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My family…

20 November, 2016

OMG. I have family in Ukraine. I never thought I’d find someone I was related to…

Today’s bit of sight-seeing was a trip to Medvedivtsi.

3.5 hours to get there - in a van that didn’t have seat belts. On some of the worst roads I’ve ever been on. That didn’t have any posted speed limits. Where passing is the norm.

Let’s just put it this way - Ukrainians are the worst drivers in the world. THE. WORST. Gold medal winners. World record holders.

There were several times that I thanked a deity I don’t believe in because we survived.

Anyhoo - our fearless tour guide, the ever amazing Богдан, brought us to Medvedivtsi. This is the village both of my grandparents were from, so I was hoping I’d find something there - a gravestone, a house, something that I could track back to my family. I wasn’t expecting Богдан to start going up to people on the street and ask them if they knew any of the names listed on the Genealogical Report I received from the researcher.

Maria and Stefania still lived there. I’m pretty sure that they are cousins of my maternal grandmother. All I have is a list of names without a clear idea of how they fit together. But I do know for sure that I am related to them. Maria’s the oldest sister (89) and she and her sister remained in Medvedivtsi during/after the war because their father hid them in the forest. Had they not been hidden away, they would have most likely been with my grandparents in Germany or dead.

It was funny - as we were wrapping up the visit, I asked if I could take a photo of Maria. She flipped out and went into the house to get dressed. The outfit she had been wearing wasn’t good enough. So, once she deemed herself ready for company, we headed into her house. Two of her granddaughters and a daughter were there, and Stefania made her way to the sitting room. (Stefania was disabled during the war; she got hurt when they were hiding, so she wasn’t totally mobile.)

I couldn’t carry on a conversation, but I was able to say a few things. I think it was enough for all of us that we knew we weren’t alone…

I’ll have to call today a total success.


Once I can wrap my brain around what just happened…

Filed under: My Experiences, Family, Travel, Ukraine

What you had to say...
Martin 29 November, 2016

Nice post, so glad you met some relatives : )

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