“My cousin, Denah and I have a tradition of traveling internationally every two years. It’s been fantastic. With kids and spouses, we’re a cohort of 9 traipsing around the world. One year we decided to go to South America and when I told my mom, she said, ‘You should visit our relatives in Chile.’
I considered these ghost relatives because I really didn’t know anything about them. My mother’s family is from Minsk in Belarus. My great grandmother and her sister decided to leave in 1910 to come to America, but someone made a mistake. One sister ended up in North America and the other one went to South America. Since 1910 the families had never met. We were the representatives from North America to meet the South American family and the youngest generation of one side of the family met the oldest generation from the other.
We felt an immediate connection. Of course, there were lots of tears. It was very meaningful to bring the families together. The whole experience made the world so much bigger for all of us.”
– Pilar in Oakland, California