World Youth Day 2008
I'm back from Sydney now, where I have been on holiday during World Youth Day for a few weeks. And what a time it's been! World Youth Day 2008 was definitely the most memorable experience of my life. The whole week was a time of great joy and faith in Sydney, and the entire world.
For those who were watching, I documented some of my experiences during WYD on this blog. In the upcoming weeks I will run a series of photos here relating some of the key events that occurred during the time of WYD. The video shown above is a compilation of photos taken by me and my brother who also attended, to the WYD theme music "Receive the Power" by Guy Sebastian and Gary Pinto.
World Youth Day was special for me in many ways. Firstly, I was able to come together with youth from all over the world - over 170 nations - to unite and share experiences and culture. I met many new people, especially from Canada and Chile, with some of them even offering places to stay if I ever travel to their part of the globe! The number of flags visible was amazing, and everyone was very willing to share culture and faith.
One of the most beautiful things about World Youth Day was the atmosphere. There was a great sense of peace and friendship that I have never before felt in Sydney, or anywhere else for that matter. Everyone was ready to lend a hand with directions or whatever happened to come to hand. And an amazing thing happened - you were able to step on a train in the middle of Sydney and be greeted with a cheery "Hello!" or perhaps even a song. I don't know what it's like in other parts of the world, but normally in a big city in Australia if you say "Hello" to someone you're likely to get a cold stare. This transformation that came about was certainly beautiful to behold.
Another great thing was the hope and joy I saw in the young people around me. They all had a hope in the future that is becoming rare today, and rejoiced in the current moment without "stressing out" about the dozens of things that could have been worrying them. Without being careless, everyone was able to maintain a joyful attitude which also helped them to care for others.
There's no way I can describe everything that World Youth Day has been for me in mere words. I hope that this and the next few posts will convey some of what I have experienced, but as with any great moment it is impossible to explain fully. I can only say that it has been a life changing event for me and many others, which I will be building on for the rest of my life.
Has there been a great moment in your life, or a life-changing experience you would like to share? Leave a comment and discuss what has been special to you.