Training to Walk the Camino

Over the last year, I have been training to walk the Camino.   At my age, balance and muscle resilience are key to a successful walk. That, and endurance. I’m now in week eleven of twelve for training.  By the end of this week, I need to be able to hike five hours in hilly terrainContinue reading “Training to Walk the Camino”

The Scallop Shell

Many pilgrims on the Camino tie a scallop shell to their backpacks or on the laces of their boots. The scallop shell is also used to mark the route one is meant to walk on the way to Santiago de Compostela. So, what’s the deal with that? The association of St. James with scallops takes usContinue reading “The Scallop Shell”

Who was St. James?

As I prepare for my Camino, it occurs to me that I should learn a little about St. James the Great whose relics are believed to buried at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.  500 miles is a long way to walk without knowing anything about the person who has inspired millions to make a pilgrimage toContinue reading “Who was St. James?”

What can penguins teach us?

Prior to my recent trip to Antarctica, I confess that I had not given penguins much consideration.  Not beautiful. Smell bad. Can’t fly.   Really, what was the point of a penguin? Now, however, I have a new appreciation for the penguin. As our ship lay at anchor off Deception Island in the Antarctic Ocean, weContinue reading “What can penguins teach us?”

God’s Jewels

Anyone who knows me will attest that I am fundamentally a city person.  Having lived in New York City on and off for over 30 years, my instincts are well-honed and distinctly urban.  I can emerge from the subway and my sense of direction is intact. I know the most likely corners on which to catchContinue reading “God’s Jewels”

“Do not be afraid…”

Today I find myself in the Holy Land—on a pilgrimage.  This is not my first pilgrimage, nor, do I suspect, will it be my last.  Moreover, this is my 5th or 6th time visiting many of the sites on this trip.  Yet, each visit is a little different.  Each visit challenges and rewards me inContinue reading ““Do not be afraid…””

My 25,000 year-old friend

Earlier this year I visited the Peche Merle caves, known for their prehistoric drawings, in the south west of France.  Little is known about the purpose of the Peche Merle cave paintings.  There is some speculation that they were used in sacred rituals.  So, as I made my way down into the caves and alongContinue reading “My 25,000 year-old friend”

The Water and Sanitation Mystery (Part Two)

In last week’s installment of “The Water and Sanitation Mystery” my colleague discovered that, to his alarm, the project had not gone as planned. Household latrines had not been built and the one public latrine that had been built was not in use.  Most concerning, however, the community was not capturing and protecting its clean waterContinue reading “The Water and Sanitation Mystery (Part Two)”

The Water and Sanitation Mystery (Part One)

A trip report from one of my colleagues at Episcopal Relief & Development recently crossed my desk.  I find these reports extremely helpful in understanding the challenges my co-workers are facing as they visit our programs around the world.  Each of these reports is fascinating.   However, this one was exceptional: it contained a mystery.Continue reading “The Water and Sanitation Mystery (Part One)”

The Kumari’s Blessing (Part Two)

Author’s note: The second part of this story reminds us that, even after the most terrible of disasters, we can find hope and healing. I hold onto this as we count the losses of the most recent series of tragedies we are enduring. The morning after we received the Kumari’s blessing, my daughter and IContinue reading “The Kumari’s Blessing (Part Two)”