I am on the bus from Lugo to Madrid. Not too much to report over the past week. I was worried about the handoff to our successors, because Michael had to leave early on the morning of the 15th, and I had no info when our successors would arrive. I needn't have worried. Jesús arrived early morning on the 14th and Juan later that day. And both had already served several times before. Michael and I had ample time to pass on our personal suggestions about the albergue and monesterio. Jesús and Juan were not much interested in the Samos cleanup procedures that my predecessor Migual gave me--I'm sure that they had their own established patterns after several postings. I got into the Taxi for Sarria at 7:30 this morning, confident that the albergue was in good hands.
A very nice lady of unknown nationality came up to me in front of the Albergue a few days ago. After a bit, she started searching in her coin purse. To my surprise, she pulled out a muñequito, just like the one I wore around my neck, and held it up for me to see. Una Hospitalera! We hugged, chatted a little, and she went on her way.
And just 2 days ago, a very tried Peregrina came in, looking absolutely beat. I gave here a glass of water, and assigned her a bed. She headed over to her bunk to rest up, when I noticed the cookie package that thoughtful Michael had bought to hand out to the peregrinos, with just one cookie left. She accepted gratefully when I offered the cookie. Not quite the end of the story. The next morning she came over to me at the table and asked if I'd stand with her for a photo to remember me by. Michael joined us while a peregrino snapped a photo with her cell phone. It's a wonderful feeling knowing that you've been able to help peregrinos.
I will close these notes for now with a heart-felt thanks to Mary, Monique, Daphne, and all my classmates for preparing me for this wonderful adventure. And to Michael, my compañero, and to Miguel and Manuel for their patience in bringing a new Hospitalero up to speed. And to all the Peregrinas and Peregrinos who make the Camino the incredible miracle that it is.