Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hail! Hail! To Michigan...

I take a lot of ribbing from students for my loyalty to my alma mater, the University of Kansas, especially during basketball season. Those years in Lawrence had a lasting impact on my life and that institution will always hold a special place in my heart. Having said that, these past 30-plus days have been so rewarding, I must admit humming the tune of The Victors on occasion and feeling quite the sentimental attachment.

Hail! To the victors, valiant,
Hail! To the conquering heroes
Hail! Hail! To Michigan the leaders and best

Yes, we did not conquer anything but our own doubts and the only thing truly valiant about our adventure was our devoring the mystery meat served at the occasional lunch BUT, oh Michigan (and Minnesota, North Dakota, New York, Colorado & Singapore) be proud of your sons and daughters. Be proud because they rose to every challenge as a team of 11 individuals with a sincere caring for others both in and outside of our group. In the words of our dear Ryan,¨I´m not gonna lie¨, these 11 students have had (and will continue to have) a lasting impact on my life.

On July 22nd, we set out from Rabanal del Camino on a long and difficult hike very early in the morning. The presence of two high school student groups made our previous night´s sleep less than restful, yet all of the team was ready and waiting for me as I finally (and five minutes late, mind you) made it outside the albergue to start the day´s hike. No second wake up call was needed. There was no need to remind them how much time was left until our departure. No one had to tell them to pick up the trash left behind from breakfast. Quitely, sleepily, they waited. When I passed through the gate to the albergue and saw them huddled, ready to hike 30 km, I said to myself The Leaders and the Best, indeed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Andy and Annie for inspiring and leading our young people through this memorable experience of growth and tranformation! You have impacted their lives, but also the lives of us at home as we have vicariously experienced the CAMINO. We are so grateful for the safety and health of all our peregrinos at the end of the journey. We hope to meet you and thank you in person. I will miss the CAMINO but hope to remember it's lessons! With gratitude, Nancy (Paul's Mom)

8:01 PM  
Blogger Carla said...

I, too, want to thank you, Andy and Annie. This has been such an amazing experience. Have a safe trip home.
Caryn’s mom

9:32 PM  

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