embraces both a greater outreach and deeper in-reach were laid down and resources dedicated towards realising this vision. Other key developments from the 2011 GEESE Gathering: yy New and alternative technologies for communications yy Improved quality and monitoring & evaluation of programmes yy Closer partnership with similarly aligned organisations, including the UN Partnering with GEN around thematic areas and exploring joint funding possibilities yy Planning advanced EDEs and EDE masters courses yy Continued support of indigenous / traditional EDEs yy Refined and streamlined certification processes Considering the organisation’s successful involvement in the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), Gaia Education’s programme Director, May East, was unanimously voted in for a further term. Additionally, new members volunteered to join Gaia Education, including Kosha Joubert, Lua Bashala-Kekana, Giovanni Ciarlo, Toomas Trapido, Daniel Greenberg, MarCelo Todescan, Adama LY, Deniz Dincel and Penelope Reyes. Gaia Education & the Board would also like to thank all who sent questions and joined the live video stream from Denmark. This was another first for the organisation and you can be sure that there will be more of this to come in the future!

Mitigating their Carbon... Participants of the 2011 GEESE Gathering pooled funds and donated to two different carbon-friendly projects from EDE alumni, one in Cambodia and one in India. Read more about these projects on GEESE NING. http://geese-gaiaeducation.ning.com

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EDE Kathmandu, Nepal, June 2011 Max Lindegger Dirty, smelly, noisy, busy. This is how I remember Kathmandu from previous visits. It is still dirty, but less so. And it is still smelly, though with a different hue as open sewers have mostly been replaced with the scent of incense – sometimes pleasant, other times rather overpowering. There is a lot more traffic, so much noisier and busier. In 1991 I found what appeared to be a well organized monarchy, albeit with plenty of cronyism and corruption. Nepal is now a political mess: 64+ political parties, ethnic groups, religions, all arguing over a new constitution. The economy is only building bubbles and young people are leaving by the thousands. Strikes are crippling transport and the queue at the passport office was more than 100m. Talk about being patient! But there is a hint of hope. Could it be that I spent my days with the participants on the positive edge? Organiser BK Aryal attracted an amazing bunch of people. Mostly young students though including farmers, NGO workers and business people, though too few women. I would like to congratulate BK and his team on the smooth organization and their caring attitude towards participants amidst tough conditions. Course participants endured long hours and often met after hours to discuss issues further in their own language, showing a special commitment to the subject. The field trip was special. The training centre, which I was privileged to officially open, is built from local stone and earth, bamboo and timber. Electricity is connected, water is flowing past the building and crops are planted. The views to the mountains are said to be stunning (cloudy on the day we visited). The Centre has already attracted the attention of locals. There is great potential to demonstrate appropriate technology and new crops. An experimental farm is planned, introducing new crops and cultivars to test suitability to the location.

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Many subjects were covered and I tried to give a good overview of the EDE. A couple of sessions were open to general questions and many subjects of local importance could be addressed. Next steps: The participants were very excited, wanting to take what they learnt to their home regions. My concern is that the groups are not sufficiently trained at this stage and their villages cannot afford “mistakes�. Further training is obviously necessary and planned. As always, there were some star performers on the course: people who have the sparkle in their eyes, a track record of hard work and loads of enthusiasm. These have the potential to lead and guide the EV concept in Nepal and deserve our support. Women were under-represented and need encouragement. Nepal as a country is at a difficult stage in their development. People are suffering. Farmers are struggling. I feel committed to projects in Manila and Cambodia but would support future courses with the potential for more practical content. I was sad to leave Nepal though rather exhausted and with many new friends and much hope.

Key Certification Updates yy A minimum of 125 contact hours (previously this was 120 hrs) yy A minimum of 15 hours devoted to holistic and detailed design processes yy The addition of at least one team educator who has completed an EDE yy Report requirements & evaluation criteria have been further refined yy A new stream-lined re-certification process for organisations running a second EDE For further information, please see www.gaiaeducation.net

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Dancing & Singing: Kibbutz Hukuk EDE – Israel, June 2011 Diana Leafe Christian The EDE course I co-led in Israel hosted 23 participants from all over the country. Sponsored by the nonprofit Israel Permaculture Organization, it was held at Kibbutz Hukuk near the Sea of Galilee. Kibbutz Hukuk is a unique EDE venue because a new group of ecological activists joined an already established kibbutz. The new group has introduced ecological values, practices and started onsite holistic grammar and kindergarten schools. The course was held at Liba, a lodging and seminar center. Participants stayed in dorm rooms or in Liba’s main seminar room and delicious organic Middle Eastern meals were served in a shady pavilion outside. It felt very much like we were living in our own community center for a month. Our course was characterized by lots of singing, dancing, joy and laugher — I didn’t know Israelis would be so much fun! Participants jumped up to lead Israeli folk dances, played guitar and sang in the evenings. Each day a different EDE participant — the “energy keeper” — spontaneously put on lively dance tunes to make us all get up and dance. Course material presented included the process of obtaining land from the Israeli government (which owns all land), descriptions of traditional communities in the Orthodox Jewish tradition and Kibutz Lotan’s incomesharing economy, decision-making method and new-member policy. Participants also learnt how regular meditation can help people who live in community increase individual and group wellbeing and harmony. New Hukuk residents led exercises demonstrating Re-evaluation Cocounseling, used at Hukuk for emotional healing. Participants loved it!

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We also celebrated Shavuot, the Jewish agricultural holiday — a real-life example of community celebration. One of my favorite activities was the “Ecovillage Timeline Game”. Participants worked with large index cards describing the many steps typically taken to create an intentional community-style ecovillage. One task was to arrange the cards in a logical order from ‘start’ to ‘finish’; the other task was to decide how to organize themselves to do this! Another highlight was the “Art and Celebration” sessions where participants first practiced and later performed art and music presentations, highlighting the importance of creativity and celebration. Performances included a beautiful Hebrew poem about our course, a contact improv demonstration (which our whole group joined) and the Ecovillage Rap Song - complete with guitar, harmonica, rap mouth-sounds, spontaneous lyrics in Hebrew and English, stylized rap gestures and even break dancing! It was hilariously funny and we laughed and cheered until we were hoarse. Five design groups presented their projects at the end of the course and in a moving ceremony, complete with spontaneous singing and dancing, everyone received an EDE certificate. On the last day participants gave me a beautiful thank-you gift — a fig tree sapling that I planted just outside Liba. Planting a tree in Israel is a great honor as it represents helping to build the country, a wonderful way to spend the last day with these dear eco-activists I’d come to love.

This is an edited version of the article Dancing & Singing: The EDE in Israel by Diana Leafe Christian, available on Gaia Education’s GEESE NING website.

http://geese-gaiaeducation.ning.com/profiles/blogs/dancing-and-singing

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Recalling Ancient Futures: Indigenous Wisdom & the EDE Jane Rasbash, Lua Bashala-Kekana, Adama Ly, Kosha Joubert, George John The eco-footprint of a forest Karen village on the Thai-Burma border is far less than the most cutting edge northern ecovillage. Elders here tell stories of a wonderful cosmology; the untrained eye would not notice that the forest is held sacred, providing food and medicine with centuries old herb gardens, healing areas, burial grounds and sacred spaces. For millennia, traditional and indigenous communities across the globe have lived close to nature, their social, ecological and economic presence closely entwined to that of Earth’s. As the juggernaut of modernisation sweeps across Earth, these ancient, sustainable ways are in grave danger. Climate change, desertification and consumerism are just a few disasters along with complex political and economic dynamics, displacing thousands annually. People are losing their sacred connection to land and community, becoming self-depreciative and believing their wisdom to be obsolete as they come into contact with sophisticated modern media. In contrast, the ecovillage movement celebrates these traditionally sustainable ways. GEN’s draft guidelines to recognise traditional villages as ecovillages and the eloquent EDE curriculum facilitates a re-valuing of traditional wisdom, increasing self-esteem, self-determination and pride in cultural roots. Burning questions around the pros and cons of modernization and what constitutes development, sustainability and resilience in the longer term are explored in the four dimensions. AFRICA

“I had tears for a month… I could not believe what I had found… I recognised this as the answer...” Congo’s Lua Bashala on meeting with the ecovillage concept & the EDE

Lua presented the EDE at the recent Congo GEN conference where it was recognised by her people as ‘the way we used to live’. Her dream: building an ecovillage in the Congo, with street children and war-rape survivors; creating ‘a light in the darkness that will expand into a bonfire’.

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Ecovillages are forming the core of Senegalese development policy. A pictorial EDE mandala, devised by Marian Zeitlin, is being experimented with, inspiring discussion in the 4 dimensions and breaking ground in its work with oral cultures. Senegal’s Adama Ly is at the helm of supporting the emergence of GEN Africa. Through the EDE and ecovillage ethos, this will lead to, among other things, transitioning villages to ecovillages and maintaining African cultural identities ASIA Wongsanit Ashram’s four Thailand EDEs were predominantly attended by regional community leaders. These EDEs have inspired emerging EDEs in China, the Philippines, Bangladesh and more. The first EDE with tribal people was held in Orissa, India. Kosha Joubert tells of ‘inspiring images of women taking an oath over fire as they step into leadership - pledging to safeguard their communities, their forests, their children...’. Participants witnessed how the reintroduction of village technology, communal land cultivation and seed banks are increasing solidarity, building on traditional wisdom and moving towards eco-communities. Orissa alumni are planning a local-language EDE and pilot ecovillages. SOUTH AMERICA An EDE has been certified and is being planned with a traditional community in the Amazon region! EDEs in traditional communities are unique as they are informed from the indigenous values particular to the area and harvest the knowledge of the participants. This resurges and reconstructs a wealth of sustainable social, cultural, ecological and economic practices and significantly, serves as tool for empowerment. A participatory EDE is a wonderful tool for merging and sharing traditional wisdom & cutting edge sustainability. Creating a space for the 4 dimensions to be enriched by the wisdom of all present, globally we are moving towards resilience, sustainability and conscious pathways for future generations to grow up happy, healthy and whole. Read the GEN draft guidelines on GEESE NING: http://geese-gaiaeducation.ning.com/ profiles/blogs/recognition-of-traditional-and-indigenous-villages Read more about the Orissa EDE on GEESE NING: http://geese-gaiaeducation.ning.com/profiles/blogs/ede-orissa-2011

This an edited version of the article Traditional Village as Eco-village by Jane Rasbash, available on Gaia Education’s GEESE NING website. http://geese-gaiaeducation.ning.com/ profiles/blogs/traditional-village-ecovillage

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Going Beyond Conventional Livelihood Structures and Nurturing Core Strengths – EDE China, August 2011 Cheng Ying It took China 30 years to shift through the modern industrialization process which Western countries spent more than 200 years developing. Critics in China say it is happening too rapidly, that the Chinese people have not had enough time to build up an alternative belief system while the traditional one is rapidly collapsing. How should we, as a new generation of Chinese, love our country and respond to countries that are asking for sustainable development? From 2010 to 2011, PCD (Partnership for Community Development), Guizhou office, organized the EDE and began to encourage interested individuals and groups to design their own way of sustainable living. In collaboration with the community-based Conservation and Development Research Center, PCD started our first EDE in Guizhou in July 2010, ending with the local economy week in August, 2011. Over 25 participants joined us for the program, including local community workers and staff from government institutes. Learn from Mother Nature through the Dao De Jing From overall evaluation to feedback, we are glad that lots of participants expressed this as the “most touching training course” they had ever attended. The training attempted to break through participants’ conventional ideas of work and livelihood and explored how to look within to find one’s intrinsic values, cultivate one’s inner strength and create a way of living where individual beings can live harmoniously with Mother Nature. Most importantly, the course was designed to integrate with Chinese traditional wisdom, using the essence of Dao De Jing to learn the quality of leadership and local economy. There were lots of experiences to share as most participants are either working with rural communities or urban groups. Strong interaction with two

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communities was built in, one is with ethnic culture, and one with planning to start CSA and organic farming. The participants also had a chance to interact with villagers on their design work on the village. The first EDE curriculum has finished and we want to give special thanks to Pracha who helped us to carry out this trial EDE and gave lots of recommendations to us. We are looking forward to having another new attempt in the future, with wider target groups in the public and building in more training of trainers. Localisation of the EDE curriculum and methodology will also be in the process. Many people asked, “Why does PCD introduce the EDE curriculum to China?” I would say, what matters the most is the motivation of each participant in this curriculum. One participant quoted a phrase from Thich Nhat Hanh, which is worth sharing here:

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Please visit www.gaiaeducation.net for further information or email virtualede@gaiaeducation.net to sign-up!

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EDE Alumni Case Study: Valle del Coz Coz Deborah Rada Requena & Alexis Torres Peña

Valle del Coz-Coz es una biorregión en el sur de Chile, en la Araucanía, en plena zona mapuche. Alexis Torres y Deborah Rada, estudiantes del curso GEDS 2009-10, han realizado un estudio biorregional para la sostenibilidad de esta región, que incluye la creación de 3 ecoaldeas y la puesta en marcha de diferentes iniciativas sociales, culturales y económicas. Entre los objetivos de este proyecto está la creación de una plataforma ecoturística que permita el enlace entre las ecoaldeas y las comunidades locales, el desarrollo de la infraestructura necesaria para llevar a cabo una labor de educación ambiental, y la creación de un banco de semillas local para garantizar la soberanía alimentaria del territorio.

Coz-Coz Valley is a bioregion in Araucania, southern Chile, a traditional Mapuche area. Alexis Torres and Deborah Rada, students of the 2009-10 GEDS course, have conducted a bioregional study for the sustainability of this region, which includes a proposal for the creation of 3 ecovillages and the implementation of several social and economic initiatives. Among the specific objectives of this project standing out are the creation of an ecotourism platform that makes possible the link between eco-villages and traditional communities, the development of the necessary infrastructure to carry out activities on environmental education, and the creation of a local seed bank to ensure food sovereignty of the territory.

You can download the full case study PDF (81 pages) from GEESE NING! http://geese-gaiaeducation.ning.com profiles/blogs/case-study-valleycozcoz

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The First Flight of GEESE in Curitiba: Sowing the Seeds – Brazil, March to August 2011 Weavers: Claudia P. Sant’Anna, Maria Edite F. Faganello, Luciane S. Sato The first EDE in Brazil’s Paraná happened in Curitiba, in the period from March to August 2011. The group was composed of 32 people – 13 women and 19 men – with various ages and areas of knowledge and expertise. Gaia Curitiba has been enriched with several partnerships – public and private. The classes took place at Federal University of Paraná, Faculdades Integradas Espírita and Agroecology Reference Center of Paraná – CPRA. The group process was conducted using participatory methods in order to co-create a living space for everyone during the course and beyond. We chose this path because we believe that the major challenge is to educate for coexistence, for the understanding of interdependence, care, compassion and cooperation. With this intention, we created the “methodological sewing” of the group process. All the time, the group was challenged to rethink and re-create their individual and collective way of relationship with oneself and with others, understanding and experiencing the interdependence of all beings – human and nonhuman – and the natural world. In addition to the usual procedures (e.g. internships and practice of villages) we created opportunities for the establishment and strengthening of a “common thread” in the group. This enabled them to weave their own network of conceptual, affective and practical connections about what they learned in theoretical classes. The experience allowed space for the heartbeat/breath of the group and for the expansion of the perception that interpersonal relationship is the great exercise in learning social and sustainable skills. In this sense, one of the important proposals was the self-managed groups – when students were grouped voluntarily to take care of one of the aspects of the group field: Window of Celebration, the Keepers of Communications, Food, Environmental Harmonization, Heart & Time, Transportation & Lodging Solidarity and the Creative Wall of Money.

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“Gaia has transformed my life because it makes me understand the deep connection of feeling, thinking and acting! In my search for internal consistency with my outward actions and expanding my sense of belonging and connectivity with everything and everyone! Co-create and talk is better to do and discuss! In the process of self-management and circular leadership, the constant learning and cooperative practice, we are directors and all responsible for universal transformation.� Goose Diego H. S. Batista

We are very grateful to be part of the weaving in this very special process to anchor Gaia Education. Sincere thanks to the GEESE who accepted the invitation and chose to co-create with us so many new worlds.

Gaia has intensified my look. The perception of things. It did listen. It opened my heart. Gave meaning to the feelings. Thirst for change. Join to live. The seed germinated and now deposited grows and grows and grows and grows and expands out and... Driven by the lightness of flying goose spreads throughout the world. Goose Genevive de O. Moreira

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Gaia Education in the USA: From Downtown Albuquerque to an Ecovillage in Rural Missouri Zaida Amaral The first Gaia Education course in the United States took place in an urban area – Albuquerque, New Mexico between 2007 and 2008. The next one, to be held in 2012 in rural Missouri, is a direct result of the first. But the seeds for the US courses were actually planted far away, in the megalopolis of São Paulo, Brazil! Inspired by the urban EDE held in São Paulo in 2006 and with the encouragement of May East, local organizers in Albuquerque started planning another urban course, with Chris Mare serving as the official GEESE. An informal partnership was created with the University of New Mexico’s Sustainability Studies Program and the course was presented in collaboration with the University Continuing Education. A very vibrant and successful course took in the diverse western United States, with a total of 30 students from the ages of 18 to 85. Participants included university students and staff, business owners, staff from several nonprofits, and members of Hummingbird Community, an ecovillage in Mora, New Mexico. The course used the format pioneered in São Paulo: students gathered every other month for classes and activities spread over two weekends and five weekday evenings. A design studio practice was chosen for each of the four dimensions. Students divided into village groups and worked on real projects related to the city of Albuquerque, culminating in a final design studio presentation. The relationship with the University of New Mexico established an ongoing influence on their Sustainability Studies curriculum – the department now includes Jonathan Dawson’s book, Ecovillages: New Frontiers for Sustainability, in the syllabus and every semester it offers a class on ecovillage design, based on the Gaia Education program.

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Next Gaia Education in USA 2012 – Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage The lead teacher for the New Mexico course is now bringing Gaia Education to her community. Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is a 55-member project in the rolling hills of northern Missouri with the goal of becoming a 5001000 person village. The community operates by consensus, hosts dozens of natural building and organic gardening interns each year and has a unique structure of co-operatives that make it a fascinating experiment in flexible cooperation. Two neighboring communities create a larger pool of ecologically sound cooperative action. The Gaia Education course will be taught by a core staff of community founders (Laird Schaub of Sandhill Farm, Alyson Ewald of Red Earth Farms, Tony Sirna and ecovillage educator Ma’ikwe Schaub Ludwig of Dancing Rabbit) and a dozen other ecovillage residents, highlighting the living lessons of three sustainable cooperative communities. The 37-day residential intensive will be the ideal training for someone wanting to start or strengthen an ecovillage project in the US, or find ways to export the lessons of cooperation to any sustainability project they are passionate about. LINKS http://sust.unm.edu http://www.hummingbirdcommunity.org http://www.dancingrabbit.org http://www.sandhillfarm.org http://www.redearthfarms.org

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May East: 100 Global Sustain Ability Leaders The Board of Gaia Education We are thrilled to announce that ‘Mother Goose’, Programme Director of Gaia Education, May East, has been honoured for her work as one of 100 Global Sustain Ability Leaders. We would like to thank her and acknowledge her huge contribution towards ensuring our future generations have a more sustainable, equitable and beautiful planet.

¡Pronto disponible en español! Economía de Gaia – una de las 4 Llaves para Comunidades Sostenibles

para las comunidades sostenibles del planeta

Llave Económica Editores

Jonathan Dawson Helena Norberg-Hodge Ross Jackson

Economía de Gaia

Vivir bien dentro de los límites del planeta

La llave económica del EDE

Gaiaeducation

Economía de Gaia – una de las 4 Llaves para Comunidades Sostenibles estará pronto disponible en español. Traducida por Carlos Gómez se podrá descargar gratuitamente en breve desde www.gaiaeducation.net. Las versiones en inglés de las llaves social y económica, Beyond You and Me, Gaian Economics, también se pueden descargar gratuitamente desde el portal de Gaia Education, o comprar en formato impreso desde www.green-shopping.co.uk o desde cualquier librería.

Gaia Education has partnered with the Earth Day Network to pledge all certified Gaia Education programmes to the Earth Day 2011: A Billion Acts of Green® campaign. By simply participating in one of our programmes, you will be contributing to this inspired initiative. You are also invited to trump up even more acts of green by Supporting & Promoting Earth Day 2012. Please go to http://act.earthday.org/act/1314794404/support-promote-earth-day-2012 to pledge your support.

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Current & Upcoming EDEs Around the World It started a dream... Dreaming Mallorca... A promise, a Spanish fashion designer and sustainability activist, a 13th century former monastery... Spain’s Son Rul-lan EDE, on the island of Mallorca, is currently underway. Read more about the unfolding adventure of this incredible journey on GEESE NING. http://geese-gaiaeducation.ning.com/profiles/blogs/dreaming-mallorca Other EDEs currently underway include Estonia’s first EDE and 3 EDEs in Brazil: Gaia Rio, Gaia Brasilândia and Ecobairro Salvdor.

Scotland, Findhorn 1st – 28th October 2011 www.findhorn.org UOC Online Programme English: 11th October 2011 – 16th July 2012 Spanish: 19th October 2011 – 12th July 2012 www.gaiaeducation.net Siddharthvillage, Orissa, India Oriya: 15th October – 12th November 2011 English: 10th February 2012 – 10th March 2012 www.siddharthvillage.com Wongsanit Ashram, Thailand 16th January 2012 – 4th March 2012 www.wongsanit-ashram.org

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The Park, Findhorn Forres IV36 3TZ Morayshire, Scotland United Kingdom administrator@gaiaeducation.net phone: +44 1309 692011 Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in Scotland No 353967 Scottish Charity No SC040839

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Geese in Formation - Out - 2011  

Geese in Formation - Out - 2011

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