OK, so this isn’t an “I’ve been there” type of post, but rather an “I will go there” type of post. Finding out exactly where to go is part of the journey that I’m going through.
Both of my Paternal Grandparents were born in Ukraine, or Poland depending on when we’re talking. The area was mostly farmland and the border flipped back and forth several times.
In 1980, my Aunt sat down with my grandmother and had the foresight to record a series of conversations talking about her life in “the old country”, meeting my grandfather and their time as new immigrants to Canada. Those tapes were the Genesis of our family podcast BabasBeach. I poured over the tapes and took some sound clips when she mentioned her hometown of Batyiv and the nearby town of Radehue. Not knowing how these were spelled or where they were located, I asked for help from my friend Sergey who lives in Sevastopol, Ukraine.
After listening to her voice 25 years after it was recorded, he was able to send me maps of both places.
From time to time, I check Google Maps satellite imagery for the area. When I started in 2005, it was barely possible to see the village of Batyiv. It is now possible to see buildings.
There is a woman who lives in Vancouver who operates a travel agency that specializes in taking Canadians to trace their heritage in Ukraine. Every one of her tours is different as she customizes them to suite the travellers.
I hope that in a few years time, Moe and I will be able to visit Batyiv.