Twelve Tribes

I spent my first two nights in northern Spain in Casa Baraca – part of the tribe of Shimon – one of the twelve tribes of Israeal. I was so excited when a friend told me about them. They have two houses here in northern spain as well as a store.

They´re basically a group of Christians who live in community – share everything! It´s difficult to explain. I had no idea what to expect, but people who have chosen the pains and joys of living and working together day in and day out are certainly the kind of people I want to spend time around.

They live very simply and modestly. Every morning one of the men goes to every window with a guitar and serenades them for 5 minutes or so. They end by shouting “Buenas Dias!” and when the response comes from the inhabitants, they move to the next window 🙂 It´s my favorite alarm clock in the history of my life (except perhaps the time I woke myself up laughing…that´s pretty fun, too) . Then at 7am every morning everyone meets to worship and dance and talk about what´s happened since they met the last time. This is followed by aerobics and breakfast and then some of the men depart for their carpentry job in the city. Others stay and begin their daily work. They meet in this same manor in the evenings – an hour of rest at 6, meet and praise at 7, and dinner all together at 8.

I spent most of my time in the kitchen with whoever happened to be cooking the next meal. We cooked and talked all morning or afternoon. We stopped often for matè breaks throughout the day or perhaps to have a walk through the garden.

My favorite part of each day was following meals. They fill three massive tubs of water and literally EVERYONE (all 30!) helps clean up. We wash and dry and sing and play and learn spanish. Brilliant.

It was really interesting staying with them because living in community is so desperately something I know I´m meant for. There were most definitely things I, personally, would like to do differently than they, but all-in-all they are absolutely beautiful people. I hope to see them again one day.

***just added the photos from the other camera***

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2 Responses to “Twelve Tribes”


  1. 1 laurenelizabeth June 23, 2008 at 4:16 am

    Twelve Tribes! We ran into some of them in Ithaca, NY a few years ago.

    Sounds like you are having a spectacular journey so far, Calais! Buena suerte y amor!

    ~Lauren

  2. 2 julie July 4, 2008 at 1:42 am

    Oh man, this is something I would love to have experienced with you 🙂


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lenticular?

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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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