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Matthew Price is hiking the Camino de Santiago for TSP

Mateo

Matthew Price

Trail: Camino de Santiago     Goal: 500 Miles
Dates: Aug 29 2017 - Oct 11 2017
I am walking my first Camino after 35.9 years of life, 8 years of supporting medical training, 6 years of marriage, 3.5 years of parenting, 2 years of graduate school, and not enough time to free my mind. I am walking for The Solidarity Project, ... more
Total
Pledges
Total
per Mile
Total
Pledged
Miles
Hiked
Dollars
Hiked
Total
Donated

25

$5.73

$2865.00

500

$2865.00

$0.00

The Solidarity Project supports Honduran leaders who create positive social change for their communities and cultivates transnational partnerships built on trust, equality, and solidarity.
Journal

10 things I have enjoyed

Astorga - Mile 337 - Sep 18th, 2017

For the next blog post I thought I would share 10 fun/enjoyable things that happened to me in no particular order.
1. Wine - Vino tint (red wine) is everywhere - at all meals, at very little to no cost, and in one part it literally flows out of a tap like water. Oh, and it is delicious.
2. La Vuelta - I still get excited when I think about walking into Logroños and seeing the stage set for the time trial for La Vuelta which is the Spanish version of the Tour de France. The Spaniards are crazy for cycling and it was a great environment, banging on the barriers as the cyclists approached and zoomed by...these guys are fast!
3. Cizur menor - is a small town right outside Pamplona. I had no idea that I didn't want to stay in Pamplona until I arrived so I blew through and stayed in Cizur menor which just so happened to be hosting their annual festival that weekend. They had a large stage, performers and the kids from the town were dancing for hours - unfortunately my blisters were too raw to join. At 6 in the morning there were still people in the street partying.
4. Tostas - You can have your tapas, I'll take the tostas in Burgos any day. Pork coated in cheese with veggies and blackberries all atop a piece of, yup, toast. Chicken, cheese, potatoes, and veggies all atop a piece of, you guessed it, toast,...yes please. This was shared my a family from Florida who adopted me for the weekend.
*disclaimer - food is fuel*
5. Peregrinos - I have met people I admire and people that make me roll my eyes. My favorite people are those who share the same walking pace and ask questions...there have been 3 - a German student studying to be a teacher, a Mexican palliative care doctor, and an Australian volunteer manager. The conversations have been personal and insightful and leave me grateful at the end of the day. I enjoy learning more about Europe and all the rich culture and history through the lives of the peregrinos.
6. History - my in-laws ascribe to a theory of don't let the truth get in the way of a good story. This also applies to the Camino and some of its oral tradition. I had one local Spaniard walk with me for 5 km just to tell me, in English, the history of the Camino he had been studying. His version differed a little from other versions I read, but it was very entertaining!
7. Crocus - I have felt great happiness anytime I see this little purple flower. Be it at the top of the hill overlooking Burgos or dotted along a field with cows grazing, the flowers keep an extremely low profile as they have no stem. It is almost like walking alongside purple grass. It had been almost a week since the last time I saw one and today there were a few poking through the gravel path. Beauty in an otherwise barren landscape. I hope there are more to come.
8. Daily prayer and memories of loved ones - be it early in the morning before I want to get out of bed or sitting quietly in a church, one of my favorite parts of the day is being in touch with each of you who sent prayers or intentions. It still humbles me to carry your stories and I thoroughly embrace the opportunity to walk with you all. I also am constantly reminded of you all while walking. Be it something I see, eat, or hear memories of, the past floods into my mind and I want to tell that person what just happened. Instead, I laugh out loud or chuckle to myself and tuck it away into my gratitude box.
9. Pastries - one such event took place yesterday. After church I was heading out of Leon and found a pasteleria open. I walked in and saw two full counters of delicious confectionary concoctions staring back at me. I opted for the one that most looked like a donut I would have gotten at Wegmans after church back home. While there was no mistaking the two pastries as the Spanish are extremely generous with their custard filling, I wondered when the last time I had that same donut custard satisfaction feeling post mass on a Sunday.
10. Walking in the dark and getting lost - one of the best feelings is throwing on my pack after gearing up for the morning, donning my winter hat with headlamp, and pushing out into the chill of morning darkness. Normally this is around 630. Because I walk by myself and it is early it is often me and the sentinels of the night. While none of the experiences have had the wow factor of Bryce Canyon this summer at 3am, I have enjoyed the campo de estrellas (field of stars and source of campostella) as they greet me. I head out of town and frantically look for a yellow arrow to affirm that the path I chose is heading towards Santiago. Sometimes it is seconds at times it is minutes, but the stride becomes a bit longer as the affirmation is received and confidence increases.
I hope to take a 2 day silent retreat tomorrow and Wednesday and will then have 10 challenges to post.
Ultreia! Mateo

Mateo

Astorga - Mile 337 - Sep 18th, 2017

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Happy birthday Lick lick! I'm joining you on your next adventure :) good news about GBR😀 Miss you tons. Be safe. Xoxoxo

Timothy Price

Sep 26 2017 8:30PM

Happy birthday Bro!! Love you!

Dawn McCracken

Sep 26 2017 5:18PM

Birthday Blessings, Matt. Thinking of you in a special way today, with lots of love. UC & AP

Penny Gardner

Sep 26 2017 04:43AM

Happy Birthday Matt! I love reading your story! Thanks for sharing! Peace, blessings (for your feet) and love. TQM, Tia

Nancy Luna

Sep 22 2017 7:55PM

Feast Day Blessings, Mateo! Thanks for your 10 fun/enjoyable things entry, and congratulations on making it to Astorga. I hope you enjoyed your retreat. Uncle Charlie and I just returned from a few days retreat a place called "Light on the Hill". We prayed for you daily (along with all those in pilgrimage), and did so today as we prayed morning prayer together. Thanks for your prayer for us, too. We love you. UC & AP

Penny Gardner

Sep 21 2017 11:10AM

Good morning, Matt. Thanks for sharing your detailed journal entry...AMAZING. Prayerfully, you met your goal of your 2 day silent retreat. Prayers abound for you, step by step, for health and safety and that you are filled with the Fruits of the Holy Spirit as you embark on the second half of your pilgrimage. One fruit in particular that stands out is JOY, which is rooted in God and comes from Him. Joy is much more "serene and stable" than "worldly happiness". (FYI...this was mentioned in Father Hogan's homily many years ago.) May God, our protector and strength, continue to keep you safe and fill you with JOY! 931 forever Dad & Mom 💙💙

Colleen Price

Sep 21 2017 03:06AM

Hi Matt, Sounds like you are having a wonderful journey with God! Will continue to pray for your continued success of good health and safety as you continue to walk with God along this challenge that you have taken on. Take especially care of your feet! Prayerfully, Nancy May

Nancy May

Sep 18 2017 09:56AM

Love the latest entry! Paso a paso! Think of you daily brother 🙏🙏🙏.

Pedro Luna

Sep 18 2017 09:35AM

Hi Matt. Happy Jess's birthday! Thinking of you in a special way today. Wondering where you are. Maybe at Burgos. I pray that your body is letting you continue on this journey in a healthy way. I know you've had several challenges. I too and thinking about your joy questions. That were Joy is kind of a Hallmark for me. Blessings as you continue hiking. I love you!

Penny Gardner

Sep 009 2017 1:10PM

Thanks for sharing stories from your journey, Matt! May the quest for conversation continue! Sending prayers of clarity your way!

Kara Uhl

Sep 009 2017 10:29AM

Loved reading about your journey! Family is my joy!

Nancy Luna

Sep 007 2017 9:07PM

thank you so much for sharing Matt - you are such a talented writer and I look forward to hearing how you explore these great preguntas. Hard to know exactly how to answer the questions but i think i have the most joy when I connect with others and am really present in the moment and am living in a way that really celebrates the core of mine and others humanity.

Jean Baumgardner

Sep 007 2017 8:05PM

Wow beautiful journal entry Mateo. Sending you lots of love and good healing vibes for your feet and legs. My wheels are turning on the 3 joy questions... will keep you posted. Please keep our family in your thoughts as we are expected to be in the path of a major hurricane this weekend. Thinking of you always on this journey. Namaste 🙏

Pedro Luna

Sep 007 2017 6:37PM

Buenos Dias!

I write from the church steps in Grañon. Tonight, I am staying at the parish albergue operated by 3 volunteers who have walked the Camino and want to support the peregrinos on the way. There are 40 or so mats spread out across the floor where we will sleep. If it is like the place I stayed two nights ago the number of people will be low and I will double up the mats. Making dinner starts at 6, mass is at 7, and dinner is at 8. As I sit here, my hand washed clothes soak in the sun and flap in the breeze.

As some of you may know, I quit my job administering the DOJ mentoring grant the day before I left for the camino. One of the thoughts most prevalent on my mind has been what will I do next? To answer this, I have spent many hours contemplating what brings me joy. Since that prompt has yielded little in terms of new insights, I decided to expand my feedback circles beyond myself to other peregrinos. After the obligatory questions of where did you start, where are you from, and how far are you going, I eventually give them the background above and ask them what joy means to them, what brings them joy, and what would others say brings them joy. My hope is that by understanding other people's experience with joy it will give me a fresh perspective.

Of course, the first night I decided to do this I shared a room with two kind Swiss women who didn't speak a lick of English or Spanish. Through hand signals I figured out they worked as Chemists and one had retired Friday. That night, I committed to finding someone to discuss joy. However, the next two days of walking I was either by myself or with a non-native speaker! Patience Mateo, paciencia y fe. Since then, I have had a few exchanges and we all agree that connecting with others is a universal source of joy. So now I have added the emphasis on work/vocation/career.

Today, I walked with Montse, a Mexican doctor who finished additional studies of Palliative care in Barcelona. She indulged my question with answers of what made her happy. I pushed further, inquiring what was the difference between alegria (happiness) and gozo (joy). She said depth and appreciated the distinction. While we reached her destination before she could answer directly, we discussed the importance of service and the hope that one day my calling or vocation will be clear to me. I told her it will probably happen while receiving palliative care. She smiled.

In the meantime, I try to take care of my blisters and attend to a gnarly heat rash which is now accompanied by pinky nail-sized pustules (you are welcome for the visual).

I think of you all daily as I start the day in bed with prayer. This helps me slow down as I am often the first person to wake up.

If you could pray for all those listening for callings or searching for where to serve next, I know a lot of us would appreciate it! And if you feel really bold, use the comments section and take a crack at the three questions - what does joy mean to you? what brings you joy? and what would others say brings you joy?

In gratitude,
Mateo

Matthew Price

Sep 007 2017 07:17AM

Praying...step by step...healing, fortitude, and wisdom to continue to see the world through God's eyes. God bless you and we love you, Matt! Dad & Mom 931

Colleen Price

Sep 005 2017 03:58AM

Your mom sent me a link to a map (not a nap...although that sounds good, too), and your note that you had reached Los Arcos. I copied the map and put it in my prayer space. Thinking of you so often, and now I have a little more sense of where you are! Looks like you are heading into wine country. Enjoy the scenery, the company, and may you have all the quiet you need. Con carino...

Penny Gardner

Sep 004 2017 2:12PM

What a great way to spend the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and beginning of the Season of Creation. We will remember all of you in our prayer service for the World Day of Prayer at St. Norbert Abbey (De Pere, WI) later today.

Steve Herro

Sep 001 2017 09:15AM

Thanks for the update, Matt. So did you start at Mile 1? Wish l had a nap of your route. May try to find it with the clues you have given.Hope you have (had?)a good nap, and your big toe lets you continue your trek soon. ♡

Penny Gardner

Sep 001 2017 07:37AM

Thinking of you and hope you arrived safely! Sending lots of love! Happy hiking! Love, Sis, Bry, & the Boopie Brothers

Dawn McCracken

Aug 29 2017 6:29PM

Just thinking of you as you arrive in France....whenever that is in EST. Trying to imagine all you will see crossing the Pyrenees and all along the pilgrim route. I look forward to your journal entries.
Love, Pej (U.C., too)

Penny Gardner

Aug 29 2017 2:16PM

Que las ansias de tu corazón sean llenados por medio de este santo peregrinación. Estamos contigo en oración y cariño. ~ Penny y Charlie

Penny Gardner

Aug 28 2017 05:20AM

Praying for you step by step, Matt! Love you!!
Dad & Mom

Colleen Price

Aug 27 2017 6:45PM

Have a good hike! Chip, Angela, Lucy, Isla

Chip Holloway

Aug 20 2017 07:35AM

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