I have a good friend, Sogand, who is an amazing cook and invites her friends regularly when she cooks her specialties - typically foods from her native Iran. Though she also is an American citizen, she married an Italian and has a 4 year old daughter, Sofia, who is a doll. Here is a recent hen meeting - Sogand is on the right, and my very good friends, Harriet (from South Africa) and Philippa (London) are next to her. Next in line are Ms. France, Ms. Nashville and Ms. Spain.
Here is also an old photo of Ray and Sofia. She has amazing hair.
The first part of June was fairly busy - we wrapped up Andrea's year with a farewell dinner with the students though they are still here finishing up exams. It is the norm in Italy to take your final exam orally (that sounds so dirty), so you can imagine the stress of sitting in front of the class and being "interrogated" (that is the word they use!) and then immediately recieving a course grade which you can reject if you aren't happy with it, and then schedule another oral exam at a later date. Can you imagine? I'd rather write a 20 page paper or take a written one.
We spent one afternoon with friends in a castle in Dozza, a small hilltop town where we had visited with Celeste and Rik. There is a great enoteca in the "cantina" where there are wines from the hundreds of local producers. This is Andrea, Ray and friends in the castle tower playing Ring around the Rosie Italian style.
Following the castle tour, we visited an agriturismo for lunch. These restaurants are usually working farms that produce their own foods-we sat on a terrace to eat while Ray played on the playground next to it (for four hours straight and no lunch - just a drink of water from time to time).
Another day, another photo of Ray on a mall ride.
Ray's birthday was celebrated again with Godmother Kathryn, and her husband Marco. (Don't laugh at my cake, sisters) Kathryn works for a non-profit cancer research institute. She is one of the few Americans who has carved out a fairly successful career here...