Monday, August 22, 2011

WYD part 1

Rooted and built up in Jesus Christ,
firm in the faith

Colossians 2:7

That was the theme of World Youth Day this past week in Madrid.

I'm at quite a loss as to how to describe/condense my experience into a blog post(s) but I'll give it a shot.

From my notebook in the air on the way there:

Of course, as soon as I begin writing we hit some turbulence. The trip is going fine so far. I was worried about my backpack being too big to carry on - with my sleeping bag and foam roll both inside but it was fine. Interestingly, they were more concerned with number of bags rather than size. Two girls who had been in Budapest for Sziget had some trouble because they had sleeping bags and bed rolls separate from their carry ons - they each had about three things. Wizzair is very particular about having one item.. including purses/laptops/etc that most other airlines allow in addition to one carry on. I had everything in my backpack and just took things out on the plane before putting my bag up.

There is at least one WYD group on board. The priest traveling with them is sitting directly in front of me. I always feel much better about a flight (not that I usually feel bad) when I know there is a priest on board. Probably even more so than if I knew there was a doctor.

One of my goals on this pilgrimage is to actually interact with other people and not just stick to myself. That is such a challenge for me. I'm hoping that being alone - without a friend/group to find behind - that will be easier.

Speaking of friends, I'm curious to see if I run into anyone I know. When I was a volunteer in Cologne, a girl on the other volunteer team working with mine had been my babysitter when she was going to college. She came to WYD from her home in Kenya. That's the crazy type of thing that can happen at these. I do actually know one person who's here. A girl I went to school with our first time in Hungary is on the Hungarian social media volunteer team. I haven't talked to her in years but I've seen things she's posted on Facebook.

I really hope there is someone at the airport to pick me up. I called the volunteers at the parish that is hosting me and told them what time and from where I'm arriving. Hopefully they automatically knew which terminal to meet me based on my coming from budapest. If not, I've got my phone. Which I really hope is not the reason we're going through so much turbulence. I don't use it much so I forget about my phone all the time. By the time I remembered it was turned on, my bag was in the overhead a few rows ahead and we had started taxiing. Must be better about remembering that!

I hope this doesn't turn into a lonely trip. The group next to me is having a blast. I miss traveling/going to events with a youth group-type thing. If they weren't all a big group, I might be able to screw up the courage to talk to a person or two but alone compared with a group it's extremely hard. I'm such an introvert. Sigh.

(This next bit was written Tuesday night)

Just a quick note before I fall asleep. Got in fine last night. A volunteer picked me up at the airport. Spet the evening with a grad school group from Alberta. I was suppsoed to stay with a host family but we got back from "dinner" too late -- this is Spain -- we didn't start getting our food until 11:20 - so I spent the night on the floor with that group.

This morning I had to spend a few hours getting paperwork sorted out. Will have to finish in the morning because I'm exhausted => you'll see why soon.

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