I suspect that we are not too much different from most people--especially those here in the US (although, we would like to think that we are much different than many of our countrymen these days, politically speaking.) We are spoiled--think that we can pretty much do what we want, when we want, how we want--such as just picking-up and moving to another country at will--just as we might move from sunny San Diego (our territory) to snowy Syracuse--New York, that is--(once upon a time our territory) or points in-between.
Our sun filled back yard--as I write.
But--lo and behold! other countries have procedures, immigration controls and laws, I's that must be dotted, T's that must be crossed and bureacracies that sometimes are infathomable. And--as I think of how difficult it is for people of other countries to come here, I know that we just need to get on with it. So--we are starting off on the pre-journey of planning and anticipation with our eyes on the life-changing journey that lies ahead of us. And we are excited and eager.
Before starting any processes, we absolutely needed to address the issue of Casey's schooling. How much we want him to become bilingual and fluent in Italian! But----even more, we want these months (or longer) to be extraordinarily fun and engaging for him--a time to help form an adult who will seek the new, the different, the challenging--who will thrive on the unexpected, taking risk and seeking adventure--a person who sees his God everywhere and who values and understands differences. And so, the fact that international schools, while taught in Engish, do include Italian language instruction, and that these schools have children representing as many as 43 different countries somewhat guarantees that Casey will have the rich experiences we seek for him.
This led us to spend a great deal of time googling to find potential schools--focusing on Rome and Florence--actually, Siena was another major option but we couldn't find an international school in that area. If someone reading this, knows of one, please tell us as we are still open.
When we contacted schools which seemed particularly appropriate, we discovered just how costly this is going to be--we're talking a lot of euro! And, not all schools will accept students for just one school term. Eventually, we narrowed our choices to the Ambrit school in Rome and the International School in Florence. Both schools were easy to contact, enouraging and "just nice" in their e-mails. Both have programs and curriculae that seem to be rich and child centered with many opportunites for growth and cultural experiences. So then the decision became where do we most want to be--and, that wasn't too difficult to decide as the dream has always been Tuscany or Umbria--although, the richness that is Rome made that option very enticing.
With the school decision made and with encouragement from the very nice Ms. Ragusa from the ISF that there will be room for Casey in the fall of 2006, our eyes have turned to where to live and how to get there. Fortuantely for us, our lives are enriched by some very good and dear friends in Montepulicano who have offered to help us through the processes of establishing ourselves and so at least our road is paved by "knowing" someone. My understanding is that one of the governing principles of Italy is that knowing someone who knows someone and the friend of a friend routine is critical to accomplishing things for native and foreigner alike.
Nico, our good and dear friend in Montepulciano
And so--we have our guru--we have our determination--we have goals--and--we have a grandson who makes everything even more precious and perfect. We are off--on a trip to where ever this leads!
Next: Location, Location, Location. Coming up: The Italian Consulates and What It Takes
God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.