It has been almost two weeks now and for all the hard work we have done it is difficult to see real progress, though I know it is happening. The days are long and mostly consist of moving earth, wood, or old things around the property. Occasionally something must be cleaned or repaired. It’s not all just breaking rocks and digging ditches though. We have also made many excursions to antiques markets, shops to buy clothes while we waited for our luggage, and to Florence for an exhibition of ancient bronze sculpture. Chiusdino is a short walk away through a serene forest path (once you get past the barking dogs) and we have made the trip about three times though they offer few services beyond beautiful views and a welcome change of pace. We have been treated to several nice meals and recently had the best steak I have ever tasted. My Italian is coming along slowly and I wish I had spent more time with the tapes I was using in the States. I can usually figure out what people are talking about but it is difficult to respond clearly. That having been said, most people we’ve met have been very friendly and accommodating. We are also meeting many Germans and are learning some of their language as well. I’m looking forward to getting more done with the ceramics studio and clay mining operation. I miss my studio in Long Beach and being able to make whenever I want, but this place is very special and I’m glad to be here.