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What would you do?

2020 Camino Guides

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
I received a birthday card yesterday with three (fake) airline tickets tucked into it. I get to choose which one is redeemed. Perhaps this is a biased place from which to seek advice!!
1) a trip to Queenstown with my husband
2) a solo Camino in Spain (or maybe with others joining me, dependent - apparently- on the state of the economy and exchange rate!!)
3) a trip to Honduras with my two youngest daughters to work in a children’s home for a few months (we are currently in discussions with the home about this)
I, of course, want to do all of them.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
The ultimate compromise: take the youngest daughter and go to Honduras. With the saved money from other daughter, fly your husband to Spain/Portugal to walk some of the Camino. Trip with daughter, great help in Honduras and some quality time with the husband on the Camino... Win-Win! (Except maybe for 2nd daughter?)
 

Davie Blisters

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
For me it would have to be 3) Honduras
...as I made it to Queenstown last year (but not with your husband) :)
and my current solo Camino score is 10.
Whatever you decide Buen Camino
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I do hope you have checked out the standard scam sites. This is Snopes' view on this approach -->> https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/airline-scams-3-useful-tips-avoid-scams/.
There will be NZ govt agencies who can advise on this as well.
I think the OP received those birthday gift choices from a family member or the like, not from an unsolicited agency. At least that's the way it came across to me. You make fake coupons/tickets from which the gift receiver gets to choose. Say for instance a day at a spa or dinner at a nice restaurant. They pick which one they like better and that's where you take them.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I think the OP received those birthday gift choices from a family member or the like, not from an unsolicited agency. At least that's the way it came across to me. You make fake coupons/tickets from which the gift receiver gets to choose. Say for instance a day at a spa or dinner at a nice restaurant. They pick which one they like better and that's where you take them.
That was my understanding too.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
The ultimate compromise: take the youngest daughter and go to Honduras. With the saved money from other daughter, fly your husband to Spain/Portugal to walk some of the Camino. Trip with daughter, great help in Honduras and some quality time with the husband on the Camino... Win-Win! (Except maybe for 2nd daughter?)
Well, maybe being home alone would be a win situation for the second daughter too :D
 

cher99840

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
I would pick from a hat because I would not choose between husband, children, and solo. But that’s just me.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Happy belated birthday, Rachael! Many happy returns.

So...What a conundrum!
You've done lots of caminos. But have you been to Honduras with your girls?
And what does your heart say?
(Queenstown? Meh. Too many tourists flinging themselves off bridges - and that was 30 years ago. I hate to think what it's like now.)
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
I think the OP received those birthday gift choices from a family member or the like, not from an unsolicited agency. At least that's the way it came across to me. You make fake coupons/tickets from which the gift receiver gets to choose. Say for instance a day at a spa or dinner at a nice restaurant. They pick which one they like better and that's where you take them.
That was my understanding too.
I didn't read it that way, but see now how one could. I hope you are both correct.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I didn't read it that way, but see now how one could. I hope you are both correct.
In her original post @Kiwi-family said
I received a birthday card yesterday with three (fake) airline tickets tucked into it.
Then goes on to say
1) a trip to Queenstown with my husband
2) a solo Camino in Spain (or maybe with others joining me, dependent - apparently- on the state of the economy and exchange rate!!)
3) a trip to Honduras with my two youngest daughters to work in a children’s home for a few months (we are currently in discussions with the home about this)
I rather doubt that some scam company would know exactly what types of trips that she would like to take and with whom.😊 But thank you @dougfitz for your vigilance. 😊
 
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André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
There was this interview once, in which a man was asked: "For a perfect weekend, what would you like best? I'll give you two options. Option 1: "A trip to Paris with your wife ....."
At which point the man quickly replied: "Option 2, option 2!"

But I guess it all depends on the state of your marriage .... ;)

But, seriously, all 3 seem to be a Camino. What an impossible choice. Good luck. And enjoy it (whatever you choose).

I'm sorry I can't really help you with this one.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Thank you for your replies.
@dougfitz thanks especially for your care - you can rest assured I can trust my dear hubby's fake airline tickets!
@HeidiL thanks for your concern too. We have been in correspondence with the "main lady" for over a couple of years and were put on to her by an organisation we fully trust and support. You raise valid concerns though.
@nycwalking maybe I can take them in that order;-)
@Davieblisters, if you'd been with my husband I'm sure you'd be wanting to return - haha. My solo camino score is only one (and I loved it).
@Marianne-from-Norway your reasoning resounded strongly today....and then for our family night we watched a documentary made by four young guys who spent their summer in Guatemala living on $1 a day and suddenly Honduras was crying out louder......this will certainly be a journey. It has already been great to talk about with my youngest girls who would have the option to go. The one who is keen wrote herself a list of pros and cons a few months ago and declared that unfortunately all of the cons were just selfish things! So she was on board quickly. The youngest, who actually wants to be an early childhood teacher (so it would be a great opportunity for her to do something she loves) and speaks better Spanish than the other is the hesitant one. Today they told me I should pick Spain because it's a birthday present and you should have what you want for your birthday - it was special to be able to share with them that the satisfaction from doing something for others would be a great gift for me and the adventure of going somewhere I've never been and learning all sorts of new stuff would excite me. Helped them realise there is more to their mama than they see on an everyday basis (although I was semi-surprised they had not picked up these things before - they must think I don't like stopping to talk with beggars and bringing refugees home, that perhaps I do it out of some sense of duty!)
As @wayfarer said, the camino is going nowhere. I think I might be able to convince hubby I can sneak tickets to Queenstown out of our food budget (he'd really love to go there, I wouldn't object to the location but *would* love to be with him - does that answer your question @André Walker?)....next year is our 30th wedding anniversary so that might be a suitable celeratio (although I do remember with fondness our last-minute decision to walk from Porto for our 25th). That would mean immersion Spanish for three months in Honduras. Let's see if the youngest can be gently persuaded.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
The Gautama Buddha is quoted as saying (though it seems to have been the Dalia Lama)
"Strive for personal happiness - result, misery.
Strive for happiness in others - result, happiness."


So, 3.- oh, and in the years to come, what memories mother and daughters will have to look upon ❤
Or, 4 - Camino with daughters - similar future bonding memories.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
The Gautama Buddha is quoted as saying
"Strive for personal happiness - result, misery.
Strive for happiness in others - result, happiness."
Sorry to be a pedant, David...but it was the Dalai Lama who said that, and - ;) - I know he would be appalled to be considered the Buddha.
And...totally correct. Much happiness.
Back to Rachael's choice...
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Sorry to be a pedant, David...but it was the Dalai Lama who said that, and - ;) - I know he would be appalled to be considered the Buddha.
And...totally correct. Much happiness.
Back to Rachael's choice...

Dang!! - have edited ... silly me - no not, pedantry, helpful! 👍
I guess the thing to remember is that happiness isn't a goal, it is a by-product.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked part of the Camino Frances and plan to start over in April 2018.
I received a birthday card yesterday with three (fake) airline tickets tucked into it. I get to choose which one is redeemed. Perhaps this is a biased place from which to seek advice!!
1) a trip to Queenstown with my husband
2) a solo Camino in Spain (or maybe with others joining me, dependent - apparently- on the state of the economy and exchange rate!!)
3) a trip to Honduras with my two youngest daughters to work in a children’s home for a few months (we are currently in discussions with the home about this)
I, of course, want to do all of them.
No contest: definitely Queenstown NZ. And while on the South Island, make a side trip to Milford Sound, the Eighth Wonder of the Natural World!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
@David we have already done five caminos together and at the grand old ages of 13 and 15 the girls have decided they don’t like walking. I have challenged their rewriting of history to support their current thinking by reminding them of the many moments of laughter and the sense of achievement they had once discussed - but at the same time I think taking them on another would be futile, perhaps an exercise in increasing entitlement which I want to avoid at all costs.
 

ManyMiles2Go

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
I agree that you should do #3 with the daughters. . . and send #2 to me, I will use it :)
 

DeansFamily

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 18/916/10/17 Muxia/Finisterre 18/10-22/10/17 Norte 21/4-29/5/18 Primitive 20/9-5/10/18 VdlP
How lucky you are to be given choices. Having done volunteer work in PNG it is challenging but extremely rewarding and very memorable. And like everyone says, the Camino will still be there for later. Whatever you decide, We hope it is wonderful for you.
 

Carol06

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (May 2012)
Frances (May 2015) all going well and with my husband this time.
Definitely no to Queenstown. It is tourist madness. And what a choice to have to make for the other two. Happy birthday. What a wonderful gift you received.
 

Annet2020

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues 2020
You might not want to hear this but volunteering at a children's home might not be in the best interest of those children. Just picked two of the many articles on this subject:


 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
definitely Queenstown
For kiwis the standard response would be "Yeah, na"

Or, to put it another way. If the first prize was one week in Queenstown, many Kiwis might expect the second prize to be one month in Queenstown. But then I'm just a kiwi who "did" Queenstown many years ago.

The delights of walking in western Europe burn brighter for me.

Kia kaha, katoa (you all take care, be strong get going)
 

Micah26

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2018)
All of them are wonderful options. For me making memories with your daughters... new country time with your girls and helping others. Seems like a winning trifecta to me!😉
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Out of curiousity (and no disrespect intended towards you or a generous heartfelt gift), what special talents or skills do you have that would be of benefit to the children of Honduras?

The money spent on airfare would likely pay school fees for them for a long time. If this orphanage accepts volunteers on a regular basis, then the children are repeatedly being asked to make new friends, to trust strangers wandering through their home, and then to have these new people disappear from their lives. It encourages attachment disorders and exposes children to higher risk of abuse and exploitation. Not from you but due to the lack of boundaries they are being taught.

Sorry, I know I'm sounding very negative and I don't want to trample on your joyful gift.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
If you decide against the orphanage idea can I suggest another project in Central America? I visited Guatemala last year for 6 weeks, spending most of them on Lago de Atitlán. My purpose for visiting Guatemala was to improve my Spanish, but there are many opportunities in the area to volunteer AND attend a Spanish school. I was very impressed with the project to beautify one of the villages on the lake, Santa Catarina Palopó, in the hopes of bringing more tourism money to this very poor country. If you would also like to take Spanish classes many of the schools in the area can connect you to other charities where you can serve. It's very inexpensive to take classes and live in a homestay. You could do classes in the mornings and volunteer in the afternoons.

 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Out of curiousity (and no disrespect intended towards you or a generous heartfelt gift), what special talents or skills do you have that would be of benefit to the children of Honduras?

The money spent on airfare would likely pay school fees for them for a long time. If this orphanage accepts volunteers on a regular basis, then the children are repeatedly being asked to make new friends, to trust strangers wandering through their home, and then to have these new people disappear from their lives. It encourages attachment disorders and exposes children to higher risk of abuse and exploitation. Not from you but due to the lack of boundaries they are being taught.

Sorry, I know I'm sounding very negative and I don't want to trample on your joyful gift.
It's actually a good point, and made with the best of intentions.

It is something that I think about often.

I won't go into details, but my business gives part of our income to charities around the World through a charitable 'network'. All very Kosher, public accounts and all that. Great organisation.

Every year, contributing 'members' have the opportunity to go on a study tour to visit some of the charities supported. Members pay there own way of course.

I have done one of these tours. To Cambodia. We spent a week visiting 10-12 charities that we support.
We helped build a school playground and all sorts of things.


Was it worth it? Yes. 100%
For the 12 of us on the trip it was rewarding, highly emotional, heart breaking (aids hospice visit) and every other emotion you can think of.

We learnt so much about the plight of the people we visited that it encouraged us to do more to help.

Children on the trip (there were 3) learnt invaluable lessons.

A 9 year old made this statement in our minibus.

"these people have nothing........and yet are happy".
"We have everything.......and constantly complain about not having the latest mobile phone"

Would I go again?
Probably not. Having done it, I no longer need the increased motivation created by the 'contact'.
I prefer to just give more ;)

Done the right way, with the right motivation, these kinds of trips can be of enormous value to all parties involved.

A guy at work here goes overseas with his Church every year to build houses in poor remote communities.

When a gift is given, both parties gain.............
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
If you decide against the orphanage idea can I suggest another project in Central America? I visited Guatemala last year for 6 weeks, spending most of them on Lago de Atitlán. My purpose for visiting Guatemala was to improve my Spanish, but there are many opportunities in the area to volunteer AND attend a Spanish school. I was very impressed with the project to beautify one of the villages on the lake, Santa Catarina Palopó, in the hopes of bringing more tourism money to this very poor country. If you would also like to take Spanish classes many of the schools in the area can connect you to other charities where you can serve. It's very inexpensive to take classes and live in a homestay. You could do classes in the mornings and volunteer in the afternoons.

Thanks for this excellent suggestion. Would you mind sharing where you stayed and which school you attended? (PM if you prefer)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Thanks for this excellent suggestion. Would you mind sharing where you stayed and which school you attended? (PM if you prefer)
There are many villages around Lago de Atitlan (which is gorgeous, with lots of good hiking). I started out in San Pedro la Laguna at Cooperativa Spanish School, which had very good reviews, but although I found the site very beautiful, I didn't have a good experience with my teachers.
I then decided to check out the schools across the lake in Panajachel, which is within walking distance to Santa Catarina Palopó. There were only two schools in Pana, and I chose Jabel Tinamit, because it felt more professional to me. I loved my teacher there! BTW, all of the teaching is one on one, and I only paid about $250 US per week for my 4 hours of instruction each day and my homestay with three meals per day! I think that I actually saved money there over what I normally spend at home.😊

The school also has volunteer opportunities that you can integrate into your day. There are also many other volunteer opportunities around the lake, like the project in Santa Catarina Palopó (which particularly appealed to me) working in animal shelters, etc. I'm thinking about going back next year around January or February.
 

Walkerooni

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
My understanding on reading the original post is that these free ticket offers were not an online scam, but something her obviously amazing husband made and stuck in her card.
If you had read the thread in its completeness, you might have seen this was discussed nearly a week ago. Is there any need to labour the point?
 

Dinah Shaw

Volcano Climber
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
I received a birthday card yesterday with three (fake) airline tickets tucked into it. I get to choose which one is redeemed. Perhaps this is a biased place from which to seek advice!!
1) a trip to Queenstown with my husband
2) a solo Camino in Spain (or maybe with others joining me, dependent - apparently- on the state of the economy and exchange rate!!)
3) a trip to Honduras with my two youngest daughters to work in a children’s home for a few months (we are currently in discussions with the home about this)
I, of course, want to do all of them.
Not much to see in Honduras except poverty. I know. I live in Guatemala which is spectacular with 37 volcanoes, lakes, Mayan ruins
 

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