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The Nun and the Templar - Paying for Sello (Stamp)?

Robo

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CF SJPdP to SdC
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Alone.
------------------------------
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with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#1
OK, this is a bit like the discussion on Donativo Albergues and how much you should pay....

Should you 'pay' for a Sello?

We need to collect Sellos if we want a Compostela. And thankfully thousands of people along the way help us in that regard.

So there are some Sellos that are provided as part of a 'service'.

Albergues
Hotels
Hostals
CRs
Cafes

But others are provided where no goods or services are exchanged.

In Churches, often with a donation tray nearby. And sometimes by someone just at the side of the road with their own Sello.

What brings this question to mind, was something I noticed last month. It might have been just outside Arzua I think. Or Palas De Rei.

A Nun had set up a table next to the Camino outside an old building. I don't think it was a Church. She was stamping credencials and on the table was a small basket for donations.

There was a big queue! Probably 20 people in front of me. I was curious...........and watched. And hoped...and watched, till it was my turn.

I dropped 2e in the basket.

Do you know how many of the 20 ahead of me dropped a donation in the basket. None!

I don't understand sorry. Maybe someone can explain this to me?

OK, the day before or the day after, there was a Templar Knight! I suspect he wasn't a real Templar Knight ;) But he was collecting donations for the Donativo Albergue outside which he was standing. He also got 2e. Particularly as Pat needed to use his bathroom!

But back to the Nun. Was she just a local lady in a hired Nun outfit? I don't think so.........

I'm puzzled...........do we really live in such a mean and selfish World?
 

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M

Mark Lee

Guest
#2
Yeah, I saw the same several times in churches along the CF. Getting the sellos and leaving the donativo basket as barren and empty as a windswept prairie.
I can only attribute it to the affliction known as "cheap charlie-itis"....
:D
 
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Albertagirl

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Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#3
Yeah, I saw the same several times in churches along the CF. Getting the sellos and leaving the donativo basket as barren and empty as windswept prairie.
I can only attribute it to the affliction known as "cheap charlie-itis"....
:D
@Mark Lee:
After arriving in Barbadelo last fall, four km. past Sarria, I settled into a nearby albergue then went to see the local Church of Santiago, a 12th cent. Romanesque church praised by Brierley, and to get my second sello of the day. It was early November and there were still flowers on the tombs from the celebration of All Souls on Nov. 2. For some reason, I saw a man in the graveyard who was calling after me and concluded that he was the caretaker and he thought I was stealing the flowers. However, I waited for him at the side of the church and he took me inside, where he offered to stamp my credencial. I reached into my pocket and discovered that I had not transferred my change to my skirt pocket when I showered. I had nothing smaller than a five euro note, which I put in the basket with the remark, "for the church." I really thought that, as the caretaker, he had a small income on the side, as I had seen in the church in Torres del Rio, where a custodian would come to open the church and stamp your credencial, but she expected one euro for her services. So I sat down in the church, which he set up for the mass. I was no longer surprised when he left for a minute, and returned in vestments to offer the mass. I was wasting my suspicions on a priest. I was the only one in the congregation. The priest helped me with all the responses, as I really only knew the Lord's Prayer in Spanish and bits of the mass responses. It was a wonderful service and I was much blessed. For me, it was one of those times when the everyday events of the camino pass without warning into a time of special blessing. I was glad that I had not let my unworthy suspicions stop me from putting that five euro note in the basket.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#4
@Mark Lee:
After arriving in Barbadelo last fall, four km. past Sarria, I settled into a nearby albergue then went to see the local Church of Santiago, a 12th cent. Romanesque church praised by Brierley, and to get my second sello of the day. It was early November and there were still flowers on the tombs from the celebration of All Souls on Nov. 2. For some reason, I saw a man in the graveyard who was calling after me and concluded that he was the caretaker and he thought I was stealing the flowers. However, I waited for him at the side of the church and he took me inside, where he offered to stamp my credencial. I reached into my pocket and discovered that I had not transferred my change to my skirt pocket when I showered. I had nothing smaller than a five euro note, which I put in the basket with the remark, "for the church." I really thought that, as the caretaker, he had a small income on the side, as I had seen in the church in Torres del Rio, where a custodian would come to open the church and stamp your credencial, but she expected one euro for her services. So I sat down in the church, which he set up for the mass. I was no longer surprised when he left for a minute, and returned in vestments to offer the mass. I was wasting my suspicions on a priest. I was the only one in the congregation. The priest helped me with all the responses, as I really only knew the Lord's Prayer in Spanish and bits of the mass responses. It was a wonderful service and I was much blessed. For me, it was one of those times when the everyday events of the camino pass without warning into a time of special blessing. I was glad that I had not let my unworthy suspicions stop me from putting that five euro note in the basket.
That's too cool. Beautiful story.
 

Robo

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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
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(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#5
Yeah, I saw the same several times in churches along the CF. Getting the sellos and leaving the donativo basket as barren and empty as windswept prairie.
I can only attribute it to the affliction known as "cheap charlie-itis"....
:D
Being a Cheap Charlie is one thing.

I think this is something altogether different. This is wanton disregard and disrespect for others who are providing a service or trying to make a meagre income.
Evil is too strong a word......... And it's not just thoughtlessness or 'not noticing'. It's a deliberate act.

Think I better go lie down with a Gin & Tonic :oops:
 
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Robo

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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#6
@Mark Lee:
After arriving in Barbadelo last fall, four km. past Sarria, I settled into a nearby albergue then went to see the local Church of Santiago, a 12th cent. Romanesque church praised by Brierley, and to get my second sello of the day. It was early November and there were still flowers on the tombs from the celebration of All Souls on Nov. 2. For some reason, I saw a man in the graveyard who was calling after me and concluded that he was the caretaker and he thought I was stealing the flowers. However, I waited for him at the side of the church and he took me inside, where he offered to stamp my credencial. I reached into my pocket and discovered that I had not transferred my change to my skirt pocket when I showered. I had nothing smaller than a five euro note, which I put in the basket with the remark, "for the church." I really thought that, as the caretaker, he had a small income on the side, as I had seen in the church in Torres del Rio, where a custodian would come to open the church and stamp your credencial, but she expected one euro for her services. So I sat down in the church, which he set up for the mass. I was no longer surprised when he left for a minute, and returned in vestments to offer the mass. I was wasting my suspicions on a priest. I was the only one in the congregation. The priest helped me with all the responses, as I really only knew the Lord's Prayer in Spanish and bits of the mass responses. It was a wonderful service and I was much blessed. For me, it was one of those times when the everyday events of the camino pass without warning into a time of special blessing. I was glad that I had not let my unworthy suspicions stop me from putting that five euro note in the basket.
Great story :)

When I'm living in Bangkok I always make sure I have change in my pocket, for the beggars. Reckon we need to do the same here for the numerous Churches :)
 

dougfitz

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#7
I'm puzzled...........do we really live in such a mean and selfish World?
Do you really think this conclusion is justified? Or that it is the only conclusion to be drawn from the circumstances you describe?

My observation is that there has been a large increase in the numbers of people and places with their hands out on the CF since I walked in 2010. It varies from straight begging through seeking donations for relatively simple provision of drinks etc at convenient locations to support of worthy causes like donating at a church. From Sarria, we could have had our hands in our pockets a couple of times at every town or village if we had given to even the more worthy looking 'causes', more if we had given to those we thought were just begging.

Without wanting to appear smug, I already support a range of charitable causes and micro-finance lending at home, as I suspect do many others. Making such a harsh assessment based merely on what you might see on the Camino is intrinsically biased and potentially unfair.

So my take is that there are at least two other things that might explain what you have observed:
  1. There are more people seeking our support, and it's hard to winnow out the good from the greedy.
  2. Many will already contribute in their own ways elsewhere and feel no great compulsion to add to that.
 
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Robo

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------------------------------
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together again :-)
#8
Do you really think this conclusion is justified? Or that it is the only conclusion to be drawn from the circumstances you describe?

My observation is that there has been a large increase in the numbers of people and places with their hands out on the CF since I walked in 2010. It varies from straight begging through seeking donations for relatively simple provision of drinks etc at convenient locations to support of worthy causes like donating at a church. From Sarria, we could have had our hands in our pockets a couple of times at every town or village if we had given to even the more worthy looking 'causes', more if we had given to those we thought were just begging.

Without wanting to appear smug, I already support a range of charitable causes and micro-finance lending at home, as I suspect do many others. Making such a harsh assessment based merely on what you might see on the Camino is intrinsically biased and potentially unfair.

So my take is that there are at least two other things that might explain what you have observed:
  1. There are more people seeking our support, and it's hard to winnow out the good from the greedy.
  2. Many will already contribute in their own ways elsewhere and feel no great compulsion to add to that.
Fair comment Doug. Just gets me a bit 'hot under the collar' when I see people taking advantage. i.e. The Nun. 20 people get a stamp...........and leave nothing....
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#9
Are those individuals trying to provide a "service"?

It's not as if it's difficult to collect one or two stamps a day. I think they have simply noticed how crazed some people are to collect these souvenirs, and or have seen/heard of the few mythical individuals on the Frances who offer food, water and a stamping opportunity, and have decided this may be a way to make a few €.

Now, sellos for a chuch is a way to help with repairs and upkeep.

Either way, do you really want a credencial filled with souvenirs you didn't earn? (And by earn I mean that if the person stamping was hoping to get something in return, then you should have given in return or walked past).

I am always surprised when people in bars ask me if I want their stamp. I feel obligated to take out my documents from my bag and stamp, as not to offend, even if I much prefer to stamp in places I will remember because I spent a night there, saw a beautiful church, etc.. But they seem so proud and happy to have you stamp your credencial that you can't say no.
 

dougfitz

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Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#10
Fair comment Doug. Just gets me a bit 'hot under the collar' when I see people taking advantage. i.e. The Nun. 20 people get a stamp...........and leave nothing....
I think you are creating a connection here that is at best loose, and in my view, non-existent. Mere physical collocation of a stamp and a donation box does not create an obligation to either use the stamp or make a donation. Unlike an albergue where there are real costs associated with running a donativo, the cost of any particular use of a stamp is infinitesimal, and of itself would not create any moral or other obligation on the person using it.

Of course you can fall for what is just really simple marketing, which is to create the appearance of an obligation by the juxtaposition of the service that is attractive and valuable to the pilgrim with an opportunity to compensate the service provider.

I am not suggesting that people shouldn't donate - that is entirely up to them. But your suggestion that people who don't donate are somehow taking advantage doesn't appear sustainable to me.
 
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OTH86

Active Member
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#11
@Robo, I wonder if this isn't similar to suggesting others walking the Camino should do so in a certain number of days or for a particular reason. We can't possibly know everyone who walks the Camino, so maybe it's best to let this go, and allow people we don't know, people we've only observed - from our own perspective - to do what they are able to do. If it's a moral issue for you, it may be best to leave it between that individual and their God or their conscience.

@Anemone del Camino, perhaps a separate piece of paper, more easily accessible, would suffice for the cellos you prefer to keep separate from your credencial. That way you can still graciously accept the offer. Just a suggestion ;)

Buen Camino a todos,
Terry
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#12
Give if you are so moved. Or don't give. Does a person in a knight outfit merit a donation any more than a homeless panhandler? Should a woman in a habit get more money because she's taken vows than a woman in secular clothing? Should a person offer something in exchange for your money, or just flat-out ask for something for nothing?
They offer us an invitation to ponder what we value, and why. In addition to a sello.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk july 15
#13
This was my major lesson of my first Camino. I lost my rag internally and often with people skimping/skipping payment at donotivo places that I judged to be, from their north face gear, well off, and it irked me all the more as I thought and felt my fellow pilgrims would be all the more charitable as a baseline, let alone while on a pilgrimage.

I have to say that while I do find a higher incidence of kindness and charity on the Camino - I do witness astonishing levels of the opposite on the Camino that I don't see so often at home. That could be because of where my home is, or it could be you just run into more opportunity to be disappointed on the Camino or it could be that some on the Camino badly need to be there as they're terrific sinners! ;)

As long as I give, and as long as I thank and clean my way - there's nothing else to say. It is difficult not to let your expectations of others not disappoint you - it's testing indeed! I try to imagine that's there's 'something I'm not seeing' for example, they just emptied the collection before you arrived, or all these people were stuffing notes into a jar you hadn't seen, or they had all been robbed at gun point the moment before! In that case, lucky you!
 

C clearly

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#14
I do witness astonishing levels of the opposite on the Camino that I don't see so often at home.
At home, you are busy in your familiar daily routine and probably don't notice in the same way. On the camino, you are spending all day just observing your surroundings and how people interact on a pilgrimage. As you say, there are many opportunities to be disappointed as well as inspired and you have lots of time to think about them both.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF , SJPP to Santiago Sept/Oct 2016
#15
I have an innate sense of justice that can get me in trouble with what is "right"or "wrong"... thus passing a sneaky judgment based on what are my values. Ungratefulness can trigger me, therefore I am finding this thread very helpful for future "behaviors" that can occurs between my two ears when I will encounter these triggers... I hope to remember Sarah80 's post and think: "The poor thing, they just got robbed at gun point a minute ago!"
 

biarritzdon

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#16
I am reminded of several small chapels opened for pilgrims to view the antiquities and/or say a prayer and all of these places need our supported to keep them from turning into rubble. Often they are attended by an elderly local villager who is donating their time because of their love for their community.
Just outside Arzua early one morning the nuns from the Paroquia de Santiago de Boente were gathered around a basket exchanging well wishes to pilgrims for sellos with the hopes for a small donation. It was festive and probably the only public enterprise these dear old ladies undertook in their otherwise silent cloistered lives.
Many times a bus load of tourists will stop for a sightseeing visit at place like these, I have seen this happens at San Anton several times a week and many of these tourists are truly interested in learning something during their visit while others are just looking for toilet or a icy drink. My experience was the tour operators rarely did much to promote the concept of tithing.
 

David

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Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#17
Interesting post and responses.
Psychology 101 says that every human interaction is a social contract and for the individuals involved there has to be reward on both sides if both sides wish to be happy/content/etc - whether it is a marriage of two people or a nation of 60 million, it is all social contracts and if it is not 'fair' then it fails ... we see it in poor relationships .. one side the giver the other the taker and eventually they part .. there has to be reward or the perception of reward on both sides of the contract.

If you want to test this go into a large store stone-faced and cold and ask an assistant information about a product - they will quickly become the same as you and do the least they can for you. Go to another part of the store and be friendly and smiling and engaging and ask another assistant the same product question and watch how helpful and pleasant they become - it is all about social contracts and those people who think that life is an unpleasant place should first look at how others perceive them ... it is so easy for them to have a much happier life !

With the nun episode (whether she was a real nun or not) - a person has the choice of entering the event or walking past and if one enters the event and is rewarded (the sello and the interaction are the rewards) then for both sides there needs to be reward so the receiver of the sello should donate ... don't you think?

If the nun wants more donations she has to overcome bystander apathy ... you know the sort of thing .. somebody falls down and people just walk by .. one person goes to help and then many go to help - if she had a couple of friends dressed as pilgrims salted into the queue, all being cheerful and making donations then just about everyone in the queue would make a donation ..... for the mass, the sheepies, they will only do what the person in front of them did - change that and it will change their behaviour.

Those selling things out of a suitcase at the side of the street or running the pea and three shells game know this, part of their set up is one or two of their own people either buying items or betting (and winning) on the game .... works every time.
These nuns - no sense of how to market something :);)

As for your response - sure, seems a natural response to me .. if you live with the concept of fairness then when you see what you consider to be a lack of it it will upset you .. all it says about you is that you live by a code and that code is fairness .. you have to have a generous heart to be like that. Good for you.
 
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dougfitz

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#18
then for both sides there needs to be reward so the receiver of the sello should donate ... don't you think?
No. I think this is an even more tortured analysis than @Robo's. It relies on a view that a reward is required and the only satisfactory reward is a donation. Even if one accepts the first of these premises, which don't seem to me all that reasonable anyhow, the so-called social contract could be closed any number of ways. The simplest of these might be simply to thank the person involved.

I repeat, this is not to suggest one shouldn't make a donation, just that I think that decision is entirely seperable from accepting a stamp.
 

David

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Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#19
No. I think this is an even more tortured analysis than @Robo's. It relies on a view that a reward is required and the only satisfactory reward is a donation. Even if one accepts the first of these premises, which don't seem to me all that reasonable anyhow, the so-called social contract could be closed any number of ways. The simplest of these might be simply to thank the person involved.

I repeat, this is not to suggest one shouldn't make a donation, just that I think that decision is entirely seperable from accepting a stamp.
Thank you Doug - I knew that you would disagree with this. I should point out that it isn't a 'tortured' analysis; it is very simple, very low level, basic social psychology .. nothing tortured, nothing complicated .. very simple indeed - every human interaction is a social contract. 'The word 'reward' is in a contractual sense, not a monetary sense - for a 'good' human interaction there has to be 'reward' (benefit) on both sides. Now, the reward can be the feeling of having done something kind, it can be a simple thank you, it can be a mutual smile - reward doesn't mean money.
So - the interaction event at the beginning of this post is a nun with a donativo container stamping sellos. Pilgrims choose to enter the event rather than pass by because they see the sello as having 'value' and they want it. This sets up a social contractual obligation to 'balance' the reward the pilgrim receives. True, a thank you could work but in the props of the event there is a donativo container therefore the required response expected is a donation, not merely a thank you.

This isn't a 'tortured analysis' Doug, it is utterly simple - it is basic healthy normal human interaction ..... Buen Camino.
 
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Robo

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Alone.
------------------------------
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with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
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(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#20
Some interesting responses........

Let me simplify the scenario to ponder. And I'm certainly not trying to impose 'my way' of walking on Camino on anyone. Do what you like. This is purely an observation on human behaviour about which I was sharing my reaction. Or 'over reaction' ;)

You see a Nun (or anyone for that matter) behind a table with a stamp and a donation basket. Both are clearly visible.
It is clear that donations would be appreciated. Otherwise, why put the basket on the table.
There are about 20 people queuing to get a stamp.

You have a choice. Keep on walking or join the queue.
There are stamps available everywhere.
But you decide for what ever reason you want this stamp.
You join the queue. By choice.

The line moves quickly, and you are now at the front getting your stamp.
You notice that none of the 20 people in front of you gave a donation. It was hard not to notice with the table in clear view.

Are you OK with this? How does this make you feel? Or is it something you don't waste any time even thinking about?
 

C clearly

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#21
This all just adds to my unkind suspicion of people who offer things without stating upfront the reward expected. What happened to the adage that the giver gets more than the recipient?

In the case of nuns and a camino sello, I think the social contract might be met in the process of stamping. An opportunity to donate occasionally is a nice thing, and we can manage our own donation budgets.
 

fraluchi

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
#22
Thoughts for pondering every time one hands the credencial to a person with a sello!;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2017)
#23
@Mark Lee:
After arriving in Barbadelo last fall, four km. past Sarria, I settled into a nearby albergue then went to see the local Church of Santiago, a 12th cent. Romanesque church praised by Brierley, and to get my second sello of the day. It was early November and there were still flowers on the tombs from the celebration of All Souls on Nov. 2. For some reason, I saw a man in the graveyard who was calling after me and concluded that he was the caretaker and he thought I was stealing the flowers. However, I waited for him at the side of the church and he took me inside, where he offered to stamp my credencial. I reached into my pocket and discovered that I had not transferred my change to my skirt pocket when I showered. I had nothing smaller than a five euro note, which I put in the basket with the remark, "for the church." I really thought that, as the caretaker, he had a small income on the side, as I had seen in the church in Torres del Rio, where a custodian would come to open the church and stamp your credencial, but she expected one euro for her services. So I sat down in the church, which he set up for the mass. I was no longer surprised when he left for a minute, and returned in vestments to offer the mass. I was wasting my suspicions on a priest. I was the only one in the congregation. The priest helped me with all the responses, as I really only knew the Lord's Prayer in Spanish and bits of the mass responses. It was a wonderful service and I was much blessed. For me, it was one of those times when the everyday events of the camino pass without warning into a time of special blessing. I was glad that I had not let my unworthy suspicions stop me from putting that five euro note in the basket.
Great, great story. Assumptions are rarely good.
 

Albertagirl

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#24
Great, great story. Assumptions are rarely good.
@Jeff Johnston:
I am pleased that you liked my story, but I wonder how you are able to distinguish learning, based on previous experience, from assumptions. My experience of the caretaker's behaviour in Torres del Rio was what led me to believe that I understood what was happening in Barbadelo. In a foreign environment this is how I learned. Of course, I now see that things are more complex, so I know less than I thought I did. But I suspect that I shall go on learning (making assumptions?) from my experiences.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#25
If my work will allow me to, I will probably do "something" for the pilgrims passing through Lisbon in the hot Summer months after I come back from the Camino.
It's an idea I've had recently. This "something" will have some costs. Not much, but some. My bank account is laughable so I will have some basket/container for donations - and whatever money I may get will be used solely to provide this "something" for the pilgrims. And in the days before packing up and stopping doing this I will remove this donations thing.

I have already thought about the possibility of not getting any donations. And what then? Well, like I said, the costs involved are not major, and the reason for me to do this would be to give back to the Camino (if this makes sense - if it doesn't I'll be happy to explain).
I don't think a pilgrim who doesn't give any money when I am offering something is being mean or selfish.

I am sure the nun appreciated your donation and I hope she was as happy to stamp the credencials of the other pilgrims as much as she was to stamp yours. :)
Somewhere along the Portuguese, in Portugal, I saw my favourite pilgrim stop. A private home, along its property wall, has a bench, a water spout for drinking water and a jar of candies. A one time investment, except the candy, at a relatively low cost over time, durable, amd providing what matters most: a place to rest and have a good gulp of water.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#26
@Robo writes, because for days I have been having trouble with the forum, its server, functions...

The line moves quickly, and you are now at the front getting your stamp.
You notice that none of the 20 people in front of you gave a donation. It was hard not to notice with the table in clear view.Are you OK with this? How does this make you feel? Or is it something you don't waste any time even thinking about?

My take? Another example of the disaster this 100km is and confirmation of why I hated walking the last 100km on the Frances last spring after having walked the Primitivo. Typical attitude of consumerism found on that stretch. Use and abuse, it's how it is being walked by so many. On top of giving money, try conversing with the person who is being taken advantage of, they may very well appreciate that just as much as your donation if not more.

Bottom line: if that stamp is important enough for you to queue to get it, it should be important enough for you to earn it, like @Robo did.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2017)
#27
@Jeff Johnston:
I am pleased that you liked my story, but I wonder how you are able to distinguish learning, based on previous experience, from assumptions. My experience of the caretaker's behaviour in Torres del Rio was what led me to believe that I understood what was happening in Barbadelo. In a foreign environment this is how I learned. Of course, I now see that things are more complex, so I know less than I thought I did. But I suspect that I shall go on learning (making assumptions?) from my experiences.
I guess when I see an occurrence once, I do not assume that it is the norm. On the other hand, if I see something regularly, I learn that this is the norm and a practice to be followed. But, I never judge a book by its cover or an individual by what I see them doing or wearing. Long ago "learned" that the hard way! :)
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#28
This all just adds to my unkind suspicion of people who offer things without stating upfront the reward expected. What happened to the adage that the giver gets more than the recipient?
.
I agree 100%. But in this case, there was a choice to join the line or not.
And only 2 things were on the table. A stamp, and a donation basket. Both in clear view from the road.
There was clearly an 'expectation' of a donation........if only from those who felt they wanted to.
Certainly not any 'obligation'.

Of course there will be people who didn't have any change, had run out of money, made a conscious decision not to donate etc etc.
But nothing.........from 20 in a row.
To me that's just sad. :(
 
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spursfan

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#29
I agree 100%. But in this case, there was a choice to join the line or not.
And only 2 things were on the table. A stamp, and a donation basket. Both in clear view from the road.
There was clearly an 'expectation' of a donation........if only from those who felt they wanted to.
Certainly not any 'obligation'.

Of course there will be people who didn't have any change, had run out of money, made a conscious decision not to donate etc etc.
But nothing.........from 20 in a row.
To me that's just sad. :(
But the good thing is that you probably gave more than you otherwise would have -and so moving the Camino system back towards equilibrium - no need to fret too much about the behaviour of others - instead, do what you can and move on
 
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Saint Mike II

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#30
I went into a church somewhere between Viana and Logrono (at least I think that's where it was) and there was a young woman (who could have been a nun or an ordinary member of the parish) anyway SHE was the keeper of the stamp and unless she SAW you drop your one euro into the box beside her and then you did not get a stamp. She also implied that you should put another euro in the candle donation box. Me - I was happy to comply - and to spend a quiet 10 minutes away from hussel and bussel of the Camino. In another church (Portomarin?) the stamp was unattended and like our OP the numbers "doing the right thing" were definitely in the minority. The two women I had passed on the eastern side of the river alighting from their car (moto-pilgrims??) and pretending to struggle that short distance into town also neglected their donativo!
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#31
The two women I had passed on the eastern side of the river alighting from their car (moto-pilgrims??) and pretending to struggle that short distance into town also neglected their donativo!
That's kind of funny and sad all at the same time isn't it ? :rolleyes:

But we should not think unkind thoughts or jump to conclusions! They might have been injured or needed to catch up time or something... ;)
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#32
It is interesting to read the comments, reactions and interpretations. You assumed that the money is a small income on the side while I had assumed that it was used for the maintenance of the building. I've googled it a bit right now. It turns out that the well-known octogonal church of Torres del Rio has a fixed entry price of 1 EUR. So here's a different interpretation: she did not expect anything for her services, she was collecting the entry fee.

I was wondering at the time whether the church was actually used as a church and I see now that a different church in Torres del Rio serves as parochial church.
I remember that Church well. I seem to recall the fee was to assist in the upkeep of the building.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
#33
But we should not think unkind thoughts or jump to conclusions! They might have been injured or needed to catch up time or something... ;)
:D:D Now I know why the hospitalero at Laguna de Escuela was so grumpy; he must have seen me get out of that taxi early afternoon. I had traveled by taxi from Villafranca del Bierzo with a fellow peregrino who was suffering the same malady as I, and we were both worried that we would not be fit enough to complete the Sarria to Santiago section, and were taking precautions. The hospitalero in Laguna never did warm up to me. :( My taxi mate continued on to O Cebriero. I wonder what kind of reaction he got there. :cool:
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#34
....

As to the Santo Sepulcro church in Torres del Rio, which was apparently declared as a monumento del Historico-Artístico in 1931 (no idea what this means) ...

The declaration places the structure on a national list of Spanish protected monuments.

Read here for more re BICSs, ie listed/protected non-movable property in the Spanish national list of Bienes de Interés Cultural. (The on-line Spanish list can be easily searched in a multitude of languages.) The Spanish system of listed structures is very similar to that of France, ie les Monuments Historiques.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#35
It's a pity that you did not ask any of the 20 people near Arzua or Palas De Rei why they did not put any coins into the empty basket. Or the nun to find out what the collected money was for. Or stayed on to watch what happened after there was a 2 EUR coin in a.
I actually didn't think too much about it at the time. Just noticed what was going on.

it was only later after our Camino that I thought more about it.
 

Cornelius

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
#37
It must be me... After reading the title and seeing its popularity, why did I think that this thread was going to be about something else entirely? Chaucerian risque perchance... ;)
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(May-June 2015)
#38
If you want some insight into how much are the "few euros" that the locals make because the Camino goes through their village, look at property prices. While in Mediterranean coast you can find bank repossessions for as little as 3500 for apartment, in Camino villages the prices for literally everything, including ruins, are in hundreds of thousands, somehow my minds eye remembers numbers around 300 000 seen on the property map.
Also explains alternative Caminos, derivations, and fake paths.
 

Blaster

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014, Sarria to Muxia 2015, Frances on to Muxia 2016
#39
This thread is one aspect of giving and often the Donativo box, in my experience, received more than they would have received charging a fixed price at some Albergues.
We enjoyed a sign at a religious Albergue that went along the lines of "Donativo" does not mean "free - give what you can afford" and also "Showering is not a choice, it is an obligation"...
More troubling for me was churches (especially the home of the Cockerel and hen) that required payment from this pilgrim to even be allowed in to pray or contemplate - especially where the altars were over the top for my taste and dripping with Conquistador gold and silver.
We did not darken those doors on principal.
We enjoyed far more the simple churches closer to Santiago with their open doors.
One man in an old church in the last few days turned out to be blind when we entered for a stamp, he could not have noticed a donation but probably would have heard, we happily donated.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#40
Have you noticed as the never sufficiently blessed Compostela has created a "sello industry" of its own?
I noticed that after Sarriá, the right places for collecting stamps became an important topic of social talk of some walkers. There is a consistent demand, so a market has appeared. I guess the "two sellos per day" had other reasons, but it has had unintended consequences.
The sellos are "sold" more or less openly, be as a "donativo" or as the exchange for some service. It is becoming just another commodity.
Tour companies offer the service of collecting sellos as part of their package. The guide or the minivan driver take all their customers' credentials and stamp them in some favorite places. I suppose that, at his turn, the waiters and bar owners receive a tip, so a trickle of euros is spreading in the local economy.
I have no qualms about commercial services -they have its advantages. But some derivations of the pilgrimage to Compostela, as it exists today, are becoming quite odd.

.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#41
Collecting sellos, pondering payment, wondering over the worthiness of the person asking for support, measuring your church offering according to the building's degree of decoration... it is all a very transactional approach to the pilgrimage. I give you this, I get that. I shop for months in advance, ask everyone which is the Best albergue, route, shoes, socks, prayers, airline, and guidebook. and if my expectations are not met, I complain on the Forum.

Beyond all this noise and preoccupation about Getting and Spending is the truly amazing truth about the Camino, maybe the thing that makes it so special. The Camino trail itself may have become a grab-that-cash theme park in places, but the pilgrim economy, practiced by the pilgrim community, is not based on transactions. It runs on Grace.
Something for nothing. Beauty, kindness, acceptance, brotherhood, in exchange for... just showing up, just walking. Just being what you are is enough. Just a place out of the rain, a bocadillo, a glass of tinto is enough. Yes, you are expected to pay your way. And you have so many opportunities to help others make their way, too -- and you find your heart is open, and your wallet is, too, and you can afford it just fine.
If you don't get a great bunk in the recommended albergue, your heart does not break.
If you have to walk another couple of km., you survive. Someone gives you his lower bunk, or lends you a sleeping mat, or tells you where there's a nice haystack. You give your last Compeed to the boy with shredded toes, and you don't fret about having enough for yourself. You walk freely. Free. It's grace. You find it on the Camino.
And when you get home, you realize it's there, too. It always has been. Even after your credential with all the fancy stamps is lost in a drawer, you still can give and receive without judging or fearing the other, because you are free. You've met grace, and she lives in you now.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela 2018
#43
Collecting sellos, pondering payment, wondering over the worthiness of the person asking for support, measuring your church offering according to the building's degree of decoration... it is all a very transactional approach to the pilgrimage. I give you this, I get that. I shop for months in advance, ask everyone which is the Best albergue, route, shoes, socks, prayers, airline, and guidebook. and if my expectations are not met, I complain on the Forum.

Beyond all this noise and preoccupation about Getting and Spending is the truly amazing truth about the Camino, maybe the thing that makes it so special. The Camino trail itself may have become a grab-that-cash theme park in places, but the pilgrim economy, practiced by the pilgrim community, is not based on transactions. It runs on Grace.
Something for nothing. Beauty, kindness, acceptance, brotherhood, in exchange for... just showing up, just walking. Just being what you are is enough. Just a place out of the rain, a bocadillo, a glass of tinto is enough. Yes, you are expected to pay your way. And you have so many opportunities to help others make their way, too -- and you find your heart is open, and your wallet is, too, and you can afford it just fine.
If you don't get a great bunk in the recommended albergue, your heart does not break.
If you have to walk another couple of km., you survive. Someone gives you his lower bunk, or lends you a sleeping mat, or tells you where there's a nice haystack. You give your last Compeed to the boy with shredded toes, and you don't fret about having enough for yourself. You walk freely. Free. It's grace. You find it on the Camino.
And when you get home, you realize it's there, too. It always has been. Even after your credential with all the fancy stamps is lost in a drawer, you still can give and receive without judging or fearing the other, because you are free. You've met grace, and she lives in you now.
Wow! This post redeems all sides of this entire thread. Thanks for the gift of tears from your beautiful writing.
 

Cuci

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jan (2018)
#44
It is the largest city for starting, but the requirement is 100km, which is just after Ferreiros (also after Morgade). The old 100km mojone was before Ferreiros, but the Camino "end" changed enough that it was moved a couple of years ago when the new mojones were installed (and now are missing most of their kilometer plaques).
Collecting sellos, pondering payment, wondering over the worthiness of the person asking for support, measuring your church offering according to the building's degree of decoration... it is all a very transactional approach to the pilgrimage. I give you this, I get that. I shop for months in advance, ask everyone which is the Best albergue, route, shoes, socks, prayers, airline, and guidebook. and if my expectations are not met, I complain on the Forum.

Beyond all this noise and preoccupation about Getting and Spending is the truly amazing truth about the Camino, maybe the thing that makes it so special. The Camino trail itself may have become a grab-that-cash theme park in places, but the pilgrim economy, practiced by the pilgrim community, is not based on transactions. It runs on Grace.
Something for nothing. Beauty, kindness, acceptance, brotherhood, in exchange for... just showing up, just walking. Just being what you are is enough. Just a place out of the rain, a bocadillo, a glass of tinto is enough. Yes, you are expected to pay your way. And you have so many opportunities to help others make their way, too -- and you find your heart is open, and your wallet is, too, and you can afford it just fine.
If you don't get a great bunk in the recommended albergue, your heart does not break.
If you have to walk another couple of km., you survive. Someone gives you his lower bunk, or lends you a sleeping mat, or tells you where there's a nice haystack. You give your last Compeed to the boy with shredded toes, and you don't fret about having enough for yourself. You walk freely. Free. It's grace. You find it on the Camino.
And when you get home, you realize it's there, too. It always has been. Even after your credential with all the fancy stamps is lost in a drawer, you still can give and receive without judging or fearing the other, because you are free. You've met grace, and she lives in you now.

Beautiful ! Thank you for this real and heartfelt perspective as we prepare for our life-long dream to do the Camino de Santiago in few weeks.
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#45
And when you get home, you realize it's there, too. It always has been. Even after your credential with all the fancy stamps is lost in a drawer, you still can give and receive without judging or fearing the other, because you are free. You've met grace, and she lives in you now.
This is the BEST post I've read all year!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles May 2018 (flight and accommodation already booked!)
#46
I remember counting a LOT of 1 and 2 cent coins in the Donotivo box while at Rabanal.

But one day there was a €20 note in there.
 


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