We planned to drive to Terebesti on Tuesday. But before we could go we had to get a translator. On Monday Terri asked the hotel manager if he could find one and that we would like to leave around 9 AM. Tuesday morning at 9 AM he showed up with our translator. A college student; I canít remember her Romanian name. But she said we should call her Roxie because it was much easier for us to pronounce. So Roxie, Terri, and I headed for Terebesti to visit the village my father grew up in and left for the USA when he was 16 years old.
A lot of things have change since Elmer was here. This past summer Elmer kept telling me how bad the road was through the village and problems with the officials at border crossing. When Terri and I came across the border the agent took our passports and stamped them and returned them with a smile saying "have a good time in Romania." As you will see in the following pictures, the main road through town is paved, contains no pot holes, and even has lane markings. I wish Elmer could have came to see all of the improvements. The road is even paved to the next village (Ghilvaci) where Elmer told me not to drive because the road was so bad.
At this point I should identify our list of players.
Otto: Born in Terebesti but moved to Austria about 47 years ago. He speaks German, English, and Romanian.
Anuta: Born in Romania and now lives in Austria. She speaks Romanian and German.
Joschi: Born in Terebesti but now lives in Germany. He has a flat in Satu Mare, Romania, where he stays when he visits his brother. He speaks Romanian and German.
Terri and I: Born in USA and speak English. (Some times I have a problemt with that!)
So you can see that we were heavly dependent on Otto. In most stores and businesses we went to in the city there always seemed to be a person who knew some English. Also, what I did not know before my second visit to Terebesti - Otto has not been back to Terebesti since he left about 47 years ago. So it was a big homecoming for him.
Our plan was to meet Joschi at his brother Laszi's (Laszlo) house then look for Pityu and Margareta. We were going to hold off going to the cemetery until Otto could be with us.
Our route to Terebesti is only 24.7 Km (15.3 mi) but took about 30 minutes to drive.|
We had Otto's GPS and it got us out of Satu Mare with no problem. (Street signs are not very good.)
The road was in good shape for most of the trip and just a little traffic.
Principal, the main road, runs east and west and was newly paved.
The rest of the roads are dirt roads. |
The nameless road passing the Mekker cross is just a couple of ruts and is for tractor usage.
Terri and me arriving at the village. |
Terebesti is what it is called by Romanians and Terebesch what it was called by Hungarians.
With Roxie our translator.
As we were driving through Terebesti to Laslie's house we passed Pityu walking along side the road.|
He was very happy to see us. He knew we were coming today, but not sure what time.
Pityu thought Roxie was my daughter. This is when she had to explain that she was the translator.
Laslie and his wife Marie in front of their house. The grey car is Otto's CitroŽn which he loaned us.|
The red car belongs to Joschi.
Marie, Terri, Joschi, me, and Laslie in their dining room.
The village two room schoolhouse. One room for high school; the other for grade school. My dad only went to grade school. As you can see it is no longer used. Windows are broken and doors chained closed.
Ascension Church where Dad was an alterboy.|
You will see more of this in Terebesti Part 3.
In front of Olgaís house - I'm not sure if it is hers or her son's house.
Terri, Olga (Margareta's daughter), Margareta, and me. The two girls are Olga's grand children.
Notice the concrete driveway, and satellite dishes. Olgaís son runs a working farm; They have 12 dairy cows, 2 calves, lots of chickens, and they have a large tractor. The house has running water and is very clean.
Margareta's house Ė it has electric and Satellite TV but no running water.|
The TV is not in her part of the house. I think the house belongs to Olgaís daughter.
Margareta has one room in the house. It is a combination bedroom/kitchen.|
The pit toilet is outside and she shares that with her granddaughter's family.
The room is small but clean.
Getting ready to leave Margareta's house and head for Pityu's.|
The girl holding her daughter is Olga's daughter,Szilard. The two girls belong to Olga's son, Romeo.
I am not sure of the spelling. I asked and they told me about 3 times and I gave up.
On Mica road heading for Pityu's house.
There are two roads in Terebesti, Principal (Main) and Mica (Small).|
As you can see there is a big difference (blacktop vs. dirt). There is a sidewalk so you do not have to walk in the muddy road when it rains.