13 July 2008

Summertime in Menton - the Jesus ladies

There I was this morning, walking along near to the Bastion, photographing dogs, when a lady said 'Bonjour' to me and then asked if I spoke English. 'I am English,' I said.

So meet Joan and Michaele from Oregon, USA. They told me they travel with only what you see - a bedroll and one change of clothes. I asked if I could photograph them for the blog. They were more than happy to pose and asked me specifically to say they are 'the daughters of God, and they travel in the life of Christ.' They are for peace, no killing of people or animals. I'll go along with the peace and no killing, for sure, but personally I don't want anyone telling me what I should or should not believe, and I told them this. So once they talked to me -they called me 'Sister' - and stopped telling me what Jesus said, we had a nice conversation. I really liked the two ladies.

I asked them how they manage for money and they said something always turns up. Now here's the thing - I gave them 20 euros - no big deal. An hour later I bought two antique postcards of Gorbio (for this blog) - they cost 18 euros - and what happened, I left the postcards behind in a bar. Now that's not fair, is it?

And I called the bar - no cartes postales anciennes had been found. Grrrrrrrr

The ladies told me they've been sleeping in a little corner at the foot of the Old Town, near some bins - and that no one bothers them there. I wished I'd asked them how, as travellers, they keep their clothes so white.


  1. Your story was fascinating. The are absolutely pristine. The life they have chosen to lead obviously makes them very happy.

  2. Agree with you about their not preaching to you. I'm willing to listen, but no obligation!

    Your photo is really refreshing!

  3. What an interesting story. You're right, they do look clean and shiny for people who seemingly wouldn't have the means. And happy! A free life.

  4. They look very much at peace, and yes, so very clean!

  5. I second everything said so far. In other words, "Amen, Sister."

  6. Jilly, I'm sorry about your lost purchase, but glad for the serendipity that gave us this photo and interesting story about the women. I admire that you could gracefully get past your differences and get to know them as people. I'm wondering how long they've been out and about like this. Lovely sunny photo!

  7. Love your Summer in Menton series.. my favourite is Friendship.

    And ya.. it's bewilding how the travellers kept their clothes spotless!

    Sorry to hear about your postcards.

  8. Are they sleeping on mats? I wonder how their BACKS cope! True pilgrims. Sydney is supposedly full of "pilgrims" this week for Catholic World Youth Day, but I sense that many of them have far more comfortable lives than these women!
    They are a bit like Buddhist monks, no?

  9. Jesus is obviously keeping an eye on them.
    That's the epitome of 'travelling light'.

  10. Your story was so interesting. Don't be sad of postcards, "something always turns up". You may find them somewhere else.

    You have a very nice blog.

  11. This was an inspiring story in that in the midst of all the horrors we read everytime we pick up a newspaper these ladies travel safely around the world with no apparent safety net. They radiate happiness.(and, yes, cleanliness..it's quite amazing, isn't it?)
    Thank you for taking the time to pass on their story..

  12. Anonymous14 July, 2008

    Amazing story. Thanks for sharing it.

  13. That's a very good question - perhaps they bathe in the sea with their clothes on. Or, I wonder if they're wearing bikinis under those almost blindingly white tunics? They have some very neat sandals on - I rather like the ones on the right.
    I love the background to the photo too Jilly.
    Bad luck about the postcards.

  14. hmmmmm I wonder how fun it is ultimately to travel and have no idea where your next dime is coming from. Not for me thanks...I am with you....don't tell me what to think and we will get along fine! Nice shot.

  15. I agree with M Benaut...well said. The whiteness reminds me of when I was a kid and my mother would refuse to buy me white Converse tennis shoes...said I'd get them too dirty. Thus, I always sported the navy or black Chuck Taylor's. Definitely not a tomato sauce or red wine outfit.

  16. Singular sisters! You're very generous Jilly. 20€ are no big deal, but it's surely more than they could hope from common people.
    20€ are valuable when they're used for buying postal cards that are few and unique!
    Hope you'll find other exemplaries.
    Have some good days in Italy.

  17. It must be amazing to be able to live so carefree and non-committed to material things.

    I try, in my little ways, to be less materialistic. But I need my creature comforts like a nice bed, a clean bathroom & shower, and GOOD air-conditioning. :-)

    Oh! And internet too, of course.

  18. Indeed, an ideal place to spend a quality summertime, love to explore more interesting travel posts like this one.
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