There’s magic on the camino! The day we were racing along the street in Madrid, hoping we were heading the right way, a little anxious about missing our train, a young man stopped us and we chatted for a few minutes. He would be leading a group of pilgrims to Santiago later in the summer…..in our wildest dreams we would not have expected to bump into each other today walking into the city. We have both taken very different paths, but started and ended with our paths crossing. He’s the one on the right in the green t-shirt. Seeing you today, Roberto, was one of those special moments. Thanks for being such an enthusiastic advocate for our cause too – we really appreciate it.
The chance meetings with Roberto and hearing him tell his group what we are doing confirmed again that this camino has really been about others. It’s not about what we personally have achieved – every day we have been mindful of those we are walking for. On days when we walked in the rain, on days we have run out of drinking water, on days we have had cold showers – or no showers at all – on days when we have had to carry extra water we have thought of those who do not access to fresh, clean, safe drinking water. Puddles today reminded us again.
We have prayed that people will be moved to join with us and GIVE. And they have. People have pressed euros into our hands and trusted us to get the money to the project. One little girl, only eight years old, was found by her mother praying that God would show her a way to help. God answered and required a sacrifice – she listened and sold enough of her toys to provide one person with water for life.
Life. This is a hard word for us today. Upon our arrival in Santiago, we heard the news that Grandpa’s brother had died overnight. People are dying every day for want of safe water. Today death feels close – and we feel so very far away.
Even before we had heard the news, we had taken a wee detour this morning to a stone wall that we remembered and we had taken a photo especially for Grandpa:
Now we give thanks that in recent years Uncle chose life, eternal life; he chose to “vaya con Dios”. His celebration is just beginning.
And we joined in a celebration too. A large part of the Primitivo family has reunited over the past days and yesterday we planned a farewell lunch. Even walking up (or *running* up in the case of my four kids and my new kid Alberto) the Mount of Joy this morning we bumped into some who we had not seen for days:
After our delishimoso lunch, we returned to the albergue where everyone was in party mode after finishing their caminos. Our plan was to rest before plodding on tomorrow, but we had one more drama to navigate. The phone died.
Faced with the prospect of no blogging, no pictures, no strava, no books, none of our online documents, and most difficultly no messages home just when we are feeling very far away, we decided to trek across town to the iphone store (even though it was 6:30pm and they weren’t answering their phone). An hour later we arrived. It only took five minutes to discover there would be no magic solution. So we walked despondently home again. An extra 10 or 12km on what was to have been a relative rest day (under 20km).
We gratefully despatched messages to family and friends on the albergue’s computer……then my knight in shining armour appeared in the inbox with a solution. We should have just waited for him to wake up on the other side of the world! The good news is the phone has been revived. Magic!