Monday, July 19, 2010


I've heard an Italian word more in this last month as we are preparing to leave than in the last 10 years here-Brividi. It means goosebumbs. It has been a common reaction when we tell people in the village we are leaving. Our close Italian friends have known for months, but as we are leaving we are making sure to tell the people we've seen everyday at the Pasticceria, the baker, the legnaia, our favorite store clerks etc a special goodbye. Their eyes widen, they grab their arms and say, "You've given me goosebumps." The first time, with Lucia who works at the local grocery store  I even checked. Sure enough, her arms were filled with goosebumps. With eyes wide, full of shock they go on, "But you are Fiesolani now, you are so Italian, how can you leave?" Peccato-what a shame. Tears always come to my eyes. I feel deeply touched and honored to be called a Fiesolani (one from Fiesole).  I like who I've become here. I found myself here. And now...I'm heading to a strange planet. I hesitantly refer to it as home since it is my country of origin but I know that it won't feel like home when I arrive. I've changed too much and well, America has changed too. I not sure we will like each other. Goosebumps, now that I think about it, are a very appropriate reaction.


  1. Shandra I think the strange planet will be strange for sure and maybe that was the point of it all that Jesus just loves you that much that he took you half way around the world to show you that it's all a strange planet and we are all strangers in it. But one day we will find a home!

  2. Shandra - I found your blog through an online friend who is a IRL friend of yours. She suggested your blog as we are in a very similar boat. We are 're-entrying' after only 5 years in Mexico and Central America. We've only been 'back' a few weeks and it's already messy.

    I will be thinking of you as you process. It's much like being handed an elephant and being told to eat the whole thing at once.

  3. I think Tracy Ketrow mentioned you. From your comment "only 5 years" I'm guessing your heart is still there. Courage my friend, you are not alone!