March 21, 2013

one step always leads to the next

As usual, opening a box (not Pandora's :-) surprises come out.
From a request about family roots of Croats from Svinisce, living in Chili for many years, came a next item.
A friend who writes a lot about the Balkan, sent me the above picture of a grave.

However my Spanish is zero, I understand a bit.
First of all, this is the resting place of Pedro (Pero in Croatian) Kusanovic-Salamunic.
Born in 1899, died in 1981.

Many of the Croats (former Yugoslavs) left for a better future  young as they were, settling in many parts of the world.

From both my correspondents and some search with Google, I slowly get an idea of how many connections there are between Chili (Terra del Fuego) and Croatia.

I feel very privileged to be able to unfold some of those almost forgotten connections.
We (a retired Dutch couple) now living in one of those small Croatian villages, we left Holland because we wanted to.
And with internet, highways and frequent flying connections, it takes less than nothing to stay in touch or visit family or friends.

Not in those days, not for those many brave young people !
They left what was common to them, their country, their families, friends, habits and certainty.
Of they went, with hardly anything, not speaking the language, into the unknown !

Many times, when driving through our surroundings I watch all those stone walls, those little fields, high up the mountain slope, to be able to grow some food, olives and grapes.
They all did so bare handed, no cars, simple tools and very hard labor.
Those were already brave people, those who left were even much braver.

Think about it for a moment, and when visiting Dalmatia, don't think "oh well, just a simple wall", as those walls were built by a special breed of men, and when you think about that, also remember those many men and women, who left to settle in a completely unknown part of the globe.

Forgetting ones history is forgetting who you are.
Our history lies in Holland, but day by day we get more involved in our today's history in Dalmatia.
People here have a common wish to each other: "hope you live another hundred years".
Being over my sixties, I hope I live those extra hundred years, cause I opened a new box, but still have to unpack many other.
(Roman history, wild flowers and herbs, animal life, geology, oh dear, I need those hundred years).

(Rest in peace Pedro, tamo daleko, you're not forgotten).
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