Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Bon Voyage Party in the Works...

My sweet spouse is conjuring up a "Bon Voyage" party for me. The day before I depart for my 6 week adventures along the Camino, I will be enjoying farewells and friendship. He is a thoughtful man, my husband.

Though it is his function (he'll handle all the food and arrangements), I am sure I will have some cleaning and preparing for the open-house. It will be a fine diversion since I can think of little other than my impending trip. I depart in about 10 days! Yay!

Hosting a party is a bit of an aberration for us. We have not lived in Santa Fe long so we have few associates or friends really nor are we by nature very social people. We tend to spend our time together doing simple things: gardening, reading, walking our dog, writing or working on the computers. In recent years we have really become quiet home-bodies in many ways.

Our work with AmeriCorps*VISTA brought us here and the nature of these one-year commitments is service with an emphasis on battling poverty. The stipends are meager - a challenge to live on and a good experience in how much of the world lives...just getting by. Or as my oldest sister graciously words it: "living in genteel poverty."

Of course AmeriCorps*VISTA is about service and it is not a forever lifestyle. But coming on the tail of a few years in Ukraine with Peace Corps (also a service role) we have become accustomed to living quite modestly and frugally. Entertaining has been very casual and infrequent.

We have been living like college students for the past several years!

So the idea of a party gives me mixed feelings. Our mix of quirky associates, workmates and friends may wonder about us, when they see us at home! I use the term "home", somewhat loosely. We are actually house-sitting here. Yes we have our possessions here, but by and large, we are almost camping. I've unpacked many things, but made no coordinated effort at decorating, since this is not my house. Of course it is homey, cheerful and very casual, but not a reflection of my style. Furniture is a hodge-podge of garage-sale finds. (We are actually "couch-sitting" too - the owners are living in Spain for a year or so and the couch remains in our care!)

Upon my return from my Camino travels, we will begin a new chapter of our lives. We will be leaving behind service jobs and seeking out something more mainstream and hoping to finally put down roots somewhere. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Yes, in many ways we seem to have lead a pilgrims life for most of our lives together.

So my sweet spouse is hosting a party for me. Perhaps I should stop blogging and do a little cleaning!

If you are in the area - join us at the party and wish me a buen camino, face-to-face! (E-mail me for details!)


Tita Pat and Tito Bert said...

Hi Ginn,

Bert tells me that in the Philippines, a going-away party like this is called a "despedida" party. This pilgrimage, your thoughts, your organization is setting an example for me - thank you. We both wish you a wonderful and safe adventure.

Buen camino.

Virginia ("Ginn") said...

Thank you Pat (& Bert) for the kind wishes. Today I am off to pass out water to a groupd of local pilgrims (there are thousands) walking to Chimayo, a small village in the nearby mountains. I look forward to offering them a chair to rest on and cool water to sip. Perhaps thay will share stories with me. It will be a fine way to begin celebrating my own pilgrimage.

Life is good...

Counting Down the Days