This is Per Jostein. Together with him for the last five years we have walked with thousands of 11/12 year old kids on the Norwegian Pilgrims way to Trondheim.
Was I soaking wet today! Wet and barefoot and looking forward to getting home and yet..
I wouldn’t have missed it.
About 40 kids walked today.
I swear, pretty much every day, I just can’t believe how beautiful the kids are and I make new friends. Two boys keen at the front, so open, so strong, so kind. One of them invited me to stay with his family, he gave me a samosa his mum made for his lunch. The other kept winning the gold.
Well to back-track a bit, I am a pilgrim from the Middle Ages. I am walking because I am a terrible sinner and I have to walk for seven years outside England to atone for my evil ways. When I meet the kids, I’m so delighted to get company and protection against robbers and wild beasts that I offer gold (you know chocolate gold) to the first who touches one of the pilgrim crosses that mark the way.
This boy kept being the first awake and fast . But did he gulp down all the chocolate himself? No, he ate half of one, otherwise he gave them all away. Another girl this week, when she got one, she just threw it in the air for anyone to catch! That’s the first time that’s happened.
Yesterday there was another girl who also said I could come and stay. She asked me how I wash, I said in streams so she wanted me to have a shower at her flat. She had pain in her stomach since she was a child that girl.
What is pain?
I ask them, ‘Should it be easy to walk as a pilgrim?’ That’s one thing they always know the answer to. ‘No.’ they say.
Earlier this week walking barefoot was just pleasure, so warm on the rocks, so soft on the grass. But today, and sometimes when we have walked into October it is HARD. And being from the Middle Ages I’ve got no rainproofs, just the wool cloak. But I am happy now. Yes lucky with a job like this.