Tuesday July 15--This day marked the official beginning of the World Youth Day festivities. For me, it started at 4:30 AM! Anna, Lisa and I were going to get our breakfast in Marrickville at St. Brigid's Church. It would have been an easy walk had we stayed at the house, but since it was so unsafe, it was a bus ride. Only, we didnt't know that there was only ONE bus to get to Marrickville and that it started running at 7:05am. We walked back and forth between that stop and the stop on Parramatta Road. We finally got the breakfast and made it back to Annandale at 8:30.
We hopped the bus (for free!!!) to the Market City area and then Darling Harbour. Some of us went to the Vocations Expo at the Exhibition Center and got some free stuff! Then we walked and WALKED AND WALKED to Barangaroo. Some of our group got in a different line and were given a different section. ACK! Lunch time. What was in store for us?!?!? Aussie Meat Pies, BREAD, flavored mineral water in a can, and some kind of coconut covered cake thing. And then we waited and waited some more. I brought my yoga mat and spread that out. I ended up laying on part of it and falling asleep! I tell you, I can fall asleep anywhere these days! :) The opening mass started at 4 pm. An hour later, the sun was already going down and the mass was STILL going on. The readings were said in different languages. Lots of song and music. Then during Communion, some of the adult leaders got in line to get dinner. Our first foray into the life of CURRY stew...lamb, chicken or vegetable. More bread. Caramel slice (basically a bar of SUGAR covered with chocolate). Bottled water. That was dinner. No one knew exactly which version of the stew they ate...it was too dark to see. There was a concert afterwards, but some of us left before the fireworks show. It was such an exhausting day.
Wednesday July 16--Richard, Pauline and some of the boys went to get breakfast and ended up getting LOST. They didn't get back till almost the same time we did the previous morning even though we told them what buses to catch. So, we missed our first day of catechesis. We ended up at McDonald's for lunch (thanks to them for discount cards) and then we hopped the bus to go to the Royal Hall of Industries for a concert. We listened to Fr. Stan Fortuna sing songs basically about chastity...keeping out of the "zipper zone". *smile* Then our kids heard that Jesse Manibusan was up next and wanted to stay for that one. We were scheduled to see the Notre Dame girls choir from CA at the Sydney Opera House, but since the kids wanted to stay, we stayed! While we waited in line, we met up with a group from Texas. Turns out two of them and I have relatives in common! Talk about a small world. When we got back to the Darling Harbour area, we heard that they ran out of dinners there and that we had to walk to Barangaroo to get dinner. Of course, no one could make a decision and the amount of time we spent standing around, some people could have already been walking back to the group with food. I was so frustrated at that point that Br. Joe asked me something and I started crying! Frustration and exhaustion aren't my friends and when combined... sob city!
Slide show part 3: