Ferragosto is the last major holiday of the summer here in Italy and it’s upon us.  Historically in rural areas this holiday celebrated taking a load off beasts of burden and servants and letting them kick up their heels a bit. Flower garlands on bridals, summer bonuses, the whole nine yards.  In our case, since many Italians take time off in August and we run a tourist-oriented business, this is our peak busy period.  This year we’ve been running since Summer Solstice with visits to the US (where we saw many of you!), Evan’s participation in the Young Adult Leadership Programme in the UK at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, helping out with a summer camp at the local parish, keeping up with a toddler and managing guests.

It’s hard to believe that our Helping the Helpers Training is just a few weeks away and the olive tree we planted for our first training in March is fruiting. Thank you to the more than 50 people who have donated over $6,000 to help us make that training a reality! (I’m including a very successful event we hosted in Olympia and other offline donations) 9 participants are signed up from Turkey, England and Italy and we’re really excited that we’ve made a recent last minute discovery of another simpatico group in Croatia, the Coalition for Work with Psychotrauma and Peace who will join us  as we wrap up the training to explore next steps.  Charles Tauber from that project is an American Quaker who lived in the Pacific Northwest and attended Multnomah Monthly Meeting in Portland (same as my brother!). Small world.

While we’ve grown less produce this year and still have a long list of “to dos”,  we’ve had quite a lot of guests and friends stop on through and help us out.  We really appreciate it and look forward to everyone still on their way. A special shout out to Bill who just visited and sharpened all our knives without even being asked…it’s a gift that keeps on giving.