Trip to Belarus Villages #belarus

Gene Richards <igenerichards@...>


I recently returned >from a trip to Europe in which I spent a few days
in Belarus to find the villages where my grandfather and his family
came >from before many emigrated to the US. It was very interesting,
but if you are like me and donâ??t speak the language, or even able to
read the signs, I recommend, as did many others on this SIG when I
requested help (thanks much to all of you!), hiring a local guide and
driver for a day trip. I have made a sort of ˜report on my 4 days
there (5 days according to Belarussian authorities!). I can recommend
my guide and driver and the woman at the Vileika History Museum, and
also a hotel and travel info, if you'd like just email me for my
report. The report is rather long and covers some history and the
cities and villages we went through and cemeteries we visited: Minsk,
Vileika, Rechki, Kurenets and Kostenevichi. By the way, I also took a
lot of photos of those places, as did the guide. I could post them to
DropBox or send you a DVD if you wish.

A couple of nuts and bolts: the 5-day visa-free regime starts the
second you get your passport stamped on entry so you'd better be out
of there in 120 hours and health insurance, at the airport, is only
about �5 for 5 days.

Some highlights of the trip: speaking with an old woman in Rechki,
born in 1933, about her experiences when the Nazis came and the family
that was murdered and life before the war; the extreme quiet at the
cemetery in Kurenets, that is wildly overgrown with little trees;
looking off into the forests and fields that my grandfather's family
must have known intimately; chatting with the guides; learning many
new, interesting things; being there. Again, I recommend it. What's
stopping you?

Gene Richards
Fresno, CA
Researching: GREJCER, Belarus

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