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JOVITA SWANEPOEL RIBEIRO

Percorrendo o mundo e seguindo os passos dos seus ancestrais.

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A journey of a thousand miles…

A journey of a thousand miles…
… started with a single step about 7 years ago when the Camino became part of my bucket list.  From all the things that I still dream of, the Camino’s fire burnt the highest through the years.
The Camino, the way, is a network of ancient pilgrimage paths through the Spanish, Portuguese and continental European countryside, which ends at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, supposedly the burial site of the apostle St. James the Greater, who was martyred around 44 AD.  The route has been walked for centuries by thousands of pilgrims.  The first pilgrims were recorded around 950 AD. (source:  www.csjofsa.za.org).
Having decided on the Camino Francés route, starting at St. Jean Pied-de-Port in France to Santiago de Compostela and then from there on to Finisterre, the end of the world, this is a journey of a thousand kilometres.  The most precious commodity in today’s world is what I need most.  I have the good fortune of working for a fair and reasonable manager despite his failed attempts at multi-tasking and somewhat being on his own planet, who has afforded me the time to follow this dream.  For this, I will put up with most of his nonsense.
As mid-September rapidly approaches my to-do-list needs some serious ticking off and all I can really lay claim on is a good pair of hiking boots, already walked in; a back pack, a sleeping back; a jacket; my Pilgrim’s Passport; and a walking stick.  Overwhelmed is an understatement.

Lao-tzu literally said ‘A journey of a thousand leagues begins beneath one’s feet’ and whether the measurement is a league, a mile or a kilometre, a thousand is still a faraway place to reach. My walking stick is a beautiful shepherd’s crook, a gift from my husband and his way of blessing this journey of mine.  I had a section decorated with beads in true African style, to be a constant reminder of the soil of Africa where my loved ones are, and the single place on this whole earth that I always long for.  It will take me along the mountains and valleys of the Pyrenees, the flat plains of the Maseta Central of Castille y Leon and up to Finisterre in Galicia.  Here, in the waters of the Atlantic, I will cast an African shell and give thanks to the One who guides me.

The first step has been taken and I look forward to the many more that lie ahead for ‘through walking I find joy – through walking I find peace – every step a new discovery.  My heart is filled with gratitude’ (Susanne Schubert).

Bueno Camino!

Jovita

29 August 2013

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