Yet another weekend over and one week closer to WYD. This weekend has been particularly important in my journey to Rio as it was our second preparation weekend. From Friday to Sunday, our group assembled from all over the country to absorb immense amounts of information from basic Portuguese to Brazilian dance (Forró if interested). It served a great opportunity to get to know each other better and answer some of the burning questions many people had about our trip.
Personally the weekend started off very badly. I had only remembered on Thursday I was meant to be in Macclesfield the next day. On the Friday morning, I was about the least excited I could possibly be about having to trek miles to Savio House to spend a weekend anywhere away from the comfort of my bed. As the day went on it just went from bad to worse – no milk for breakfast, yet another load of physics work to do and a sweaty train journey at rush hour. Suffice to say, I was in a particularly grumpy and non-spiritual mood.
However by Saturday morning things were different. There was a reflection from which we had to define our feelings at that point and the one word that I could think of was peaceful. Not necessarily from a “peace and quiet” sort of peaceful but a “I’m in the right place” sort of peaceful (if that makes any sense). While all the information was tremendously useful, what I took most from the weekend was how amazing it is to find people who have such a passion for what CAFOD stands for.
We also found out the sort of work we will be doing in Sao Paolo. From working in the Favelas with MDF (http://blog.cafod.org.uk/tag/mdf/) to working to build communities in the thousands of empty buildings that have been adopted by the huge number of homeless people trying to build a better life than what the streets have to offer (http://blog.cafod.org.uk/tag/apoio/).
In other news, World Youth Day is rapidly approaching with the website slowly gaining more and more information – http://worldyouthday.com/ (Although the Portuguese website seems to have more content on it). The big news is that I have almost reached my fundraising target! After receiving £1000 from the Santander International Connections Grant offered by the University of York, I now have £1900. This came about by just asking around and filling in an application form. If anyone out there is fundraising – just ask around and see what’s out there. One grant can make all the difference.