Flying from Gatwick, I was seated next to two Blessed Sacrament Sisters from the Arundel & Brighton Diocese, Sisters Frances and Consolata. We ended up chatting the entire journey, about faith, saints, the Italy and so on. It turns out that one of them was from Ireland and had a grandfather with the same as me! Somewhere along the line we must be related!
During the flight, little did I know that buying a hot chocolate whilst on board would create such a problem soon after. Once we landed, the nuns and I went to the train station to go to the city centre together. It was then when I realised that I’d lost my wallet!
Wondering what had happened, I soon realised that after paying for my hot chocolate on the plane, I must have left my wallet in front of my lap. Then, after getting up to use the toilet, I must have forgotten it was there and it fell to the floor.
After waiting at the airport for what must have been over an hour, I finally got my wallet back, though by the time I’d got it, I couldn’t find my flight buddies, Sisters Frances and Consolata. So, I went to the train station and boarded the next ride to my accommodation.
Once of the train, I bumped into some Brazilians, who had been to World Youth Day in Rio last year. It was cool to have the opportunity to practice my Portuguese and at the end of our conversation I gave them one of Westminster Youth Ministry’s new bouncy red balls.
Upon arriving at my station, by miraculous fate, I bumped into the Sisters! We laughed about everything that happened with the wallet situation and it was nice to see that, at the end of the day, we all arrived safely – and with all our possessions!
It was also here that I met my Polish friend Victoria, who I’d met during our time working together in Rio, in anticipation of WYD. We got in our car and drove to our Marist home.
In fact, we were to sleep outside in the garden, surrounded by a tall wall. It had been years since I’d last been camping, so it was probably about time for another one.
It’s a lovely garden, with lemon trees, fig trees, orange trees… It’s almost like the Garden of Eden! The building, too, is very nice, located in the heart of Rome and short walking distance from the Vatican.
Today, as I write this in my garden paradise, I think about what I need to do today. One, to meet the Brazilian community Shalom for a Mass later on today, and two – buy shampoo!
There’s always something you forget…