My birthday happened to be the busiest day on Monte do Gozo since I came. In between cleaning up the shelter and baking my birthday cake there arrived a big number of pilgrims. No one expected so many people that day so I also helped Ania (a girl who works in Centro permanently) with preparing double rooms in
a pavilion, too. In addition to that, after few colder and cloudy days we could enjoy sunny
and very warm weather.
My day started with wishes from Afonso – one of the priests with whom I stayed in the convent originally from Angola. He hugged me and started singing Cumpleaños feliz. In the kitchen I was provided with more deseos from Ania, Ángeles (cook) and padre Roman. I was just about to start the banana cake when I received a text from my Belgian friend Joeri… wishing me a lot of bananas! Oh yes, Joeri (often called Banana by me) is the only person in the world who could eat only this fruit and keep happy till the rest of his life!
I was so busy during the day that I had no chance to respond to my messages directly, especially when pilgrims started arriving. First a group of three, then a team of four, a couple. One of the French ladies told their friends I had birthday and after hearing an Ooohhhhhhh! of delight they started singing Happy Birthday for me. Other people seeing this waved at me and wished me
a happy one, too.
After dinner I served the cake along with
a bottle of Rosé Cava that I was choosing for half an hour a day before. The songs (both in Spanish and Polish) accompanied again and I was glad to see everyone happy. Soon arrived also
André – a CouchSurfing friend I met a week earlier in Santiago. We went for a short walk around Monte do Gozo and later he took me for a ride.
We went to Ciudad de la cultura – a modern complex of library (Biblioteca de Galicia), archives and expositions designed by Peter Eisenman which made a huge impression on me. We spent there some time fooling around next to futuristic buildings and visiting Galician books and cartography expositions. After the visit we headed to the centre where we enjoyed a drink (albariño in my case) and went to see a photo exhibition of Ruth Matilda Anderson. She was an amazing photographer dedicating most of her time and zeal to Galicia (her photos are breathtaking!).
It was a splendid day!
In fact a perfect crowning of a quarter-century!