A Marshalltown native and his family were forced to flee from Ukraine as Russia invaded the country. Burgis Barr moved from Marshalltown to Ukraine after marrying a girl from there he met online.
His mom Carrie lives in Marshalltown and says it was not easy to get out of the country. She says they packed their bags and took their nine and eleven year old and bought seats on a bus. “There is bumper to bumper barely moving traffic going out of Ukraine every direction. It was to be four hours and it took about nine hours. They arrived in a tiny village on the Romanian border,” she says.
Barr says her son’s journey became even more interesting after his family finally arrived at the border as she had booked a place for them to stay. “They couldn’t get there because they had to go through customs first and there were no customs open and no way to get there anyway. So, after this long day of leaving everything behind, they had nowhere to go,” Barr says. “And I have not heard from them as to how they solved that problem yet.”
Barr says she received some positive news about her son’s precarious situation. “We had a foreign exchange student through Rotary here in Marshalltown. And that gal has family in Romania, so we contacted her and she said ‘yes they can live with my grandmother, she has lots of room and my cousins will interpret for them. And if they can get across the border — we can take care of them,” Barr explains.
Barr says she’s hoping her son and his family will be able to eventually make it through customs so they can become firmly settled in Romania.
(By Brent Weithorn, KMCH, Manchester)