Archive for the ‘World Youth Day’ Category

Day 15 – WYD Vigil

We woke early today and headed to the shops to purchase a pram to take us to the vigil.  We ended up buying a single, reversible pram for $20 at a second hand shop – bargain!  We then headed to the station to park our car and catch a train into Sydney.  We wanted to walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge and so got off at North Sydney Station to do the walk.  It was great.  The bridge was so huge.  So many people stopped us to take a photo of the kids loaded onto the pram with all our stuff.  We had a big duffel bag with stuff in it and a big roll of sleeping bags sitting on top of the pram.  Jordy was sitting on top of all of that and Derek was pushing the pram with Gubbs on his shoulders. I had Zeek in the sling and held Zi’s and Eli’s hands.  We saw the cross and icon as we crossed which was a highlight for Eli.  As we got off the bridge, we were meant to deviate and catch the nearest train to Central station and do the 3 km pilgrimage from there.  We couldn’t find a way off the pilrgrimage route and before we knew it we had joined the people from central staion on the the pilgrimage!  This meant that we had done the 9km pilgrimage walk with 5 children, how crazy were we!!

We arrived at Randwick and helped the Natural Family Planning (NFP) people hand out magnets.  The kids really enjoyed this and willingly handed people magnets.  Zi was in his element and was actually really good at it.  Everyone loved Jordy and Gubbs and couldn’t possibly resist accepting a magnet when they held it out, some even took two just because they were offered.  The magnets were an opposition to the condoms being handed out to pilgrims during WYD!  I even heard that the only arrest made of a pilgrim was when a pilgrim attacked a person for throwing condoms at them.

We then went onto Randwick and found Sr K and some others that we went to WYD 2000 with and sat with them.   The kids wanted to go to the toilet and so Derek took the boys.  He came back a while later and said he couldn’t find Zi.  I was beside myself.  We had been in Randwiock for about 15 mins and we had already lost a child, in a crowd of about 300 000 people and it was getting dark.  Derek and I separted and went to look for him without much luck.  I was so scared.  I kept telling myself that it was the best kind of crowd to lose a child in as everyone was so friendly and willing to help, but at the same time it was the worst kind of crowd as it was sooo big.  We searched for what seemed like ages but was probably half and hour.  I had returned to our spot a few times to see if Derek had returned with him, my heart sank everytime I returned and Zi wasn’t there.  I found a policeman and they radioed out and we had all the police searching for him.  In the meantime, Derek had got an SMS from Terry and Sarah saying they had found Zi.  Soemone from Whitfords Paruish had recognised him as Terry’s nephew and had taken him to Terry.  I have never felt so much relief before.  I just hugged Zi.  I don’t think he knew what to do he just lept looking at me and smiling.

Th vigil was nice though I didn’t get to hear much with trying to keep the kids relatvively quiet. I did hear the pope reflect on the story of the finding of Jesus in the Temple and thought ‘how apt’ after our experience with Zi.

We put Jordy and Gubbs to bed int he tent fairly early and then the older two played for a while.  When it got late we took the older two for a walk with Zeek and they got tired really fast and crashed when we got back.  I didn’t sleep very well as I had Zeek in  my sleeping bag and everytime I moved, he woke up.

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Today we were meant to be at Barangaroo for Staions of the Cross.  We decided though to use his time to visit the love and life expo, shop for souvenirs and sightsee a bit.  The sightseeing thing wasn’t really planned, but I’m glad we did it as we got to see Chinatown and Paddy’s Markets in Sydney.  We met some of Derek’s work friends at the expo.  It was like being in Perth as we saw a few friends who used to live there and are now based in Melbourne.  It was a lovely afternoon and the kids enjoyed being doted over. 

We then went to the Domain and caught the last three stations on  big screen.  I think the thing that hit me most about the stations was the effect it had on the Sydney public.  The news covered highlights of WYD and every station (all 14of them)were given time.  I think it really touched the city.

We decided to head to Barangaroo from there to find dinner and that’s when the trouble started.  I didn’t mention earlier that our pram wheel broke eariler in the week.  Derek, being the hero he is, managed to fix it and it had been fine… until now.  This time the other wheel fell off and the axle was damaged.  Here we were with five young, tired, hungry, cranky kids, in the middle of Sydney and without a decent pram.  Derek gave the kids turns on his shoulders, I had Zeek in a sling, and Derek kept having to kick the wheel of the pram so it would stay on!  Well we made it to the train and the car (we were able to laugh by the time we made it to the car!) and we took some photos so that we would never forget that during this trip we were pilgrims and not tourists!

Zi demonstarting the broken pram and his job putting the wheel back on so that Daddy could kick it!; Mozart, the dog where we were staying, loved the kids and enjoyed sleeping on their sleeping bags.

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Karen did a big shop before we left Ceduna. Today we passed through a lot of wheat land. Nice and green at the moment with the young plants. We stopped for lunch at Wirrulla. Signposts leading into the town say “Wirrulla. A town with a secret.” We asked around for someone kind enough to tell us what the secret might be but no-one was obliging.  The reply was ‘well if we told you, it wouldn’t be a secret!’  If you happen to be reading this and you know what the secret is please let us know because we are intrigued. I suspect it might have been a rouse to get passersby to stop in the town. Passed through Kimba the town that is mid way across Australia according to the sign (I wonder what Alice Springs thinks about that). Chicken and tomato rolls with philly spread (a huge improvement on spam). Dinner was pasta and bolognaise. As we came into Port Augusta we could see the Flinders Ranges. It was amazing. Before finding a caravan park we had a cruise around and found the Catholic Church. Daily Mass is at 9.00am. This evening the kids got to play with other children who were staying at the caravan park. It was clear they have missed the interaction with other kids. They had a ball and played late. Then when we were finished dinner and the other kids off to their caravans a group of young Taiwanese people arrived who were camping the night next to us. They loved the kids and the kids loved the attention. The young people are off to Cooper Pedy tomorrow.

Derek and the kids at Wirrulla for lunch (wheat silos in background)


View of the Flinders Ranges driving into Port Augusta

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Hello all!  Long time. no blog!!!  We are having a fantastic time over here in Sydney.  Sorry these posts are so late!  Here’s the update from Perth to Sydney.  World Youth Day stuff soon to come!  These posts are quite brief, but hopefully I will bulk them up as we go along…


We left late. We left at about 2.30pm.We wanted to have a look at the homeschool trade fair and so stopped very briefly! All the way through town Isaiah kept asking “Have we left Perth yet?” Stopped at Merridin for dinner. The playground was wet and the kids got pretty damp!. Thanks Mum (Linda) for the lunch leftovers, we had them for dinner. The kids got their new beanies and scarves from Mum (Bev) and loved them. Arrived in Southern Cross at about 8.15pm. Went looking for the local Catholic church for Mass times on Sunday. I think the police thought we were up to mischief cause they started following us. So we stopped and asked them where the Church was. They were very helpful, we found out where the church was and they stopped following us. Put the tent up and put the kids to sleep.  Derek is very good at doing the tent himself.  The kids went to sleep well despite all the excitement.  I think the pratcise runs in our backyard really paid off! A great first day.

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The World Youth Cross and Icon arrived in Perth at the beginning of the week. We had the opportunity to touch and venerate it at Whitfords last night. The night was not without its dramas however as the cross arrived from Woodvale quite a bit later than expected. It also rained a bit on the procession from Pinneroo Cemetry to the Church. When we got to the church, they let off some confetti firework things which happened to contain strips of festive aluminium. The wind blew these strips straight at the power lines and hence we got a real fireworks display from the lines. It took the crowd a little while to figure out that the sparks were not real fireworks!! The incident also cut the power in the surrounding grid and from the church. Mass by candlelight was nice though until I had to change a nappy by the light of a glow stick! The kids were kept occupied through all these new experiences. We are extremely excited about WYD – six weeks to go.

The boys really enjoyed touching and praying before the cross. I think all this talk about WYD is starting to sink in. Jordy kept saying ‘Jordy want to touch the cross’ – very cute. She also keeps singing ‘Gloria in excelsis deo’ at the top of her lungs during mass. The boys sensed an reverence for the cross and icon that I hope will aid us in preparing for WYD. We have to watch the videos from Rome 2000 so that they can have some kind of idea of the enormity of this event. We are hoping to be with the cross and icon again when it comes back from Kalgoorlie.

The kids with their raincoats on listening to the music.

The cross displayed in the church

The Icon

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Yay. After months and months of deliberation we have got our new car! We love it and can’t wait to drive over to Sydney it in for World Youth Day. The kids love the power windows and the cup holders. The next step for our trip is to get a trailer.

The windows have been tinted and we had a nudge and tow bar put on. Just about geared up for our trip…

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