/ Trip to Poland - the land of my ancestors
According to my DNA test databases and according to my genealogical records my family from hundreds of years comes from Southern Poland. My paternal grandmother came from Adamówka, Przeworsk, Podkarpackie, Poland. Both of my maternal grandparents came from Luchów Gorny, Bilgoraj, Lublin, Poland. The records go back hundreds of years. Through a second cousin who contacted me I know the exact place my paternal grandmother was born. This is all very special to me. My paternal grandfather, though he claimed to be Polish of Russian nationality was born in the village of Khrabuzna, Khmel'nyts'ka oblast, Ukraine.
I plan to come to Poland with my wife May 29th and will leave June 14th. Is it going to be difficult for me to get to Khrabuzna from Poland? Are there suggestions for us on this journey? Here are some of our wishes:
Although we are not Jewish my wife has studied what the Nazi regime has done to Poland for almost 40 years. She wants to see things related to that history.
When I was a boy ( a long time ago) I would visit my grandparents often. Babush made most of their food homemade. Kilbasa, pierogi, kasha, kisha, beet borscht, creamed mushroom soup (best on planet earth), duck blood soup (that was hard for me to take) and many other items. She even grew medicinal herbs in her small Philadelphia back yard garden. When I would go to her kitchen Dzjadek would be sitting at the table with a bottle of vodka and a huge picture of Our Lady of Częstochowa over his head on the wall. He was a very hard worker and provided for the family well. I am not Catholic but I would very much like to see this image. The salt mine.
I have found second and third cousins. They are in Podkarpackie/Lublin area. One family lives in the Krakow area and several live not far from Zamosc. They and their families are important to me. They range in age from teenagers to mid 50's. What do you suppose I could bring from the USA to them as token gifts? When I was young in the 1950's my grandmother took trips back to Poland with my aunt many times. They took with them to Poland boxes and boxes of things for the family that stayed behind after she immigrated. I will be limited regarding what I can carry on my luggage but I want something meaningful to bring them. Not candy etc. Cloths are OK. What else.
I am a crusty old Vietnam war veteran and usually do not get emotionally moved by much. It is very rare that I do. This trip on the other hand has me stirred deep in my heart. It is difficult for me to explain. In my youth as a young man traveled all over the world as a soldier and after that as a wanderer for several years. Never has my heart been touched like this. Maybe because I am old is the reason.
Any advice is appreciated.