School Opening — Lake Baikal, Olkhon island
9-22 July 2018
The Olkhon island of Lake Baikal became home to the SHAR pioneers in July 2018 for two vibrant and memorable weeks. SHAR Academy's summer educational camp was located in Khuzhir village, one of the renowned places on Olkhon island. The village and its surroundings, facing the "petit" waters of the Lake, filled our souls with serene inspiration and desire for knowledge.

Olkhon island is exactly the place where "Nature reigns and rules the whole" and where students cannot be distracted by big city fuss and can both relax and activate intellectual work. At 8 in the morning yoga practices would start either at the beach or in a little wood nearby. Olya, the yoga teacher, would make our bodies and brains feel refreshed after sleep, bright and ready for a new day.
After the bodies were tuned, it was the brains which started their work. We spent the first two school hours (10 am to 12 am) penetrating into the pressing issues of global importance described in the English language. As for the Chinese class, it came later in the afternoon and was centered around Chinese history, culture and the way of thinking, with the key notions named and learned in the Chinese language.

Our students were happy to have philosophy classes following the English ones, and history classes following the Chinese ones since their minds needed to be rebalanced after hard and - to a large extent - strenuous work of learning a foreign language. The way we taught philosophy and history implied discussions, reflection and logical thinking, which activate other parts of human brains.
And there was a vast range of activities which we could do in the evenings and at the weekends, starting from riding horses along the beach to enjoying a magnificent sunset while sup-surfing on the crystal clear waters of the Baikal. And of course, there were countless walks around the Olkhon island, which filled our hearts with joy and gratitude towards Baikal for kindly hosting our summer camp.