High-fives and aching feet: Excitement builds

By Emma Luigard
One in a series

MADRID — Today, Aug. 17, everywhere we went we saw hundreds of kids making their way to whatever activity they were headed to. Cheering and high-fives were common even if we were in a train together or across the street from each other.

The pope arrives tomorrow and with Pope Benedict XVI here with us the enthusiasm and excitement will skyrocket. I can’t wait!

Yesterday was the official WYD kick-off Mass. We arrived four hours early to get a seat in front of the makeshift altar. It was incredible standing shoulder-to-shoulder with complete strangers and seeing millions of other people filling the streets on the Jumbotron.

By the time Mass was over my feet were aching and I felt like I couldn’t stand anymore, but none of that mattered because the excitement was so contagious. My favorite part of the day was the different people we met. From the minute we got downtown we were taking pictures and cheering with kids from all over the world.

Emma Luigard, 16, will be a senior at Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Md. The member of St. Bernadette Parish, traveling with St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring, said she is “excited for World Youth Day because it will be full of cultural and religious experiences.”

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