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World Youth Day - Day 1 - The Flight

8 August 2011

As the figures of friends and family became a blur behind fogged up windows, the Mazenod boys started to show their true excitement. Rounds of 99,999,999 bottles of beer hanging on the wall and songs about being a billionaire bounced around the bus. The excitement was thick in the air, though after questioning, no one could really explain why. A large feeling of ecstasy washed across us all without any explanation. The countdown was over. Our pilgrimage had begun.

About 5 parents were there for departure and a few lucky teachers were supplied with McDonalds sundaes as a result. Customs was comparatively quick with only a few casualties. Lawson sun block contained 110 gms and was confiscated – over by 10 gms in the liquid section. Zach’s drink bottle could have been dispatched in the same way but a kind officer told him to go back and empty the water in a rubbish bin. We met up and introduced ourselves to the Oblate Youth Pilgrims and established our counting technique for the pilgrimage and said a prayer. Then we explored the shops. We bumped into Gary Pinto, the famous singer and Old Boy. Tishan got a special intro with the singer at Dubai and Gary was very easy to get on with. Nerves were experienced by some at take off with Connor in demand for his Sudoku skills for distraction purposes. All of us were pleasantly surprised at the range of new movies available – Source Code, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more on offer. Food was plentiful and generally good, though not all enjoyed everything there was. However, there was enough for everyone to be satisfied with something. An OYA pilgrim later remarked he was surprised at how noisy the Mazenod boys (David Tobin) were. The internal phone got a working over (David Tobin) and the entertainment had begun (David Tobin). Zac spilt drink but it must have been so small because only David Tobin saw it but everyone heard about it and soon everyone knew about it. Blood noses flowed for a little while with Nick and Lawson being the victims - Lawson twice – but they were minor distractions and not problems.

Dubai was bigggggggg. You walked the airport and walked and walked and walked. A cup of tea and coffee cost $30. Other pilgrims were obvious in their T shirts – Santa Maria from Christchurch were the obvious ones. Back in the air for another 6 hours with some enjoyable food and David Tobin. Shannon fixed Mr Moore’s Sudoku, we met more OYA pilgrims and there were huge conversations in the aisles of the plane. Crossing the Greek Isles, Italy and then on to France was enhanced by the plane’s outside cameras with Tim leading some of the count down towards arrival. We had arrived but we have been told that pilgrimages are more about travelling than arriving!!!

Time is short

We had a Mass in the dining room

Food was different – wow – we were in France – Stephen dissected the quiche lorraine – Angus, or was it Will, found that its pastry was good. Angus was disappointed that the vegetarian meal was not for him – nice pasta. Lawson couldn’t keep awake past the entre and had to go to bed – fewer and fewer wanted to go for a walk – bed was the desired option.

Mrs Moore’s French skills got a working over when two lots of Vegetarian meals did not arrive!
The bus driver skills were well stretched by the narrow road leading to the accommodation at Aix
George Negus took a photo with some of the boys at Dubai – was it Tim and co?

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