Post 9 – June 14, 2018. The Camino de Assisi. I lost everything, day pack, laptop, all important documents, and then . . .

The Camino de Assisi. 
The Way of St Francis.
Italy: From Florence to Assisi, then on to Rome. Trek For A Dream.  
Post 9: June 14, 2018, Thursday.  
Florence, Day Two.
I lost everything, day pack, laptop, and then . . .
It’s fun to pray for other peoples’ dreams.  

      It is, really, fun to pray for other peoples’ dreams. Who knew?  Well, most of my 300 friends know, and all my Dream Center friends know, but me?  Maybe I forgot to a certain extent. It’s quite nice to stop this incessant worrying about my . . . self.  So, this morning, I headed off to get to the Basilica of Santa Croce as soon as possible.  To pray, but, I admit, to get my first stamp!  For my Pilgrim’s Passport, yes, my . . . Credenziale del Pellegrino.  Very important to collect the stamps along the way, so that I can qualify for my Certificate when I get to Rome.  So, I made it to the Basilica, and made my way to the bookstore, and received my first stamp.  See the picture below.  The lady was so happy to see the first pilgrim for the day, not just another tourist.  And then, a monk appeared out of nowhere, and gave me a great blessing, a prayer, oil for my forehead, and the Prayer of St. Francis, for safety, and blessings for my great journey. Whew! That was a lot . . . and a great start.

      In the Basilica I laid all the prayer requests at the altar, and also in front of the Statue of St. Francis.  Knelt down and said a prayer. It all went quite well.  A special shout out to Stephanie Lentz and her prayer request: “My dream is to serve anybody that needs my helping hand, and to show God I will serve Him as well. . . . ”  And to Byan Linares (sorry spelling ?) and his prayer request: “. . . My dream is to one day be the best father that I can be . . .” and much more.  I’m really glad that God can read everyone’s handwriting. Amen. I’m doing the best I can.  And then I asked a passerby to take some photos for me.  I especially like the ones (I have a few) of people stopping at the small altar and reading the prayer requests I left there, briefly.  Many people were inspired.  Why didn’t we think of that?  Who inspired you to do that?  Where are you from?  I had a lot of explaining to do, and what a joy.  More people knelt down and prayed. And when it all simmered down, I headed back to my pew where I had left my day pack, with my laptop, all my essential documents, everything . . . .  And, it was gone.

      Everyone came to my rescue, looking for my day pack. Remember, the basics, all international trekkers, have a day pack, so that they can leave their back pack back at the albergue, monastery, hotel, or wherever they are staying.  We need a day pack for the day treks, walks, adventures–but, keep an eye on it.  I couldn’t find my day pack for quite a while, and everyone was helping me in the Basilica.  Then I was directed to a security guard and we asked for his help.  He hopped on his walkie talkie and said “No, blah, blah, blah,” something in Italian that I wish I understood, while thinking I wish I could speak Italian if I’m going to go on a trek in . . . Italy. So he heads off, and yells back at me in some version of English, what color is it, and I say, black. Black! And he heads off.  . . .  Well, for an eternity, I sat there, thinking. . . wipeout. How stupid of me.  But . . . then two security guards appeared and looked at me, while some new friends stood close, and said: “Blah blah blah Francesco, blah blah, something something, some more blah blah, Francesco . . . ” but they were saying it quite nicely . . . and then they started talking to me again . . . “blah blah, Francesco . . . ”  and they signaled.  And another guard came, with my day pack. My new friends interpreted, which I re-interpreted for my own use:  “What an idiot I was to leave my day pack on the pew in the Basilica.  Francesco was looking out for me.  He was always misplacing things.  Never do that again!  You stupid American.”  I took liberty with my own interpretation.  But I stopped shaking and was glad I had my day pack again.

      And, I can send out more posts like this.  I have to tell you, I then headed off to hang out with Michelangelo.  He’s buried in that Basilica.  I needed some time to lick my wounds.  But, I had some new friends who had a lot to tell me about Michelangelo. I asked him for help with my writing. A few tips. More on that tomorrow.  I promise, I will improve.

      Amen.  I made it back to the monastery.  I want credit for about 50 miles already.  Please someone donate $1.00 or so for my friends at the Dream Center.  It all goes to them in the program.  Not one penny for overhead.  Anything! Please . . . I’m desperate.

      Love to you all,

      Tom whatshisname.


My first stamp at the Basilica of Santa Croce

Prayer requests at the altar.

Notice the prayer requests.  I gathered them back up, when I got my day pack back, and they are still with me.

New friends reading the prayer requests.  They were inspired and wrote their own requests, knelt down, prayed, and well . . .