(April 12, 1999).
Andrea talks about Croatia
I am Andrea Matulich, a.k.a. Andrea Rowe. I am of Croatian descent. When my father
died a few years ago, in his belongings I found a family tree for the Arnerich
family (on his mother's side).
With both of my parents gone, I felt compelled to find out about my heritage.
My dream was fulfilled last spring when my husband, Cheth, and I visited the
island of Brac, in the Adriatic Sea near the city of Split in Croatia. I
visited the tiny village of Dol where both of my paternal grandparents are
from and was able to meet with distant relatives of the Arnerich and Matulich
This experience was one of the most incredible of my life. But it was somehow
overshadowed by seeing the effects of war on this beautiful country.
Although Brac had barely been affected, we drove through a great deal of the country and
we were amazed and sobered by what we saw. Having never been in a country
torn apart by war (the Civil War was a long time ago) I couldn't believe
my eyes. Whole towns and villages levelled. Empty. Sad and ghostly.
To see the beauty of this country, one minute the Adriatic & Plitvitcka Jezera (a series of twelve
lakes cascading into one another - the most beautiful place I've ever seen)
and then the ravages of war the next was almost to much to bear.
These are proud, beautiful people. They are warm and extremely generous with
what little they have. They are humble.
So many have so little to begin with that when you see even that taken away it
When I came home to the USA I wrote the song
Just Like Us (Croatia).
I wanted to paint the picture of my experience with words. We have so
much abundance in this country and we take it all for granted.
When I heard what was happening in Kosovo I was appalled. I wanted to
help but didn't know how. Under the full moon I prayed for help.
"Do a benefit," came the reply.
"OK," I answered. "I know how to do that."
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