Sunday, June 3, 2007
Destiny, Magic and Family
KIM: Friday night, just before heading back to the apartment to pack for our journey home, we observed the changing of Dubrovnik's town guard. Like other cities, it is a ritual intended to symbolize the centuries of security and strength in this community. It only lasted a few minutes, but I found that it was a nice way to wrap up my memories of this wonderful journey. We learned so much about the history and culture of this region during our visit. All of the people we encountered were generous in sharing their knowledge and experience, and we are committed to finding a way to return some day to learn more. Both Anastasia and I felt connections here. Sometimes it was as simple as seeing someone on the street that had physical characteristics similar to our own. In my case, there are not a lot of people in the US with dark hair and skin and light blue eyes, but in Slovenia and Croatia they are everywhere. We will all miss hearing the Slovenian and Croatian languages spoken. At first it was so strange to hear, but we got more used to the rhythm and melody of the language each day we were there! Our experiences were guided and punctuated by the local people we met who participated in this exploration by helping us find the people, places and things we needed. Many people even made suggestions, guiding us toward unanticipated results! Almost everyone we met was friendly. Many times we found ourselves committing a cultural faux pas, but each time, we laughed it off and apologized to the person we may have offended and were instantly accepted and assisted. We only missed a few of our intended destinations, but each time we did, the experience was replaced with an equally or more impressive experience. I think all three of us had the sense of being guided on this trip by a benevolent force in tune with our objectives! The final result, of course, was not just a sightseeing tour of the countries of our ancestral roots, but real and lasting connections to family and the land. And, we developed as family between ourselves as well. Anastasia and I knew that we had to be related somehow, since we shared the same last name. While we didn't find much evidence of the exact nature of the specific relationship, we did come up with information that speculates on the possibilities, and we deepened our personal relationships just by experiencing such a fantastic voyage together! I really feel lucky to have had this opportunity and to have shared it with Anastasia and Shelley.