Did you know that until now, Manila still holds the record with 4 million WYD participants... I think Sydney now is just expecting about less than 200,000 delegates.
Nonetheless, living in the city hosting the event, one would feel the spirit coming alive. Well of course there are others who are protesting against this. Not everyone can be all pleased with this imperfect world we live in. Even the olympics, the dalai lama, G8 summit (etc) attracts protesters.
Anyway, I have been seeing a number of people in the streets, train station, malls, coffee shops who are obviously attending WYD (some have huge backpacker bags, uniform jackets with the logo, etc)... Some of them try to find their way around, some are just in awe with the city... One thing common in them is their glow. They have this sort of excitement in them that you can see brewing inside. I feel excited for them too. I am sad I won't be able to participate, but I just think to myself and say I had my chance and my turn in 1995 in Manila. I can say I maximised my experience back then. And so I cherish those memories. Now, I live in the city and just watch the delegates 'move'. In a way I will be with them in spirit. Wishing them the same if not more enriching experience as I had experienced during my first WYD in Manila.
World Youth Day Sydney is from July 15 to July 20, 2008. Activities are held in different venues in and around the city parameters. Activites such as catechism, vigil, masses, stations of the cross, etc.
Fortunately for me, from my office window we would be able to catch a glimpse of the happenings at Barangaroo (which is where the pope will be arriving to, and where the opening mass will be held). I will try to see if I can take photos and share them here.