Jornada Mundial de la Juventud (WYD Chronicles, Part 1 of 4)

Also known as: Hola, Madrid and JMJ!
Translation: World Youth Day (WYD Chronicles, Part 1 of 4) — I know the title is redundant, but let me be :P
Warning: Photo dump ahead. :D

So the weeks leading to our flight to Madrid was really kind of busy. Okay, that was an understatement – it was busy. Seeing that we only had our visa a month before we had to leave, and my ticket was booked three weeks before I had to leave, and I also got sick two weeks before I had to fly…it was crazy. It was a good kind of crazy, though, even if I had to remind myself every time I feel stressed that it’s all good1.

The other, excited part of me couldn’t believe that I was actually almost about to leave. I mean, I only dreamed of this at the start of the year. Now that it was almost a reality, that part of me couldn’t help but be amazed at it. Truth be told, it was almost like the month of August was nonexistent, because I had no idea what to expect during the second half that I would be spending in Europe.

But enough of that. The days leading to the flight was kind of a whirlwind — with meetings (finally meeting other delegates and sort-of finalizing our itinerary for the second week of the trip), work stuff, dinner, send-off stuff and shopping. When Sunday night finally rolled around, I was so wound up with anticipation that I could hardly sleep!

Then came the long wait at the airport before the flight. I was there extra early because our car’s plate number was part of the coding, but I didn’t mind. I was excited and nervous because again, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Especially that I have been out of community for so long and everyone I was with for the next two weeks were all so active.

But like what they said before the trip: empty yourself out and God will fill you in the next few days. Why not, right?

Cookie Monster the traveling doll, first time on a plane :)

There wasn’t really much to say about the flight because it was…well, long. It was my first time to fly for more than 4 hours, so I entertained myself with movies and my Kindle and took pictures of clouds, like this:

Aerial shot! =) I think this was somewhere in Russia?

Too bad I always seem to get the wing seats.

But anyway. We arrived at Amsterdam about 12 hours later — it was 7:00pm in Europe, but it was bright as day. Talk about jarring my body clock.

Just arrived at Schiphol Amsterdam airport. It's 7:00pm but LOOK. HOW. BRIGHT. IT. WAS.

We got on our connecting flight to Madrid an hour later — me and Mitch — while the rest of the team stayed in Amsterdam for the night. Four hours later, we got to Madrid, and our SFC hosts picked us up in the airport. We got settled in, ate breakfast at midnight (because it was already 6:00am in Manila) and finally, finally settled to sleep. After all, World Youth Day officially starts tomorrow — and we need to keep our energies up by then.

The next day.

Buenos días, Madrid!

(more…)

  1. Besides, I get asthma wheezes when I get stressed, so stress was a no-no []

Casa dulce casa

Also known as:  home sweet home from Europe

Cookie Monster in Madrid!

Hi everyone! I’m back!

Europe is beautiful. And God is amazingly awesome. :)

It’s been an amazing two weeks, and I definitely owe you guys blog entries on the entire trip. So, I promise to write them down. In fact, I have an outline ready. I just need time to write it. I promise I’ll find time.

But in case I don’t post anything in the next few days, I give you permission to bug me. Until I sit down and finally write about it. Deal? :)

Before I go and work, I must say this:

I am loved by a God who delights in fulfilling my dreams. :) How can I stand here with You and not be moved by You?

Have a blessed Friday, everyone. :)

Adiós por ahora

Also known as: Off to Europe, see you later!

So I meant to post, and I meant to schedule posts here while I’m away for the next two weeks, just so people would know this blog is still alive, and I’ve got stuff to write about.

But alas. The last few flurries before the trip really got to me, and I find myself scribbling this blog entry as fast as I can while I wait for my brother to get me and drop me off at the airport.

Sometimes I still can’t believe that I am actually going to World Youth Day. And to Europe. This was just a hasty prayer/epiphany I got while I was showering in the gym, wondering what I was going to do with my life. I just posted about it last January. I was scared that it won’t happen, but I’m just amazed at how God fixed everything for us, for me. And I wanted it to happen, of course, but now that I’m here, about to fly, I can’t believe that I’m actually here.

Once again, I am amazed at how faithful God has been and is to me. :)

Anyway, there’s so much stuff I want to write about, but I must hurry in case my brother arrives. One of their advice for us for World Youth Day is to empty ourselves and be ready for how God will fill us with everything we will experience in this event. A part of me is excited about that, but also a part of me is wary of what I will come back to after this is over. Oh, there’s no doubt that I will experience God in the next 15 days. I guess I’m just concerned about what will happen next after this. What will I do next? What will I strive for next? Will I even be the same person after?

Then again…I guess that’s one more thing to pray for. :)

So…let’s do this. :) I won’t be bringing my laptop, so I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to post anything. I’m not sure how much online time I have, but let’s just assume I won’t have much. :) I will try to tweet, though, but I can’t promise. :)

But if you have any prayer concerns, or you just want me to pray for you, leave a comment (or tweet me, or email me, or text me, even, if you know my number), and I will pray for you. :) That I can definitely promise.

See you in fifteen days! I promise to blog more after, really, I do! :)