Since I returned to Arizona several opportunities have presented themselves. I am now considering my return from the Camino as the “Grand Reboot of my Life”.
I spent 2 weeks with my younger son and his family. It was absolutely fabulous to be able to share every day with my wonderful grandchildren and their parents. And I can’t even begin to describe what the daily hugs and kisses of those two angels did for this Nana. Hopefully I will be able to share time with them at least once a year from now on.
Another positive thing that I experienced was meeting a teacher from the local School for the Arts. When she learned I was an artist, she asked if I would teach a class in the School. We will talk about the details at a later date.
Since I have been home, I have become a member of the Sierra Club. The local Chapter of the Club organizes many hikes in the Tucson area. I am waiting for my membership details to arrive.
But most remarkably, Bob the New Chapter Board Member of Americans on the Camino contacted me asking if I would like to coordinate the formation of a Tucson Chapter. We spoke on the telephone for almost an hour.
Americans on the Camino is a non-profit organization whose objective is to facilitate communication within the community of North American pilgrims, particularly those in the United States. American Pilgrims continually seeks meaningful ways to support the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. To support the Camino the organization collects and disburses funds and trains hospitaleros (hosts) for the Camino albergues (pilgrim refuges). Funds raised through membership are used for the maintenance and enhancement of the Camino infrastructure, going to specific albergues being built or repaired, to associations providing services along the Camino and to other entities directly involved with the Camino. American Pilgrims hospitaleros serving in Camino albergues are trained in conformity with the training that Spanish hospitaleros receive, so that they are prepared to step in as full partners. Their goal is to promote a positive American presence on the Camino and to support this physical and spiritual journey that has been meaningful and life-transforming to innumerable people for over a thousand years.
The purpose of creating a local Chapter includes;
- Supporting the goals of the organization while offering an opportunity for local pilgrims to gather and hold Camino related events;
- Engaging pilgrims locally to promote and maintain membership in the parent organization;
- Mentoring future pilgrims; promoting the pilgrimage and the organization through social gatherings;
- And serving as a potential venue for hospitalero training.
I am so excited by this offer from the organization. I will be contacting the Summit Hut (remember this store from my many shopping trips pre-Camino?) to inquire if I can hold the first exploratory meeting on their premises. The purpose of this exploratory meeting is to assess the interest in forming a local Chapter. Bob from Americans on the Camino will send out invitations for this meeting to the 39 active members of the organization. Then contact information for the responders will be forwarded to me only after the individuals have responded positively to the invitation.
And last but not least, I have been asked to join a fellow pilgrim for his third return to the Camino. Thanks, friend for the invitation, I am so very anxious to complete another Camino. 2013 sounds like the perfect time to me!!