Wow Jody, this is great. I for one would like to hear more of your travels.
Are there a lot of people over there with computers?
----- Original Message -----
From: Jody @ DVHH
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 5:31 PM
Subject: [DVHH-Villages-L] Banat Trip
HI Alex and Everyone,
We got home last night, totally exhausted. I wish I had done all this 10 years ago
when I was in better shape. Between Romania and Germany I "feel" like I have
walked 1000 miles. We did have a wonderful trip to both places and I may have to get a
part time job to get them the 30 rolls of film developed :-) This was definitely a
better trip to Banat than in 1999.
We spend most of our time in Mercydorf, Billed, Lenauheim, Neubeschenowa and Mehala
(where our hotel was located) http://www.pensiuneazefir.go.ro/
and visited Bruckenau, Fibis,
Blumenthal and St Andreas. Louise Sammy and I went on a great walking tour of the
historical Timisoara by Cristian Badoiu http://www.tmtours.ro/cv.htm
- he also accompanied
as an interpreter one day to a couple of the villages villages. Cristian is a great guy
and we enjoyed his company so much we invited him to join us for dinner at the Lloyd house
our last night in Timisioara. We also lucked up getting a Romanian Taxi driver, who spoke
very good English. He was a life saver in the villages. He even began to become
interested in genealogy. With his help we spoke to many of the remaining Germans in the
villages, who also spoke Romanian. I filmed the conversations, stories of their hard
times and of their day to day lives.
We spent time with relatives in Timisoara and Mercydorf. Finally got to see a
hambar, a cellar and the cow stampede through the village and the cows really do know
where they live, as they all went through their own gates!!! Saw the storks and geese
In Billed we visited the German forum, a great place for any Banat traveler to make
time to visit. Roswitha and Adam the directors were gracious and we spent a couple of
hours with them. Don't forget to sign their guest book!
When we went to Knees, a lady came running to us and to my surprise she was
expecting us as she had talked to Alex a couple of days before. What a sweet lady! We
gave her some money for her kindness and to cover the phone call to Alex. Then we all
went down the street to the general store. There she bought us ice cream. While we were
hanging around, I noticed her buying something. When we went to leave, she handed Louise
and I each a gift, a vase. She said to remember her and our visit. We cried :-( How
sweet of this lady, who could have used that money for herself and she spent it on us.
Thanks Alex for giving her heads up on our visit. Made photos of your house too.
Everyone in all the villages showed nothing but kindness towards us. We have so many
stories to tell, I will have to organize my thoughts and put it in order.
In Germany we stayed with relatives in Inglostat - will share all that later. At
the meeting in Ulm, I was happy to meet people I have chatted with on line. And also made
some new contacts. Paid for the new Billed Orts book and it is being shipped to me.
Bought a map and photos, etc. There were thousands of people there, most over 65.
Rumor has it, this meeting will die out in a few years, as less and less the young
people are involved and the older ones are passing on. As the hugh rooms filled, the
crowd became a roar of Germans speaking people. The people there love it, including my
cousins. I think some of us Americans thought it would be more like a genealogy learning
time, but when I realized is, they go to see hoping to see there old friends from back
home. Those that could speak English happy to speak to us. And I also got to meet
Alex's brother and his wife, they are very nice Alex.
It was tough being away from home, my computer, my sweet iced tea but when I got
home, I felt sorta guilty. All this stuff I own, that I think I can not live without!
And there are those in the villages who had no indoor plumbing, and the wonderful thing
is, they are content. And I was put out there was no wash clothes to bath with there in
Romania. And when I had a load of clothes at the hotel, I assumed they had clothes dryers
also, I learned better then they hung my clothes on the line. I felt ashamed that I take
so much for granted. I always try to learn something from every experience in life. I
hope my trips to such places causes me to be more humble and thankful, for I could have
easily been born there.
The stories I heard from my relatives in Germany and many others about their
families plights during WW2 and also getting out of Romania before and after the
revolution in 1989, were difficult to digest. To think on the other side of the world I
was concerned about the trival events of my life during those times, make it all the more
unbelievable. I would like to see doctrimentary or movie about the Danube Swabians, their
emigration from Germany in the 1700's through the 1900's.
I will be working on my travel journal for those who are interested and I will let
you know when it is finished. I have about 1000 photos I will have to sort out also. I
also have a video of making strudel. Not of me, but my cousins mother in law. And it was
Glad to be back. Thanks Susan for holding down the fort!
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