Visiting with the Family in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Quilmes, Bernal
March 22-24, 2003


"The Argentinians" (0063, 0065 and 0066 - ) visited Poland previously in August 2001 and we had the pleasure of taking them around Poland and to the Family sites (see). An opportunity presented itself to visit them again in Argentina at the end of our trip around South America. In the meantime, we remained in touch, primarily via the Internet, including with Ana (0064), who lives and works in Costa Rica and who got recently married (see).

The first family meeting after our arrival took place in the evening of March 22, in the restaurant of a Polish House - "La Casa Polaca" (2076 Jorge Luis Borges) in the Palermo District of Buenos Aires. It is a very pleasant place, full of polish folkloric decorations, also frequented by the locals because of its nice atmosphere and excellent food. According to the Argentinian custom, the gathering started late, at 9:30 PM, last guests arrived around 11 PM and it ended around 1:30 AM. Thirteen persons participated - eleven Wajszczuks including their spouses and children (Stefania - Zbyszek's wife [0062]   and "senior" of the family in Argentina, her son Adam [0063] with wife Graciela, daughters Barbara and Wanda and son Lucas, her daughter Ewa [0068] with husband Robert and son Federico, Carmen and Waldemar Wajszczuk from the USA [0087] and two friends of ours, Carmen and Richard Scofield also from the USA. (They were previously already twice with us in Poland). According to the local custom, the celebration started and then ended with a glass of champaigne, and during the meal we had an opportunity to taste various argentinian wines.

Stefania Wajszczuk (0062) with daughter Ewa Cal (0068)

Eva, husband Roberto Cal and Lucas Wajszczuk (0067)

Wanda (0066) and Barbara (0065) Wajszczuk with Federico (0069) Cal

Graciela (0063) and Carmen (0087)

Wanda (0066)

Adam Wajszczuk (0063)

Wanda and Barbara

Barbara, Wanda, Lucas and Federico

Graciela, Carmen Wajszczuki 
and Carmen Scofield

Richard Scofield, Stefania, Ewa and Roberto

Next day, on Sunday March 2003 around noon, we met with Adam and Graciela at our hotel and they took us to their family homes. They all live in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, to the east along the southern banks of the Rio de la Plata ("Silver River"). Along the way, we visited the Country Club on the river, where Adam relaxes fishing and the family comes to picnic and to barbacue ("asado"). The next stop was in Stefania's house in the town of Quilmes. It is in a condominium-style and full of mementos from Poland, Stefania's and Zbyszek's early years in England after they got married and before they came to Argentina, and then of the enlarging family while already in Argentina (see picture Gallery).

Adam, Carmen, Stefania and Graciela
- in front of Stefania's house

Adam, Waldemar (0087), Stefania and Graciela
- in front of Stefania's house

From Stefania's house, we walked across the common yard and garden to Eva's house, which is located behind, on a parallel street. This convenient locations allows Eva to assist her mother and to have meals together. Eva's and Roberto's house is also filled with memorabilia, especially pictures of the younger son Nicolas, who tragically died in an accident in the Fall of 2000. They are still grieving and rarely go out - we were told that going out with us were their first outings since that accident. We appreciate that and share in their loss and grief!

Eva and Roberto's townhouse - Eva and Federico' s fiance at the entrance

Inside - Waldemar, Adam, Graciela, Stefania, Carmen, Eva and Roberto

Inside - Waldemar, Adam, Graciela, Stefania, Carmen, Eva and Roberto

Grandma Stefania, Federico (he is 6'4" tall) 
and Carmen

Eva with son Federico

Next was a lunch stop at a typical local restaurant. The specialties were - freshly cought fish, seafood and "asado" (grill) - prepared according to the secret and unusual recipies - delicious, accompanied again by excellent wines and "Quilmes" beer from the local brewery. After lunch, along the way to their house in the nearby Bernal, Adam showed us the old house, where his parents used to live and where we visited them many years ago (see below). He has now his medical consultation office there. Next, he showed us the I. J. Paderewski Polish Association -"Sociedad Polonesa" house in Quilmes (see below), the huge "Quilmes" brewery and the hospital, where he works - now under renovation and expansion.

Old family house - now Adam's consultation ofice

I. J. Paderewski Polish Association ("Sociedad Polonesa")  house in Quilmes

In front of Adam and Graciela's house - Graciela, Wanda, Carmen and Adam at the door

In Adam and Graciela's house (see above) we looked again at the family pictures and WWII memorabilia left by Adam's father Zbigniew (Zbyszek) - initially, as a Soviet POW in Siberia and then from his service in the Polish Armed Forces in the West - in the Middle East, Italy and then in England.

Adam's tattoo - his father's Paratrooper badge with the emblem of "Poland Fighting" - "PW"

Following his recent trip to Poland, Zbyszek had a symbol tattooed over his left arm - in memory and to honor his father. It represents a military Parashootist/Commando Unit badge. In addition, the diving eagle is also holding in his claws the "PW anchor" sign - the symbol of the Polish Underground Resistance ("Polska Walczaca") in WWII. (I saw, how emotional he was, while visiting the Family and other memorial sites in Poland).

The last family gathering (without pictures) took place on Monday evening (or rather night?), with dinner at an Italian/Argentinian restaurant "Happening" (Alicia M. de Justo 310) in Puerto Maduro -the recently renovated and now very fashionable old harbour district of Buenos Aires. This time, Stefania, Wanda, Lucas and Federico could not attend, because of the late hour or school and work schedules. At the conclusion, in between many hugs and kisses, hopes and wishes were expressed for the next meeting in not too distant future. We returned to the hotel - to pack for the return trip home and they to their homes - approximately 30-40 minutes away via highways, now uncrowded at night.

While in Argentina, we were able to contact again by phone, with Adam's assistance, a family Wajczuk. We found previously their name in the internet telephone book and also an entry about a high school graduate in Pilar, Nancy Wajczuk. Prior to this trip, we were able to contact them by phone, presenting the reason and asking to gather the available information and documents, in anticipation of our trip. They live in a town of Pilar, approximately 100 km west of Buenos Aires. There is a strong probability that they belong to the Wajszczuk Family, but the name became abbreviated during the immigration process? Apparently, their ancestors arrived early in the XXth century from Poland, possibly from the Podlasie province? It is interesting that, while visiting last year in Podlasie, we were told about somebody emigrating before the war to South America, but no other details were known (see) - see under "Saturday, September 28"). Unfortunately, it turned out that a direct meeting was not possible because of the distance, short time available and work commitments, but Carmen was able to gather by phone enough information to allow starting an Internet page (see). It will depend on further information, whether we will decide to connect this page (and where) to the Wajszczuk Family Tree. They promised to forward by mail copies of the old immigration documents - we were unable to decipher by phone the names of the localities in Poland.

Picture Gallery