2005 Memories of Tour Members, Part I

27 May 2005
Internet Cafe
Odessa, Ukraine

Greetings to all subscribers of the listserves, colleagues and friends.

I want to send a brief note from Odessa arriving today at 3:30 pm from Budapest, Hungary on MALEV Hungarian Airlines. All tour members are doing well and in good health. They are anxious to visit the ancestral former Black Sea and Bessarabian German villages of their ancestors.

Our stay in Budapest for 25-27 May was a wonderful experience in a beautiful city including our evening boat ride on the Danube River to see night lights. Tour members visited about how some of our ancestors came to the Black Sea villages near Odessa starting in Germany.

On 28-29 May tour members will go village visits including overnight stay in the Bessarabian villages and in the Glueckstal villages. Other tour members will make day trips to visit Neu Kassel, Hoffnungstal Guldendorf, and the Kutschurgan District villages - Strassburg, Kandel, Selz, Strassburg, Braden and Elsass.

On 28 May, there will be gathering of local folks and tour members at the former Catholic church in the village of Selz, Kutschurgan district. Then we will have lunch at the home of Louisa Riesling, a German woman who restored the home of her parents returning to Selz in the early 1990s. Louisa knows much of the history of Selz and has a brother living in Germany today. She speaks German and Russian languages. Louisa is still waiting to immigrate to Germany.

On 29 May, we will visit additional villages for day trips while other tour members return from the Bessarabian and Glueckstal villages.

We can already see changes in Odessa. The new customs center at the airport is much improved, much easier with Ukrainian Customs, and much more friendly than it was in our previus 10 Journey to the Homeland Tours including the ability to secure the Ukrainian Visas right at the Odessa Airport.

So now I say good bye and all the best from Odessa from our tour members and myself,

Michael M. Miller

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller