Friday, December 12, 2008


We have a picture of my grandfather and his brother (Shlomi’s grandfather, Yeshaya) beside the grave of their parents, in 1930. It’s black and white, you can read the inscriptions, but we don’t know where the cemetery is. My great-grandparents, Meyer and Ene Tolpolar, harvested tobacco and had a grocery store in Oliscani. They were killed by their own employees, who wanted to rob them. According to my grandfather, the killers were arrested. In their graves it’s written in Yiddish: “Here resting in peace husband and his wife that were killed in their own house Enia-raisa, Efrayim's Daughter and Meyer, son of Chaim Tolpolar, that were buried on 6 January 1930”.
Victoria Stoiciu, a contact I made through the internet and born in Oliscani (but now lives in Bucharest), told me Jews from Oliscani used to be buried in Rezina, a village close by, and there never was a Jewish cemetery in Oliscani. So we headed to Rezina first, to try to find the grave.
The new cemetery in Rezina looks well kept, it’s partaken with the Catholic cemetery. Jewish people started to be buried there in the 50’s. Naum Cleinic, the head of the Rezina Jewish community, guided us through. We walked a little in the area, but couldn’t find any relatives. So we went to the old cemetery.

The old Rezina cemetery doesn’t have any gates or people looking after it. It’s all in the open, overlooking the Dniester river and the (in)famous region of Transnistria, which self proclaimed an independent country and is not acknowledge by any other nation. When Moldova became independent in 1991, this region still wanted to have Russian “ties”, and after a civil war, it stated its own independency. Transnistria has a communist regime, its own money currency and stamps, not usable and recognized anywhere except for there. What Moldavians regret is that all industries of former Soviet Republic of Moldova, were in Transnistria, and once it separated from Moldova, it kept them all. So it’s a richer place than Moldova. Yes, you need a visa to get in, but nobody knows where to get it. When reading about it, it seemed pretty much a surreal place I’d love to visit. We didn’t go there, and this deserves a separate chapter.

Natasha mentioned she has never seen a cemetery in such a bad shape as this old one in Rezina. Most graves are partially broken, encrusted in the ground, torn, impossible to identify. The grass is tall, covering everything; it’s difficult to walk around. It all gives an odd charm to it, but this does not help us. Even if my great-grandparents had been buried there, there was no way to know. So we left to Oliscani, a bit mesmerized by the inevitability and power of time. Between the old stones and the sight of Transnistria.

There were about 15 thousand Jews in Rezina, today it’s 30 total.

My grandfather, Abram Moishe Tolpolar, was born in Oliscani, in the Soldanesti region. His parents were also born in Oliscani, a remote village in Northern Moldova. The tourist agent that provided us with the invitation to get the visa said Oliscani didn’t exist. Was it all part of our imagination? As far as I could understand, the Tolpolars came from there. Before that, I don’t know, maybe Poland, or even Spain. But Oliscani was the farthest reference in time of my ancestors. And all of a sudden I was taking a picture with my father and sister in the entrance of the village, where a sign with the writing “Oliscani”was standing. I was sure it existed.

Next: being in Oliscani and our quest for the Tolpolar grave.

Wish you all a great 2009.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Our guide Natasha had told us they had found a few Tolpolars graves in Orhei. That was exciting, although it was the birthplace of my grandmother, a Nisenblat. We picked up the head of the Jewish community in Orhei, Izia Mundrean, and went to the cemetery. Like the other towns, there’s not much of a Jewish life in Orhei. Izia said 80 percent of the city was Jewish (around 32,000 people). Today, there’s about 100 Jews. The reality of Moldova is, Jewish or non Jewish, most of youngsters leave the country for a better future. Most Jews go to Israel or the USA. Other Moldovans go to Italy, Germany, Spain, etc. Orhei is the city with the highest number of Jews who move to Israel.

The Orhei Jewish cemetery is one of the 10 oldest in Europe; it is 450 years-old, whereas the city is 570 years-old. The cemetery is not totally abandoned. There’s a keeper, people also give donations and family relatives repair graves. There are a few Holocaust memorials there. One, from 1991, says: “To our compatriots, Jews, victims of the Holocaust”. 4,000 Jews were killed in Orhei, and their names are in the memorial.

We found a few Tolpolar and Nisenblat graves. The most beautiful and mythical part of the cemetery is where the old graves are. I mean, very old, falling apart in the grown grass, attesting the passage of time.

Back in the new part, we went to see a few war memorials. I though the father of my grandmother would be listed in the memorial as a Holocaust victim, but there was a bunch of names, written in Russian and Hebrew, and we couldn’t find his.

After the cemetery, we drove by old Jewish buildings (old Jewish neighborhood and synagogue. During the drive, I spotted the Orhei soccer stadium.) and then stopped at a house that serves as the Jewish center, so people can meet for the holidays and such. Ana, our host, was waiting for us with food, wine, champagne and sweet wine, all homemade. Ana has been working for 11 years with the Jewish community. Her father was Jewish. She used to cook and people would come to buy her food. Now, as the city’s Jews are old, she goes to their places and cooks for them.
Through the “couchsurfing” website, Kerley had made contact with Annie, an American who was working for the Peace Corps and living in Orhei, and she joined us for lunch. It was a nice afternoon, we all at the table, eating and drinking. Ana gave us a bottle of homemade wine and a bottle of champagne to Natasha. We gave her a skin crème from the Amazon, she loved it.

Our next destiny was Orhei Vecchi, Old Orhei. Nothing Jewish, just pure sightseeing. I had read about it and was excited to see it.

This old, archeological sight was a place for monasteries back in the 1400’s (I think). Close by there are also the remains of a Tartar bath. The landscape was gorgeous, it’s like this huge semi-circular wall that jots out of the ground, with caves in it, where the monks used to live. In the ground, there’s a river, a plantation and some peasants working. A surreal idyllic image. Moldova is now a landlocked country, but thousands of years ago the ocean was there, and this wall is full of shells encrusted in it. Amazing.

We stopped by the road to appreciate the landscape from afar. On the other side of the river is a village, very pretty too. Natasha took us to a path of grass and collected some plants with a very different – but pleasant smell. She said it’s good for tea, and I got some. We then drive towards the caves, passing by the museum of Orhei Vecchi, but it was closed.
We finally get to the actual site, and enter the monastery. One monk still lives there and maintains a sanctuary. We go down the stairs and enter one of the caves, where a few monks used to sleep. It’s very cold in there. A local young girl comes in with her family, we talk a little and she reveals she wants to leave Moldova and go to Italy.

We leave the cave and go out to see we were in the place where we spotted from afar in the road. We are right in one of the holes of this huge wall. Looking down, it’s like an abyss. Very impressing.

The drive back to the hotel was calm, as Orhei is about 30 minutes from Chisinau. We dropped Natasha off at her place, as usual, and headed for the hotel. Time to rest and get ready for Oliscani. At least for my dad and sister, as I went to the last day of the CRONOGRAF Film Festival, to meet up with my Russian friend Roma, who had some music to give to me. I also took it as a good opportunity to see the festival goers one more time. But I had one mission: to bring food back to the hotel for my family. They were going to be starving soon.

When I got to the theater, the Awards Ceremony was already happening. So I stood there, waiting it to be finished. I soon spotted Roma, and we went to the outdoor bar next to the theater, where most people were. Roma bought me some delicious tea, and I became aware that Russians love tea, and that’s a popular drink there. It was much better than the Brazilian or American tea. And the waitress gives you some dates and raisins, which were also very good. I became to know better a Serbian filmmaker sitting on the same table, and his girlfriend/wife/film partner, and they were very nice. They studied in Bucharest and told me things I didn’t know about Serbia. Unfortunately I don’t remember our conversation very much, but it just reinforced the idea that people all over the world have the same necessities, everybody goes through difficulties and nothing is perfect.

OK, now everybody was ready for the closing party, which I didn’t even know it was going to happen. Meanwhile, I’m thinking of my father and sister waiting for me to return to the hotel room with dinner. But in this German-like bar (called Bierplatz, conveniently located between the theater and the bar where we were), there was a banquet of Moldovan specialties. There was bread, shrimp, bryza cheese, herring, pickles, things I couldn’t identify. One of them was pork tongue, which I ate before knowing it. To drink, wine of course. But I had drunk so much wine lately I had some sparkling water.
I couldn’t stay there too long. Just enough to satisfy my hunger and talk to people. After a while, it was time for me to go.
It was about 10PM, and I called my sister at the hotel. She said they were indeed waiting for food, and I had to get something. But I missed the 24 hour supermarket and nothing else was open. I walked around for a bit and, very tired already, got back to the hotel with empty hands. Kerley got angry, but she’s smart and asked the receptionist for help. She called us a pizza (I remember, it was “Andy’s Pizza)”, it took almost an hour to arrive. It was the first pizza I’ve seen that had mayonnaise instead of tomato sauce. I liked it, and so did my dad and sister. It was about 1PM when we went to sleep.

Next: the long awaited trip to Oliscani

Monday, November 10, 2008


Our next stop was in Cupcini to get Iuri Zagorcea, a Historian and researcher of the Jewish community in the area. Iuri is part of the NGO Eternity, financed by Akkerman. He would take us to Cepleutz, about 30km away from Yedinitz. Cepleutz was supposed to be the village where Yeshaya Tolpolar and his wife (and maybe Sioma and his wife) were murdered. We were looking for their graves as well.
While we were all in the van, Iuri started to tell the story of what he knew of the murder. It was then a chilling feeling ran through my spine. Difficult to describe, but I felt I was part of History, belonged to something, and that the few things I knew about the Tolpolars were true. It was almost like a feeling of completion, of accomplishment of an identity. Or something like that.

But our feeling grew even stronger when we arrived in Cepleutz. It looked like a very small and primitive village, non-paved road and lots of green. We stopped by a street, right in front of the entrance to this path. We walked in, following Iuri, and soon we understood that there was the place where Yeshaya Tolpolar, his wife plus 4 Jews were shot to death. Iuri said their bodies were thrown in the river, where now is just tall grass. He pointed out: “it was right here”.

Basically this is what happened. Two weeks before the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in June 22nd, 1941, Yeshaya Tolpolar and his family felt something wrong was going to happen, the Jewish people in Yedinitz were fleeing to smaller villages surrounding the area and hiding with non-Jews. By July 7th 1941, Yeshaya and his wife and maybe his son Sioma moved to Cepleutz. There, they paid Ivan Afanasyevich Kistruga to hide them. But they were betrayed by this man, who was married to the sister of Dumitru Gontsa, chief of the anti-Semitic party Cuzist.
Six locals from the Cuzist party in Cepleutz, including Dumitru Gontsa and Timoftei Nemirenko, organized the capture of Jews in that village. The Nazi Romanians said they didn’t care about those Jews and that the locals could do whatever they wanted with them. And they ended up killing most of them. Iuri confirmed that Dumitru and Timoftei were the ones who shot Yeshaya and his wife. He was not sure of Sioma.
Dumitru Gontsa e Timoftei Nemirenko were arrested and sent to Siberia. In 1945, one became a priest in Bukovina, Ukraine, returned to Cepleutz and died there. Nemirenko’s son still lives in Cepleutz. Another killer was also identified: Petru Lupan.
189 Jews were murdered in Cepleutz and 300 were sent to concentration camps. In Yedinitz there were 15 thousand Jews, today there are only 30 families. We gave 100 lei to Iuri and he said he would use the money to help build a monument in Cepleutz, an old plan of his. The problem is that there are still survivors and families of the murderers living there.
As Iuri was telling his story and we were digesting all of that, something magical happened. This goes to show that life in these Moldovan villages doesn’t change so quickly. An old man appeared and started to walk towards us, speaking Romanian. According to our translator, he was saying: “it was here, right here”, pointing a little bit more to the left were Iuri had shown us.

For our surprise, this old man was a witness of that killing. He was 5 years old when he was passing by, taking a horse to his dad, and saw some people on their knees. The Nazi looked at him and told him to leave; otherwise he’d be shot as well. This was a living witness of the tragedy that occurred so many years ago and involved our family. It was just incredible.
This man’s name is Giorghi Kistruga. In the midst of the victims, he saw a few books written in Hebrew, he didn’t know what they meant. He said the bodies were naked. While the Jews were being killed, some inhabitants of the village were around, crying and asking why they were doing that. The local Nazis said if they didn’t stop crying they would kill them as well.
Giorghi also told us that after being arrested, Dumitru came back to Cepleutz. He then met him and asked about his participation in the massacre. He also said when there was a trial in the village in 1946, the bones and remains were uncovered, right at the spot we were looking at. But they didn’t have a place to bury them, so they left them there.

Because Ghiorghi has the surname Kistruga, and he calls Dumitru “uncle”, he may be the son of Ivan Kistruga, whom hid and betrayed the Tolpolars, and was married to Dumitru’s sister. The old man also remembered a lawyer called Tolpolar. That was Fima who, enlisted in the Russian army, ended up surviving the war.
As he was talking non-stop, we were taking pictures and listening carefully. Kerley stepped in a puddle of mud and her white snickers were damped and now brown-colored. We started to leave that place. Iuri was very interested in the old man, and they were both in conversation. To show he was still strong, the old man broke a rock with his hands. Amazing.
He invited us to have tea and sweets and his place, but it was getting late, we were exhausted and needed to go.
On our way back to leave Iuri at Cupcini, he revealed the word “Holocaust” was unheard of in Soviet times. That was unknown to us. Zionism was considered anti-soviet, and Iuri, a History teacher, heard “Holocaust” for the first time in 2001.
After we left him, we started to head back to Chisinau. We were all so tired, but since we were going to drive by Beltsy (where our cousin Shlomi was born and lived together with his father and Fima), I asked if it could be possible to stop there for a few minutes and see the building where our Tolpolar relatives used to live. Shlomi had shown it to me on a map, and I had it in my head.
Beltsy revealed itself as a pleasant town. Sure it was Sunday; people were more relaxed, walking around as if in a holiday, with their families and friends. It felt very comfortable, like a city in the mountains of Southern Brazil.

We saw the building where the Tolpolars lived and the school where Shlomi and his sister went. Then we walked to a Ukrainian grocery store to buy some garnishments for the hotel room. The supermarket was very nice; we got the famous Moldovan bryza goat cheese, ham, beverages and chocolates. Natasha mentioned Beltsy was famous for its brandy, so I got some bottles. One for me, the others were presents.

It was already night time, I think about 9:30PM, when we started to drive back. All of us slept in this 3 hour trip. It was almost midnight when we got to the hotel. The next day we would meet at 10AM to go to Orhei, where my grandmother was born. If I remember correctly, I didn’t hear the alarm clock in the morning, and when my father and sister woke me up, I couldn’t understand what was going on. Suddenly I realized I had about 20 minutes to get ready for one more day in Moldova.

Next: Orhei, the beautiful Orhei Vecchi and back for the last day of CRONOGRAF

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Little I knew this was going to be the busiest day of our journey in Moldova. We woke up early to drive to Yedinitz, a 3 hour road trip. In Yedinitz, Fima Tolpolar was born, son of Yeshaya Tolpolar, brother of my grandfather. We knew that there was still an old neighbor of Fima living in Yedinitz, who could tell us more about him.

The trip went smooth. I was fascinated by the landscape, full of green hills. Our first appointment was going to be with Efim Akkerman, the head of the Jewish community and the cemetery manager. There are about only 30 Jewish families living there now. Mr. Akkerman is a construction businessman and designated his son, Edik, to guide us through the cemetery before our visit. The cemetery is old and not very well organized. They’re still trying to catalogue all the graves.

We didn’t find anything there, so headed to Mr. Akkerman’s office.

Mr. Akkerman went straight to the point; he wanted to know what we needed and how he could help. We explained our story briefly, and then he started to make phone calls. In between the calls, he affirmed that all Jewish people buried in Oliscani were unburied and buried again in Rezina or Floresti.

After many calls, he arranged two appointments with us, with an elder lady who could tell us more about the Jewish community and with Semion Mikhalovic, Fima’s old neighbor. Edik would take us to the lady, whose name I cannot remember.

She was very nice, not Jewish, but married to a Jewish man, who already passed away. Only I and Natasha went up to her small apartment. It was the first time I was entering a local’s home, it was exciting. She showed me pictures of her family, gave me chocolates and a jar of homemade pickled mushrooms (very popular there). She talked a bit, but couldn’t remember any Tolpolars or Nisenblats.

The 85 year-old lady is an active Math teacher, and it so happens that Semion was one of her students. So she called him and advised we were coming. While I was at the lady’s apartment, my dad and sister waited in front of the building and became friends with some other old ladies. We found out later everybody was so friendly in the villages.

Semion was there with his wife. Energetic and serious, he promptly started to lead us on a walk towards the house where Fima and his brother Sioma were born. Semion told us that Fima and many Jews were evacuated from Yedinitz in 1941 to Ukraine and other countries. He himself went to a concentration camp in Ukraine and met Fima again when he came back to Yedinitz in 1945. In that occasion, Fima said he was coming from Moscow and that his family was dead. He spent 2 days there and then moved to Beltsy. Semion’s father bought Fima’s house. At that time, it was good business, it was cheap. Then they sold to another Fima, who sold to the actual owner. She has a restaurant in front of the house and lives in the back with her family.

The 15 minute walk made us arrive in a big yellow house, a restaurant now. The owner, named Francesca, happily greeted us and Natasha ran to fetch my dad and Sergio, the driver. Once they arrived, we started to tour the house. Francesca explained what she built and what was there originally. There it was. We were inside the house of my great granduncle and his family, which I never met.

Afterwards, Francesca offered us some food. It was already 3PM and we were completely weakened by starvation. While we were waiting on the table, we talked to Semion about the war, what he knew of Fima and so on. We also discovered that his wife was a Nisenblat. She was happy to see some pictures of my grandmother, a Nisenblat as well.

Semion confessed being a communist. He was sent to a concentration camp, but then freed by the soviets. He didn’t think the communism affected the Jews, and that even the first communist leaders were Jews.

They served us soup, placinta, some rolled minced meat, mashed potatoes and beverages. We were so grateful. And later she said it was a present, she didn’t accept any money from us. And that was a restaurant!

Semion said my dad resembled Fima. The both communicated in Yiddish, and it was touching when at the time of saying good-bye, Semion hugged and kissed my dad. I unfortunately lost this great moment on my camera.

Everybody in front of Fima's old house

Next: Driving to Cepleutz, the place where Yeshaya Tolpolar was murdered, and an unbelievable surprise.

(CORRECTION: In the “Getting to know Jewish Chisinau” posting, I wrote a comment from my “stepfather”. I actually meant “father-in-law”! I don’t have a stepfather, and my mom and dad are together. Thanks for my friend Judah, who pointed it out and I promptly corrected it.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Natasha and Sergei, our driver, met us at the hotel at 10AM for our tour of the Jewish Chisinau: Jewish holocaust memorial, the Jewish cemetery and historical sights related to the (in)famous 1903 pogrom, including the house number 13 where Jewish families were slaughtered by the ravaged mob.
Alla, our researcher, had found a street address in Chisinau where a certain Shabsa Tolpolar used to live. We went there first, but the new tenants knew nothing about it. An old lady who had been living there for 10 years said that everything there was changed and rebuilt.

Aftewards we went by the house number 13, where many victims perished in the 1903 Jewish pogrom.

Jewish Holocaust Memorial (Ghetto Prisoner’s Memorial)

Stadium where Jews were executed, in the old Jewish neghborhood.

We went by the stadium where Jews were executed in the pogrom and by another synagogue, also orthodox, that belongs to Agudat Israel. We drove by a blue church in the same place where the 1903 pogrom started. We saw a few buildings related to Rabbi Tirilson, very active at that time.

The Jewish cemetery is huge and wildly beautiful. We walked a lot there and found a few graves, not of Tolpolar, but of Nisenblat, my grandmother’s maiden name.
After the cemetery, we had lunch in another fancy restaurant, Vatra Neamului, worth the visit. The food and service were excellent. I had the famous mamaliga with tocana, something like a cornmeal/polenta with bryza (their special goat cheese), sour cream and slices of meat. Besides that, the place was decorated like a museum of national history, with ornaments and paintings, and every room had a different theme. They also had a wine tasting area.

We came back to the hotel to rest a little before our late afternoon trip to the Museum of National History. That night was museum night, and all museums were free and open to the public until midnight. Mauro stayed in the room for a nap, Kerley and I went to the Odeon Theater, where the only Moldovan Film Festival, CRONOGRAF, was taking place.

I found that in my walks in Chisinau, the stray cats were not afraid of people, on the contrary. They come to you if you call them and seem pretty comfortable. Here in the States, and also in Brazil, stray cats run away by the sight of humans.

The Odeon Theatre is small, but clean and well put together. They told me is a typical soviet building, but I didn’t notice a lot of difference from the art houses in America, for example. Except for the fact that the seats are not very comfortable.
We were looking for Dumitru, one of the Festival’s organizers who I got in contact via e-mail beforehand. He was very busy, but took some time and took us to the outdoor café next door.

Then we met people from Russia, Georgia, Armenia and even Moldova on the table. All very friendly. I soon connected with Roman, the Russian, who said wanted to move to Brazil.
My sister had to leave soon to meet Natasha and Mauro to go to the Museum, but I decided to stay, and even watched some films. The CRONOGRAF festival is small but organized. I never imagined finding such an international crowd in Moldova: Germans, Austrians, Russians, Armenians, Serbians, Romanians… Nobody from the US or Latin America though.

My new friend Roman, from a region close to Siberia, brought me some home made wine he had store somewhere in the theater. It was my first contact with the famous Moldovan wine. Since then I didn’t know almost every person in the villages has their own little winery and makes his/her own wine. I remember it was night already; I was sitting in the stairs in front of the Odeon with my friend Roman drinking one of the softest and most delicious wines I had ever tasted, in a plastic glass.
I had gotten a message that somebody else I had contacted through e-mail, a local filmmaker named Viorel, was going to meet me there. (The wonders of cell phones!). So I waited, and drank a bit more, until he arrived. We went to the same bar I was before to meet some of his friends, a very different crowd then. They were very nice as well.
In the same bar, another “internet friend”, Alecu, was having a beer with his friends. He signed me to sit with them. Alecu doesn’t speak English, but we could communicate somehow. For my surprise, one of his friends, Boris, was speaking Portuguese to me. He’s from Moldova and lived in Sao Paulo for 2 years. I could never imagine I was going to find a Portuguese speaker in Moldova! That was nice. They reminded me that this TV station wanted to make a report on our journey. I gave them my sister’s cell number and supposed to wait for a contact. Alecu had already told me about this through e-mail. Funny, because Viorel and his friends wanted to make a short film about our journey.
Viorel invited me to an outdoor concert, I promptly joined his group and said bye to Alecu and Boris. The local band “Snails” was playing in front of the Museum of National History, funny coincidence, right where my father and sister were a few hours ago. We watched the concert for about 5 minutes and then Viorel, who’s very agitated, took us to a bar across the street.
There, I became acquainted with a lot of interesting stories from the soviet era, but from a modern perspective. Viorel told me when he was going to school, I think about 12 years old, everybody was a “pioneer”. A pioneer means you had to wear a specific soviet uniform, be impeccably clean and obey/admire the soviet ideology. I guess something like a scout boy. I asked what would happen if a kid was against it, he answered that nobody really thought about being a rebel. Not that they felt oppressed, but it was such a common thing, like having breakfast or using a hat, that nobody really questioned it. He said that one time his brother forgot a bandana they had to wear, and he was considered the shame of the school for months.
I also learned that once Moldova became independent in 1991, there was a huge backlash against the Russian influence. Nationalistic ideas started to rise, and some people even wanted to ban the Russian language. Nowadays, people in Moldova speak Russian and “Moldovan” (more like Romanian with a Russian accent) and there is little adversity between Russian and Romanian ethnicities. However when Moldova became independent, some wanted to ban the Russian influence, other wanted to stick with it. So a region called Transnistria self-proclaimed its separation from Moldova in order to be like in soviet times. I found that Viorel and his friends were much more proud to have a Romanian heritage than Russian.
Before Viorel and his friend gave me a ride back to the hotel, I learned that Moldovans love Brazilian soap operas and every Thursday night there’s the “Salsa night”, where people can dance to Latin rhythms.
My dad and sister were asleep at the hotel room. Kerley was actually very worried about me. I should have called her, but got so entangled in the conversation I ended up forgetting it. We catched up a bit.
Kerley said the Museum of National History is kind of poor, there are not a lot of visual resources or installations, but it was good to be in a cultural event in Chisinau. Each room has a different theme according to a specific age: Middle Ages, 19th century and so on. There were people in traditional old costumes serving typical food. The best thing was the Diorama, a mix of painting and installation about the battle between the Russian and the German army during the World War II. The weapons and tanks exposed were real. There were also relics, vases, from 4 thousand, 6 thousand years ago.
After hearing their adventures, I went to sleep. I was exhausted and knew I needed to rest. The next day would be our first time on the road.
Next: Driving to Yedinitz and vicinity.