May 15 Remembering the Greatest in France

Not Alone on my Camino

French folks have quite a reputation for being rude.  Last year, I noticed the Spanish so obliging that I felt humbled.  If they didn’t speak another’s language, they did what they could to communicate and be so very helpful.

Now, reputation aside, what I have discovered here is an extremely friendly France.  No one has uttered an unkind or rude comment (not that I would know!), and frankly, I’ve felt quite welcome here, especially by the older folks in the country.  I even noticed a kind of excitement when they heard my accent.  The expression, “A Yank!” or “Yaunkey!” wasn’t with disdain, as a pejorative, but rather a bit of “Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here.”

French baby

But how could this be so?  Clearly, it wasn’t because of the money I’ve been dropping here.  The pilgrim travels in an austere fashion, often sleeping in an alberge for 12€ a night.  Could…

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Join my 2014 Camino – La Voie du Marie

Follow my 2014 Camino to Lourdes at http://www.caminowithcullen.wordpress.com

Not Alone on my Camino

Fourteen year old Bernadette Soubirous was the poorest of the poor.  Her father was unemployed, having been pushed out of his job as modern advances made his profession obsolete.  The entire family of six existed in the single room that had years ago been abandoned as unfit for the village’s jailhouse.  The stench of the town’s overflowing sewage was overpowering, but the family was literally destitute, and at least had a room together where they could huddle around the fireplace.  Bernadette had been sick much of her entire life, with her asthma resulting in chronic respiratory disease.  Malnutrition, the cold weather, and lack of medical care was taking its daily toll on her.  She had missed more days of school than she had attended, and as such could barely read, the homely girl was labeled “simple” by her teachers, and teased as “stupid” by her classmates.  She was poor white trash of her day.

The story would feel uncomfortably…

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Villarente, just past Mansilla, Thursday, May 2nd

As I prepare for my 2nd Camino, I’ve spent sometime looking back at my posts from last year (on CaminoWithCullen.wordpress.com ), many for the first time since I wrote them, which of course, brought back some emotional memories. I’ll be leaving May10th, so keep me in your prayers!

Not Alone on my Camino

IMG_4405 Today´s weather was just miserable, cold, windy, rainy, but I just really felt good.  It must have had something to do with the story Peter shared with me last night.  The wonderful night´s sleep in a room with 15 others, 2 or 3 always snoring allowed me to consciously process what he had said.  Wow, if he feels like he´s got so much to be thankful for, I REALLY do.

I am truly blessed with a wife that thinks I mean the world to her.  I have loving, incredible kids.  All of them.  I got to walk 19 years with our dear Cullen.  I have the utmost confidence that our loving God has him in His warm embrace in paradise.  I have a great job, I do for a living what many dream of, what I´ve always wanted to do.  I have a supportive family and a medical practice that allowed me…

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