Cynthia was my student when she was in the 5th Grade. This is her husband Luca and her children Dario and Giulia. Cynthia and I have been friends for 30 years.
They live in a tiny hamlet called Noce, in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, smack in the middle of the rolling vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany. I just spent the weekend at Cynthia's to celebrate Giulia's 7th birthday and to have some dental work done. Luca owns a dental prosthetic laboratory and he is making a dental implant and a crown for me. Cynthia runs the financial side of business and Luca runs the operation.
They have a thriving business. Cynthia majored in International Political Science at NYU where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She spent her junior year abroad in Florence, and decided to stay after she graduated. I visited her in Italy several times over the years and attended her wedding here in '95.
We celebrated Giulia's birthday at home, and the next day, she had a separate birthday party with her friends. This is a photo of Giulia's party, which was celebrated in a restaurant owned by friends of Cynthia.
Having Cynthia's support has made all the difference in helping me survive some of the difficulties of adapting to the culture and getting through the "system".