Ana climbs through the village of Vadeni as she traces the steps of her childhood in the village before she was deported.

Ana remembers, “The road back home was easier. From Kazakhstan to Floreşti we traveled in boxcars, and now with our naked eyes we could see the reality. We were going home and we were wondering, would we really return to the house we had, where would we find shelter? When we crossed the Nistru (the river that creates the eastern most border of Moldova), I was so excited that my eyes welled up with tears and stayed that way until we reached the village. Our pain was great when we learned that our house was now a primary school. Where were we going to go? Who will accommodate us? Mother met with the Soviet Committee president, Comrade Sochircă, who said, ‘Maruşcă, I thought that from where you were taken to you would not return, but you came back with children and all. The house is no longer yours, it belongs to the state.’ Mother replied that God is great and He took care of us, helping us to return home. We stayed with our biggest sister, who took us all in. At school, we were received with understanding and compassion. Tears would fill our eyes as we were passing by our old house and watching as the village children played in the front yard. People who bought things from our house would not give them back (Ana and Pasha’s childhood home was taken by the Soviet state and all of their good sold off to people in the village). Only a woman, Anastasia Boj, came to mother and said, ‘Maruşca, I gave three rubles for your sofa. You have marriageable daughters, I will return the sofa to you.’ My mother wept and tearfully thanked her very much.”

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