Sunday, June 25, 2017
My brother, Warren, and I are headed to Hungary, Slovakia and The Czech Republic this year to explore further our ancestry -- my mother's parents are from the area (Ocenas), as are my father-in-law's (Rusnak). Our two cousins, Joyce and Lynn, have been through the area, including Poland, back in the late 1990s and helped us with lots of information about where we might travel -- mainly to learn more about the world in which our grandparents lived prior to immigrating to the States.
I've been to Budapest before and traveled, by train, through Slovakia to Prague, with my other brother, John, en route to a world health conference in Vienna. We decided to go to Budapest because it is the home city of one of my friends, a fellow complexity science colleague. We loved it there, happening to arrive on St. Stephen's Day. For more on my trip with John, CLICK HERE.
This time, however, Warren and I plan to travel from Budapest to Prague via a different route. One destination, which we may well take, is to Kosice -- the largest city in eastern Slovakia. We are not sure, but my cousins remember the city in stories told by our grandparents. It is unsettling how fast the past of our immigrant grandparents becomes lost (including the language), within only a generation or two -- a typical story-line for those in the States and elsewhere. The joy, however, is found in the real experience of traveling back to these places, if only to catch the slightest glimpse of our larger family history, no longer active in memory, but perhaps as a lived dream, as we stand there, in such a town as Kosice, wondering....
With that said, my brother, Warren, came across this excellent blog post of a similar journey to explore one's family past: 2 Days in Kosice, Slovakia.