Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thursday, May 26

Yesterday was a real roller coaster of emotions: lively satisfaction as the young kids left and, I'm embarrassed to say, a tinge of frustration and irritations signing in a few frustrating, irritating and picky pilgrims as well as a swell of empathy and sympathy for the heat exhausted, dehydrated walkers. With so many pilgrims we notice a 180 turn around in their attitude from the time they sign in to the time they leave. Some arrive a little pushy, demanding and judgemental but they all leave behind smiles, hugs and kisses in the morning.

We had a Brazilian contingent yesterday and one tall elegant lady spent the late afternoon offering and administering foot massages to her fellow pilgrims. Needless to say, she was a very popular lady. One late middle age, sturdy Portuguese lady was injured and combatative at first, insistent that she could carry her own pack to her bed, didn't need water or a drink or help of any kind. Her knee was really bad and she was using her walking sticks as crutches all evening. Her determination was more powerful than her body and she insisted on setting out at 6:30 the next morning. At least she was having her heavy pack sent ahead.

One Polish lady came in in the heat of the afternoon and was immediately in tears from heat, exhaustion, relief and our attention. We gave her water, chocolate, a cool cloth for her face and lots of time to recoup.

The kindness and generosity of one pilgrim to another is wonderful too. A young South Korean girl returned to us in the morning after realizing that she had forgotten the crucifix that she slept with at night. It was no where to be found. An elderly French man then dug into his first aid kit and pulled out a small leather pouch. Inside was a beautiful crucifix attached to a delicate beaded bracelet. I'm sure it had sentimental value to him but he generously gave it to the oh so grateful Korean girl. Camino magic at work again!

1 comment:

  1. These are wonderful stories of adventure at the albergue. When you are home, a fire out the back, some wine, tapas and listening to the Camino moments.

    Cheers. John and Linda