The weather is cooling, but things are warming up at Peaceable Kingdom in Spain.
The pellet stoves are being installed next week at Monasterio Santa Cruz in Sahagun. Your on-the-spot generosity has the Marist Fathers' project a full six months ahead of schedule, and will endow the Benedictine monastery with a notable infrastructure upgrade.
Up next: Portugal! I am traveling to Albergheria a Velha next weekend to give a talk about Camino Hospitality, and while there I hope to sell the Portuguese on Ditch-Pig style cleanup operations! The Camino Portguese is experiencing a great boom just now, and the people "on the ground" are a bit overwhelmed by it all... no one has ever done a comprehensive cleanup on this camino.
So on Nov. 25, Ditch Pig volunteers will gather in Oporto and set off on the trash trail, armed with shovels and bags and a map of the "black spots" between that city and the Spanish border. We'll clear up the worst of it, and if time allows we'll double back and sweep south to clean up the space between. I hope to have some local volunteers join us!
Meanwhile, just outside Astorga, PPI has installed two new memorial stones at the Pilgrim Memorial Grove. We're shifting all but the Denise Theim stone to a vertical placement along a wall in the park, so maintenance workers can better care for the trees. (our concrete placements were damaging their roots!) Sometime in late August or September, another stone appeared in the park, memorializing a Greek-American pilgrim who cleared up trash along The Way. We do not know who put the stone there, and we don't know if the pilgrim died on the Camino, but we're mounting the stone on the wall alongside the others. We obviously need to mark the site and better explain how it functions... a project for 2019?
Thanks to all of you, it's working!