…follow the blog i set up for the Cabrini – Stella Maris Province at the following link : http://cabriniwyd2011.wordpress.com
( read the reflections from the other WYD pilgrims! )
|the entrance of the school where we are staying! 🙂|
here’s one of the entries i wrote…
The excitement is starting to build as we quickly approach attending world youth day! We started our journey at 5pm on August 10th, where we (Norlyn, Mary Grace, and I) met up at SOSCFI (Save Our School Children Foundation, Inc.) to gather all our belongings, do one last final check, and get all our ducks in a row before heading out for our pilgrimage to Spain! We had a sending-off ceremony, and members of the staff, family and friends, joined in this prayer service.
As soon as we began the prayer, I got so excited for World Youth Day! It was interesting because no longer was I in high school, attending World Youth Day, as I so vividly remember back in 2002, but this time, I am older (maybe not so much wiser!), and I am bringing two of our College Scholars with me, under my wing. I reflected on how nine years later, I am returning to this international celebration, amidst thousands of other people from around the world, and this time, I am a Cabrini Mission Corps missioner. I am at a completely different place than I was nine years ago when I attended WYD with Steve Angrisano, Tony Melendez, and the rest of the Orange County parishes. Such a blessing it is to be able to return back. No doubt it will be a different experience.
We departed for the bus at 8pm and arrived in Manila around 2am on August 11th, with enough time to make it to our 6am flight to Hong Kong. As we were driving to the airport in a taxi, I realized, AH! I forgot my sleeping bag in the upper compartment! So, the taxi driver brought us back to the airport, and of course the bus we rode was already on its way back to Cubao…so, end of story – no sleeping bag for me! Completely bummed but also realizing, hey, there are worse things that can happen on this two week pilgrimage, we get to the airport, one of the first in line, and come to find out, our flight to Hong Kong is delayed five hours…which means, we miss our connection flight to France, and therefore, miss our connection from France to Madrid.
Trying to work out various schedules with the agent at the check-in counter, turns out the only available itinerary we can jump on, is to take that Hong Kong flight which instead of departing at 6am, was now departing at 11am, and then get to Hong Kong around 1pm…the catch is that, the next flight from Hong Kong to Paris, France, is at 11pm! Which meant…10 hours chillin’ in the airport. NOT FUN. Then from there, we were told we could get our boarding pass in Paris, to get on a plane to Madrid at 9:35am on the 12th, to arrive in Madrid at around 11:40am on the 12th. Originally, we were supposed to arrive on the 11th at 9:45pm. So yes, 12 hours later – not too bad…but, quite the trip!
What ended up happening, is that as soon as we landed in Hong Kong, I saw my name on this large posterboard thing. Turns out Cathay Pacific got us a room at Panda Hotel in Hong Kong, so that we can use it for the day to rest and whatnot, and we were also provided with dinner. And so, we took up the offer! Checked out of immigration to enter Hong Kong, hopped on a bus to Panda Hotel and we were given an awesome room in the Executive Suite! Pretty cool. We were able to take showers, watch TV, rest, and then before dinner, I thought it would be a good idea to go over the Gospel of the Day and say some prayers for the remainder of our travel. It was beautiful and we were able to continue our reflections as we prepared for Spain. We laid out our candles that we used from our sending-off prayer service and brought out our rosaries too. It was nice.
Dinner was delicious! It was a buffet and I think I stuffed my face – I was so excited at the variety of seafood and fruits. We checked out of the hotel, hopped on the bus, got back to the airport and we were ready for our flight to Paris. Twelve hours later, we landed in Paris, France, and I am now sitting outside of our gate. So far, we have taken airplanes, buses, and underground trains…eat, sleep, ride. That so far, has become our theme on our pilgrimage! Eat, sleep, ride and pray. Sounds like a pilgrimage to me!
Now, waiting an hour until we can get on a bus to our gate, to board our plane for Madrid – praying that everything works out! If this post ever makes it onto the blog, that means all is well. Yes, praise the Lord! We are on our way!
…and with that – the flight from Paris to Madrid went smoothly, except for the agent having no record of our re-routing. But all worked out, and the rest of the Stella Maris Province will be arriving in a few hours! Looking forward to it all! 🙂