Tag Archives: Portugal

Hellooooo from Portugal!!!

It´s been about two weeks that I’ve been here, and here you’ve probably been thinking that I wouldn’t post anything! Well, I hate to tell you that you’re wrong, all you naysayers, you’re wrong!!

*the writer slowly pulls her fingers away from the keyboard, realizing that calling her readers “wrong” from the getgo (get-go? get go? gecko??? Yeah, the last one is probably the right one, for sure) is probably not the best way to make friends, or to keep them, either. She slowly returns to the keyboard with a mug of tea in one hand, and laxatives in the other, to see which will best aid her in loosening the bowels of creativity and awkwardness. She starts anew.

Hellooooo from Portugal!!!

Why, hello my friends! If you haven’t already been thoroughly disgusted by my reference to bowel movements (all in the spirit of a semi-truthful blog that actually resulted in no laxatives whatsoever), and are still reading this post, I am proud to say that you are some of the strongest human beings, if not some of the craziest.

*once again, said writer raps her hand with a ruler. “How dare you be so rude to your readers!!” She sets the measuring device down next to the delightful drink selections, then begins once again.

As I was saying before I was so rudely being rude, I have been in Portugal for exactly two weeks now. Well, technically, I’ve only been in Porto for one week, since I did the Camino the first week (well, more accurately for four days, but still). So I started working here at the refuge since last Monday, and have gone on a few sightseeing excursions around Porto. Basically, it’s been pretty busy, yet not busy. You’ll see what I mean in a little while.

Well, first of all, we (and the “we” refers to my mentor and intern-training-extraordinaire, and a fellow extraordinary already-trained-by-the-intern-training-extraordinaire-July-Intern) did the Camino for a week, or as my mentor and intern-training-extraordinaire calls it, a “mini-camino”. We started out in Pontevedra, Spain, then made our way up to Santiago, Spain, which is only about 65 kilometers away (that’s 40 miles, but it sounds much better to say it in kilometers). Other pilgrims that we have met have come all the way from Porto, or even Lisbon, which can be around 250 miles and more.

When walking the Camino, we developed a very specific routine: wake up around 5 am, start walking at 6, take a break at a cafe at around 10 or so, then arrive at our hostel around 1, or even earlier. Then, after the refuge managers stamped our credentials and showed us our beds, we would set up our beds, shower, then take a nap for about 3 hours- all in no particular order. We would joke as we were walking during the day (or racing, more like) that each person we passed was a bed that we just gained, since the pilgrim’s refuges were first come, first serve. At one moment, I was at a breaking point with such a low amount of sleep, lots of back pain, and hip blisters, that I began to growl hysterically as we were climbing up a hill, to try to keep in front of a large group of Spanish kids. “AAAHHH!!! We need those beds!!”

I also think I’m a bit competitive naturally, so that could’ve been it. Though it was hard to silence that voice upon walking the last few kilometers to Santiago, since we wouldn’t be staying there overnight.

So without further ado, here’s a few pictures from my Camino!

The day before we began. I'm clearly very confused about how pictures work.

The day before we began. I’m clearly very confused as to how pictures work. To my right is the extraordinary already-trained-by-the-intern-training-extraordinaire-July-Intern, and to my left is my mentor and intern-training-extraordinaire.

photo 1

This is where we stayed for the 1st official night of the Camino. We got to meet so many new people!

photo 1 (1)

Walking into Valga, the town that never seemed to end. But hey, there’s some nice views every once in a while. I think this one was the worst. 

photo 3 (1)

Only 16.2 kilometers left until Santiago. Woohoo!!!

photo 4 (1)

Corn fields and vineyards- a combination I never thought I’d see in Spain.

photo 2 (2)

I see Santiago!! There it is! There! Right! There!!! 

photo 3 (2)

Oh. The Cathedral is under construction, and apparently always is… oooooookkkaaayyyy….

photo 4 (2)

Inside the cathedral. Quite nice actually. Freakin’ crowded though. 

photo 3 (3)

Inside the cathedral, with the thurible, which we unfortunately didn’t get to see at work.

So that’s basically it. I would tell you more about Portugal, but that might have to wait a little bit. One can only digest so much at a time (and one only has so much laxatives… jk. This one really has none, but one has to keep the gross theme comin), like parts of the Camino. But anyways, here are a few things that I’ve realized in the time that I’ve been here:

  1. The Francesinha is a lunch/ dinner of Champions. The Francesinha–which means “little french lady” for reasons I don’t quite know of yet– is a traditional sandwich comprised of bread, ham, two types of sausages, steak, ham, bread, egg, cheese, then a spicy, tomato-based sauce on top– all of that from bottom to top. Plus fries.
  2. I’ve been folding fitted sheets wrong my entire life.
  3. Sleeping on the job has never before been allowed, but here, it’s never been easier, or more accepted.
  4. I can pretty much butcher any and all languages, even English, even though I studied both English and Spanish in college. Yup.

And yeah. So this time, that’s actually about it! I wish I could say that I have a poem for you, believe me, I tried. But you know, sleepers gotta sleep. And poets gotta poet… yeah, that’s how it goes.

Night all! And keep away from those laxatives now.

T-minus 19 hours and 2 minutes until I leave for Portugal!!!

AAHHHHH!!!

Ok, so I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off today, trying to finish packing- aaaaannnd I still have quite a few other things to do tomorrow.. but it’s ok, it just means that I’m that much closer to being in Portugal!!

I don’t think that it’s really hit me quite yet, that I’m going on a mission trip to Portugal- a mission trip, where I’ll get to walk the Camino de Santiago for a week, then meet, greet, and eat with pilgrims of that walk for the whole duration of a month. How cool is that?

Do you know what’s even cooler? God couldn’t have been more clear about His plan for this. As of right now, I am FULLY FUNDED for my trip!! In just a short span of less than one month, God has spoken through and inspired many people to donate towards my trip (thank you so much to all of you who have, by the way!!), and even came through on my plane tickets, which ended up being around $300-$400 cheaper than the budgeted amount. He might as well have come down with chariots of fire and told me Himself- He has been that obvious. Ok, ok God, I guess I’ll go…. if I reaaaally have to….

I think that’s what this experience has taught me so far: when God wants you to go somewhere, or to do something, you’ll know. I was very unsure about the trip in the first place, because I was uncertain about my entire future. But as I pursued it with caution, I had no closed doors. I was accepted to the internship, sent out my letters and received gifts from friends and family members, and had two very successful and encouraging bake sales. It couldn’t have been more clear. He eliminated those doubts, and pushed me through those open doors- ok, maybe not pushed, but more like a little love tap- a little tippy tap tap tap-ed through the doors (a few of you might know what that is in reference to- let’s just say there’s some putting involved)..

“Ok, so that’s all I should write,” she wrote- or I wrote. ‘Tis 2 in the am, and I’m going to be quite busier than a bumblebee baking a banana batter bake (wait, what? that doesn’t even make any sense…).

Now, I’m at 18 hours and 36 minutes before I depart. And I know what you’re thinking, “wow, that’s very specific and skilled! How do you even know that? You must be excellent in Math!” And I would answer, “Why no, I am not, actually. I still depend on calculators to tip at restaurants.” But then I would explain my excellent negotiating skills that allow me to coerce Google to tell me everything that I need to know.

or….

… it just shows up because I have a Google account because Google can keep me accountable. Oh how I can always count on you, Count Google!

Well now, it is getting much later, and I am getting much weirder. Ta-ta for naww ma frahnds!

Back on the grid! Yet about to go back off.

Hey guys!!

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, life has just been too crazy… crazy awesome!

For one, my sister just got MARRIED!!! Here’s a pic of us siblings (and our new bro) being all adorable together.

Ohhh yeah.

Awww yeah. We’re cute. 

So yeah. Seeing my sister/best friend get married to her high school sweet heart of 8 years was probably one of the best things I’ve ever seen/been a part of.

Other happenings is that I got accepted to go on an internship/mission’s trip to Porto, Portugal from around July 18th to August 16th this summer! I will be working with the pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago, which is a trail that winds through many parts of Spain, Portugal, and France. As an intern, I will be welcoming the pilgrims to the refuge (pilgrim’s hostel) and the city of Porto, and serving them dinner. I will be walking the pilgrimage myself for about a week of the time that I’m there, so I will be able to share my stories as well as hear theirs. This will be an excellent opportunity to share Christ with them because as part of a pilgrimage, most people are already open to spiritual exploration.

Like any mission’s trip, I do need to raise support. I’ve added my newsletter link into this post, which also includes information on how you can be a financial partner with me. I’ve also posted a link to the donor site if it doesn’t work through the newsletter:

Jennifer Davies Portugal Newsletter

http://www.encompassworldpartners.org/missionaries-giving-list

Anyways, that’s my life in a nutshell. To end this post, I decided to include a poem that I had yet to post. I wrote it for the “Poem a Day” contest in April with Writer’s Digest Magazine, which was very challenging, but extremely rewarding. And hey, even though I couldn’t complete the contest, I got 22 poems out of it, so that’s pretty great!

I will have to warn you though; this poem is pretty sad, but it might be one of my favorites. And it talks about traveling, which I will be doing really soon, Lord willing!

A Trip to the Seashore

***

It’s time to bid you goodbye.

I tuck you in for the night

and make sure you have your ticket to ride.

***

Slowly, I tuck the ticket under your lapel

and ready your bags by the table

for as soon as you’re able.

***

You fill up on your fluids; it might be a long journey

to go to the sea, but you’ve got everything you need

from your suit, to your goggles; even your khakis.

***

You’re asleep, from what I can tell

Your eyelids flicker, as if dreaming or under a spell

I’d be happier if you were all well.

***

“It’s time to go, you might be late,”

I say to you, and nudge you awake,

“You don’t want to leave the others at the gate.”

***

You blink your eyes slowly; your breathing is steady,

but you look to me as if you are ready.

my legs begin to feel unsteady.

***

“Goodbye my darling,” I say with a smile

and turn to reach for the nurse’s dial.

“I’ll see you on the other side, though that might be a while.”

***