We have been here at the Albergue (hostel) for a couple of days, and it was right to work! Which has been great, if a bit exhausting. We have our own room in the attic of a big old house with a maze of rooms that we are still finding our way around in. Days start for the breakfast shift person at 6 am, and that is usually one of us or the other on the schedule, so both end up awake as the other one clatters around the room on the hard floor trying to find clothes, etc to get ready to go downstairs to the kitchen/dining room! The night ends around 10:30 (last night 11 PM) for the person on the schedule who has lock up duties (and who wakes up their partner coming in to the room trying to get out of clothes and find their toothbrush to get ready for bed!)
The entrance to the Albergue. “Completo” means “full”, which we have been both days we have been here so far.
from the entrance of the Albergue looking out over the hills of the Spanish Navarre region
Some of the pilgrims waiting to register at the Albergue. There were two hostels in this tiny village, but the other one had it’s roof collapse during the winter, so we are the only one within 12 kilometers. It has been heartbreaking to turn some pilgrims away the last two days, they arrive so tired after walking all day and must press on to Los Arcos. We offer to call a taxi for them. Some have elected to just sleep outside. We have extended our capacity to the breaking point by adding some spare mattresses to whatever floor space we can find.
It is amazing to be here when I stop to think about it. We are serving with a Christian ministry called Oasis, based out of the Netherlands. We had never met anyone in this group, never even talked to them on the phone. We found them on the internet during our own walk on the Camino de Santiago last October, wrote to them, filled out applications and emailed them back, were accepted, and just showed up not knowing totally what to expect. But it is absolutely great to be here, serving pilgrims, getting to know the wonderful staff, feeling God’s pleasure and approval as we go about our work day cooking, cleaning, and serving. More details later…
from the window of the dining room.