Elisabetta reached out to us after finding our blog and noticing that we were in her home country, Italy.  The first time we met, we strolled the streets of Florence and she introduced us to the library in the city.  Carter loved the kids area and he opened up to Elisabetta with the excitement of being surrounded by books.

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For our next visit, Elisabetta invited us to her home city, Prato, and showed us around the different sights to see there.  We spent the bulk of the afternoon at a park where Carter happily climbed, ran, and played and we connected with Elisabetta in our shared passion for pursuing our dreams.  She was so intrigued by our Twelve Countries in Twelve Months trip and our purpose behind it.  We felt so comfortable opening up to her about our successes and our struggles and she listened so intently, adding such supportive and loving encouragements.  It was one of those times when you feel like you’ve known someone for ages and they know exactly what to say and do to lift your spirits.  Spending that afternoon with her at the park was a much needed blessing for us and she gave us a little spark back to help us stay motivated.

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We didn’t know it then, and I’m sure we still don’t fully understand it now, but she has influenced our lives in such a big way.  And we must’ve made some sort of impact on her, because, for a third visit, she invited us into her home to spend time with her and her parents.  Neither of her parents speak any English, and Scott and I (mostly me) are horrible with Italian, so we were really excited for the experience.  Elisabetta said her mother was really excited to meet us, but especially Carter, and she was going to prepare lunch for us all.  What a treat!  I have no idea what the Italian names for anything is, but it was such a delicious meal!

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We spent almost an entire day with Elisabetta and her family and it was wonderful.  We made so many connections with Elisabetta in shared interests, hobbies, skills, and passions.  She is one of the many life-long friends we have made on this journey and we’re so grateful for our she has influenced our lives.