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A Conversation with Anita and Gabriel from Albergue Luz de Frómista

ivar

Administrator
Staff member

Tomorrow (as I post this) I will be talking to Anita and Gabriel from https://www.albergueluzdefromista.com on topics related to their life there and how it has been to run an albergue during a pandemic.

Watch us live on Facebook or YouTube starting at 11.00am Santiago time tomorrow (April 28th 2021). If you watch live, feel free to comment (on Facebook or YouTube) and I will see if I can ask them your question during the conversation.

I realise that this is too early for those of you in North America, I will schedule these later in the day for future talks.

If you read this on the forum before the conversation takes place, please reply here if you have suggestions for questions to them.

All the best from Santiago,
Ivar
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Many of us have donated to various albergues during the pandemic, including to La Luz. Can you ask them what, if any, significance it has made for them, to get through this?
 
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Kiernan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Thank you Ivar. I've enjoyed it a lot.
Tried to write a message on youtube meanwhile...but I couldn't manage (I fight a constant battle against computers...🤦‍♂️🤷‍♂️).
But anyway I'd wish to share my experience at "Luz de Frómista" in 2019:

For a pilgrim, getting there is a must; they ARE pilgrims, and know how do you feel when you get to an albergue tired. And beside, the facilities are 10/10 !!
Great, great place to stay.

(as a "plus" I'll say that, when I was at the albergue, I had an "human need": watch the football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona😇. I asked Gabriel to let me be back later than 22:00, if possible, and he agreed, and even gave me his phone number, so he could open the door. As he supports Madrid and I support Barcelona, he told me that if Madrid lose the match, probably he would not hear the phone...😄😄. Barcelona won. And he opened the door for me anyway. He losed the match, but won a grateful pilgrim forever)
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
For a pilgrim, getting there is a must; they ARE pilgrims, and know how do you feel when you get to an albergue tired. And beside, the facilities are 10/10 !!
Great, great place to stay.
Thank you! They are on my list now for my next Camino.

There was a piece of interesting information there from Anita; working with an English version of her (Dutch) pilgrim vocabulary for pilgrims/hospitaleros: It is due in a month or two, if I understood correctly. I will order it when ready, even if I speak basic Spanish. On their website, it stated a cost of ca. 14.00 Euros + postage. I highly recommend that pilgrims not familiar with the Spanish language: Buy it: In rural Spain, many/most people don't speak other languages, English included. It is a small price for having a much more successful Camino, IMHO.

A good conversation today, @ivar !
 

gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
Thank you! They are on my list now for my next Camino.

There was a piece of interesting information there from Anita; working with an English version of her (Dutch) pilgrim vocabulary for pilgrims/hospitaleros: It is due in a month or two, if I understood correctly. I will order it when ready, even if I speak basic Spanish. On their website, it stated a cost of ca. 14.00 Euros + postage. I highly recommend that pilgrims not familiar with the Spanish language: Buy it: In rural Spain, many/most people don't speak other languages, English included. It is a small price for having a much more successful Camino, IMHO.

A good conversation today, @ivar !
Hello Alex, I am Anita, and I would like to thank you for recommending the Spanish language guide. I hope it will be published before the end of May. The price is an indication as it also depends a little bit on how I can distribute it, (maybe through Associations of Saint James?), so the postage doesn´t become too expensive. I agree with you, few people in Spain dare to speak English, and on the other hand many elderly people love to have a short talk with pilgrims, and that can be worth soo much.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
The price is an indication as it also depends a little bit on how I can distribute it, (maybe through Associations of Saint James?), so the postage doesn´t become too expensive.
Maybe @ivar can offer it from his Camino store? It could be a valuable tool both for first-timers & repeat pilgrims to learn the basics, IMHO.

I agree with you, few people in Spain dare to speak English, and on the other hand many elderly people love to have a short talk with pilgrims, and that can be worth soo much.
On one of my caminos (VdlP), I brought with me 1/2 kg. of dried bacalao (cod; muchissimo proteins) as emergency rations. I offered it to some elderly Spaniards at a cafe, as snacks, with a beer, while chatting with them. Got life-lasting friends there... ;) :cool:
 
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gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
Hello Kiernan,
Many miracles have occurred on the Camino, but there are two that are the most enigmatic to science.
One is in the books, the other is not yet. The first is that of the hen that sang after being roasted in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, and the second is that of the door of Albergue Luz that Gabriel opened on a sad football night, or something very similar to him, because of course It wasn't who -or what- opened that mysterious door ... 😲😲

Dear Kiernan, thank you very much for what you have written about our albergue, you have been very generous, but it is true that Anita and I have never enjoyed our work as much as here on the Camino de Santiago, and we are aware of how lucky we are. Open the door of the albergue, and find an exhausted person, with a heavy backpack on his back, and a big smile on his face..., and being able to say "Yes, we have a place for you", is something that only those of us who are on the other side of those doors know.

Even if Barcelona beat Real Madrid ... 🤫
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015, 2018, 2022
Great interview, @ivar , one of the best. It is so refreshing to hear such optimism from people living on the Camino and operating an albergue during the past year. Of course views will differ from town to town, and person to person. But I love their upbeat attitude. And the anecdotes of pilgrims they have met are priceless.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
......., pero es cierto que Anita y yo nunca nos hemos disfrutado de nuestro trabajo tanto como aquí en el Camino de Santiago, y somos conscientes de lo afortunados que somos, abrir la puerta del albergue, y encontrar una persona agotada, con una mochila pesada en la espalda pesada en la espalda , y una gran sonrisa en su rostro, y ser capaz de decir "Sí, tenemos un lugar para ti", es algo que solo los que estamos al otro lado de esas puertas que conocemos.


and translation from google ;
it is true that Anita and I have never enjoyed our work as much as here on the Camino de Santiago, and we are aware of how lucky we are , open the door of the hostel, and find an exhausted person, with a heavy backpack on his back heavy on his back, and a big smile on his face, and being able to say "Yes, we have a place for you", is something that only those of us who are on the other side of those doors that we know.
@gmag
You are both the kind of Hospitalero/as that are such treasures to meet ..
You have such big hearts.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)

Tomorrow (as I post this) I will be talking to Anita and Gabriel from https://www.albergueluzdefromista.com on topics related to their life there and how it has been to run an albergue during a pandemic.
A fascinating and very uplifting interview, Ivar. Much appreciated. Gabriel and Anita shared their story so naturally. This albergue will be on my bucket list!
More like this please. And a great starter question: "What is your story?" There was no stopping Gabriel!
 
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2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
Thank you @ivar. Beautiful.

many elderly people love to have a short talk with pilgrims, and that can be worth soo much
Absolutely. This is what I most wish I could do. I can listen with my heart, but understanding more than a few words would be such a blessing. Looking forward to your book, Anita!

How wonderful you are there in Fromista, Anita and Gabriel. I had a not so nice experience at another place in town and am happy to know there is another option now, with heart!
 
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Past OR future Camino
CF14
LePuy/CF(21?)
Aussie Camino15
WHW15
CP16
CdelN Fin/Muxia18
GGW StCuthWay HadrWall CotswoldWay19
A great interview with Anita and Gabriel, thank you very much Ivar. It is good to put a face to the name, we were going to stay with them last year, hopefully we will be able to next year!
Buen Camino.
 

Caligal

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CF Sept 10-27 2019
CP Sept 28- Oct12 2019
C Finisterre Oct 16-Oct 20
Great interview! I had the pleasure of staying with Gabriel & Anita in Sept. 2019, they are very warm and welcoming. I hope to stay with them sometime in May 2022 🤞I’ll definitely order the Spanish language guide before my next Camino!
 
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Mycroft

Active Member
Admittedly, the last few months I have been in despair because the news in the US has one story after another of how people are selfish, greedy and filled with hate. Having listened to this interview, I feel I am turning a corner because as long as there are kind, generous, loving people like Anita and Gabriel on the planet, there is a glimmer of hope. Thank you, Ivar, for recording this interview.
 

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