So still and light – not a shadow in the sky, nor even a murmur from the fauna. We entered the 400 year old monastery dining room with some respect. I chose bits and pieces from the simply laid out offerings before me and went to sit when this very courteous and confident 45 year old approached me. I liked his energy as he greeted me – “I’m Trevor, you’re a pilgrim are you not”? I find this term difficult to own, as I’m not in the truest sense of the word.
We sat and this seemingly astute corporate like person soon brought us into his reality. He was part of a group of men touring different countries promoting their tried and tested, (for many), programs for addictions. Trevor had lost everything – his family, his job, his home, the lot, through alcohol. Ten years later he is doing well, and this is what I saw. When I met him.
He is part of a program called Fadenza da Esperanza that is based on using your situation as an opportunity to bring about change in yourself and then slowly and quietly helping others help themselves through this philosophy. We had an inspirational chat over breakfast then gave our hugs and kisses to the first ever Swiss person to ever complete this program.
Our lively chat did not help our direction finding ability as we went half a kilometre in the wrong direction. We soon found it and climbed and climbed for an hour and then downhill for 5 hours through stunning countryside. The Alps soon appeared and we were now seeing snowy mountains in their fullness, They looked even more stunning with their massive green carpeted foreground.
The plethora of variegated hills and valleys provided scenery that could cure the pains of constant walking. We took breaks on the red benches that were provided to also replenish our energy. We chatted to a person walking the other way who was amazed at the small pack we were carrying – very impressed.
We started with the optic man. I asked him if he spoke English, He said only ‘hello’ and ‘I love you’. I said you don’t know me well enough for the second part. He then happily told me where I could find accommodation by having his customer translate. I then thanked him, told him that I now loved him and followed his directions.
We couldn’t find the town council he recommended, but after getting the telephone number from the bakery girls, then ringing this very patient finder of beds, and more directions from the florist girls we ended up staying in a gorgeous home overlooking the Alps with Margaret, Kurt and Gypsy the cat. We learnt a lot about the Swiss over dinner and look forward to chatting and laughing with them again over breakfast.