Why yes, it *is* a little crazy around here

Trying to get Pilgrim House ready to open during high season has been just un poco crazy! This past week was stuffed to the brim, in the best way:

– Nate had coffee with 18 pilgrims, two to seven at a time. I got to join in on a couple of his meetings, but for the most part it was him heading in to meet people. Many of them we’d never met before but mutual friends had connected us over email and Facebook. Here’s the group of seven – Stephen (far right) and his group of American pilgrims walked from O Cebreiro, about 8 days out from Santiago:

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– Danielle, Gale, and I spent 8 hours at Ikea on Tuesday getting almost all the rest of the furniture for Pilgrim House. It took two coffee breaks and 10 minutes of silliness in the mirror section to get through the day:

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This is only 2/3rds of the stuff we had to get:

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– We welcomed in our Wheaton College summer team. Luke, Brooke, Nico, and Alley arrived in Santiago on Tuesday and had a couple of days of orientation before heading off to start the Camino on Friday. We were so excited to finally have them with us! Here they are in the market in old town Santiago on a beautiful day:

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We had scheduled in two days of orientation for them. In a neat intersection of time and place, two pilgrims Nate had met with earlier in the week, Jim and Sharon P., were still in town and we were able to have them talk to the Wheaton students on their second day of orientation. Jim and Sharon had walked 41 days of the Camino, from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago, and they shared all about their experiences and what Luke, Nico, Brooke, and Alley could expect on the trail. It was great to have them here in this moment in time:

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– For the past couple of weeks, we’ve had five volunteers in Santiago helping out with Pilgrim House and with our kids. Wick, Helen, Nancy, Mary, and Hunter all have a heart for pilgrims, the Camino, and/or Spain, and they’ve been amazing assets to our team. Along with our teammate Gale (left), we had a Mexican fiesta at our place last Sunday:

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As Nate says, they’ve been great help, but they’ve been even better company, and during a break in Pilgrim House we had a totally unexpected yet fascinating conversation about which Disney Princesses do not have blonde hair. Who knew Hunter (right) had mastered the subject of Disney Princesses so well!

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– This week, as a team, we focused on laying flooring in Pilgrim House. Different teammates also had several meetings with key people such as our architect, IT guy, contractor, water service provider, and electrician. There are hundreds of details to think about and it’s hard not to feel scattered.

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– As far as the home front goes, school isn’t out yet for our kids, but it’s winding down and it feels like every day is different. Our kids had field trips, concerts, and birthday parties to prepare for and attend. And yesterday, Saturday, R had a soccer tournament that went from 10am to 7:30pm. So that was long.

– Last but not least, we got all ramped up for the World Cup and then dealt with the distress of watching Spain lose to Holland 1 – 5 in their first game in the World Cup. As far as emotions-related-to-sports go, we were devastated. They’re still our Super Team, though! We’re hoping they can at least get out of their group.

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So it was a full week! We’re getting close to opening, and praying that God would continue to multiply the work of our hands so we can be efficient. It’s also fun to be in the thick of high season again with so many pilgrims passing through. These days we meet up with them in cafes and in our home, but it will be great to one day soon say, “You’re finishing your Camino? Great! Meet us at Pilgrim House.” Soon!

 

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