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8951Re: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed

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  • nhasior@aol.com
    Jan 9, 2004
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      Vladimir,
      You are up at 4:00am!!!!!! You are earlybird. Yes, terrorism is sad. Lost
      opportunities will be the result if we let terrorism control us.

      Regarding "cold meeting" people in other countries, when I went to south of
      Poland in 2000, I had a car rental and was driving around in the village of my
      grandfather looking for "lost relatives". (You could not get any more "lost"
      than I was.)
      I asked people about the family, and, of course since I was pronouncing my
      family surname "wrong".. no one knew what I was talking about. Then I wrote
      the name on a piece of paper and got the response "aha". They knew of the
      family. So, they pointed which way to go and off I went. Soon I found myself at
      the elementary school (actually the one and only school) and parked the car
      outside the gate. Withing five minutes, the teachers and students were looking
      out the window. A minute or two after that, the head teacher came out and
      wanted to know what I was doing there. I thought that they were suspicious of
      me. Maybe they were. Rightly so. I explained myself (Lord only knows how, did
      not speak any Polish at that point) and soon a girl of about 18 came out and
      opened the passenger door and just got in. she pointed ahead and said
      "prosto" and straight ahead we went. I was amazed. this was it. "prosto". No
      questions and no time for suspicion.
      We drove a few miles through some of the most beautiful farmland and hills.
      The perimeter of this village was a thick forest. In the background to the
      south, always the Tatra mountains. It was late April and the land was coming
      alive.
      How beautiful. I started asking myself "why would anyone leave this place"
      but soon reminded myself of the poverty in the 1900 timeframe.
      To make a long story short, we soon were going from house to house, people
      were getting in and out of my car and pointing "prosto". (straight ahead) I was
      nervous and maybe they were also. But this was why I came and I decided that
      one way or the other I would find the cemetary of my ancesters. Either as a
      visitor or as one of the newest additions. This was my one chance to find
      family. And these people were willing to help.
      The 18 year old girl turned out to be the daughter of the head teacher of the
      school. The people who got in and out of the car and gave so freely of
      their time soon turned into friends that I correspond with to this day and value
      their generosity. The teacher and her daughter are friends to this day also.
      Their kindness eventually led me to find my second cousin. His grandfather
      and my grandfather were brothers. The wonderful connection!! Unfortunately,
      the connection was made 15 minutes after I left the village was heading back
      to Krakow to catch a plane to go back to New York. So I did not actually meet
      my cousin Ryzard in person, but I did meet his Dad, my cousin Wojchiech, who
      was in his kitchen and just held out his blessed 84 year old arms and said
      "Witam Kuzyna". Welcome cousin. He knew the connection already long before I
      did.
      We write to each other, my cousin's children are learning English at school.
      Eleanor, this is why I recommend that you 'trust your gut feelings" my gut
      feelings let me trust some of the best people I ever met. However, elsewhere
      on this trip in 2000, my gut feeling told me to turn around and leave the area
      as soon as possible. I did .
      I wish you the best of luck and the happiest of travels. You may be starting
      one of the best friendships with Ladislaw. By the way, in the 1998 telephone
      book, there is a Cobirka in the city of Poprad also.
      best wishes,
      Noreen



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