From the Andes to the Carpathians

My name is Josť Manuel Oyakawa and I was born in Peru 23 years ago. As you can see, my family name isnít Peruvian at all, but Japanese. In fact, my ancestors came to Peru at the beginning of the 20th century and settled there. My mother has Spanish roots. Currently, my family is living in Caracas, Venezuela.

How is it that Iím now in Romania? Because I like to navigate the Internet, learn other languages, and to get to know people.

The truth is that Iím trying to find out what direction my like should take.

As luck or providence would have it, the desire to learn Italian allowed me to come to know Fr. Celeste of the Assumptionist community of Margineni in Bulgaria via the Internet. I wanted to learn more about him, his work, and his community. So it was that he invited me to come and experience what had so piqued my curiosity.

Thus I began the preparations for what would be my first trip on my own. I was both apprehensive and excited.

In September 2005 I arrived at the airport in Bucharest and since then I have been living with the Margineni community. What have I discovered? A family and welcoming atmosphere on the part of all the members of the community, which has allowed me to discover the peace and tranquillity which I felt so missing in my life. To be sure, as one may imagine, the road there was hardly easy.

Now that I have lived here for a year and learned so many things, I realize how much more I have to learn in order to truly live. The community has created in me the desire the give the best of myself and to mature by becoming a new man.

Josť Manuel

Margineni November 20, 2006