4th December 2009
From South Africa to Livorno to Australia
Just over a year ago, the Giusti family arrived in Livorno from far-off Colesberg in South Africa to start a new life here. Anel and Giovanni moved to Livorno with their three children Giovanni, Imola and Iva, to fulfil a dream they have always had of coming to live in Italy.
Athough the family's mother-tongue is Afrikaans, Giovanni's grandfather was from Livorno so the family all had Italian citizenship, which helped to smooth the way for them. They soon found somewhere to live and began to enjoy life in Livorno and to get to know people here.
However, the crucial aspect of finding work in the Livorno area proved to be more difficult than they had foreseen. After one year of job-hunting, Giovanni was forced to make a major decision regarding his family's future: to make yet another move, this time to Australia. Amazingly, with the help of Internet, it was relatively easy for Giovanni to find a job on the other side of the world, as a panel beater. Within a few months he had visas sorted out and their tickets booked, and they all - including pet dog Nancy - flew to Melbourne last weekend.
Throughout all this Anel and her family maintained such a positive and cheerful outlook. They went through times that would be difficult for any family, let alone one that has moved to a completely new culture and is facing all the problems of settling into a new environment. And yet they found the strength to face this huge challenge and in the end to change direction once again, pack up their belongings and set out on another adventure.
I was first contacted by Anel when they were still in South Africa, by email and then by telephone when she was looking for advice regarding schools in Livorno for her youngest daughter Iva. We met when they arrived and became friends, although our meetings were only snatched here and there between our various commitments. I said goodbye to Anel and the rest of the family on Saturday, feeling sad to lose them and regretful at not having been able to do more to help them to settle in here. I am happy though that they have taken this new direction and feel sure that everything will work out well for them in Australia. I wish them all the VERY BEST OF LUCK, and Anel, if you read this, don't forget to keep a spare bedroom for future visitors from Livorno!! Arrivederci!