‘As always we are enjoying our time here at Emmaus and have loved meeting passing pilgrims. On our first day here we were visited by a couple from Switzerland, Marcel and Melanie. They were on day 78 of walking… They had left their home in Winterthur, about 20 kms north east of Zurich. Carrying in their rucksacks the vestiges of all their material possessions, they were walking all the way to Santiago.. and beyond to Muxia… who knows where else?
For each daily stage of their walk they had uploaded onto YouTube a short video of the places they had visited. Their YouTube channel is called meschmasch and we are included in Tag078 – see the link below
On they day they came to Emmaus, the bakery in Arthez was closed for holidays and they had struggled to get served food or drink in town. We offered to make them a baguette for their lunch and so we sat and chatted whilst they enjoyed their lunch! This explains the caption ‘wenn ich Hunge habe’. A fitting expression perhaps for this place of hospitality on the Way..
The next few days were very quiet.. pilgrims were tip tapping along but no one joined us.. but then a bit like the frequency of buses.. we had a flurry of visitors. At one point three separate groups of visitors sat together with Geoff and I in the garden.. it was a beautiful day .. each had their own story to share.. some were walking with friends, two were sisters, which was lovely.. and reminded me of my sister who if she was still alive would have loved to walk with me along the Way. We also welcomed a gentleman from Quebec who had taken advantage as soon as he could of the lifting of Covid restrictions in Canada to walk the Way..
This morning we welcomed a young french woman taking a couple of months to walk to Santiago..
So there are plenty of new faces to add to the pilgrims gallery… it’s funny how good news travels fast.. one of the visitors on our busy morning stopped by because her friend who in May this year had been here, and told her about the Emmaus welcome… she was delighted to see her friend’s photograph with volunteer Kathy..
Geoff and I have been surprised at the not insignificant number of pilgrims passing.. we get the feeling that Covid restrictions have grounded so many people for so long that now gradually, they are starting to rediscover the Way..
And so it is for Geoff and I.. we have been blessed by our rediscovery of the joy that comes with the spirit of Emmaus and the Camino.’
And here are Melanie and Marcel at Emmaüs with Sue.
Parmi quelques visiteurs ces derniers jours – Roci et Daniel, Nathalie, David, Véronique – je mentionne particulièrement Jérôme qui s’est arrêté au début du matin hier (16 août). Il est prof comme profession, ce-qui est pour lui une vocation. Entre autres choses nous avons parlé des religions différentes. Pour lui les croyances – les quatre ‘accords’ – de l’ancienne civilisation des Toltecs en Mexique sont très attrayantes. Par la suite nous avons récité la prière du matin ensemble.
Among our visitors these last few days – Roci and Daniel, Nathalie, David, Véronique – I mention in particular Jérôme who came by yesterday morning (16 August). He is a teacher by profession, something that is for him a vocation. Among other things we discussed different religions. Four him the beliefs – the four ‘agreements’ – of the ancient Mexican civilisation of the Toltecs are particularly attractive. Afterwards we said morning prayer together.
A group of six friends together with two companions-for-the-day stopped by four days ago. Unfortunately Eduardo was not in the photo as he was very tired and went to sleep on the floor of our oratory.
Then Magali stopped for a short while two days ago – a fluent German and English speaker. She was missing her three cats at home.
Yesterday Margarite and her parrain (godfather) Olivier enjoyed their lunch in the shelter, out of the hot sun that we had that day.
While today a group of eleven pilgrims, all friends from Belgium, decided to stop for their lunch. The had heard of our accueil through a mutual acquaintance and in fact as the conversation proceeded we discovered several mutual acquaintanances with Heather – mostly through the Anglican Church in Luxembourg. The three young men in the party decided to press on to Maslaq, the destination for the day, so they are not in this photo.
Few pilgrims in recent days, but a few days ago, on July 28, morning prayer was very late. Happily a group of 9 pilgrim friends – a family of six, a married couple and a priest – stopped by to join us for prayer – wondering if the prière du matin notice was a blague. Sadly I did not get all their names or their permission to post their photo here.
Then yesterday, Saturday, three (very) young ladies from Paris and Nantes stopped briefly.
Aujourd’hui, dimanche, une jolie famille – Tanguy, Séverine, Tiphaine, et Miriam – ont pris leur repas chez nous. Ils habitent un village dans l’Auvergne. Nous avons parlé de la catastrophe du Bréxit, de la Christianisme de nos jours et pas mal d’autre choses. Tanguy travail pour le Secours Catholique. Il expliquait comment l’accent de cette organisation est en train de changer de ‘travailler pour’ les personnes en difficulté plutôt vers ‘travailler avec’ ces personnes. Les voici :
Un peu de temps après Elisabeth est arrivé. Elle travaille comme prof en Tanzanie. Elle explique que, pendant son pèlerinage, elle fait le camping mais ne se sent jamais en danger.
Pourquoi nous avons toujours plus ce visiteurs les weekends que pendant les semaines ? C’est un mystère.
We returned to Arthez-de-Béarn two days ago. Yesterday, even before we had opened the pilgrim shelter, our first pilgrim arrived – so unexpectedly that we did not even get her name or photo. But she had seen the entry for Emmaüs in the Miam Miam Dodo guidebook. Here it is.
Bastien, from Hamburg, came by yesterday and eventually had lunch with us. He was walking his sixth Camino having set out from Hamburg in January seven months earlier.
He had had a difficult childhood. But while walking the Camino had started reading the Bible – initially to show Christians he met on the Way how wrong they were. But in fact as a result he had been converted to Christianity himself. He was now wondering what next to do in his life, being determined not to let his past define who he was.