Friday, August 14, 2009

Italy 2009

I can't believe our second summer in Italy is over! It is great to be home and enjoying our trampoline, tether ball, bikes, Thomas Train tracks, and new kittens. I am loving the dishwasher, microwave, icemaker, large shower and my tomatoes out of the yard. Jason is very relieved to have his online classes over and to no longer be responsible for 30 extra people. He had to deal with some very challenging issues we weren't expecting. We are all grateful to be in our own home and not living in someone's home. (We lived in the downstairs apartment of a 3 story villa. Six of our students were on the 3rd floor.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Update -Italy '08

Our whole family had a new experience this summer. We spent 7 weeks in Corciano, Italy. Jason directed a study abroad painting and drawing program for 15 students and 3 professors from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco - where he is a full time instructor. We got to stay in an apartment which was the first story of a 3 story villa. The host family - Dina and Gabrielli Romani live on the 2nd floor and 6 of our students lived on the 3rd floor. We were fortunate to have a yard and a pool there too. We have stayed in this same place before but only for a week. 7 weeks was a whole different ball game. Our previous trips to Italy haven't lasted more than 2 -2 1/2 weeks - those trips were more vacation like. This was like moving in. I want to share pictures and stories of our adventures. This is a work in progress, but hopefully I can figure out how to do a slide show or display groups of photos so you can see what you do with 4 kids and a nanny in Italy all summer. The easy answer is - you eat a lot of gelato!!!!

I hope you enjoy these shots of the kids in the sunflower fields. When we have visited Corciano in the past, it was before sunflower season or when we lived there, it was after their season. This was our first glimpse of the whole valley filled with sunflowers and fields everywhere we went. It was great to watch the fields go from just greenery to small rounded buds to full shining bright flowers and then they "bowed their heads" and turned brown - ready to make seeds "like the kind we eat at baseball games!" Then the fields got plowed and all the traces of their beautiful yellow faces were gone. We noticed the same progression with the hay fields that started green, turned gold, got rolled up into bales and then got hauled off on big trucks. (I bet they had 6-8 of them on the back of one truck! If you get stuck behind one, you really hope their ropes are strong!!)

I am a North Carolina girl at heart. It was nourishing to my soul to watch nature take its course. I miss the lush green life that Eastern summers bring. We even had summer thundershowers!! Somehow for me being in this world felt comforting - almost more like being home than I feel in California. I was reminded as I watched my boys full of life and curiosity that they too are growing like those fields. Fortunately they will be in my "garden" for more than just a summer - but they will grow and move on before I know it. Being in Italy this summer gave me a chance to slow down and share more of this growing time together.

Enjoy our adventures!!!

4 Hour Layover - Atlanta

4 Hour Layover - Atlanta
You could spot a Bowen boy anywhere in the airport! -

Grandma Sue and boys in Panicale

Grandma Sue and boys in Panicale
Grandma flew with us from San Fran to Italy and then stayed for 2 weeks. We had a lot of fun together!!!