Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Friends and New Horizons

[Maryanne]So, Footprint is lost and Kyle and I set off on another chapter in our lives. It’s been a shock, and obviously a sudden, and unexpected change, but it’s also given us some opportunities and found us some new and wonderful friends.

Farewell to Footprint, hello to new friends

First of all, Enzo and Pasquale have been fantastic. Enzo has been an enormous help with so many things, but most practically translations (right up to the last hours of my stay); Pasquale brightens up any day with his smile, and his passion for life and food. My last night was spent in a local restaurant, with our two new friends and heros, watching a football (soccer) match with the local team Napoli winning 2-0. A happy evening, but a sad farewell.

I cleared out the apartment today, all food given away, boxes collected by the shipping company – done. I wonder when I might again see our possessions; the understanding so far is vague, but hopefully before Christmas?

Enzo and Pasquale volunteered their help and pretty much adopted us into their circle of family and friends. There are other names that merit mention in the town, most particularly the wonderful Nina, the elderly lady that acts as Mom to all in the apartment building. It was Nina that found us an empty apartment to stay in (when Enzo’s leads ran out) and gave us a wonderfully spacious base while we sorted out the boat and shipping of our items. She would readily chat to me at 100mph in Italian. I’ve no idea what she was saying but she exuded love and compassion, a wonderful lady. When I was trying to tell her my age, I may have mistakenly given her the impression I had 45 children, I could see the shock and confusion on her face but found no way to correct the situation.

At one point, struggling to find shipping company information I reached out to a (relatively) local ExPat (via Couchsurfing) and befriended the wonderful Liz, here in Italy with her husband at the US Navy base north of Naples. She threw herself into ensuring all my needs were met, pointed me to useful sources and even drove 1.5 hours each way to deliver me some boxes and help with shipping some more essential items I had no hope of managing by hand.

Liz assists with one last box, and just ONE of the courses of my last meal with 'the Agropoli guys'

So, my boxes are on their journey, and I too have started the journey ‘home’. Of course we have no real sense of home right now, but we’ll soon have one. I’ve started applying for jobs and amazingly had my first phone interview (which I’m told I passed) while still in Italy. This bodes well for finding work sooner rather than later.

So it’s all good news. I can’t stop the feeling of relief at how smoothly everything has gone, how wonderful everyone has been to us, and how lucky we are that we only lost a boat. Despite the relief, I feel quite disjointed right now, homeless, a little isolated, and un-rooted. I’m looking forward to seeing friends and family the first chance we get, and of course looking forward to seeing Kyle again just as soon as flights allow (hopefully by Saturday evening).

Thank you to everyone who has helped, or reached out with kind words. The world is indeed a wonderful place with many wonderful people; I’ve no doubt about it. And we are two very lucky people.

Here are a few photos of Footprint in various wonderful places she has allowed us to visit.. Farewell.


Scott said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Looks like you guys finally have an anchor story that tops all of mine! If you are looking for another gemini, Split Decision is for sale.


Chris Bonney 2 said...

Following your recent experience has been heart breaking. But I take confidence in knowing that anyone who embarks on such a journey has to also be pretty flexible. Please don't let it extinguish your dream completely. And maybe we'll see you at Thanksgiving!

John said...

Maryanne & Kyle, a very sad story and sight. We saw Footprint on the hard at Agropoli yesterday. The anchor ball still hoisted gave a sense of the emergency you faced. Have masses of respect for you for what you achieved and how you dealt with it all right to the end + experiencing the driving in Naples...way to go!

Karen said...

Footprint did, indeed, take you and Kyle to lots of wonderful places with lots of wonderful people and memorable experiences. And she allowed us to share in your travels as well. I hope the next chapter of your lives will be just as full of fun, excitement and sea-faring adventures, though hopefully not as dramatic as this last one. ;-)

Have a safe trip back to the U.S. and best of luck in the job hunt.

Take care, keep in touch and happy trails!

Steve said...

Hi Maryanne - I was a blog faithful for a long time at the start of your journey, but confess I had fallen by the wayside for a long time. Something drew me to check in today, and my jaw dropped when I read the first sentence "So, Footprint is lost and Kyle and I set off on another chapter in our lives.". Ahhh!! I frantically read through the story of this month for you. I'm so sorry about the boat, but so happy that you are both well and seem to be taking this totally in stride. I know it is just a boat, but it is what you called "home", and I'm sure that is a terrible loss for you both.

You've both spent countless hours sharing your story with us, and it has been amazing. I hope you won't stop just yet! By the way, you mention a job and a new home, but I don't believe I caught the "where"... it wouldn't be Norfolk again, would it?

Best wishes on the start of your next journey...


JD said...

The end is a new beginning. You both are the true definition of character, therefore I will not mourn in front of you. I'll look forward to the next chapter...

Ah, good-bye and fare you well now, ship and sailor:
Ah, good-bye, for never harbour more shall hail her:
Ask the unsleeping drift if still it lifts her westing,
Or the Tuscarora Deeps if there she's resting.

Ask the lonely dawn that, scarlet, silent, splendid,
Looked across the world and found the fight was ended.
Ask the wind and wave that bruised and broke and shook her . . .
And the sea's great silence at the last that took her.

Paraphrased from 'The Lost Ship' by Cicely Fox Smith

El PaDiLLEee said...

this cool