Hi everyone. I am sorry it has taken so long to get a blog post out. There has not been much access to wifi since Murcia and am currently in Barcelona. I will be doing some posts over the next couple of days about the whole trip: I will save you the pain of having to have it all in one post!
On Sunday, August 14th, after my last post, I went to help out the priest at a couple of Masses. He had me do the second reading in SPANISH! I am sure I made mistakes in pronunciation. Afterwards, we went to a bar to watch the Barcelona vs. Madrid soccer game which was a lot of fun.
On August 15th, we began our day with Mass with the people of Murcia. It was the Assumption – which is a national holiday in Spain. After Mass we made our way to an area of the town where there was a bus waiting to take us to Madrid. I must say, it was very nice to get on a bus! It was the most comfortable surface I had been on all week!
We got into Madrid at around 6pm. Now, I must say, from my last WYD experience, that the first two days of WYD are complete chaos; it was no different this time. We got off the bus and Maria and I went inside to go do our registration. After waiting in line for 1.5 hours, we get to a booth only to find out that we are supposed to go directly to the places we are being hosted! But there was another problem: I was put in a different place from the rest of the group. So we waited for about 3 hours until we decided to just forget about it and go to our seperate places for the night and get it figured out the next day.
I was in a gym that was EXTREMELY hot. I had not eaten all day and was not allowed to leave. A nice Italian couple who are members of the Neo-Catechuminal Way offered me some apricot cookies and a can of warm lime Fanta. I was so hungry I just didnt care and was very grateful of their generosity! That is one of the really great things of WYD: amazing acts of Christian charity in the greatest simplicity.
So I attempted to sleep that night, but I didn’t get much sleep. The lady who was in charge of the school gym I was staying at said that if I wanted to go early the next morning to get my registration I could. I was up at 5:30 anyways and so wanted to go and get it. But I couldn’t leave because she was sleeping. And me being me, I was not keen on waking them up, and so just waited. Then she said that she wanted us all to leave at 10:30, once she finally woke up, to show us the metro stations nearby. I wanted out and the Ugandans saw me use my kindle and they all wanted to use it to check their e-mail. I wanted out, so I said I would take a taxi so I could go and meet up with my group (this is the 16th, by the way). So I went and got registration and went to meet up with my group.
I finally met up with my group, who, when I arrived, was told they have to move again (they had already moved one night earlier) because the group coming in didnt want any boys in the school (which I understand). It is a long story as to why they had to move three times, but we eventually went to drop off our stuff and get some lunch.
After a few things we went downtown for the opening Mass. That was crazy. We tried to get to a spot which a volunteer was leading us to, but it was crazy there. We got stuck in a crowd for over an hour trying to move and it was actually a little scary with how tight it was there. We missed the opening Mass and ended up finding refuge in a Starbucks for a few hours until the crowds disperssed.
Afterwards I went to get my stuff from the first place to move to where my group was. We ended up in a hallway of a school near Aluche station. That was, despite the hallway floor, a blessing because we were VERY close to the area for the final Mass.
When I get a chance, the next post will be about our adventures on the Wednesday.