I had the nicest week away at Oxford Brookes University.

Anna Nekaris (Anna’s Site) was the best host in the world, as was everyone in the program. When Alison Jolly and I arrived, we met with a group of students either pursuing a theses in Madagascar, or devoted to a path in Environmental Education. Their buzz was contagious. Can’t say I was the least bit surprised to find the MSc in Primate Conservation an empathetic, laid back, adventurous and passionate group.

Alison’s talk was received brilliantly- I overheard murmurs of how nice it was to hear a renowned primateologist talk about both the needs of both people and the animals with a full context, plenty of hope and perspective, and loads of charisma. It was fun to engage with all of the students at the pub after, a tradition that they have every Monday. It was clear this was a really close group of students and professors with a lot of enthusiasm.

Not only was I able to meet with students and professors, but Anna helped me reunite with the animal kingdom! In her adorable 18th century English cottage, she has a little hamster, two bunnies, the happiest dog Figgy, a cuddly cat Algy, and just down the road, a stunning and sweet shire horse, Tin. Both Anna, myself, and Simon all went to visit Janet and Michael McCrea, of the McCrea Conservation and Education Fund for a wonderful home cooked dinner and a lively discussion about evaluating environmental education. And, Anna made sure that I finally ate crumpets!

And on Wednesday, I led the three hour seminar for the Environmental Education module (feel free to open the Session Outline). The feedback was positive, and we even got in a few wanderers from outside the program.

Here they are sharing a mapping activity…

I was worried that my days of getting drawings from new students was over, but at the end of the day, I got an inspiring design of an “Inclusive Park” with signatures. It’s obviously hanging above my desk to inspire these next two term papers.

Feeling totally revived. I’ve been missing my primate people. Thank you, Anna!