Sunday, April 9, 2023

Hospitalera Report from El Burgo Ranero

This just in from Caroline Laing, one of our newest hospitaleras:

Happy Easter!! 😄✨🌸

✨HAPPY EASTER everyone!✨

So, I’ve been here now in El Burgo Ranero since March 30th, serving pilgrims on the Camino Frances as hospitalera voluntaria. My little home away from home is located between Sahagun and Léon, in the Castillan y Léon province of Spain. I am by myself here, welcoming between 8 and 19 pilgrims so far each day. I open the albergue at 1 and folks arrive one by one or in pairs, throughout the afternoon- each one having walked at least 18km since the last main town (Sahagun).
Their body language tells it all- tired, sore feet, some with new blisters.
I’ve treated a few feet!

« Holà buenos dias! Bonjour, et bienvenue! Welcome, come on in, have a seat. Buon giorno! Guten Tag!…. » My Korean is pretty well non-existent 😕!lol
They all gratefully accept a candy .

I register their name, passport or ID card #, and stamp their credencial or pilgrim passport. « Where did you start your journey? Where did you walk from today? It’s 1€ for your sheet/pillow case (disposable), and this albergue is ´donativo’. We suggest you give what you’ve been paying in the past days. This helps maintain our facility. ThNk you so much! 
« Let me show you around: leave your hiking sticks there in the corner basket, you can leave your boots/shoes here. Please help yourself to a cup of tea or infusion in the kitchen. Laundry? You may use the second sink in the kitchen or this facility outside. Lots of clotheslines. Let me know if you need more clothespins. 
Showers, toilets, sinks are here. The beds are upstairs- 4 dorms . Choose your bed! And have a good rest.
If you need to cook, the kitchen is equipped with a stove top, microwave and small toaster grill. Otherwise there are 2 restaurants across the street. They do offer a pilgrim menu for 13€ (approx $19) two-course meal incl dessert and red house wine and bottled water.
Enjoy your stay! » 😁🎒

Pilgrims come in different shapes and sizes, languages…..
Young and old…But all glad to be warmly welcomed. Mi casa es su casa. Indeed, I consider this my home while I’m here.

I like to chat with them - find out a bit about their life…   « Where do you live? »
And let people open up…..
It’s been an incredible opportunity to gently encourage… Some are between jobs, some are walking as a way to clear their heads and figure out their lives.

They come in, greeted by music softly playing through my little portable speaker!(glad I purchased at Costco!). I prepared several playlists on Spotify (no-ad account!!) before leaving Fergus. All Christian music : instrumental guitar, instrumental piano…. And Taizé music (google it!) which I put on at 7 am to gently wake ppl up! At least those who aren’t up yet 🥱

Every morning I make a fire 🔥 in the old fireplace… It’s chilly still.
Some pilgrims prepare their own bfast (food they brought the day before), others go to the restaurant across the street which opens at 7 am. A big cup of cafe con léche and a tostada! 
They’re on their way by 8 at the latest.
I say goodbye to each one- by name. It’s important to remember their names. 
I’ve even offered a prayer or a word of encouragement…. You can tell those who need it. Thank You Lord.
Breakfast for me.
Clean - sweep, wash floors, empty out garbage and take to corner garbage and recycling bins.
My own personal laundry. Sun and wind dry things fast.

I may have some time to walk over to the little store attached to the one gas station, and load up on more candy for my guests!
I go in across the street and say hello to the staff/owners: Monica, her mom Julia and Theo; to Loreina, her fiancé Victor, his mom Charro, and owner Santi (short for Santiago).

Everyday someone brings me a hot lunch - prepared and delivered by another local restaurant and organised by the town (they look after their hospitalera!) Thankful.

Time to get ready for the next group of Pilgrims…. « Lord, give me favour with each one. Keep them safe on their way here and help me to be your hands and feet to each one who comes in . »
Put on music… Music that speaks of Who God is…. Our living Hope.
May I serve ´enthusiastically out of love for Jesus and gratitude for all He has done.’ Alléluia. 
Serve one another through love. 
Gal. 5:13

Happy Easter!





Sent from my iPhone 

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