Well, well, well. It’s been SOOOOO long since I last wrote a blog post, that I’m not even sure I still know how to write! 🙂
The reason for cranking up the old writing engine is that I’m leaving in 4 days’ time for Buenos Aires. And I will be gone for 3.5 weeks. Wow. And yikes! When I tell people this, they ask if I’m going on holiday, if I’m going alone. Well, yes, I guess, to both but it’s a little bit more than that. I’m going to be meeting long-lost family. And lots of them.
Yup, finally all those years of doing genealogy is paying off with a large family reunion in South America. Actually, I have family in Venezuela and Brazil as well, but that’s another story. This story is centred in Buenos Aires.
My father’s parents came from Poland. In the mid-1920s, they emigrated to Palestine. They were there for a few years before they moved to South Africa. And when they arrived in South Africa, their nationality was “Palestinian”. Yup, my grandparents were the original Palestinians 😉
My father’s mother, Faiga Rozencwajg, had an aunt Golda who married Mordka Mendel Tenenbaum. They had 6 children that I know of. Of these first cousins, two sisters and a brother went to Buenos Aires, while one brother went to America. My grandmother kept in touch with her cousins; I have some photos that they must have sent her, and she went to visit South America in 1971. However, with my grandmother’s passing away in 1986, we lost all contact (and I don’t think we really even knew about this contact).
Fast forward to mid-2009. An American woman named Mary Jo contacts me on the JewishGen Family Finder website and asks if I’m related to Mordka Mendel Tenenbaum who is her husband’s grandfather. I find the name in my family tree and make the connection. Mary Jo tells me that they have just found the Argentine relatives after forty years of lost contact between the families. They had already met some relatives and were planning to meet more.
I then left it for a few months (or rather, I forgot about it) but remembered again in April 2010. I got back in touch with Mary Jo and this time I joined our family trees together which was very exciting. Mary Jo informed me that they just come back from spending 2 weeks in Buenos Aires meeting lots of “new” cousins. We exchanged old photos and information. I even had a Skype chat with some of these “new” cousins, which was amazing and emotional.
It was then that Mary Jo mentioned that they were planning another, longer, trip to Buenos Aires in a few years’ time. This planted the seed in my head to make a visit of my own at the same time as their trip to Argentina…