German Hungarians of Philadelphia Attend 4. Welttreffen 

In the summer of 2006, I had the opportunity to talk my husband, Bill, into attending the Landestreffen of the Verband Der Donauschwaben, USA.  I truly wanted to see if bringing my children, Bill’s children, and of course all of the people younger than us at our club to this event, would awaken the interest in knowing and embracing our specific and unique ethnic background: That being; a history of German Speaking People living outside of what is now Germany and/or Austria proper, and at the same time keeping their language and emotional identity as being “Deitsche Leit.” It did just that!  

Well beyond my expectations, the Fourth Welttreffen came to us with a special invitation from the President der Welt Dach Verband Der Donauschwaben, Stephan Ihas.  Since we had travelled with over 25 members to Europe in the summer of 2018, we did not plan on taking another extensive vacation and travel abroad only one year later.  When the email from Herr Ihas came to us, we made the decision to send a delegation.  Seven people from our dance group came forward, willing to take the time and energy to attend, not fully knowing what the trek would entail.  

Werner Fricker, III, Michelle Paul, Mikaela Malofiy and Karina Fricker all committed to the entire two-week event, while Janet Fricker Malofiy, Karen David and I took a shorter stay arriving Saturday the 27th and departing from the Kirchweih in Warjasch, Romania on Saturday Evening, August 3rd.  Needless to say, the event was action packed with activities, eating, drinking, dancing and drinking…not too much sleeping.  Each day began with breakfast by 8am at the latest, and usually ended with arrival back at our quarters after 11 PM.   Aside from the individual activities that took place, we became one with the land, the local people and the culture; we made what will be life-long relationships with the other 80 participants, and we have a better, stronger understanding of the life lead in “Schwowe Land” during the 200 to 250 years that our Ancestors lived in the region of the Carpathian Basin of Central Europe.  

By Marlene Fricker  

Wednesday, July 24   

On Wednesday, July 24th, we arrived in Budapest with excitement to start our adventures. We trekked through the airport lugging our bags and searching for familiar Schwowe faces in order to catch our bus to Baja, Hungary, where we would be staying for the first portion of our trip. We found an assembly of Welttreffen attendees, boarded the bus, and made our way to the Ungarndeutschen Bildungszentrums (UBZ.) The UBZ is a renowned German Hungarian boarding school that prides itself in the appreciation for keeping the German language alive and thriving in the young people of Hungary. We arrived and enjoyed our first meal, settled into our rooms, and got acclimated into our new “home” for the week!   

Thursday, July 25  

On Thursday, we got right into things by starting with a dance workshop. All 90 or so of us split into two groups, half going to the Arbeitskreis (working group) Tanzen, half to Arbeitskreis Trachten. We met with the instructor, Llona Koch and started off by learning a few polkas. We learned that putting almost 45 strangers into a four-hour dance seminar will really get you acquainted! A favorite dance we learned called Wilderbaer included singing a fun folk song. We couldn’t help but smile as we performed this one! After this, we headed to the Tracht seminar. This was spearheaded by Elizabeth Haklik and Andrea Bakonyi. We saw many pictures of Donauschwaben tracht from different towns, each with their own unique touches. Being used to our Banater tracht, it was interesting to see the other beautiful ethnic trachts from these areas. After the presentation, we got to go outside and learn the technique of skirt starching. We watched as Elizabeth showed us the many steps to make the skirts just right!   

Friday, July 26 

The next day, after a full tour of the UBZ, we had lunch and then headed on the bus to the town of Nemesnadudvar/Nadwar. We arrived and were greeted by beautiful Schwowe with salzkipfel and schnapps in hand! We sat down for a Kulturprogramm and were absolutely blown away. They were the first dance group we saw, and they surely did not disappoint. After this, we took a walk to their Church, and continued our journey to the Weincellars. Here, we took in the beautiful Schwowe land! The vineyards and fields stretched on for miles, and the wine cellars lined the streets. Finally, we were led to a family owned wine cellar named Knab Borozo. We enjoyed many sweet wines, our favorite being the rosé. With our new friends by our sides, we ate, we sang, and we danced in the streets! It was truly an unforgettable night!  

Saturday, July 27  

The next day was Saturday and we had a jam-packed day in the city of Baja. We started off with a meeting with the mayor in the center of town. After a group picture, we were met outside by a Bimmelbahn (a small German train or tour bus) and got a fun tour of the city. We were impressed by the sights as we enjoyed the ride! Once we got back to the UBZ, we were greeted by the Heimattone, a Hungarian band based out of Budapest. You may remember them from our German Hungarian night a couple years back! They marched us to their replica of the Ulmer Schachtel, where we would take part in a consecration and time capsule burial. An Ulmer Schachtel is a type of boat that has been used since the Middle Ages on the Danube River for the transport of goods, passengers and troops. All the names of the 4. Welttreffen attendees, along with a group picture and other artifacts, were buried in the Zeitkapsel or time capsule. The Heimattone concluded the afternoon with their beautiful music!  

After the arrival of Marlene Fricker, Janet Malofiy, and Karen David, we got dressed in our dirndls- and Werner in his black vest- and got ready for the Anna Ball! This event was held in the school auditorium. We bonded with new friends from all over the country as we danced to many familiar polkas and waltzes played by the Heimattone. The spirit of the Donauschwaben people was truly alive and thriving! We decided this night to give out a couple of our club pins to some new friends who we already appreciated so much! One to Moni Lorenz from St. Louis, for being our fabulous German to English translator, one to Ed Tulius from Cincinnati for taking us under his wing, and one to our new friend Karin Ritter from Los Angeles for being the source of so many laughs on our trip so far! This night will be one we will always remember. We ended the night with ‘Bis Bald Auf Wiedersehn’ and continued the party outside! The next day would be one to remember!  

July 24 – July 27 By Karina Fricker   

Sunday, July 28 

It was Sunday, July 28, and we saw on our schedule that we were planning to spend the day in Seetsch/Dunaszekcsö, Hungary, but we could not have imagined the incredible day that was in store for us!  When we arrived in the town, we gathered at the square in front of the church.  We walked down the narrow street and turned the corner and were greeted by the cultural group from Seetsch along with their band, who were dressed in traditional Donauschwaben vests and Tracht.  As we listened to the band play traditional music for us, we were each offered a Schnapps for a welcoming toast!  We had our Schnapps, along with some other refreshments, including traditional homemade “wedding bread” as we initially met the members of their group.  We then embarked on our first of many activities that would take place on this day in Seetsch.    

Our first stop was at the Catholic church, where we learned the history of the church and the struggles of the early settlers there and the challenges they had to face during its construction and during the time period in general.    

Our next stop was in the cultural center/museum where we learned how to make Wurst.   This was a complete hands-on experience from start to finish.  From the grinding, to the seasoning, to the casing, everyone had a part in making the Wurst.  It brought back some old memories for me as I remember making Wurst with my dad at home.   

We then stopped to visit the other Church in the town, which was an Orthodox Church.  It was very interesting to see the differences from the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.  The walls of the Orthodox Church were very elaborate, yet very old, and there were no pews in the Orthodox church.  There are only a handful of seats along the side of the church, as it is common to stand.  We met the caretakers of the church, a family from Serbia, who provided us with more of the history.     

Next stop – Strudel-making!   This was amazing as the local ladies showed us how they make Zieh-Strudel from start to finish.   We made four different kinds of Strudel – cheese, poppy, cherry, and cherry-poppy.   They had four different tables set up for us as we helped to make the Strudel – from pulling the dough across the length of the tables, to adding the filling and rolling it up!  We filled the baking pans with our Strudel that we would then later enjoy after dinner that evening.   

Then it was time for lunch.  It was a delicious meal of homemade Nudel Suppe and Sarma (stuffed cabbage, Hungarian style made with paprika).  It was delicious!   We enjoyed our lunch with camaraderie and local wines before with continued with the rest of the day’s activities.  

After lunch, we participated in a Gedenkfeier / Memorial Ceremony on the Donau.  On this day, Werner was selected -along with George from Canada- to lead the procession from the Kulturhaus to the Danube River.  The band played as our entire group processed onto a barge that took us down the Danube, where our group leaders, Anna and Stefan, read passages and poems in remembrance of our departed Donauschwaben people.  As the band played, Werner and George placed the wreath in the river as the music played in the background and we watched the wreath float solemnly down the river.  It was very emotional and brought tears to many eyes that afternoon.    

After the ceremony on the Donau, we re-boarded our busses and were off to our next stop at the local Schnappsbrennerei in Mohatsch.  Here we sampled all the Schnapps we could handle – a variety of different types from Slivo, Cherry, Pear, Plum and more!  We had our personal Schnappsbecher to try each type and then we also had a tour of the distillery and learned about the process of making Schnapps.    

Then it was off to the Bachmuehle bei Schomberg / Old Mil.   Here we met one of the family members who purchased the old historic mill and whose family had dedicated themselves to restoring the old mill to preserve its history.  They showed us the pictures of the previously destroyed mill so we could see how much they had to rebuild.  We also had a tour of the actual mill, where some of our group could walk on the “mill-wheel” to put the gears into motion.   

Then we returned back to the Kultur Center for dinner and special performances by their groups.  It was a special dinner – we ate all of the foods that we had made ourselves earlier in the day.  We had our own Wurst and for dessert we had our own Strudel.  It was all delicious as we enjoyed our dinner paired with the local homemade wines.    

We were also treated by so many performances from their group – by their bands and all of their dance groups from the children, youth group and adults each gave their own performance.  They performed in their beautiful tracht and we watched in great awe as we noticed the similarities of the groups to ours and also the similarity of the music.  They were wonderful to watch!  

After the formal performances, their band continued with dance music and later some collaborative DJ assistance to play and dance to some tunes that both of our groups knew and started dancing all together.  

It was an amazing day.  No one could believe how much we had done all in this one day!  And even at the end of the night, no one wanted to leave!  As we headed back to our bus, the band escorted us with their music and camaraderie along the way.  They continued playing as we waved goodbye from inside our bus. It was a wonderful day all around and such a wonderful group we met in Seetsch.  

Monday, July 29 

Another day had begun, and it was again a full agenda.  We started our morning with a dance workshop, then a break for lunch and back to our next workshop for singing.  All of the workshops were wonderful – as dancing and singing are such a large part of our culture, it was great to have this formal instruction as we learned new songs, new dances and continued to get to know the other members on the trip.    

Later in the afternoon, we departed for another town nearby in Hajosch/Hajos, Hungary.  Here we were greeted by 3 generations of families from Hajos.  Our evening started at the Gasthof where we were greeted and then we soon departed to visit the local Catholic church.  Here we learned more about the history of the church, the town and the Hajoscher Schwaben.  We were then taken on a walking tour to see the various memorials established in the town as a remembrance of those who were forced to leave and learned more of the history along our tour.    

We were then treated to a dance performance by the Hajos dance group.  They performed a variety of dances that we all enjoyed, including their version of what we call the Kreuz Koenig dance.  They also performed a “wine stomping” dance for us along with many other traditional dances.   They also included us in a participation dance that we then all performed together.  It was great fun!      

After the performances, we walked back to the Gasthof and outside Biergarten where a delicious dinner was waiting for us.  It was an amazing Wurst/Schlacht Platter along with a variety of cheeses, vegetables, fresh bread and Grummel!   And at every table was a fresh bowl of fruit.   Everyone enjoyed it so much that when someone asked for more fruit, they literally went into the yard and picked it fresh from the trees!   

After dinner, we were treated to a singing performance by the ladies of Hajos.   They were so sweet and such lovely ladies.  We joined them in singing some songs, and then our group also sang a few songs of our own that we had learned earlier in the day in the singing workshop.    

As our evening in Hajos came to an end, we departed the Gasthof and headed back to wait for our busses.  During this time, our singing leader organized a group song as we all formed in a circle in the middle of the street to sing a few final songs together before we departed.  

The group in Hajos was so friendly and we enjoyed our evening together with them, right up to the time we left.  

July 28 – July 29 By Karen David  

Tuesday, July 30  

So, it is Tuesday, July 30, 2019, and another wonderful day.  No, we did not fly to the Islands, we are still in Hungary!    Beautiful sights, food, drink, culture and good people! We attend our daily breakfast “Fruhstuck” in the common dining area and fill ourselves with a typical “German Hungarian” inspired breakfast.  

While we are finishing, chatting with one another and waiting for daily direction from our leaders I recognize a pretty woman who just entered the room.  I know her! I cannot believe my eyes.  I am in Hungary and I am running into someone I know.  Yes, it is Hermina and I made the connection.  Hermina was on tour with the last group who came from Hungary to USA and our Club and I got to know her.  Here she is with her sister, Rita, who will be conducting the Children’s Dance Workshop.  We were both so excited to see one another and it was so awesome to have made this connection!  

The day progressed and we spent 3 hours with Rita Fresz who taught us several dances, games and skits for our little ones.  Rita also shared her thoughts and experiences with how to work with the children.  Rita was so full of energy and happy.  She repeatedly told us that you must make it happy; the children must be happy and of course smiling!  It was so wonderful to hear her philosophy because that is what we practice and what we preach within our dance group.  

Once the workshop concluded we made our way back to the dining hall for lunch and off to the busses to depart for the afternoon and evening in Boly!    

We arrive in Boly where we toured the town, some statues and memorials dedicated to the Donauschwaben people, and churches.  Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and shared her and her families’ real-life experiences in Boly!  The first Club that performed for us was called Mohatscher Nationalitäten Volkstanzgruppe and they performed in the Kulturehaus.  They re-enacted a Croatian and Hungarian Wedding.  WOW! The choreography, singing, dancing and acting was out of this world!  This performance really resonated with me and as I would look to Marlene and Karen, we all just felt so happy and we were in awe of the level of performance!  It was cool!  

Once this concluded, we walked the town further and came upon an outdoor raised stage for the 2nd performance Naarader Tanzgruppe aus Großnaarad. They consisted of all ages and now a different venue and different type of performance.  And again, we just could not believe how great this dancing was!  They did a lot of polka with intricate footwork and choreography in the “half-moon” and the precision and energy was contagious!  I could not stop my feet and I wanted to jump out of my seat!  Oh, but the bugs and mosquitoes were outrageously jumping too, and we were all eaten alive.  The “off spray” we shared replaced the passing of schnapps at this venue!  As their performance ended the sun was setting and they pulled us up for an audience participation which was a really good time!  The dance they taught was very interactive and, on the list, to teach our dancers for some fun!  

Off we went in a large group and our busses took us to the next stop…WINE and Dinner at Wein Keller Roth!  Often the 7 of us would split up to meet and socialize with others on our tour but here we decided to sit as our group; so, it was the 7 of us along with a new friend we made from Detroit.  The wine was flowing, the dinner was delicious, and the conversation and stories continued about our parents, our grandparents, their hometowns, how they lived and what they did.  It was a special night and we all shared so much with one another and we laughed and got teary eyed and even cried. It was time to go and we were sad to leave as we enjoyed our time there and I don’t like when a good night ends.  

Wednesday, July 31  

Wednesday…Mittwoch…Hump day… and we are on our way to Hatzfeld with a stop in Temeschwar.  Breakfast at 7 am and on the bus to depart at 8 am!  Using modern technology (our Cell Phones) and the mapping apps it was really great to able to see the towns we were passing or driving through as many are so small that by the time you see the sign you missed it!  The mapping apps were neat as we were always able to see towns of our friends and families along our drives from place to place.  We drove through Szeged (where the famous Paprika is made that many of us use) and made our way to Temeschwar.  Temeschwar is one of Romania’s largest cities and known for its architecture and most beautiful square.  The majority of us went on a light walking tour and ended at a roof top bar for a nice cold drink with amazing views. In addition, we walked under a quaint street covered by bright, multi-colored umbrellas providing shade, photo opportunities and just pure bliss! Marlene decided to go on the professional guided tour and with some talking she found out that this tour guide recently guided Betty and Michael Wagner on their last trip to Hungary!  Really?  It is a small world!  We met back at the bus; showed each other our recent souvenir purchases and shared the “snacks” that were unique to the country (those we cannot get back at home and usually paprika inspired!).  

We proceeded to Hatzfeld where we would spend the next few days….  

July 30 – July 31 By Janet Fricker Malofiy 

Thursday, August 1 

It was Thursday, August 1, in Jimbolia (Hatzfeld) — After the first night in our new homes we had a great breakfast before we met back up with the rest of our crew.  I spent this leg of the trip at the Hotel Classic in the center of Jimbolia while the rest of our members were housed at the Hotel Eden, about a fifteen-minute drive away.  I was staying in the hostel portion of the Hotel Classic with twelve other men on the trip.  The amenities were very nice and clean, but this portion of the hotel included four bedrooms, two toilets, two showers and three sinks (for thirteen men!)  The quarters were tight, but we made the best of the “Doghouse” as it became known.  We even adopted our own mascot –Jaeger- a local dog who showed up each night and slept on our front porch.  

After breakfast, we headed to the Sporthalle for another dance workshop with the famous Hansi Müller.  Hansi is originally from Nero (Romanian Banat) and he is currently a dance instructor and leader for many German dance groups in this area.  There were young people present from other nearby dance groups to help teach us.  We spent the next few hours learning a choreographed waltz, a polka, a traditional Romanian Brasoveanca and then finished with a Serbian dance which was very fast and complex.  As hot and humid it was in that gym, we enjoyed our time learning these dances and meeting new people.    

After lunch, we attended a Hutschmuck – or hat-making session.  Edith Barta explained the process of making a Kirchweih hat.  She explained the different styles, colors and decorations that are used in Kirchweih hat making.  Edith has produced many hats for the local groups in their own styles and colors.  Her skills were on display as she decorated a hat from scratch.  Each hat can take between 80 to 120 hours of hand work.  Everyone in the room took turns working with wire, thread and other supplies to make portions of the hat decorations.  I think everyone left the session with a greater appreciation for these beautiful hats.    

After dinner at the hotel we returned to the Kulturehaus for a lecture from Ignaz Fischer and Josef Koch.  They spoke about their experiences after the Second World War and especially about the difficulties of being sent to Russia.  This session was one of the more solemn and emotional parts of our two-week experience, but we were grateful that these men would share their difficult experiences with us.  They were proud to see as many people from around the world not just interested but celebrating and learning about their German heritage.   

Friday, August 2  

Friday, we had planned to make a trip to the shrine at Maria Radna where we were to attend a mass in the Basilika.  Unfortunately, there was bus trouble and only half of the group could go.  We volunteered to stay back, and we had a nice relaxing day in town instead.  We spent the day exploring through the town of Jimbolia: visiting both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, shopping, eating lunch, swimming, and relaxing.  

That evening we went to the local cemetery for a wreath placing ceremony at the grave of Stefan Jäger and then attended mass at the Catholic Church in town.  After mass we were treated to a concert in the church from a string quartet accompanied by the Church singers.    

With the second bus repaired, we all went to dinner at a nearby hall where we were greeted by Hansi Müller and his local dancers.  Again, we were treated to a delicious dinner with beer, wine, and schnapps!  Of all the schnapps on this trip this may have been my favorite!  A local gentleman shared his own three-year-old apricot schnapps.  Through my little, but growing understanding of the Schwowish language, he explained that he no longer makes this schnapps so it was an honor that he would share the little he had left.  

Saturday, August 3 

Saturday was the day we had highlighted on our itinerary – a Banater Kirchweih in Warjasch (Varias).  It rained for the duration of the 45-kilometer journey but that did not put a damper on the excitement in the buses.  The girls continued to help ready each other’s hair and tracht.  We may have shared a schnapps or two in preparation.  Hansi Müller, the Kirchweih-Vater, and the local dancers again greeted us to start the festivities.  First things first the boys carried the Kirchweih baum and stood it in its place.    

By now the rain had stopped and the sun worked to shine through the clouds.  Our ladies looked remarkable – Michelle, Mikaela, and Karina dressed in their traditional Banater Tracht with pink shawls and black aprons; Marlene, Janet, and Karen in their new “Blue Danube” skirts.  The complements to our ladies were unending.  I wore my own Kirchweih Hat which was decorated by my mother a few years ago.     

Today was not just a demonstration but was THE official Kirchweih Fest for the town of Warjasch.  We joined the locals on the procession through town; stopped at three different houses; attended Mass; and returned to the Kulturehaus.  At each home our hosts graciously invited us in for wine, beer, schnapps, wurst, bread, cheese, strudel, cookies and many more treats.  Including the local participants and our delegation from USA and Canada and Brazil, someone counted 110 couples in the procession that lasted seven miles.  Along the way we were lucky enough to be joined by the Banater Musikanten, a brass band out of Temeswar.  Back at the Kulturehaus we danced around the Kirchweih baum; doing a waltz and stückls until the Strauss was auctioned off to next year’s Geldherr.    

The rest of the evening was spent inside the hall dancing and singing with our old and new friends.  When the time came to leave for the evening, we did not want to board the bus.  The memories made today will not soon fade away and I look forward to our own Kirchweih coming up this November.  

August 1 – August 3 By Werner Fricker III 

Sunday, August 4 

On Sunday, August 4th we traveled Nitzkydorf/ Nitichidorf where we were able to experience and participate in a second Kirchweih! We were able to experience another true Romanian Kirchweih event. Due to our tracht being the most authentic and like the Banater Schwaben, the three girls from our club were selected to march alongside those leading the Kirchweih march through the town. Karina Fricker, Mikaela Malofiy and I escorted the men who were carrying the flags through the town. On our town march, we visited a cemetery, the town center, the church where mass was held, and homes of those in the town before ending at a complex where the event for the rest of the evening would take place.  

Upon entering the complex, we were gathered with multiple groups from all over Romania. After the giant march, we were able to witness multiple groups from Romania perform many different styles of dancing. When the Romanian groups were finished, the Landesverband was able to perform the dances we learned earlier in the week from our workshop with Hansi Mueller. We were able to perform with a large group two of the dances. It was such a wonderful experience to perform with such a large group of people and to a crowd who was intrigued by the foreign dancers performing at the time.  

After the performances, our night continued inside where a banquet dinner was held for the performing groups and ourselves. Our night was completed with listening to a wonderful band performance, drinking foreign spirits, eating delicious food, and camaraderie with good friends.  

Monday, August 5  

On Monday, August 5th the trip back to Hungary had taken the majority of our day. When arriving back in Hungary, we were given a presentation by Jurgen Harich from Germany. He has dedicated much of his time to travel the world learning about the Donauschwaben culture in different lands. He shared pictures and videos of clubhouses, groups performing, and the different programs they offer in different cities and countries to the participants of these clubs.  

Following the presentation, we departed into the city of Budapest for our evening dinner cruise on the Donau. On the dinner cruise, we had a large and delicious buffet spread and gorgeous sights, witnessing their city hall and freedom statue from afar. While upon the cruise watching the day turn into night on the river looking on to Budapest was an unforgettable scene. This dinner cruise was not only breathtaking with the views but was one of the more relaxed environments of the trip, where you could sit and get to know those around you on this once in a lifetime experience.  

August 4 – August 5 By Michelle Paul  

Tuesday, August 6 

The final day of our trip- Tuesday August 6th- was spent in Budapest and Taksony Hungary. We spent our last day traveling both cities and it was amazing. We started in Budapest touring the city; on the tour we walked through various areas that consisted of monuments, statues, and churches which were all located in Jubileumi park. One specific spot we enjoyed was the Citadella where we saw a view of the whole city that was absolutely breathtaking. Standing atop the hill we looked out over Budapest and drank local pilsner beer called Hubris!   

The next stop of the day was a city market called the Central Market. The building reminded us of Reading Terminal Market at home in Philadelphia; it had food and drink stands, and a variety of unique shops. While we were there, I bought a few authentic handmade Kirchweih handkerchiefs to match my shawls that I have at home! Werner, Karina, and I ate a delicious meal along with a cold draft beer! Karina and I shared potatoes and meatballs with a red sauce that was so filling. Someone from the group bought a giant mason jar that was filled with an orangey drink that had orange slices in it. It was a delicious alcoholic beverage and was super refreshing in the heat!   

This day spent in Budapest consisted of a lot of walking and sightseeing of amazing landmarks, and scenery that was beyond breathtaking.   

Once finished our day tour in Budapest we took the bus to Taksony; we were off to see another dance group perform and party with them! Once we arrived at the group’s clubhouse we were driven around the town in tiny retro cars and taken to multiple places. First, we went to a church that was beautiful inside with stain glass windows! After that we were driven to a house like museum that had traditional tracht and memorabilia from the city and their people. Once the car tour was finished, we went back to the dance group’s clubhouse and watched them perform. We spent the late evening and night with a dance group that toured us around their town. The group put on a performance that consisted of coupled dances with sections that featured only men and parts that were only women. All the dances were beautifully choreographed and varied from slow paces polkas to high upbeat ones. Following the group’s performance, we danced, sang, drank, and ate all night! These two cities were stunning and an amazing way to finish our trip!  

August 6 By Mikaela Malofiy  

For those of us familiar with the Outlander Book or Television Series, we are familiar with time travel. The main character of the series Claire is transformed from roughly 1946 back to Scotland in 1743, where life is different in a multitude of ways. For those of us lucky enough to make the trip to Hungary and Romania this past July/August, it was in fact like a time travel experience. We were immersed in architecture, landscape, food, drink, entertainment and other cultural aspects of life as has been described by our parents and grandparents for more than half a century, but not experienced by most of us. The Schwowe currently living in these regions were kind enough to open their homes, give us their time and share a culture that continues to exist as a modern society hovers over their existence. To have been given this experience, has been special beyond description. If you have the chance to come across this kind of excursion, please take the opportunity and experience it for yourself! 

Foreword & Conclusion by Marlene Fricker  

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