There is power in a good meal. Tonight we cooked with other pilgrims in our hostel, and the conversations lasted long after the food. We talked about everything from God to movies to potato farming (yes, potato farming). I am amazed by the interesting people the Camino brings together. One woman we ate with was a primatologist and has studied orangutans in Borneo. I never would have guessed that this blonde girl from Michigan had lived in a place where the jungle had to be cut away every day so you could walk through, a jungle where you couldn't make regular paths because the constant foot traffic would turn it into impassable mud, a place where your clothes could literally rot from moisture if you weren't careful.
And her stories are just the beginning. Everyone has amazing stories. Everyone has these beautiful surprises that you could never guess at in a thousand years, even if they don't involve exotic locales. Maybe the Camino just puts people in the right mindset to really listen. There is an affection that grows between pilgrims that is different than relationships in all our normal lives. But shouldn't we take the time to really listen to people more often? I hope I do once I get back to the states.