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LIVE from the Camino Waiting for Pilgrims in Grañón

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#1
Hello all! Phil and I begin our time in Grañón as hospitaleros starting Sunday. Phil will arrive there tomorrow to take over the duties. He's been in Spain now since Nov 2 going to language school in Santiago and participating in workshops and conferences for hospitaleros. He's been walking the last few days from Logrono to Grañón to remind himself of what it feels like to be a pilgrim.

Last night he stopped in Cireuna for the night. He had walked all day in the rain and was cold and wet despite good rain gear. The hospitalero greeted him at the door by helping him out of his wet things and fetching a heater. Then he proceeded to centrifuge his clothes and hang them up to dry while Phil warmed up a little. He prepared a hearty stew for supper and they dined together and had a conversation in Spanglish (as Phil calls it). Each used his limited vocabulary in the others language (and a little Google Translate) to share stories. It is this same kind of welcoming hospitalerios that we want to be in Grañón.

He's taking a rest day in Santo Domingo to wash laundry and write post cards before he walks on into Grañón tomorrow. I board my flight to Madrid tomorrow and will join him on Dec 17. For those of you who followed our Christmas and New Year postings last year, we hope to be able to share with you again regularly again. Besides,;) I think it will give me a reason to go to the bar and use wifi. (See thread https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/waiting-for-pilgrims-in-zamora.52014/)
Janet
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#2
Moderaters,
How do I edit the title to make the Live from the Camino thing appear in yellow like our posts from last year?
Janet
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#3
Hello all! Phil and I begin our time in Grañón as hospitaleros starting Sunday. Phil will arrive there tomorrow to take over the duties. He's been in Spain now since Nov 2 going to language school in Santiago and participating in workshops and conferences for hospitaleros. He's been walking the last few days from Logrono to Grañón to remind himself of what it feels like to be a pilgrim.

Last night he stopped in Cireuna for the night. He had walked all day in the rain and was cold and wet despite good rain gear. The hospitalero greeted him at the door by helping him out of his wet things and fetching a heater. Then he proceeded to centrifuge his clothes and hang them up to dry while Phil warmed up a little. He prepared a hearty stew for supper and they dined together and had a conversation in Spanglish (as Phil calls it). Each used his limited vocabulary in the others language (and a little Google Translate) to share stories. It is this same kind of welcoming hospitalerios that we want to be in Grañón.

He's taking a rest day in Santo Domingo to wash laundry and write post cards before he walks on into Grañón tomorrow. I board my flight to Madrid tomorrow and will join him on Dec 17. For those of you who followed our Christmas and New Year postings last year, we hope to be able to share with you again regularly again. Besides,;) I think it will give me a reason to go to the bar and use wifi. (See thread https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/waiting-for-pilgrims-in-zamora.52014/)
Janet
I look forward to reading your reports. I cannot believe it is already a year! May your time be blessed, and a blessing on the pilgrims who arrive at the albergue.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#7
Samarkand,
Please do stop even if it is only to use the bathroom or warm up for a few moments! There will be someone else there who I am sure will be equally hospitable. The door is never closed (except in some unforeseen emergency). Unfortunately I will have to go back to my real job so that I can afford to do this again another year.

In the case you want to stay over, the albergue is in the church. Enter through the bell tower doorway. We have breakfast and a communal meal prepared together with the pilgrims. There is a pilgrim's mass before supper and a hospitalero-led spiritual time after supper. We hope to have some singing and music during our time there. Phil went to a singing workshop for Pilgrims last week in Ponferrada and I have song sheets ready with Christmas songs in different languages so we can "sing for our supper" at the bakery. Just be aware that the "beds" are mats on the floor and not actual bunks.
Buen Camino,
Janet
 
Camino(s) past & future
January 2019, French Camino
#9
Samarkand,
Please do stop even if it is only to use the bathroom or warm up for a few moments! There will be someone else there who I am sure will be equally hospitable. The door is never closed (except in some unforeseen emergency). Unfortunately I will have to go back to my real job so that I can afford to do this again another year.

In the case you want to stay over, the albergue is in the church. Enter through the bell tower doorway. We have breakfast and a communal meal prepared together with the pilgrims. There is a pilgrim's mass before supper and a hospitalero-led spiritual time after supper. We hope to have some singing and music during our time there. Phil went to a singing workshop for Pilgrims last week in Ponferrada and I have song sheets ready with Christmas songs in different languages so we can "sing for our supper" at the bakery. Just be aware that the "beds" are mats on the floor and not actual bunks.
Buen Camino,
Janet
Is that the Albergue Parochial San Juan Bautista?
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) ; 1st Camino Frances September 2016-November 2016 ; Camino Frances August 2017-October 2017
#11
Hello all! Phil and I begin our time in Grañón as hospitaleros starting Sunday.
Our absolute favorite stop along the Camino !!! My daughter and I cooked the evening meal for about 40 of us plus staff. An amazing place to refresh your spirit.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#12
Have edited the title to have the Live from the Camino prefix.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#15
Thanks all! We remember it as one of our favorites, too, and feel fortunate to have been selected to serve there over the holidays. I board my first flight Boise to Dallas in a couple of hours. Phil sent a text that he had arrived in Granon and was having a cafe con leche and tortilla before heading into the albergue begin the hand off.
 

JBSoakitup

Life is short_Soak it UP!
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Lourdes to SdC to Finesterre Sept (2018) 1st timer now bitten by the Camino Bug!
#17
Wishing you traveling mercies and a wonderful stay. Finished my first Camino in October and loved the albergue at Granon, it was special. Two women traveling with their donkey were staying there as well and made delicious pasta while the rest of us prepared sides and salads. It was very memorable!
Merry Christmas and Buen Camino!!!
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#19
Sorry for not posting sooner, but we don't have Wi-Fi here unless I go stand in the cold on the town square! So far it far been busier than last year we've had pilgrims every night! What a blessing that is for us!

So far our most common nationality is Korean. Right now a Peregrino who needed an extra day of rest on an ankle injury is translating our meditation service into Korean using Phil's little tablet! That will make it nicer. So they can read in their own language. She also made us a hand drawn welcome flyer in Korean to give the information when people first arrive.

It is different than our summer visit two years ago. The new priest had been here 3 months. He grew up in this area and is very enthusiastic, but speaks not a word of English. He comes every afternoon to visit before he prepares for Mass and comes to supper every night and stays for the meditation time. Phil turns the heat on in the chapel for him at 4:45 pm and that also turns the heat on in the Albergue. We keep it on until 10 pm. We also have a wood stove which keeps things relative warm in the sleeping loft and main living area.

The language barrier is a little difficult, but the good padre just keeps talking rapidly and eventually we are made to understand.

We have Mass in the small chapel which is easier to heat. Each evening the pilgrims and Phil and I join the town's faithful for Mass. Afterwards we come back and share a meal, usually planned by me, but prepared at least in part by the pilgrims. It is a lovely time together and last night one older French pilgrim was tearful because the experience made him so happy.

After supper the pilgrims clean up as a group and we go to meditation in the choir loft of the church. We turn on the altar light and let candlelight and the sharing of our thoughts warm our hearts even though it is chilly.

I'll write about our morning routine another day. For now we are just basking in this time of service. It restores my spirit and gives me a chance to care for people in a way that I don't get to at my job as a University professor.
 
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#20
Lovely to hear about your experience!

I met the new priest in October and can imagine that you may have difficulty understanding him. He is quite a talker too! He had a funeral to deal with and so was not with us the night I slept there. Between you and me the hospitaleras seemed quite happy not to have him around for a change. He is very enthusiastic but apparently quite involved and did not leave them a lot of freedom to carry out the evening meditation as they wished. I guess that it takes some time to get used to the new routine as Jesus, the previous priest who passed away this year, left the hospitaleros to do their own thing.

Good luck settling in.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#23
Hi All,
Last night a cozy group of two pilgrims. One from Spain and the other our Korean friend who stayed over to nurse and injury. About 6 pm I taught our Korean friend how to make Hummus. We made it with white beans. I make a batch every few days and it disappears rapidly. It is a hit with most everyone. She chose to put some in a bowl with some red pepper paste in the middle--Sabre hummas has nothing on us! Even the priest tried a little bit and pronounced it Fabuloso! She was really beaming.

At supper we all took turns singing Silent Night in three different languages. At meditation Phil, Yaji, and Father Narthsio sang all three versions at once in the choir loft looking out into the sanctuary. It sounded beautiful!

Today Phil and I walked around town. We were stopped by a woman from church who picked us some fresh mint. I'm using some tonight in our marinated lentil salad with Tomato-potato-badil soup!

We are 'los hospitaleros' and everyone stops to talk to us despite the fact we understand very limited portions of the rapid fire, mostly one way conversations. We smile a lot and say si, gracias, and vale. We actually like the the priest a lot. He does like to talk, but he has let us do our own thing and comes to dinner and meditation to help support us.

More tomorrow!
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#24
Today was a nice day. Our mentor Marina came to take us to do a big shopping in Santo Domingo. She dropped Phil and I off at the Dia store and then went to help Father Narsesio with his printer. We shopped for the rest of our time here which means I had to think about what we will eat for the next 10 days. I am a planner and used to menu planning for an unknown number of people as I used live on a farm several miles from the nearest town so I know how to stretch a meal as we often had unexpected guests drop in.

Some things are harder to find here. Basil is not generally available in fresh or dried form. Last year I just used basil pesto in a jar, but the girl stocking shelves said they were out. Just my luck that there was a run on basil pesto just when I needed it!

Celery also seems in short supply although I did find that. Peanut butter is not available for a dish I like to make with a slightly Aisian twist so I will be chopping my own peanuts with a hand chopper.

After the store, Marina took us to Haro which is the wine capital of Rioja. We had tapas and wine at 3 different places in about one hour. Correction: Phil had wine at 3 different places and I had one Tinto and 2 waters. Very yummy tapas and then we got home to the Albergue to find 4 pilgrims waiting on us.

Thank goodness everyone pitched in to help and we had a great supper with a total of 5 pilgrims after mass. One pilgrim told me he had been here 12 times. He played the Spanish guitar while we were working on supper.
 
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J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#25
Another nice day. A choral group from Haro sang at mass today and then gave a concert afterwards. We had another 2 night pilgrim with knee problems. She helped with some light chores and food preparation
This afternoon she watched the Albergue and greeted pilgrims while Father Narsesio took Phil and I to the monastery in Santo Domingo where he also works. This is an order of nuns from India and they speak English. They run a hosperderia so we ate in their dining room. Later he took us on a tour. He does 2 masses there a day and one in Granon.

After lunch and a tour he took us to the cathedral. He knows everyone in town and got us into the museum and church for free. He took us on a personal tour talking 90 miles per hour in Spanish. But it was amazing how much I could actually understand. He had us back by 6 pm and we had 3 pilgrims tonight.

What an amazing man for 72 years. He does 2 or 3 masses per day and drives back and forth between Santo Domingo and here. He showed us how to jump up on the fence to get a better look at Santo Domingo's tomb carvings. He can get all the way down on one knee and back up again in mass with ease. Everyone in town wanted to stop and talk to him including a couple who was married by him 20 years ago. He spent his entire afternoon with us, had time to come in and greet the new pilgrims and make it back by to mass in Santo Domingo by 7 pm.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#26
I must say I really enjoy this LIVE on Camino hospitaleros postings. Don't remember I have read any like these in the past. Very nice to get to know the daily routine although one that walked several Caminos can maybe imagine what it is like.

Thanks for posting! Wish you both Merry Christmas and HNY :)
 
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J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#27
It is Christmas Eve and we are waiting for today's pilgrims. Susanna at the bakery wants us to bring something for the oven tonight which means we will need to sing for our supper. I'm planning some baked chicken with dressing. I can find no sage here for the bird and dressing, but I am going to go with herbs de provenc which smell good. I have plenty of old bread and we'll add some celery and onion. I usually also use cornbread, but don't have that either.

At least half our pilgrims have been Korean or of Korean heritage. We've had a few other interesting moments that mirror some of our hospitaleros training from a few years ago. We had one pilgrim who refused to leave his dog outside so we had to stand firm. We offered to make a nice place for the dog downstairs, but that only made the pilgrim angry. I invited him to eat with us and he refused. He did take a shower though and went through the donation box looking for a sleeping bag (none found). The next morning he came back for coffee. Another pilgrim who who was walking home from Santiago told us they spoke and both man and dog slept in the bank area where the ATM is located.

Phil is very kind, but can channel his former work as both a Soldier and police officer when he needs to be firm. The pilgrim also tried to convince the priest who told him it was the hospitaleros decision. Lest you think us harsh, we were expressly told not to allow pets in the albergue. In any case this was similar to a case study we did at training. I have also done some minor first aid which is in my nursing wheel house. We've also offered some listening ears for budding Camino relationships, too.

Our meditation time has been meaningful and personal with such small groups of pilgrims. We often sing a little in the dark choir loft with the lights on the gold bedecked alter blazing. It brings some tears almost every night and emotion almost every night. We've also done some listening counseling on a budding romantic Camino relationship.

Well the first pilgrim has arrived. Phil is taking a siesta so I will close for today.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#29
Well done. Re the pilgrim with dog. I have been in situations where instinct tells you to stand firm, in spite of the heart tugs. What strikes me from your posts this year is a greater sense of knowing where you are, of being in place and of use, because there are more pilgrims, and the setting is also positive, and the local community seems to be there for you. I am glad for you. And I hope the language study has paid off! Next year, you will surely pack the herbs and spices!
Feliz Navidad, hospitaleros!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#30
Janet and Phil, Wishing you a wonderful Christmas in one of the finest places on the planet.
Thank you for your heart, for your service, and for somehow finding the time to share it all with us. It's so touching to read of your generosity to the flow of humanity through this most special of albergues.
I will never forget my single night at Granon, and I bet none of the pilgrims who pass through there this Christmas and New Years will, either.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#36
What a wonderful Christmas Eve! We saw our 3 Korean pilgrims off in the morning. A shout out here to Jong who is a Camino Forum member and sporting a forum patch on his pack. We checked in later in the day with our injured pilgrim who made it to Villambista 20 km and then caught a bus in the evening to try to catch up with her new beloved.

About 4 pm we had 4 pilgrims. 2 Russian girls and two Spanish men. The men had been here before and one had been a hospitalero here which turned out to be a great help! At 5:30 Phil went to tell Susanna we would bring the chicken. He came rushing back to say we had to have the chicken to her by 6 pm. Only one pilgrim was in house but he and Phil sprang into action cutting the stale loaves of bread. I was going to saute the onion and celery quickly, but the gas bottle ran out at just that moment. I shouted to Jorge our former hospitalero who ran down the bell tower with Phil and grabbed a new bottle and changed it out lickity split!

With 30 seconds to spare we had the chicken and dressing to the bakery. The other three pilgrims came back and prepared the salad and then the six of us practiced our selected songs. I brought carol lyrics in several languages on paper so everyone had music.

We went to mass and Father Narsesio dropped by to meet pilgrims afterwards while we practiced one more time. At 8 pm we gathered coats and headed to the bakery. Susanna was busy cooking lamb for what seemed like the whole town, but she stopped when we arrived and came out. She told us in Spanish and English we would need to sing to get our chicken back. First we sang a jazzy Feliz Navid with the Spanish and English lyrics. Then we finished with Silent Night in English, then Russian, then Spanish. One of the local women joined in on the Spanish!

After singing, Susanna took the two Russian pilgrims inside and had them put on crazy wigs and return outside with the meal and two loaves of bread. There were never bigger smiles or more laughter in the universe! The girls were so excited they wore the wigs at dinner! Father N could not join us as he had another mass to get to, but we had a lovely supper and meditation complete with tears and hugs.

I hope tonight will be as sweet. Must go now as Phil and I are announcing the Nativity winner at Mass in a few moments. Merry Christmas to all.
 
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J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#37
Granon is just a few km after Santo Domingo, right? I will try to pass through the city and stay there next time.
Yes, it is 6.5 km.
One of our pilgrims reminded me that this is Hospital de Peregrinos San Juan Bautista which he insisted implied That we were not just a place to stay, but a place to be cared for. Glad we can ride those coat tails for a few weeks. We have big shoes to fill.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#38
Thanks for all the well wishes. Merry Christmas to all of you as well. We are humbled to be here and to participate in the community and reputation of this place. We are told it is difficult to be reposted here since it is so popular and we'll-known. Apparently it is easier to be sent here in the winter since there are fewer pilgrims and fewer hospitaleros available. In any case, we'll make the most of our last week.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#39

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#40
Christmas has passed and we are into the second half of our posting here at Granon. Yesterday we attended Mass with most of the town and at the end helped the baker's teenaged daughter, Paula, award the best nativity scenes in two categories. The competition was close, but in the end the single entry for indoor nativity pulled it out for the win. There were none in the second category so that prize will wait for another year.

Then Phil and I went on a hunt for old newspapers which I spread out and let pilgrims peel potatoes, carrots, etc. Susanna, the baker, sent us to the local bar to ask and I practiced with her so my Spanish would be understood. After Christmas Mass at 1 p.m. seems to be the time to go to the bar and most of the locals and out of town relatives were there passing time until Christmas dinner was ready at home. Phil and I ordered a wine and asked about the newspapers. The lady who runs the grocery store was running the bar with a woman who I think is her mother. After a little socializing we took our papers and went home.

Last night we had 4 pilgrims. Two are hospitaleros that Phil met at at the Gathering for Hospitaleros in Javier a few weeks ago. They parked their car here and will bus to Puente de la Reina and walk the stages back to here on a winter holiday from work. They will be back on New Year's Eve so we will have think about that. We are half expecting more hospitaleros that night who apparently come here to celebrate.

We also has two more Russian pilgrims. One arrived early and Phil had a heartfelt conversation with her using Google translate. The other arrived late. He was young and told me he was a little scared until he found us. He had walked from Logrono and found nothing open until Granon. He told me slept a little at Najera, presumably waiting to see if something would open. He came in at 9:30 cold and hungry so I warmed him some soup and he had salad and a little Christmas cake I got at the bakery. He told me he saw the light in the church tower and followed it. Some towns people directed him to us as he arrived. As Phil and I headed for bed the two Russian pilgrims were deep in conversation.

Today we are cleaned up and ready for pilgrims. We will do a bit of shopping and stop at the bakery to ask about when we should take down hoiiday decorations. Tonight's menu is pork and apples with onions braised in wine. I want to do a baked mac and cheese do I will talk to Susanna about that as well.

Thanks again to all who are following us. We don't have a blog this year due to no Wi-Fi so this thread will be what I look back on when we get home.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#41
Another fun evening! We had five pilgrims. 2 from Korea, 1 each from France, Italy, and Germany. The young Korean Peregrina told Phil this was the most exciting place she had stayed! Three pergrinos where chopping veggies for supper and a German pergrina came in dropped her pack and jumped in to help. Our Italian came out of the shower disappointed that he had missed the action so I taught him and the Korean Peregrino how to make a macaroni and cheese casserole to go to the bakery. The two of them took turns licking the remaining white sauce from the pan. When it was time to go to take the dish to the bakery everyone was so excited that 4 of the 5 went with Phil for the delivery.

When the padre came for his pre-Mass check in the 5 were debating which songs to sing at the bakery. After Mass I asked the Padre if he wanted to join us at 8 and and he gave me an enthusiastic 'Si'! So all 8 of us went to the bakery. We sang Silent Night in 6 languages ending with Spanish and the whole extended family of the baker joined in with us. The wild wigs were given to the Italian and one of the Koreans and there was much laughter and many photos.

At supper the crew completely polished off the pork and apples with onions braised in wine sauce. Only one small bit of mac and cheese was left. The meditation went well with Father Narcisio taking pilgrims afterwards down to the church for a private tour. A local woman came storming in and chastised him for having the lights on so late. So the tour was cut a little short.

Today we picked up the little plaza outside the church as the person in town who does it is on vacation. Tomorrow Phil will take the bus to Santo Domingo to mail some heavier stuff he got from his workshops to our Madrid Hotel so we don't have to carry it on our short trek as pilgrims next week. Our time is growing short here and we plan to sing at the bakery again at least two more nights. We would love to come back again next year if it is possible.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (Oct. 2018)
#42
I have been thoroughly enjoying each of your posting. You convey such spirit I feel like I'm there and sharing the fun and laughter with your pilgrim guests from around the world. May your final few days continue to be filled with as much joy and companionship. Ultreia!
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#43
Last night there was pilgrim friction. All was going well. We had two Germans, one Spaniard, and one Brazillian. Supper was vegetarian with lentil stew, macaroni salad, and fruit salad. One German had been here 10 times. All others were on their first Camino.

Apparently one pilgrim decided to sleep by the fire instead of the loft. At 5:30 another pilgrim rose early and made a lot of noise. He woke everyone and this was made more upsetting by the Pilgrim who told him off loudly and then continued to complain while the two others tried to back to sleep. Yes People, this happens in the quiet winter, too. By 7 am when Phil and I got up, the fireworks were over. Everyone left and the new day was started. Phil comforted the Brazilian pilgrim who was having a relationship problem. I am going to call him Dr Phil for the next few days.

We had nine pilgrims in house before I finished today's cleaning. I think we are getting a reputation among the Korean pilgrims. There are four more already along with some more from Hong Kong, Italy and China. Phil went to SDomingo
To do errands. Tonight will be a bakery night so should be fun.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#44
I may not have mentioned the routine here. Phil does a meticulous bed bug check every morning which involved the use of a high powered light and a kitchen knife. He inspects every crack in the floor as well as each crevice of the wall. If he finds any black spots he scrapes them to see if it is bed bug poop. Every other day he steams the loft area along the walls and floors.

He is in charge of the upstairs because he used to be a detective in a former life and is better at this detailed work. I do the downstairs which includes kitchen, bathrooms and the great room. We are usually done at the same time except on steaming days. Then I help him with the upstairs floor and wiping the mattresses with disinfectant. We let these air dry to get the full germ killing power.

We keep a fire going in the stove. If it goes out, it can be difficult to restart depending on wind direction and whether the flu is drawing nicely. I have lived in a home solely heated by wood so usually I am the one starting up the morning fire. We turn down the dampers at night and I always hope for a few remaining coals.

Shopping in town involves making a list for the day and going to the local grocery store which is small, but has a relatively good stock of items for salad stuff, fruit, and cheese we like. We also have the
Bakery where we get fresh bread right after mass every night. That way we know how many pilgrims and how much to get. I also buy meat from the meat truck which comes two days each week. It is like buying from an old fashioned butcher shop. You walk up to the back and say what you want and she gets it from the meat case and weighs it and wraps it in paper. She uses a huge cleaver to cut what you might need if it is the wrong size. There is also a fish truck, but I am not too good with fish so have not shopped there.

Phil took the wrong bus so he is headed to Logrono unexpectedly now. I am sure he will get back but it may be a bit. I am not worried as it will make a good story for tommow and maybe he can post it for you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#45
I'm SO enjoying your posts, thank you, Janet!
Phil took the wrong bus so he is headed to Logrono unexpectedly now. I am sure he will get back but it may be a bit. I am not worried as it will make a good story for tommow and maybe he can post it for you.
Oops.
What a pity ~ lost in the Land of Pintxos.
(He's going to owe you one....;))
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#47
He finally arrived at 5 pm just in time to turn on the heat to the church. I will let him post about his adventure later today
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#48
Last night we had the most pilgrims so far. We had 5 Koreans, one Italian, one from Hong Kong, and 2 Spaniards. We had the chicken and stuffing again and it was a good thing I had extra chicken to bake. The pilgrims had great fun cutting the salad vegetables and cutting stale bread and then assembling the stuffing with a little direction from me. One pilgrim was a chef so she sauted the onions and celery and seasoned the chicken. Another pilgrim was a pastry chef so he also gave some pointers. Our two Spaniards were hospitaleros here before so lent a hand when needed. They remembered Phil from the Encuentro of Hospitaleros in Javier in early December.

The Korean peregrinos were a lively bunch. Everyone was eager to participate and the Korean contingent agreed to sing Silent Night in their own language at Mass. The Italian pilgrim sang Go Tell it on the Mountain with Phil and I at Mass, too. Father Narsio was pleased and joined us for the singing at the bakery again this time. We all did a round of Feliz Navidad complete with our home made maracas of a plastic soda bottle half filled with rice. The baker then required a solo from the Italian. One Korean joined the Spaniards for another lively number and we finished with the Korean K-Pop girls plus 1 from Hong Kong singing and dancing Gangnum Style on the narrow streets of Granon.

It seems when pilgrims participate in preparation the food is twice as good and there was only a scraping of stuffing left out of two large pans of chicken and stuffing. The salad was also inhaled. The Spanish hospitaleros played the guitar while dishes were washed.

Our Italin pilgrim confided some with Phil and I and stayed later to wait for a Peregrina. He helped with sweeping up this morning until about 10 am waiting. I hope it worked out. We went to lunch today at one of the three open bars. We were instructed to rotate and give everyone some business in the winter.

We already have 4 pilgrims this afternoon. One wept when Phil helped look up her name in the register from 2016. Tomorrow is some kind of race after Mass. The baker instructed us to make large race numbers to pin on our shirts and sit in front so Father Narsesio will remember. Sounds like another adventure for us to share with the community.

We have only 3 more nights as hospitaleros. We'll make them our best as each day is different and better than the one be for so far.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#49
I just love the way you are bringing us all into this time of service in your stay in Grañón. Thank you so much. I would love to be hearing the voices of the Koreans. My experience is they generally have heavenly voices. Wring the most out of this remaining days, and sharing it all with us!
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Melide, May-early July 2016,
Zamora Dec 2017 as Hospitalero
#51
I'm SO enjoying your posts, thank you, Janet!

Oops.
What a pity ~ lost in the Land of Pintxos.
(He's going to owe you one....;))
Did he get home??? If not, send out a searchparty...
View attachment 50235
Well I made it home but I've lost the title of Dr. Phil. This was supposed to be a quick ktrip to the Correos, the barber, and the supermercado for a few special items we wanted. No problem getting there. The lady at the Correos was super helpful. She noticed that the address Janet had gotten online was incomplete. She had me call the hotel and she talked with them to obtain the correct address. She then helped me select a box, assembled it, helped me pack it and then sealed it up and addressed it. Wow what service.

Next I started looking for a barber. Tried Google maps. It thought I was in South America or the Caribbean. So I went to the parador by the cathedral where I was given a map with a barber shop marked on it. By the time I made it to the barber I thought I should have used the bano at the hotel. Oh well, no problem. There was a man getting his hair cut with another ahead of me. When I made it into the chair and told him to cut it all off with zero blade guide he questioned me and I assured him that was what I wanted. After all, I'm mostly bald and it is really convenient. After that I tried to find the Dia supermercado we had shopped at last weekend but the need for a bano and food became more pressing. I found a place that people must like as many were going in and out. I sat down to wait for someone to take my order before trying to find the bathroom. No one came to take my order, another mistake, I should have wormed my way to the bar ordered and then off to the bathroom. Instead a left and made a beeline to the albergue I stayed in when walking to Granon. They let me use a bathroom. What a relief! Gave Google maps another try and found the Dia, got 2 of the 3 items. On advice from Janet, I went to the new China bazaar across the parking lot and found the last item.

Checked the bus schedule on my phone and headed to the bus station/stop. Sure enough a bus arrived right on time, in fact a little early. U asked the driver if this was the bus to Granon and was told yes. When I got on he wanted 3.35 euros instead of the 1.35 it cost to get there. I asked again if this was the bus to Granon, "Si" was the response. So I paid and took a seat figuring I would be back before many pilgrims arrived. We headed out of town and the scenery didn't look right. I watched for a sign and learned that we were headed to Logrono. Oops! Checked the bus schedule again and thought about getting off before Logrono nut decided not to as I would have to wait about an hour for the return bus. I took the chance that the bus I was on would arrive in time to catch the return bus. It did. This time I got off the bus used Google translate and asked where the bus for Granon was. He said Granon and then said Burgos. He yelled put the window and then pointed to another bus. I went to that on and asked if it was going to Granon, the driver said yes. Then he told me I must get a ticket and to me which ticket window to use. As I got to the window the driver was beside me talking to.the lady inside to make sure I got the right ticket. That was really helpful! On the way back, things looked right. By the time the bus reaches Granon I realized what happened. I had looked at the schedule for buses from Santo Domingo going towards Logrono. That will teach me to look at the heading next time. And yes I had to use the bathroom again when I got back to the albergue. All in all a successful trip and a learning experience. The mistake reminded me of others I made in New York City and Melbourne.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#52
Once again let me say that I really enjoy these snapshots. I have a question though. You report on the number and nationalities of your guests but not their ages. I'm curious as to how many bald and silver-haired pilgrims are walking in the winter.
I have purposely not said too much about pilgrims other than gender or nationality. I am also not posting photos as I am myself sensitive about social media without my permission. I would say there have only been a handful that are older than me (56) and maybe none older that Phil who is 68. A few in their early twenties and many in 30-40 range.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2016 Camino Frances to Leon
Fall 2017 Camino Frances to Finisterre
May 2019 Portuguese
#53
Thank you for posting on your experiences! This thread is so enjoyable and I love the story that has played out on these pages. There is lots of great information! Time for a second cup of coffee as I reread your posts.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#54
Well I made it home but I've lost the title of Dr. Phil. This was supposed to be a quick ktrip to the Correos, the barber, and the supermercado for a few special items we wanted. No problem getting there. The lady at the Correos was super helpful. She noticed that the address Janet had gotten online was incomplete. She had me call the hotel and she talked with them to obtain the correct address. She then helped me select a box, assembled it, helped me pack it and then sealed it up and addressed it. Wow what service.

Next I started looking for a barber. Tried Google maps. It thought I was in South America or the Caribbean. So I went to the parador by the cathedral where I was given a map with a barber shop marked on it. By the time I made it to the barber I thought I should have used the bano at the hotel. Oh well, no problem. There was a man getting his hair cut with another ahead of me. When I made it into the chair and told him to cut it all off with zero blade guide he questioned me and I assured him that was what I wanted. After all, I'm mostly bald and it is really convenient. After that I tried to find the Dia supermercado we had shopped at last weekend but the need for a bano and food became more pressing. I found a place that people must like as many were going in and out. I sat down to wait for someone to take my order before trying to find the bathroom. No one came to take my order, another mistake, I should have wormed my way to the bar ordered and then off to the bathroom. Instead a left and made a beeline to the albergue I stayed in when walking to Granon. They let me use a bathroom. What a relief! Gave Google maps another try and found the Dia, got 2 of the 3 items. On advice from Janet, I went to the new China bazaar across the parking lot and found the last item.

Checked the bus schedule on my phone and headed to the bus station/stop. Sure enough a bus arrived right on time, in fact a little early. U asked the driver if this was the bus to Granon and was told yes. When I got on he wanted 3.35 euros instead of the 1.35 it cost to get there. I asked again if this was the bus to Granon, "Si" was the response. So I paid and took a seat figuring I would be back before many pilgrims arrived. We headed out of town and the scenery didn't look right. I watched for a sign and learned that we were headed to Logrono. Oops! Checked the bus schedule again and thought about getting off before Logrono nut decided not to as I would have to wait about an hour for the return bus. I took the chance that the bus I was on would arrive in time to catch the return bus. It did. This time I got off the bus used Google translate and asked where the bus for Granon was. He said Granon and then said Burgos. He yelled put the window and then pointed to another bus. I went to that on and asked if it was going to Granon, the driver said yes. Then he told me I must get a ticket and to me which ticket window to use. As I got to the window the driver was beside me talking to.the lady inside to make sure I got the right ticket. That was really helpful! On the way back, things looked right. By the time the bus reaches Granon I realized what happened. I had looked at the schedule for buses from Santo Domingo going towards Logrono. That will teach me to look at the heading next time. And yes I had to use the bathroom again when I got back to the albergue. All in all a successful trip and a learning experience. The mistake reminded me of others I made in New York City and Melbourne.
And of course,a cliff-hanger... so, tell us!
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#55
Yesterday I had pilgrims make home made noodles for chicken and noodles. 4 of the eight pitched in so we had plenty for supper. One Peregrina from Poland made two batches. She told me her Grandmother made the noodles the same way. We had 3 of the men helping as well. Only 1 spoke English so there was a lot of demonstration. Very fun although a little messy. Father Narseso seemed to like the results at supper and Phil was happy to have enough for lunch today as is another of his favorites.

We are expecting quite a few hospitaleros tomorrow as we are told many come here to
Celebrate New Year's Eve. We will sweep the salon to we can separate partiers from non-partiers if possible.

One problem we've had is with the local boys. They are out of school and delight in shutting off our electricity at night. Last night they shut off the lights to the stairs and we thought we might need to call an electrician. Those of you who have been know the bell tower steps can be treacherous after dark. This morning in the light of day I was able to get them on again. Phil and Narseso were coming down the steps when the lights went off and the good father had some words for them and wanted Phil to close the Albergue door. Phil just whipped his phone out and took their photos as they stood there taunting him. He will show them to the baker later today to make an ID.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#56
The baker knew the boys and said she would talk to them. Our mentor advised over WhatsApp to show our replacement how to fix the lights just in case it continues. Today is a fiesta here with the races. First little kids ran then adults. It was around the church then down the street following the guy on the pace bike. Adults did two laps and kids one. Prizes for all! Later will be cookies and lemon sorbet!

Pilgrims came in while we were at Mass. We have four now. Tonight we are having pork and spicy peanut noodles. I am also going to cook up some peppers that have been here since we arrived. Father Narsio does not generally come for supper on Sunday, but if he does, we still have lentil stew.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#57
At today's Mass there was one Peregrina who was hoping for a blessing, but that does not usually happen during the Sunday service. Phil and I waited until the church cleared out and took her back into the library to meet Fr. Narsiso personally. She began to weep and fell to her knees when he asked her if she would like a special blessing for pilgrims. It was very moving and quite special.

The same pilgrim just came to me to say it was another pilgrim's birthday so we will have a surprise celebration at supper. We'll put a candle on a Magdalena cupcake and make it special.
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Melide, May-early July 2016,
Zamora Dec 2017 as Hospitalero
#58
And of course,a cliff-hanger... so, tell us!
Okay, the rest of the story. While in Melbourne, Australia following Janet to a conference where she was presenting, I went exploring. I decided to take the train somewhere (I don't remember where) and proceeded to get on the train. No problem, right? After all, this old guy has traveled to several countries and this one speaks English. As we were going along we passed the sports stadium. I didn't remember that on the little map I have. Then we left town. Whoops! I realized I was going the wrong way. I got off at the next stop, crossed the tracks to the other side and got on the train platform. Over the next several minutes couple others arrived having the made the same mistake. We waited together and got on a train heading in the right direction. In NYC, I was visiting Janet who was doing a 12 month fellowship there. I had figured out the subway system and was proud that I would ride just about anywhere I wanted. One day I decided to go exploring (again I don't remember where). I enjoyed using the subway, especially those stops where there were performers in the station. Well I headed out enjoyed myself, listened to some live music and decided to head back. I got on the subway and after a couple of stops realized I was going the wrong way. Got off at the next stop, went up to the street, waited for the lights, crossed and went back down. Had to use my card again and then boarded the subway going the right direction. Maybe after the third time I might figure out that perhaps, just perhaps, I should pay more attention to where I am going.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#59
Okay, the rest of the story. While in Melbourne, Australia following Janet to a conference where she was presenting, I went exploring. I decided to take the train somewhere (I don't remember where) and proceeded to get on the train. No problem, right? After all, this old guy has traveled to several countries and this one speaks English. As we were going along we passed the sports stadium. I didn't remember that on the little map I have. Then we left town. Whoops! I realized I was going the wrong way. I got off at the next stop, crossed the tracks to the other side and got on the train platform. Over the next several minutes couple others arrived having the made the same mistake. We waited together and got on a train heading in the right direction. In NYC, I was visiting Janet who was doing a 12 month fellowship there. I had figured out the subway system and was proud that I would ride just about anywhere I wanted. One day I decided to go exploring (again I don't remember where). I enjoyed using the subway, especially those stops where there were performers in the station. Well I headed out enjoyed myself, listened to some live music and decided to head back. I got on the subway and after a couple of stops realized I was going the wrong way. Got off at the next stop, went up to the street, waited for the lights, crossed and went back down. Had to use my card again and then boarded the subway going the right direction. Maybe after the third time I might figure out that perhaps, just perhaps, I should pay more attention to where I am going.
Thanks for your patience in spending time telling the stories. great accounts, to accompany the wonderful time you are obviously having. The hospitaleros from Granon are a close bunch...here's something about being in the moment. I just posted it on the not serious thread, but it fits with you saying you should pay more attention. Sounds like none of your going astray has led to any huge distress, so why worry? Screenshot 2018-12-30 at 15.40.24.png
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#60
Yesterday I had pilgrims make home made noodles for chicken and noodles. 4 of the eight pitched in so we had plenty for supper. One Peregrina from Poland made two batches. She told me her Grandmother made the noodles the same way. We had 3 of the men helping as well. Only 1 spoke English so there was a lot of demonstration. Very fun although a little messy. Father Narseso seemed to like the results at supper and Phil was happy to have enough for lunch today as is another of his favorites.

We are expecting quite a few hospitaleros tomorrow as we are told many come here to
Celebrate New Year's Eve. We will sweep the salon to we can separate partiers from non-partiers if possible.

One problem we've had is with the local boys. They are out of school and delight in shutting off our electricity at night. Last night they shut off the lights to the stairs and we thought we might need to call an electrician. Those of you who have been know the bell tower steps can be treacherous after dark. This morning in the light of day I was able to get them on again. Phil and Narseso were coming down the steps when the lights went off and the good father had some words for them and wanted Phil to close the Albergue door. Phil just whipped his phone out and took their photos as they stood there taunting him. He will show them to the baker later today to make an ID.
great stuff, the camera!
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#61
The 30th was a crying day. We had 7 pilgrims and all three of the Peregrinas cried on and off. Our Korean Peregrina arrived crying. She has a back injury and is also mourning something about her mother although I do not yet understand the whole story. Our Italian Peregrina has bilateral knee pain and is contemplating having to end her Camino. Our Columbian Peregrina was crying from happiness.

The men from Italy, Spain , and the US tried to help. The played the guitar and listened. At 5 pm we gathered to prepare supper. Two of the men were vegetarian so we discussed the dinner. We made two dishes. One was pirk, onion, and peppers with peanut noodles. The other was peppers and onions with peanut noodles.

We have to do a lot of substiting here so I bought peanuts and had a pilgrim puree them with oil to make a kind of peanut butter. Then we had chopped some peanuts. Other pilgrims cut the peppers into strips and chopped onion and garlic. I put newspapers on the table and then bring out 5 or six small cutting boards along with the new sheathed knives I bought in Santo Domingo since the ones that were here were like cutting with a butter knife. Every one works together at the table and so they can talk to one another while working.

I had one of the vegetarian pilgrims make some hummus with help from others and then we made some chopped olives for the top. Everyone enjoys helping and when eating I never have to encourage them to take a second helping.

At meditation there was more crying. Phil gave one of his precious hankies to the Korean grip and sat and listened afterwards to the Italian girl's worries. He is such a good listener.

Our relief, Pepe, arrived at about 8:30. We get him and began the orientation. He has not been here before and there is a language barrier so we will need to use Google Translate for the more specific stuff.

I have a feeling we'll have at least two staying on with us to heal and rest on this our last day. I am awake early sitting by the cracking fire listening to the soft snores of pilgrims. Time to begin our day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#62
I feel sorry for the Italian peregrina. If she can stop today, and use an ice pack and keep her leg elevated above her heart, and take an anti inflammatory she might get some respite. I am only now managing normal daily targets after an onset in early September. We are all different, she might be rested enough overnight, but still, the fear of damage is there for her. Happy New YEar to you all there, and once more, thanks for such inclusive reporting. i can almost feel the heat from that fire!
 
#63
It has been a pleasure catching up with your live Hospitalero posts. Hospitaleros as yourselves make the Camino very special and were the reason that I was moved to serve.

For all of us who have stayed and volunteered in Grañón, we know what a special place it is and for those who haven't, now know it too!

Have a blessed New Year's.
Saludos from Santiago.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#64
Our Korean Peregrina decided to take the bus to Burgos to catch up with some friends. Pepe, the Italian Peregrina, and I walked her the one km to the bus stop. It is a beautiful, sunny day. When we got back Phil had finished the meticulous bed bug check. After a shower he was ready to go to the store with Pepe and I. The Italian Peregrina was made a hospitalera while we were doing the local shopping.

We introduced Pepe at the Pharmacia, then the tiende, then the bakery. We bought enough green salad stuff to last 2 days as everything will be closed tomorrow. At the bakery I explained that we would be in tonight with mac and cheese and to get bread for the next 2 days.

We came home and shared a lunch of leftovers with Pepe, our Italian Peregrina, and another Italian Peregrina who arrived about 1 pm. Just as we finished, a man claiming to be Italian came in with a backpack. He had on jeans and sneakers and reeked of alcohol. We had been told that if this happened to feed the person and then they usually would go away. The man took off his backpack and sat at the table. He began asking about our New Year celebration and Pepe told him it would be business as usual here with lights out at 10 pm. He began to argue with Pepe and was shouting at our Italians girls. Phil shouted STOP twice then picked up the man's backpack and told him to leave . The man followed Phil to the bottom of the stairs and Phil told him Adios. He went to his large wine bottle which he had left in the small plaza by the church and eventually left. Phil was a police officer (both military and civilian) for 35 yrs so was comfortable taking care of this matter.

Now we are sitting by the fire waiting for pilgrims for our last day...
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Melide, May-early July 2016,
Zamora Dec 2017 as Hospitalero
#66
What a time! Dinner last night was full of talking and laughing in a couple of languages. It was great. Our spiritual time was meaningful to me and I hope it was for the pilgrims who attended. Morning was also a good experience. After all had left except for the Italian and Korean perigrinas, I was in the loft checking for. Chinches and steaming the rock wall, I overheard them talking and sharing or teaching words in each of their languages. Then they were looking at bus schedules as the Korean perigrina decided to bus to Burgos to meet a friend. Before she left she hugged me and called me "Papa" as she thanked me. As I worked I thought that this was why we were here in Granon. Our job was to help enable an environment where strangers could interact and share their successes and their burdens. What a morning!

As Janet said, we had an impaired visitor. He wanted to have a party for the new year and had already begun. I told him he could take his pack off. He did by just letting it bang to the floor. We provided information on meal preparation time, as well as mass, dinner, and meditation times. He was offered a seat at the table and given a glass of water. He was offered something to eat as there was still some food on the table. He ignored that a pulled a large bottle labeled Sangria out of an inside pocket of his jacket. He wanted to talk only about a party and wanted grapes for the new year. We explained in Italian, Spanish, and English that for us it was a normal day and the lights would go off at 10 pm. He began arguing with Pepe, wouldn't listen and wouldn't stop despite my attempts to get his attention. The ladies had left the area and moved to the other side of the room. If he would have been able to listen and act on a calmer fashion I had planned to feed him and let him stay. It appeared to me that was not to happen. I told Janet to get a phone and be prepared to call the police. Suspecting that all of his belongings were in the backpack, I picked it up and told him as well as signaled him to follow me. I escorted him down the stairs and out and handed him his back and told him goodbye, adios. He spent the next 30 minutes or so in the back plaza area before disappearing. I felt sorry for him as I have worked with those who suffer from both substance abuse as well as mental health issues. I know that treatment works and wish for him to receive what he needs.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#67
Our last evening as hospitaleros was a bit different as they all have been. Last night we had 7 hospitaleros plus 3 pilgrims in the Albergue
We had a Peregrina from San Morino as well as a young Spanish man and our healing Italian peragrina. We had the house favorites pork, apples and onions cooked in red wine mac and cheese. One hospitalera had celiac disease and was vegetarian so the mac and cheese was made with gluten free macaroni which happened to be on hand.

At Mass Fr N mentioned that it was our last night as hospitaleros to the congregation. Although he could not come to supper due to a late Mass in Santo Domingo, he asked us to wait to leave the following day until he could tell us Good-bye. When he came by today he was also in a hurry and so we postponed goodbyes again until we come back as Pilgrims on Jan 2.

Phil and I turned in early last night, but the rest of the hospitaleros stayed up to welcome the new year by eating grapes as fast as possible (a traditional custom). Our pilgrims said they did so quietly.

This morning Phil and I were admonished to do no work and Pepe disappeared on a 14 km walk (apparently he tries to walk 2-3 hours each day). Phil and I packed and I had a long talk with our Italian Peregrina. He brother died 2 months ago with cancer. He was young and left 2 year old twins and a wife behind. His death was prolonged and sparked family discord. Our Peregrina wept openly as she discussed it. She was trying one more day of rest and medication. She was frustrated because she is young and strong. She is an outdoors free climbing instructor among other things and bilateral knee pain requiring a rest ordered by a doctor was not in her plan. It made me realize how important being a listener and sounding board was to our pilgrims.

After a bowl of lentil soup leftovers, Phil and I headed out for Santo Domingo. The sun was shining brightly with little wind. We needed only a light sweater for out 6 km walk to Santo Domingo.We checked into the Paradore for the first real night alone since Nov 1. This ends our chapter as hospitaleros for this year. We can only hope we'll be selected again for an assignment at Christmas and that we will both be able to serve. Happy Holidays to All and a blessed New Year.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#69
Thank you so much for sharing your daily memories with all your digital friends! Granon is such a special place; so many of us remember staying there over the years with great happiness.

May you both enjoy the rest of your time in Spain before you leave for home.

Happy New Year and in the truest sense,
Ultreia.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (Oct. 2018)
#70
Thank you so much for sharing your days with us. It's been a wonderful experience to follow along, and it seems the time has been rich and rewarding both for your pilgrims and for the two of you as well. Have a great pilgrimage of your own.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#72
Thank you both so much for your wonderful postings... I enjoyed last year's too but your stay at Granon seems to top that! Actually... your posts have been so full of joy and kindness that I'm resolved to improve my Spanish and go on a training day and maybe in a year or two I might be lucky enough to find a position for a couple of weeks... or even help at the Pilgrims office.

p.s. today as I was cooking dinner I was wondering if this was the kind of meal I could help prepare with other pilgrims... mmm... I need to learn some Spanish first :oops:
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#75
Here is a little postscript...
We had a nice quiet night at the Paradise and indulged in the sumptuous evening menu as well as the breakfast buffet. We walked back to Granon as pilgrims on a beautiful sunny day. We saw 8 deer grazing in the fields and numerous birds of prey soaring overhead. In Granon we checked in with Pepe and the went to Bar Sindicato to get a stamp and have a glass of wine. I spotted some peanuts in the shell and sent Phil back to the bar to get some. He came back empty handed and shrugged. The next thing I knew, the woman at the bar was setting places for us and delivered a plate of fried eggs, sausage, bacon, and fried peppers! Yum!!! A couple of locals asked if we had 'changed' meaning the handoff with Pepe and I explained we were now pilgrims and would walk to Belrado the next day.

We had a community meal with Pepe and our healing Italian Peregrina. We attended Mass and got a special blessing from Narciso. He kept telling Phil that he would learn more English and Phil should learn more Castellano before we return next year.

The next morning we set off as the sun was rising. The weather was cold, but beautiful for walking. We stopped for a coffee at Castildelgado and again a few km from Belrado. We ate our bocadillo sitting in the sun and met two pilgrims, a Canadian and an Italian.

We stayed at HostalB in Belrado and had a community prepared meal with the Canadian, the Italian, and our Italian Peregrina who was dropped off by Pepe near town to do a short trial walk. We were joined by three Dutch pilgrims and there were also Koreans who came in later.

The next morning we took the bus to Burgos and went to the Human Evolution Museum. We met our Italian Peregrina for afternoon drinks. She had decided to end her Camino for now and return after her knees were better. We also met to with our Polish and Swedish pilgrims who were also heading home.

The next night we attended the 3 Kings parade with the Italian and Canadian pilgrims and were joined by a Korean pilgrim and our Italian Peregrina who could not fly home until Tuesday. Afterwards we met our mentor Marina and gave her a report over a supper of Tapas.

Today we are headed for Madrid for 2 nights. I am at the laundromat washing so we will have clean clothes to wear home. Can't wait to come back again another year. I know wherever Phil and I are posted we will take the spirit of Granon with us.
 

donalomahony

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino Frances" 2013, "Burgos to Leon," February 2014 - "Frances" June '14
#76
Once again, thank you both for your work and reflections. Happy New Year and safe home.
 
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J Willhaus Hospitaleros 88

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