Las Posadas is celebrated in Mexico and many other countries, from December 16 to December 24. Two people dress up as Mary and Joseph. They travel each night to houses which are designated to be an “inn” (Posada).
Knox United Church has a trio(+) of travelers, Mary, Joseph and a donkey, Pedro, who are signed out to go to homes during the time of Las Posadas.
The downloadable attachment is a fun game of finding Pedro, along the lines of 'Where in the World is Waldo". We hope that you enjoy it and this lighthearted exchange about "finding shelter" ( or Las Posadas in Spanish).
The following is an extended email conversation, from over the course of a few days. What began as a simple email from a congregation member (hitherto known as B&B Owner), attempting to sign up for 2 days to host the trio(+),escalated to a back and forth communication with the person doing the scheduling (hitherto known as Travel Agent – TA) which became more and more involved, and silly, over the next days.
..........Sent: Dec. 10, 2013 at 10:55 AM
We would like to change the dinner dates with the Holy Family. Are the 16th and 17th available?? If not, would you please tell me which connecting dates are possible.
..........Sent: Dec. 10, 2013 at 5:05 PM
I have sent an email to the others who were on the 16th and 17th and have asked if they can do a change. As soon as I hear back I will send out an email.
Travel Agent to Travelers and Donkeys
..........Sent: Dec. 10, 2013, at 5:28 PM
Thank you for your prompt attention to our problem. As Bed and Breakfast hosts to this humble traveling family (and their donkey) we do appreciate your effort to accommodate us.
*PS Do you know what donkeys eat for breakfast??
...........Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 5:49 PM
Dear B&B Owner,
Our agency appreciates your B&B accommodations and wishes to keep your services, and so we are delighted to assist in scheduling issues. You will be pleased to know that this scheduling conflict is resolved, in your favour, and you should now book your guest rooms for the 16th and 17th of December. We know that this is a peak travel time for those seeking Inns.
The information we have is that Pedro, the donkey, is very fond of Granola for breakfast, but since he is somewhat challenged keeping it in his mouth, (he tends to bray while eating), it is best not to give in to his food requests, and just let him graze on the house plants. Please keep him away from Poinsettias (poisonous to animals) and the Dieffenbachia plant (causes paralysis of the vocal cords - although if he brays at night it is a helpful hint).
I have had some requests for lodging by three gentlemen, named Melchior, Balthazar and Caspar, who may be needing lodgings in early January. Please advise me of your availability. They would require a royal suite of rooms.
Travel Agent to Travelers and Donkeys
..........Sent: Dec 10, 2013, at 6:50 PM
Dear TA to T&D,
Once again, thank you for adjusting your schedule in our favour. We have booked a room for the travelers and will note your safety suggestions regarding the donkey. I suppose we should get used to calling him Pedro if he is to lodge with us (inside our home, I might add).
With regard to your enquiry about our room availability in January, I feel I must be straightforward in advising you that we will expect payment if we have these 3 gentleman stay with us. I mean, we are quite happy to subsidize the room rate for the young couple, but we really can’t be expected to do that for all and sundry, can we?? We would prefer payment in gold rather than with any of the smelly perfumes and oils these folks often carry with them. Please consult with your clients and get back to me with firm dates and method of payment if they are interested.
Thank you again for recommending our B&B to your clients.
..........Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 7:04 PM
To B&B Owner,
Thank you. I have forwarded your comments, and await a response from the three gentlemen. Though they live a nomadic life, they are quite wise, and therefore savvy with computers.
I suddenly had a thought - an epiphany if you like - that they might be willing to set up their tents in your backyard, instead of rooms. The camels, of course, could reside in the garage.
I will communicate with you as soon as I have heard from them. They are traveling right now, and as WiFi may be hit and miss for them, I may not hear from them for a day or two.
TA for T&D
..........Sent: Dec 10, 2013, at 11:11 PM
Camels!! You did not mention camels in your earlier email!! First you expect us to house a donkey and now there will be 3 camels??? I think not! Please contact your clients ASAP and tell them that, unless they can find alternate boarding for their camels, we will not be willing to host them. On second thought…….how much gold did you say they were bringing (you did mention that didn’t you??). We may still be open to accommodating them if the right price can be worked out.
Where are they heading from here? Are they following Yonder Star or just using GPS??
We await your response.
..........Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2013 8:36 AM
I wish to clarify a piece of information. I did not bring up the idea of gold. You did! Where did you hear about gold connected with the three men? You mentioned oils and perfumes, as well. You seem to have a lot of information, yet I don't know how you have attained said information.
At any rate, I have been in communication with the three Gentlemen. They were in a WiFi blackout area for a while, and had also run into some challenges crossing the border into Canada. It seems there are quarantine laws about camels, (who knew?), and then there was some issue arising from Melchior's camel supposedly spitting at the border official - all unsubstantiated rumour, mind you.
Getting back to the issue of your B&B and the camels, I apologize for making the assumption that housing the camels would be fine with you. I made the assumption, since you are welcoming the donkey, Pedro, into your home. It turns out that the camels, once they are released from quarantine, will not actually be coming to your area. Their owners are keen for them to be given more luxurious quarters than a garage with one of what the men call “city camels”. It would be crowded for three camels, and uncomfortable, unless you are willing to leave your car on the street and import hay for the floor. Hence, the camels will be stabled in the Southlands area, where some horses have graciously offered to give up their stalls for the day.
Would it be possible for you to have a car meet the gentlemen to take them to your B&B? They will have been traveling for a long time. That brings up another issue, and coincidentally answers one of your questions. They DO travel by Yonder Star, and therefore, their travel is at night and they sleep during the day. Would you be able to ensure a quiet household for them to sleep? Pick up at the stable would be around 6:00 a.m. They would sleep most of the day. Breakfast would be at about 9:00 p.m. Then transport back to the stable would be appreciated. The men will be anxious to brush down their "pets" and be on their way. (Any help you might like to offer in this task would be greatly appreciated. Bring along your camel brush.)
Planning itineraries is so challenging when dealing with royalty.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
TA to T&D - and affiliated Kings and Camels
Sent: Dec. 12, 2013 at 7:50 PM
Dear TA for T&D and AK&C,
My husband and I have always said that rich folk seem to think they are better than the rest of us and it appears that your latest clients are proving us to be correct. I am not at all surprised to hear that they have a poorly behaved camel and I highly doubt that this is a rumour.
And how do you think they will be paying us?? I suppose if they are into WiFi and all that technical nonsense they will be wanting to pay us with bitcoins. Well, they have another think coming. Gold or not at all. Anyone who can travel with 3 camels and stable them in Southlands can surely come up with enough gold to pay for rooms.
As for their additional requests, they just prove yet again that rich folk and royalty think the world revolves around them! Did their mothers not teach them to be considerate of others and to follow local customs when traveling?? Our household cannot be turned upside down for these 3 men. We can easily fill our rooms with common folk. Interestingly, we have recently had a lot of requests for accommodation in early January. Many people seem to be coming here to visit a newborn child. Have you heard anything about this? Has the baby been born yet? Is it a boy or a girl?
We would be much happier if you could send some other travelers our way. I think we will say no thanks to your royalty. May I suggest that more suitable accommodation may be available for them in the Southlands or Shaughnessy area of the city. They may even find a B&B that could provide them with a car and driver while they are without their camels. If they are not bringing oils, perfumes, gold, etc. with them, and if they are in need of gifts while they are here, I could tell them where a new store called Walmart is located. Another possibility would be to use the Shopping Channel.
Good luck with placing these 3 rich guys. We are looking forward to our time with Pedro and his owners. Will let you know how it all shakes down.
Sent: Dec. 12, 2013 at 8:30 PM
Dear B&B Owners,
I am looking forward to hearing how, as you say, “it all shakes down”. Please be sure to fill in the survey about your experiences with your guests. This will be most useful for future bookings.
Oh, by the way, how do you feel about shepherds? The flock is just a small one……
TA for T&D and AK&C