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What you done, for the Way, after finished the Way

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Botaivica

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May - July 2016
SJPP - Santiago - Finisterra
May 2017
Caminho do Tejo
June 2017
Fatima - Santiago
The Way is full of energy, spirituality, connections with nature and with other people. When the Pilgrims open for such a Way, they experience something they cannot experience in "normal life". At least that's what I experienced and several pilgrims with whom I am in contact.
So I wanted to give something to the Way, in turn. I wanted to bring the Way closer to the people, to show them what is the Way, how does it look like and encourage them to think that they also go too Way.
I did two things, exhibition and book.
Two years ago was the first exhibition of my photographs and to date it has been in 14 cities in Croatia. When I was preparing the exhibition, they told me to put a short text next to the photographs. That's how I started writing, and it started to hit me. That's how the book with my experience of the Way came about.

here is a link to my exhibition

So, what you done, for the Way, after finished the Way? :)
 

Attachments

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Cool post. My first Camino was from Moissac in spring 2005. I must have had a romantic concept about it as I was surprised, disappointed, to not meet any friars or nuns or seculars out there offering first aid and/or pastoral care - so that winter I upgraded my first aid certificates and the next year returned to do just that, offer first and and pastoral care to one and all, and have been doing that, usually twice a year, for the past thirteen years.

I went this year in the cold cold spring but have been unable to go this late summer but hope to be out there again in late October.

Sure - it hits us in different ways, the Way .... often changes out lives ;)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Aragones
Baztan
Invierno
Norte
I have taken the time and used appropriate opportunities to tell other people about my experience on the different Caminos I have walked. In a subdued and matter of fact way I have told them how it has geniouly changed me and the way I live my life. In a positive way.
I have tried not to over sell it nor done it in a overly enthusiastic "new born and saved pilgrim way". But just told them that if they need time to think, reflect, get new impressions and inspiration then the Camino is likely to provide.
That's my way of paying back....😊
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
The Way is full of energy, spirituality, connections with nature and with other people. When the Pilgrims open for such a Way, they experience something they cannot experience in "normal life". At least that's what I experienced and several pilgrims with whom I am in contact.
So I wanted to give something to the Way, in turn. I wanted to bring the Way closer to the people, to show them what is the Way, how does it look like and encourage them to think that they also go too Way.
I did two things, exhibition and book.
Two years ago was the first exhibition of my photographs and to date it has been in 14 cities in Croatia. When I was preparing the exhibition, they told me to put a short text next to the photographs. That's how I started writing, and it started to hit me. That's how the book with my experience of the Way came about.

here is a link to my exhibition

So, what you done, for the Way, after finished the Way? :)
The Caminos continue to give to us as a Hospitaleros. Gracias
 

jrm

Active Member
Wow! What a cool expression of your experience. I really love that shot of the pilgrims hanging clothes up on the washing lines at about 3:45 of your video. Beautiful work.

I too have shared my photographs, but it has also influenced my artistic expression in other ways. I've made stickers, and illustrations, badges, pins, and prints. Little things that remind me of my time in Spain. I love seeing how this journey works its expressions out in people after it is "finished."
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
I have tried not to over sell it nor done it in a overly enthusiastic "new born and saved pilgrim way".
I am of a similar mind to @Ferdinand the Bull, and engage in quiet advocacy on Camino matters in my local community. And add one short stint as a hospitalero.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Aragones
Baztan
Invierno
Norte
How was your experience as hospitalero, if I may ask? I'm curious about it and wondering if it might be something for me?
But I guess there are many different threads on this topic already and every hospitalero has a unique experience - both good and bad times? Because I don't believe in the purely romantic thoughts and ideas some have about being a hospitalero.
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
I was a hospitalero for two weeks in Grado a couple of years ago - and am looking for an opportunity to do it again.

I also tell people about the caminos (there's more than one!), remain a member of my national organisation, and have helped several people plan their packing lists and distance charts.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
How was your experience as hospitalero, if I may ask? I'm curious about it and wondering if it might be something for me?
But I guess there are many different threads on this topic already and every hospitalero has a unique experience - both good and bad times? Because I don't believe in the purely romantic thoughts and ideas some have about being a hospitalero.
It was fairly demanding. I was at San Anton for a week, and had both good and bad times. It is a small albergue, and I think across the six days it was open before I left, there were 32 pilgrims. Most were great, but there were a couple that were problematic.

There is a large open area where pilgrims can come in and relax without staying. A couple of Spaniards thought it was appalling there wasn't a Spaniard there, and one group from France were equally horrified that there was no-one there who spoke French. One person came up demanding a coffee, and was upset that we weren't a cafe. And by far the majority just stayed for a little while to enjoy the quiet and rest their feet before walking on to Castrojeriz.

Those who stayed came from Europe, the Americas and there was one fellow antipodean. Most arrived in the afternoon, but one night someone arrived just as we had begun the evening meal. There is nowhere else to go, so it was necessary to delay slightly to get some more food prepared. There was one vegetarian - I must admit that I always had dishes that didn't need the meat to be added early, so that a vegetarian option could be excised should that be required.

I don't know when I will be able to do it again, but I probably will when I next walk in Spain.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
How was your experience as hospitalero, if I may ask? I'm curious about it and wondering if it might be something for me?
But I guess there are many different threads on this topic already and every hospitalero has a unique experience - both good and bad times? Because I don't believe in the purely romantic thoughts and ideas some have about being a hospitalero.
You didn’t ask me exactly, but here is what I have to say: it is both very demanding and very rewarding. From early morning, preparing breakfast and then clearing up when pilgrims leave at 8 you can be busy enough, but not too busy to see each one off on their day’s camino. Thorough cleaning of albergue, washing and hanging out towels, pillowcases, bedcovers. Checking provisions, if there is a meal offered. Shopping for food and cleaning materials, not to mention loo paper. Free time includes lunch. Open doors and be ready for the new day’s pilgrims. Be there, available. To listen, to answer questions, to show where first aid box is for example. Prepare the meal, and if you are very lucky you will have offers of help from pilgrims who know how to cook! It takes its toll, over the fifteen days. It is important to take personal time after all the work is done, and before the doors reopen for the afternoon...
There is also the situation , if you are not with a companion you know, where you need to to learn to dance with your fellow hospitalera/o - and maybe even if you know your companion! - in order to put pilgrims first, and make sure that relationships between hospitaleros is peaceful. That could be problematic... play to each other’s strengths, and remember the objective: at the service of the pilgrim. I know I have been lucky in that my experience has been in the back of beyond where there is no other distraction, just the albergue and a beautiful environment. No shops, bars, hooligans of any description!
Your choice, and here is one link if you decide you might like to look at becoming a hospitalera/o. There are others in various parts of the world.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
The Way is full of energy, spirituality, connections with nature and with other people. When the Pilgrims open for such a Way, they experience something they cannot experience in "normal life". At least that's what I experienced and several pilgrims with whom I am in contact.
So I wanted to give something to the Way, in turn. I wanted to bring the Way closer to the people, to show them what is the Way, how does it look like and encourage them to think that they also go too Way.
I did two things, exhibition and book.
Two years ago was the first exhibition of my photographs and to date it has been in 14 cities in Croatia. When I was preparing the exhibition, they told me to put a short text next to the photographs. That's how I started writing, and it started to hit me. That's how the book with my experience of the Way came about.

here is a link to my exhibition

So, what you done, for the Way, after finished the Way? :)
Thanks for your post, and your lovely presentation,. A lot of work went into this!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Aragones
Baztan
Invierno
Norte
You didn’t ask me exactly, but here is what I have to say: it is both very demanding and very rewarding. From early morning, preparing breakfast and then clearing up when pilgrims leave at 8 you can be busy enough, but not too busy to see each one off on their day’s camino. Thorough cleaning of albergue, washing and hanging out towels, pillowcases, bedcovers. Checking provisions, if there is a meal offered. Shopping for food and cleaning materials, not to mention loo paper. Free time includes lunch. Open doors and be ready for the new day’s pilgrims. Be there, available. To listen, to answer questions, to show where first aid box is for example. Prepare the meal, and if you are very lucky you will have offers of help from pilgrims who know how to cook! It takes its toll, over the fifteen days. It is important to take personal time after all the work is done, and before the doors reopen for the afternoon...
There is also the situation , if you are not with a companion you know, where you need to to learn to dance with your fellow hospitalera/o - and maybe even if you know your companion! - in order to put pilgrims first, and make sure that relationships between hospitaleros is peaceful. That could be problematic... play to each other’s strengths, and remember the objective: at the service of the pilgrim. I know I have been lucky in that my experience has been in the back of beyond where there is no other distraction, just the albergue and a beautiful environment. No shops, bars, hooligans of any description!
Your choice, and here is one link if you decide you might like to look at becoming a hospitalera/o. There are others in various parts of the world.
Thank you for your honest and somewhat thought provoking answer. I have only been at few albergues with hospitaleros but now when I think about it and reflect over your answer I realise that although those albergues were sometimes modest in appereance and comfort when compared to the other ones they were also among the best when it comes to atmosphere. I think now the difference was made by the hospitalleros...and the other pilgrims who lend them a helping hand.
But how many pilgrims are actually aware of your unselfish efforts - and appreciate them? It's seems like a lot of hard work that requires you leave your own ego at the door step. That would not be hard for me but something I would have to be conscious about nonetheless.
So on behalf of all the pilgrims you have helped in so many and probably often unrecognised ways I will say a sincere and heartfelt thank you for your hospitality and unselfishness.
Buen Camino
 
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jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
I have huge admiration for hospitalero/as, as I know I could never do it myself – mentally, spiritually, temperamentally, and, now, physically. I really wish I could, as it must be one of the most rewarding ways of “giving back” to the camino. Please don’t tell me I can; we are all different and I know I can’t.

But let me tell you a story of how NOT to be a hospitalera. It was a once-off. Every other hospitalero/a I have encountered has been wonderful. It was a “municipal” in France. I arrived late afternoon (about 5pm) and the door was locked, so I rang the bell. After a while she came and let me in, and locked the front door again with a key, which she put in her pocket. She showed me where to put my boots, my rain jacket and stick, then told me to wait, as she was just checking in another pelerine upstairs. There was a plastic chair so I sat and waited.

And waited and waited. I could faintly hear them chatting upstairs. After 20 minutes I realised that she must have forgotten all about me, so I went up the stairs, and popped my head around the door. At first she looked at me blankly, then suddenly remembered who I was. No problem, I said, and she finished checking in the other pelerine, and came back downstairs with a large plastic rectangular bucket, and told me to put my backpack in it.

I looked at this in dismay, as I was physically unable to lift it with a 8kg pack inside it (I have osteoarthritis in my lower spine). I told her I was terribly sorry, but please could I carry my backpack upstairs as normal on my back, and then I will put it directly into the plastic tray once I was upstairs. She looked at me severely, and carried the tray, with the pack in it, up the stairs herself.

The checking in process took forever while she interrogated me with all kinds of questions. I am a very private person and I found her questions extremely intrusive, but I was finally allowed to go into the dorm and meet my three room mates, who were really nice; three lovely ladies, from three different countries, also walking solo, just like me. Just the four of us (and the hospitalera) staying that night.

After a long day of walking alone, hoping for some congenial company at the gite that evening, for some strange reason, having taken an hour to check in, I now desperately needed to “escape” and I headed back down to the front door, which was locked and I couldn’t open it. So I went back upstairs and asked her where the fire exit was, as I was beginning to get a bit panicky now. She showed me the back entrance, and then unlocked the front door to let me out.

I found a supermarket, bought some things for supper, hit the bar for a much needed very large glass of vin de blanc, wrote up my journal while there, and returned to the hostel, which of course was locked, and I had to ring the bell.

They were having supper – the hospitalera (or whatever the word is in French), and my three room mates. I joined them at the table with the few items I had bought. She reigned supreme, demanding that I take some of the bread. I didn’t want any bread, so politely said non, merci; she was offended. The others ducked their heads pretending not to notice. It was the worst communal supper I have ever experienced in my life. She was so dominant and we four peregrinas were, well, just trying to be good, thankful peregrinas. We really wanted to be alone, to chat quietly amongst ourselves. I got through the evening by telling myself that this was her calling, I could never do what she was doing, I should be admiring her, not hating her, but was I glad to get out of there next morning . . . after I had had to ask her to unlock the front door of course.

Sorry, just needed to get that off my chest. I am grateful, really; I just need to do a few more caminos and I’ll get there . . . working on it.

As for what HAVE I given back to the camino? Well, maybe, after taking a couple of groups from home on the camino, because, individually, they all said they “could never ever in a million years walk across Spain alone”, I am pleased to report back that some of them are now doing just that . . . and consequently learning all the lessons that such an endeavour demands of them . . . .
 

Botaivica

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May - July 2016
SJPP - Santiago - Finisterra
May 2017
Caminho do Tejo
June 2017
Fatima - Santiago
Please,

this is not a threads about hospitalera - hospitalero. Here we talk about what we did for Way after the Way.

Thank you
 

Ianinam

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2013 / CP 2018
Hospitalera at Roncesvalles:
2015/2016/2017/2018/2019
Botaivica, no, this is not a thread about hospitaleros, but for me being a hospitalera at Roncesvalles (I just inscribed for my sixth time next year) IS my way of giving back to the Camino (i.e. to pilgrims who are walking the Camino). Making them feel welcome, helping them, cleaning in the morning and taking care of their laundry in the afternoon .....

Of course - as you did - I have told many people at home about the Camino, I have showed them my photographs, but this does not give back anything to the Camino itself.
 

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)
this is not a threads about hospitalera - hospitalero. Here we talk about what we did for Way after the Way.
I'm confused. What if that IS what someone did to give back?

I collect trash while I walk. It undercuts the comaining mind that would otherwise grumble about "Some people...."
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
I have told several people in my peer and my family about my amazing experiences on my Camino francés this July. I will attend a pilgrims meetup in Paderborn next weekend.

Maybe I will be a Hospitalero after I retire. I work in school, so I have only 30 days of school holidays a year, I have to wait, it is just 15 years to go... ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Aragones
Baztan
Invierno
Norte
I have huge admiration for hospitalero/as, as I know I could never do it myself – mentally, spiritually, temperamentally, and, now, physically. I really wish I could, as it must be one of the most rewarding ways of “giving back” to the camino. Please don’t tell me I can; we are all different and I know I can’t.

But let me tell you a story of how NOT to be a hospitalera. It was a once-off. Every other hospitalero/a I have encountered has been wonderful. It was a “municipal” in France. I arrived late afternoon (about 5pm) and the door was locked, so I rang the bell. After a while she came and let me in, and locked the front door again with a key, which she put in her pocket. She showed me where to put my boots, my rain jacket and stick, then told me to wait, as she was just checking in another pelerine upstairs. There was a plastic chair so I sat and waited.

And waited and waited. I could faintly hear them chatting upstairs. After 20 minutes I realised that she must have forgotten all about me, so I went up the stairs, and popped my head around the door. At first she looked at me blankly, then suddenly remembered who I was. No problem, I said, and she finished checking in the other pelerine, and came back downstairs with a large plastic rectangular bucket, and told me to put my backpack in it.

I looked at this in dismay, as I was physically unable to lift it with a 8kg pack inside it (I have osteoarthritis in my lower spine). I told her I was terribly sorry, but please could I carry my backpack upstairs as normal on my back, and then I will put it directly into the plastic tray once I was upstairs. She looked at me severely, and carried the tray, with the pack in it, up the stairs herself.

The checking in process took forever while she interrogated me with all kinds of questions. I am a very private person and I found her questions extremely intrusive, but I was finally allowed to go into the dorm and meet my three room mates, who were really nice; three lovely ladies, from three different countries, also walking solo, just like me. Just the four of us (and the hospitalera) staying that night.

After a long day of walking alone, hoping for some congenial company at the gite that evening, for some strange reason, having taken an hour to check in, I now desperately needed to “escape” and I headed back down to the front door, which was locked and I couldn’t open it. So I went back upstairs and asked her where the fire exit was, as I was beginning to get a bit panicky now. She showed me the back entrance, and then unlocked the front door to let me out.

I found a supermarket, bought some things for supper, hit the bar for a much needed very large glass of vin de blanc, wrote up my journal while there, and returned to the hostel, which of course was locked, and I had to ring the bell.

They were having supper – the hospitalera (or whatever the word is in French), and my three room mates. I joined them at the table with the few items I had bought. She reigned supreme, demanding that I take some of the bread. I didn’t want any bread, so politely said non, merci; she was offended. The others ducked their heads pretending not to notice. It was the worst communal supper I have ever experienced in my life. She was so dominant and we four peregrinas were, well, just trying to be good, thankful peregrinas. We really wanted to be alone, to chat quietly amongst ourselves. I got through the evening by telling myself that this was her calling, I could never do what she was doing, I should be admiring her, not hating her, but was I glad to get out of there next morning . . . after I had had to ask her to unlock the front door of course.

Sorry, just needed to get that off my chest. I am grateful, really; I just need to do a few more caminos and I’ll get there . . . working on it.

As for what HAVE I given back to the camino? Well, maybe, after taking a couple of groups from home on the camino, because, individually, they all said they “could never ever in a million years walk across Spain alone”, I am pleased to report back that some of them are now doing just that . . . and consequently learning all the lessons that such an endeavour demands of them . . . .
That particular hospitallera had definitely not left her ego at the door.... ;)
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Please,

this is not a threads about hospitalera - hospitalero. Here we talk about what we did for Way after the Way.

Thank you
Hi @Botaivica OK, I think I understand now what you meant by your post - (perhaps there was something lost in the translation?) – you would like to know, once we got back home, what we did to “advertise” (not sure that’s the right word?) the benefits etc of walking the camino?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Please,

this is not a threads about hospitalera - hospitalero. Here we talk about what we did for Way after the Way.

Thank you
I am now a little concerned that you think that we should all feel some obligation to do something public following one's pilgrimage.

First, I think it should be clear that pilgrimage, if it is in the nature of a walking (& cycling / riding) retreat, is about the internal journey we take, and then continue to make afterwards. I certainly don't see the need to affirm that in public, and I think there would be many like me who might feel that that starting and continuing that internal journey is more than sufficient 'reward' to those who support the camino in more practical ways.

Second, one of the most obvious practical ways of us supporting the camino is to volunteer to help at an albergue, the pilgrim office or somewhere else where our practical support can make a difference, such as becoming more active in a fraternity. In doing that, we might share part of our own inner journeys, but may just be satisfied that helping people understand how to undertake their own pilgrimage is sufficient.

Yes, it might be nice to let people know that there are many different ways, such as serving as a hospitalero or pilgrim office volunteer, or @David's blister fixer / first aid service, and we are only limited by our own imaginations when it comes to this. And many of us are doing that every time we contribute to this forum and share our experiences to help others, and may feel no need to do more than that, because that alone is already a wonderful contribution.
 

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