Quite a number of people who read this blog are our family and friends and they know us.
A number more are people who have read since the Pilgrims’ Progress blog’s inception and followed our first journey, then picked up with us again on the second and will perhaps read this next chapter too.
Then there is a growing number of new readers coming from the Camino Forum run by Ivar Rekve and even more from the web of relationships that is called Facebook.
To our new readers, a hearty welcome. Feel free to say HI in the comments and we’ll reply.
Speaking of replying…..a friend wrote, “Very keen to sponsor you, and to get my kids to follow your progress and sponsor as well. Will you each collect sponsors? Only asking because it’s occurring to me that it would be powerful for my kids if they got to sponsor your kids.”
I can tell you we like having friends to whom such thoughts occur!
Well, the answer is, unfortunately, not quite as she would like. We won’t be doing individual sponsorships – there will just be one 1,000km-walk-for-water campaign. HOWEVER, I can see the value in the personal involvement suggested and so I’ve come up with a promise to make it happen. If you have a child who relates to one particular child of mine, yours could leave a comment (indicating who it is for) or send an email and I promise to ensure your child gets a personal reply from my one. In fact, if they get a right regular correspondence going, I’ll even promise a postcard from Spain – you know, real mail in the letterbox. Does that sound like a reasonable arrangement?
Now on to the introductions.
Here are the four big kids walking their Camino in 2012.
Having walked a portion themselves, they understand what the little kids are up for. They are also filled with admiration and respect for their younger siblings. Kaleisha expressed this so well when we walked last time: “I don’t know how the little ones are doing it! I’d have had a paddy if I’d known at the beginning of the day we would go so far.”
And they know we will be doing more – much more – of the same, and over more difficult terrain.
These four won’t be coming this time. The eldest two will be pursuing their tertiary studies and they have entered the world of employment from which you can’t just take off for two months on a whim. The other two also have part-time jobs and were originally going to continue their studies at home. It’s not that they weren’t invited; they elected to stay home and cook the dinners and hang up the washing and clean the toilet – you can tell just how much they stand in awe of what their siblings will do when you consider the alternative they chose;-) They were very recently offered the opportunity to go to India while we are walking. Initially both were foot-stompingly unkeen. Kaleisha has reached the point of ungrudging willingness to go, and Kyle says he needs another week to ponder.
Anyway, here’s the youngest:
She can introduce herself:
“My name is Ella-Rose. I am seven years old and I will turn eight on the Camino. I like to ride my bike, but I can’t take it with me. Sometimes I get a bit grumpy when I’m walking, but hopefully I won’t on the walk-for-water.”
Then there’s The Trooper, who steadily plodded on, and in this picture is about half an hour away from reaching the top of a big climb, seeing the albergue and running down the path in ecstasy – only to fall and break her arm.
“I’m Tessa. That’s me (in that photo up there) walking part of the Camino when I was eight – this time I will be ten. I thought it was quite fun and I’m looking forward to going again, except for the uphills. I like snowboarding, riding my bike and swimming. I also like creating things and I really like reading.”
The Talker, walking along with his mouth open as usual. He never stops talking, telling stories to whoever will listen, and to himself if no-one else will. Most remembered story from the 2012 camino was a twenty-minute long saga, all told in rhyme in a Dr Seuss-ish kind of way.
“The name’s Micaiah, commonly known as Micki. Eleven years old and live in New Zealand. I like fishing, riding my bike, watching rugby, reading. My favourite food is nachos and my favourite book right now is The Hobbit, but that might change when I read something else. When we were walking in 2012 I liked the change of scenery each day, but I didn’t like the day we walked nearly 30km and my legs got so sore that evening that I couldn’t walk at all. Jaala carried me to the guesthouse and Mum rubbed lavender oil on my muscles.”
The eldest on the coming mission. Instead of being one of the “little kids” he is looking forward to playing the role of Mature Responsible Right-hand Man.
“I’m Levi, about to turn 13, I like snowboarding, scootering and mountain biking. I’m looking forward to the Camino, especially looking forward to raising money to help people in Africa. Going to Spain again will be great, because I really enjoy the food there.”
(Tessa just said when she saw Levi’s photo: Oh that’s the day I was feeling grumpy inside, but didn’t show it.” I commended her self-control and suggested she share her feelings out loud next time so we can encourage her and be extra considerate)
Then there’s a Daddy-who-will-hardly-know-himself-with-only-two-or-three-kids-at-home.
He has been the tricky-question-asker and faithful supporter of this endeavour from the beginning. If he had objected to spending his hard-earned money or staying home by himself or if he had insisted we keep to a proper school year or that we not stay away for so long, then this campaign would not have worked. While we wish he could be with us for the whole time, we are thankful that he can walk for a couple of weeks and we will treasure the time we have together. Being separated will remind us that this is the daily reality for many of the people we walk for.
Finally there’s a Dreamer
(that would be me, the one looking after her feet in the picture below)
I’m an introvert living in an extrovert world. I love to read and think and research and learn and process and write. Despite being a contemplative, I don’t do sitting still well and love to crochet or knit or embroider if I have to stop. I don’t run or cycle or swim or skydive, but I love to walk. I am passionate about justice and doing something about poverty. My interest in education has led me from being an English language teacher to teaching my own kids at home for the past 19 years and to now studying models of education for the poor. I’m not sure where it will go in the future. For the time being I’ll be the primary contributor on this blog.
By the way, all the photos we are using pre-walk-for-water-2014 are from our 2012 Camino.
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