Olga Ruys’ Visit to Belarus

In the end of May, Olga Ruys from the United States visited this country. In the 90's, Olga and her husband Theodor Ruys organized shipments of scientific books to Belarusian universities, colleges and schools. They founded first English clubs and directed many efforts to establish Baha’i communities in the largest cities of the country.

Olga Ruys with Baha’is from Minsk

Meeting of Baha’is from different cities with Olga Ruys, at the national Baha’i Center

Olga Ruys with Baha'is of Brest region

Olga Ruys among Baha’is of Vitebsk community

20 years after, Olga Ruys in her advanced years came to Belarus again to see the fatherland of her ancestry and meet numerous local friends. Olga’s granddaughter, Sophia, accompanied Olga in her traveling. Sophia works in one of the out-of-school education facilities in New York.

Olga and Sophia spent the first days of their visit in Minsk where two meetings with the Baha’i community were organized. Friends from Minsk who hosted foreign guests, organized a cultural program with attending a theatre and taking a bus excursion.

Later Olga visited her small motherland which is the village near the town of Zhabinka in Brest region. Olga’s mother was born and grew up in that village. Near Brest, Olga & Sophia had one more meeting with Baha’is who came from the cities of Brest and Kobryn. Friends shared their memories on those distant years when Olga and Theo lived in Brest.

Then Olga and Sophia departed for the women conference in Vitebsk city. In conjunction with the conference, they took part in the meetings of the English Cultural Center and local Baha’i community. Olga generously shared her experience of service to people. Her personal example demonstrated that even at the age of 82 you can bring much benefit to society, travel around the world, experience joy and happiness of service.

While staying in Vitebsk, Sophia took part in several meetings with junior youth. As a teacher and expert in modern art, theatre and music, Sophia shared with plenitude of bright ideas with young people.

After Vitebsk Olga and Sophia came back to Minsk from where they had flight to the United States. The short traveling of Olga and Sophia finished. It brought immeasurable joy to the friends with whom Olga and Sophia communicated and strengthened personal relations.