I had a pretty good day today. I’ve been feeling much better in the crowds and have been working on stopping to smell the roses.
We got up early and had breakfast with Martin and got to meet one of his sons Christian. Later we went to morning prayer (all spoken in German…) and then went to catecesis: songs, a talk from one of the bishops from USA, questions and answers for the bishop, and a regular catholic mass (with good music). It was pretty good. I liked the bishops talk…he mixed life stories with a couple key concepts from the bible and was good at keeping your attention. After that, we had lunch and ice cream. Speaking of ice cream…I must tell you that I have become addicted to ice cream along with 3 other people. We are in an ice cream club where we go for ice cream as often as is possible an we take turns paying the bill. Ya…we eat a lot of ice cream. Anyways, we took the train to Cologne again and found a nice spot on the Rhein to wade into the water and cool off; it was pretty hot today. Later, around 6pm, the Pope came to Cologne via a boat on the Rhein. He came to be part of a liturgy of the word in the Cathedral (Dom). We weren’t interested in coming home at midnight, so we decided to leave after seeing the Pope. I have two things I’d like to explain: 1. the reason the youth are here in Cologne Germany, and 2. the crazyness of train stations.
1: We are not here to see the Pope. The Pope is here and we will get to see him, but we have not purposefully come to see him. There is a lot of stuff in the news about youth only coming to see the Pope and idolizing him and all that garbage. We are here to build in our faith with other youth from around the world; We are here to see the German people and the land they live in; We are here to make friends and grow as a person the way God intends us to.
2: The train stations are crazy. We broke up into groups of 3 or 4 so that we could better navigate the train station, but everyone is packed in there tighter than sardines; you can’t get anywhere. I could raise both feet off the ground and not move an inch. The big problem is that everyone only knows of 1 entrance to the station, even though there are 2 or more. Once we got to our platform, we noticed another entrance which was about 400m away, but had 3 or 4 people walking in or out of it. Something for us to consider tomorrow. We made to to our train about 5 minutes early and managed to get some good seats on the way back. The entire trip from Cologne to our billets house in Wuppetal took 1.5 hours…it took us 3 hours the night before.
We got to eat a bit with our host family and the kids finally got to ask us some questions about Canada. It was a good visit and we still managed to get to bed before 11pm. Hopefully the extra sleep will help.