Polish family waits 18 years to visit Idaho to see second total solar eclipse

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Anna, Janusz and Dorothy Bucki from Warsaw, Poland watched the eclipse in Rexburg. | Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com

REXBURG — A total solar eclipse. For most, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but one international family planned for 18 years to experience it for a second time.

Janusz Bucki, his wife Dorothy and daughter Anna are from Warsaw, Poland. They first experienced a total solar eclipse in August 1999 in Austria. Since then Janusz and his family tried to find another eclipse to observe, but they were all in locations too remote for them to justify traveling to.

“Then we noticed that in 18 years so – now – there is one which is crossing all the states so, we decided we’ll go there then and we did it.” Janusz told EastIdahoNews.com.

He said they decided to come to Idaho to view the eclipse for two reasons: a greater chance of clear skies and because they had already visited many of the eastern and central states.

“This is my first time in western states,” Janusz said. “We landed in San Francisco and went through national parks, Lake Sedona, Lake Tahoe, Monument Valley, Arches and came here. On our way back we’ll visit other parks.”

As for their second time viewing a total eclipse, he said it felt like it was their first time.

“It’s an unforgettable experience,” he said. “It was terrific. I shall say, we met here a lot of friendly people.”

Dorothy said there was a fantastic atmosphere here.

“We hit some small traffic jams – we expected it could be much worse,” Janusz said. “Nobody was honking – nothing like that. So, really good feelings.”

Janusz is a professor of science and engineering at the Warsaw University of Technology where his wife, Dorothy, also used to work. Their daughter Anna, 19, is an engineering student at a different university.

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