Sojourn in Slovakia: The Sequel. Day 7: Part I: Where Have They All Gone?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Morning arrived.  Here I was waking up in 
Osturňa!  The crowing of a fine rooster served as my alarm clock.  I could hear our hosts downstairs in the kitchen preparing our breakfast.  I showered, dressed and checked my e-mail (so happy I could even get wi-fi service!).  We enjoyed our meal (again, cold cuts, cheese, fresh bread, cucumbers, coffee, juice).  

After breakfast we went back to the Mayor’s office.  The office staff tried to help us find some burials but there were no Figlar families listed.  There were plenty of unknown graves, and some could possibly be where my ancestors are buried.  Another disappointment was learning that there were no families currently in the village for me to talk with–I learned that the one family lives in Poprad now, and it was unlikely I would have the chance to meet them. 

Cemetery with many unmarked graves

We decided to take a short ride to the state registry office in Spisske Hanusovce  to see if the records office had any additional information.  We found the register of my grandfather’s birth, and a death record for my great-grandfather’s brother, but no other records I was hoping to locate.  They permitted me to digitally photograph the two records in the book for my personal reference, but I am not able to post those here.  Soon, it was time to go back for lunch.  We had lentil soup made by Peter’s mother (I hadn’t eaten this type of soup in over 15 years–tasted just like my grandmother and my mother used to make!), and then pork cutlet, potatoes, and red cabbage.  Lunch is the big meal of the day.  It was so filling.

Rusyn Lentil soup
Lunch: Pork cutlet, potatoes, red cabbage, coleslaw, tomatoes = delicious!

We went back to the priest’s house and his wife gave us the key to the church so we could go inside and have a look around and take photographs (where else could you be trusted to do that???)  St. Michael’s was a gorgeous church.  I knew about the restoration and renovations and participated in a fund drive from America to help raise money for the cause.  Again, I was overcome with emotion to stand in the church where one of my grandfathers had been baptized.  Just like the church in Kucin, St. Michael’s had an angel statue that bows its head when you put in a coin.  

St. Michael’s altar
Special angel:  Put in a coin and the head will bow

After our visit to the church, we called Thom who was going to meet us and give us a tour around the village.

Photos by Lisa A. Alzo
Copyright 2012, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved