Several days ago, in Zubiri, I met a Philippino/American (Gerard) who has just been discharged from the fire brigade due to injury and lung problems. He has been pensioned out and unsure of what to do next, so he walks the Camino. One week before he left America he met a girl at a party. Her father tried to walk the Camino a year ago but had to go home because he got sick. Turned out he had cancer and he died not long afterwards. Her father was a rocket scientist and was the trajectory physicist for the first moon landing. She asked Gerard to take his ashes on the Camino, so he is doing this for her. He carries a letter from her.
Gerard is sharing my room tonight and we have had very deep conversation about life and death. He has had a near death experience but can’t bring himself to tell me the details of what led to this,but he did tell me what happened. He is a remarkable person and I enjoyed our conversation. You see so many people in your daily life, but you don’t know their story unless you take the time to talk with them. I introduced him to Pastor Bob who also happens to be staying here ( Ironically, no room at the inn so he is sleeping in the stable)! We had a very lively discussion about religion and it was way too deep for me, so I left the group to write a blog.
Gerard is very funny. He found a bottle opener with a pope on it -he calls it his “popener”. There are more but they are probably only funny to me. I have been enjoying some vino tinto. My other room mate has passed out! She only speaks German so she just kept drinking!
Don’t know what we have for dinner tonight. Going down now to see what Eduardo has rustled up.