21 July 2008

Sore Feet, Light Hearts - The Aftermath

Now that we are home and have had a really good sleep, we are taking time to reflect on yesterday. We are very glad we took the trouble to be part of World Youth Day. The next WYD has been announced for 2011 in Madrid, Spain. Ariel will be 20 and Eric 17 so I think we will try to be there with me as a chaperone.
We saw that attending a WYD can be a good or bad experience depending on the group with which you attend. A good group with solid priests and chaperones can increase the good sides for all attending. The pilgrims that stayed with us had the mix pretty good. The unaccompanied pilgrims we saw at WYD showed the other options.
So we are calling one of the good priests we know who will most likely be going and arrange to be part of his group. Even if he doesn't know it yet. We have 3 years to save the money and learn Spanish.
The first photo is of Martin during the Pope's homily. The location of his hands certainly caused a few smiles. Rose also enjoyed herself using Eric's binoculars.
The children did really well with all the walking. We had to carry Martin often, and occasionally put Rose on my shoulders, but overall they walked all the way. Clare did the whole walk with hardly any complaining. Meanwhile, the less fit of us (Lana, Ariel, James and myself) all have blisters on our feet and sore hips. We are going to start regular walks to improve our fitness. If we intend on more travelling we need to be able to do so with less soreness!
As Rose had plenty of time on my shoulders or in the stroller, she decided it was time to skip as we approached the train station on the way home.  "You wouldn't skip when my feet didn't hurt, and I'm not doing it now!"
There were flags everywhere! Every nationality had their flag flying proudly and provided all geography students with an impromptu quiz. One flag I couldn't recognise which was flying in many places was a yellow one with three red horizontal stripes. I asked one of the pilgrims holding this flag and he informed me it was the Vietnamese flag - from before the communists took over.
This flag was flown by thousands of the Vietnamese refugees and their descendants. The fellow I spoke to has been in Australia over 25 years and happily explained it all to me.
This last photo is of the flag of Ferrari - the motor vehicle company. I asked loudly, "I didn't realise Ferrari was a country.  I wonder what cars they drive there?" and the fellow holding the flag laughed and waved his flag more vigorously.
Luckily, the client I was meant to visit today was the one who had the great view at the altar yesterday. He was very accommodating and allowed me to cancel the appointment so I could let my feet and legs recover. He has had a great laugh at how much fitter he is being over 25 years older than me!
We are glad we went, but will be even more glad when our unfit bodies recover.
We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of World Youth Day. We may get some more photos if "our" pilgrims send some to us, and we might then add a few more straggling posts, but we are glad to have been able to provide a glimpse of WYD 2008 from a local family's point of view.


Erin said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your accounts of WYD, the story fo the Vietnamese flag bought this memory back to me

incredibly moving story of our Faith.

Soul Pockets said...

Thank you for sharing your experience of WYD. It sounds wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God!!!Reading your blog which I discovered by chance brought back memories of my own wyd trip to Canada in 2002. My name is Antonio and I live in Dubai, UAE. Had beautiful experiences staying with good catholic families and reading some of your entries made me nostalgic..Have been following the proceedings on EWTN and the net- was indeed touched by the spirit-filled happenings in Sydney. God bless you all...

Zach said...

David, I will try my best to get some more pictures to you; So sorry I haven't been the best at keeping in touch since we departed Australia. I am getting ready to go to "UNI" as you call it down there, next Friday. Hope all is well, and by the way, you should have become a correspondent for Ewtn; your coverage is great.

Tell the family hi

Zach, Pilgrim 3

Rose Marchen said...

I am glad you all got to go to WYD. I suppose it is easier for since you live in Australia.. while I live in IL! Going Down Under was a bit out of my reach...

So glad you could go though!