Blog 9 – Train Tickets to Lourdes
Last night, Carmen helped me find what appears to be the cheapest and best way for travel to Lourdes, France. Thankfully, ‘local’ trains are easy to use and more affordable than taking an international flight, train, or bus. Tomorrow I will be traveling via three different trains through the different local networks within Barcelona, the Pyrenees, and in France. The ‘local’ connections are about three hour rides with changes in La tour de Carol and Toulouse.
Let you know how it goes…
Today I was roaming the final must-see stops in Barcelona with some of the Catalan youth. We spent the afternoon visiting Plaza de Espanya
and Montjuic, which are both located in the heart of the city and both offer amazing views of the city. In making our way there, we also made a few stops to try to obtain a few more stories for the website. It is at this moment that I would like to preface this next paragraph with a semi-perturbed and distraught up-side-down smiley face.
My experience so far with the people of Spain, more over, the people of Catalunia is this: amazing and very friendly yet… uneasy and tentative in front of a camera, yet welcoming nonetheless (NOTE: if you disagree let me know, but every Catalan I ask has told me the same). My time collecting stories for OneBillionStories.com as a Video Missionary has only been very brief here in Spain. So far, most of my time has been spent learning the language, the culture, and the people. What I have learned is that the language, the culture, and the people are all wonderful, but it has been very difficult to convince people to share their personal story from within the Catholic faith for all of you to hear.
Therefore, my experience of collecting stories has been quite different than expected. Trying to take a lead from our man Seth James DeMoor, I came to Spain hoping to be able to rely on the generosity and openness of others to allow a stranger with some business cards, a name, and a website, use a video camera to promote this mission. While it might have more to do from being an outsider and not being from this country, or something wrong in the way that I have been asking for stories or the manner that I present the mission, or just a numbers game with very bad luck, to me it seems that there is something else at play that keeps people shy and out of the camera here. Out of seven nuns, a bishop, four priests, two seminarians, and about half a dozen lay people that I have asked, only four of them wanted me to film them. All of these meetings have been greeted with loads of generosity, but usually after asking if they would like to share their story, the subsequent response seems to almost always be “…are you sure you’re not one of those crazies?”
Is this distrust the result of a civil war still fresh in people’s memories? Are there a higher proportion of individuals who suffer from identity theft and fraud on-line here? The good part about this however has been that the stories I have been able to collect have been from those I have been able to get to spend time with and know well and have been very grateful to be able to have met them.
Au revoir … until Lourdes