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LIVE from the Camino The Field family en route

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Camino walkers love this gripping, intriguing, mystery with history novel.
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Well, call me cranky, but I stopped reading at the first entry, which was not a very nice one on Spanish churches! This reminds me of the "ugly American" attitude, except she's not American. It really made me sad that she must denigrate the Churches in the country where she is a visitor.

I think the Spanish churches are BEAUTIFUL -- and one thing I miss in the new churches are all the beautiful statues and decoration. So my response to her blog is "Pffffffft!"
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Actually Annie... they are very nice people. But it is the first time they have seen these kind of churches, and they are calling the experience as they see it. The blog is really meant for family and friends back home.
Margaret
 
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AJ

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Anniesantiago said:
It really made me sad that she must denigrate the Churches in the country where she is a visitor.

I think the Spanish churches are BEAUTIFUL -- and one thing I miss in the new "naked" churches are all the beautiful statues and decoration. So my response to her blog is "Pffffffft!"

I couldn't help forming the view that Spaniards are much given to idolatry. I suppose it depends on what you are used to.
 

kerrysean

New Member
Just checked out that blog....that bunch of kiwis sound like a right crowd of philistines. They seem to be totally freaked by nuns, churches, and bascially any part of the host culture with which they were unfamiliar, which would be about 100% of it. They have also spent most of their time blogging about being 'ripped'...I do hope that they are not typical of the sort of people on the Camino...having read about 9 of their posts I was struck by the fact that they were utterly devoid of any understanding of the local culture, history, or spiritual aspects of the journey they were on, and wondered whether the 'bad luck' they seemed to be encountering at every turn was in some way self induced...I know that I would react badly as a local to that sort of antipodean arrogance. :roll:
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
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Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
kerrysean said:
Just checked out that blog....that bunch of kiwis sound like a right crowd of philistines. They seem to be totally freaked by nuns, churches, and bascially any part of the host culture with which they were unfamiliar, which would be about 100% of it. :

I can assure you that the assumptions made by both you and Annie about the character of this family are 100% incorrect. Their blog is mainly written for their friends and family back home, and frankly for those of us from the Antipodean end of the world, Spanish churches and the Spanish brand of Catholicism come as a huge shock.
It is unfortunate that people on the blogosphere feel able to make incredibly denigrating comments about others anonymously on their blogs. I am wishing I had never exposed my friends to such comments, but I imagine they will survive the onslaught.
Margaret
 
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Wow. They really have drawn some comments!! I guess that is the price of free speech.
 

jl

Veteran Member
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Hi Margaret, Just a quick comment on your friends blog. I looked at it last week (haven't had a chance this week), but I started from the beginning of their journey (rather than the last posting and working backwards), which meant that I had things in context. For people like us (and I count myself half kiwi having a large family of inlaws from your lovely country) it is a wondrous event doing the Camino. In Europe we see, hear, and participate in so many different things that we would NEVER see in either mine or your country. For us, travelling through these countries has a magic that we could not possibly hope to see here. Yes, you have (smelly?) thermal springs, mud pools and wonderful mountains and such like and we have endless spaces in rocky and or sandy deserts, giant rocks and ant hills etc. - but it is so different to anything we see in Europe.

The little I have been able to access of your friends blog sounds to me as if they are having an amazing experience. They are writing things as they see it, ornate buildings - including churches, life in the villages, etc., etc.. To our eyes this all looks so very, very different and perhaps it is a language thing as I don't perceive your friends as being critical at all, rather, they are just stating what they see and hear.

I have given momentary thoughts to blogging but I think I will continue to do what I have done in previous Caminos and send emails (or long epistles as my friends so rudely call them!) home rather than learning about the joys of blogging!

regards, Janet
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
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Put me on your e-mail list please Janet!!!! They are having a wonderful experience. They seem to have got past the 'tired' stage and be really sinking into enjoying the company of fellow pilgrims etc. They are also having the fairly unique experience of doing the Camino as a family with two teens (while their older two read about it enviously from afar I think!)
Not long before you depart!!!
Margaret
 
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But thinking you were taken advantage of by nuns because the price per person for a private room was 10 Euro? C'mon. A dorm bed is going to be 10-12 Euro by the time they reach Santiago. I have been to New Zealand and spent five times that for a crappy hotel room. There are moments in their blog where perspective has been lost, and I do not think it has to do with culture or context. It has a great deal to do with attitude.

On balance, it is an interesting and entertaining blog. For example, getting one bottle of wine for a party of four (though two are minors) when everyone else is getting one bottle for a party of two, would be irritating. My bet is that they got water for the children and do not know that water and wine are interchangeable. I recall getting a bottle of wine for one person and being asked to drink only half of it (yes, I used a glass.) I don't begrudge a restaurant's cost and portion control, so I would hope that no one would construe an observational comment on such a practice as condemnatory. Words often do not convey the full spectrum of what we are thinking when we write them. Maybe it is the humor that is falling flat for some.

Oh well, no one has to read it if s/he is offended.
 
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Hermanita

Active Member
falcon269 said:
But thinking you were taken advantage of by nuns because the price per person for a private room was 10 Euro? C'mon. A dorm bed is going to be 10-12 Euro by the time they reach Santiago. I have been to New Zealand and spent five times that for a crappy hotel room. There are moments in their blog where perspective has been lost, and I do not think it has to do with culture or context. It has a great deal to do with attitude.

I have to agree with falcon. The attitude is definitely there and it is not a good one. And it is not just cultural difference. Unless you want to paint all New Zealanders in a bad light.

I would think one would be lucky to get a private room in an albergue, but to call someone who offers hospitality a nun sharper??? Please!! this is not a cultural difference, this is unneccessary badmouthing of a kind host.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
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Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
falcon269 said:
But thinking you were taken advantage of by nuns because the price per person for a private room was 10 Euro? C'mon.

Falcon....... I know that Rick is laughing at himself in this instance. We Kiwis have a particular brand of humour that is perhaps not easily understood by others.

The other factor with humour and the Camino is that I know when you have been walking long distance and are tired, you seem to start laughing about the craziest things. I know this happened to me and others I walked with. I would never expect anyone to understand why I was laughing!

One last point. I have been reluctant to put on my 'moderator' hat here, since I obviously know the family whose blog it is. But some of the comments in this thread are personal attacks on them. Such comments are not appropriate on the forum, and in this case, they are not even present on the forum to answer up for themselves.

Margaret
 

kerrysean

New Member
"Spanish churches and the Spanish brand of Catholicism come as a huge shock."

I can understand New Zealanders being unfamiliar with having seen these churches, but I am at a loss to see how it can have come as a 'shock' , this suggests something totally unexpected and utterly left field. It makes me wonder what preparation in terms of reading and studying the culture of spain that these visitors did before arriving. Surely even New Zealanders have seen depictions of latin culture in film or TV? The main difficulty that I have with this blog, is their apparent inability to move out of their own comfort zone of the familiar, and take on board the simple fact that the bulk of the world is not like NZ, the USA, or Australia. I have no problems with the blog, and they are of course entirely free to say what they wish, and good luck to them, but if you put something like this online it is there for people to react to. The issue which I think many have referred, is the rather wingeing and carping tone of some of the postings, with a sub-text of a form of cultural superiority, which is in fact misplaced and seems to be derived largely from ignorance of the culture and history of the country they are visiting....
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
The good think about the camino is that it brings many people from many backgrounds together. Everyone with different expectations, and there for everyone will have a different experience.

To everyone walking the camino, Buen Camino ...and may you enjoy/experience/learn/eat well and come back to do it again!

Greetings from Santiago,
Ivar
 

theycallmetim

New Member
Margaret,

Thanks for posting this! My wife and I walked the Camino and crossed paths many times with this family, and I have enjoyed finding this blog and reading it.
I HAVE NOT enjoyed reading the posts under this subject. I don't publicly judge people I don't know and have never met.
Again, Margaret, thanks for the blog info, and may the rest of you find a way to remove that chip on your shoulder and just enjoy the fact that many different people from many different backgrounds will walk the camino, and there are plenty of people you won't like on the camino, but you'll just have to accept it. I privately couldn't stand certain types of travellers, but that is private, and I won't drag people through the mud when I don't know them and they don't have a chance to respond.

Tim
USA
aka "Rick Steves"
 
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KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Tim,
I have passed your comments on to the Fields. I am sure they will be delighted to find that you have discovered their blog!
Margaret
 

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