as you very well know now, the last week of june and the first week of july we spent in the mountains of italy at camp.
most people (like me) grew up going to camp and probably some of your most fun kid memories are from camp (mine are). kids look forward to this week all year long and here in italy it is no different. these kids came from the churches all over italy so some of them only get to see each other at camp every year.
this experience was really special in so many ways and i am so thankful for all the adults for letting us americans get so involved. we had so much fun and were blessed by getting to witness the lives of many kids and teenagers being changed forever. there were 3 beautiful baptisms (in a deep freeze) that i will always treasure being a part of.
instead of talking about it, i'm just going to show you the video i made:
so, then the day after we got back from camp ryan, angela, and i drove to STIA italy, see it there about 2 cm north east of florence.
this is where angela and i learned how to weave. stia is a sleepy little town in the casentino mountains and it is known for their wool. the 100+ year old wool mill there has been very well preserved and the inside made into a beautiful museum. the wonderful lady who taught us has 2 weaving "labs" in this museum so this is where we spent 3 glorious days together. ryan came along as our photographer, he may have gone swimming in the river a few times too. the light in this room was absolutely heavenly and ryan took some of the best pictures he has ever taken here. guided by our teacher, ryan took step by step photos of the weaving process that we plan on making into an instructional booklet for the women we will teach here in florence. angela giordano, our teacher, will also use this book to teach the women that she goes to help in developing countries, because most of them can't read. i'll share a few of his beautiful photos, but i also made a video of this trip.
then we were home for about 4 days, in which i worked on videos (ermenita's wedding slideshow and something for the bondeno church)/cleaned/washed clothes and ryan went to the bible school to help with the complete kitchen remodel happening over there. his job has been cutting tile so he comes home every day looking like he just took a dive into a vat of flour. even after his shower, for hours white powder seeps out of the corners of his eyeballs. cool.
so anyway, after a few days of that we went to milan to see PAUL SIMON in concert. we got there on a sunday afternoon, rented bikes and rode all over the city until the concert at 9 that night. AMAZING. he is still great live, very encouraging. the next day we had until our train left at 3 in the afternoon, so we did the same thing, discovered the city on bike.
it was wonderful, i'm getting so used to battling crazy italian traffic on bike, i actually miss biking when i'm away from it for a couple of days. i'm looking forward to conquering daily life on a bike back in the states.
since then we have had a few people over for game night, had girls night at mona's house for ermenita's last fling before her wedding, i've been working on more videos/purging our apt/cleaning/packing for our trip to the states, and ryan has still been working at the bible school. tonight we are going to a cookout at the villa, i still have to do one last art project for ermenita's wedding, we have to run a few errands in town, and we have to finish packing but that's about it.
we leave saturday morning before the sun comes up for our visit to the states! we are really excited and i'm very prepared to have reverse culture shock, but that's ok. i'm just so excited to see our family and friends again, even for a short time. oh, and i'm also cutting all my hair off!
see you all on the flip side.