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On 1:20 PM by Rachel Preston Prinz in
I was so fortunate to have my new friend Chiara from Italy come to work with us at Archinia for 2 months. She wanted to spend her 150 hour internship, required for her graduation from the University of Bologna, here in New Mexico with me, studying sustainable and vernacular architecture.

We visited the best of New Mexico's 1000 years of historic architecture. From Chaco Canyon to Coronado, Taos Pueblo, the infamous Earthships, Chimayo, Taos, Ojo, Santa Fe, Corrales... we touched a great deal of our history, and then we dove deep into research on rammed earth, earthbags, strawbales, and other natural alternatives for modern building. We even researched the effects of climate on building systems and learned the right tricks to make totally natural pools work. It was quite the adventure! When I asked her to make a summary of what all we did together, the review came out to more than 50 PAGES (single spaced!) of things she learned!!!!

I adored having her here and my heart broke a little when she had to go. When I got back from dropping her at the airport, I found a huge dark chocolate candy bar on my desk, covered in post-it notes she made each day to describe what we did that day.

When I started removing them, I found notes to me on the back of each one.
About what she learned. And what I "gave" her.
And I cannot look at them without tears welling up in my eyes,

Here's what she said...

I had to post this because lots of times, lately, life seems to get in the way of remembering why we are here. 
I truly believe Chiara was a gift from the Universe to remind me of why I do what I do. 
And I am thankful.
Blessings to you, sweet girl. Thank YOU for giving me back my love of what I do!!