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Five Countries Without a Passport wraps up

Published 4:09pm Saturday, May 5, 2012

Our interest in Omaha has really perked up as we are putting albums together from our recent tour, Five Countries Without a Passport.

Two major events occurred that brought laborers from all nationalities to the city, the construction of the Pacific Transcontinental Railroad and the livestock exchange and meat packing industry.

Once workers moved to Omaha, many of them decided to stay and permanently call it home.

The three-day tour took us to five diverse communities: Ukraine, Greece, Scotland, Ireland and Mexico.

This included several attractions which have been developed with the boom of immigrants who have made Omaha what it is today. To us it was like a gift waiting to be opened.

A return visit would have another full schedule along with their abundance of authentic restaurants and entertainment.

We met a Ukrainian native who enlightened us with history and shared with us living in the Ukraine.  She brought a ritual towel called the rushnyky.

With samples of the towel she told us the importance of this special embroidered cloth  from birth as the child is received into this cloth after being cleansed by holy water. A bridal couple will stand on the rushnyk when taking their vows. The  parents of the groom welcome the new couple into the home with breads on the cloth and the same rushnyk will be used during their funeral.

Each site we visited had its own story to tell, as we enjoyed a Latino dance at the Latino Museum, demonstrated by young dancers who spend several years training before they  are ready to perform. The museum offers special art classes, dance and music classes.

As we depart from Omaha, we make a stop at the Queen of Peace Memorial located on a 53 acre site.  Our view as we arrive is a stainless steel statue which weighs about 5 tons. The Trinity Gardens has several displays along  with several other statues and a memorial garden.

Inside is a life size carving of the Last Supper, hand carved and spanning 22 feet in length. This was another surprise stop as we made our way back to Austin.

They operate on donations only.

 Upcoming Trips

•May 10: Church Basement Ladies, “A Mighty Fortress is our Basement.” We will depart at 9:30 am.  As always, we depart from the southwest corner of Wal-Mart.

•May 20: It’s a day of fun and merriment and reminiscing of 25 years of travel. There will be a German meal in the German-decorated restaurant Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit, with music and entertainment to follow. Wear a hat or shirt or costume to get into the fun. A video of former trips has been in the making. A second bus is now available. Its also a great way to spend a Sunday.

June 7: “Fox on the Fairway” has only a couple of openings and will depart at 8:30 a.m.  This will include a choice of entrees for the dinner, and we will make a break stop in Excelsior.  This is a new show and is about golfing. Plan on seeing another funny show.  This is due by May 14.

You may always call our travel number for more information at 507-438-3946 and our mailing address is 1002 16th St SW, Austin, MN. 55912


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