Category Archives: Italy

WEDNESDAY: before audience with the Pope

We have a great cook at the convent . . .


Then off to sing for the Pope.

Well, one of the benefits of knowing Father Charles . . . personal tour of the crypt.

Instructions from Father Charles before the audience. It was not complicated: just sit still, no pics until the TV cameras were off us . . .


This was quite an experience . . .

TUESDAY, Vatican and St Peters

Very tired, our second long day.  It rained all yesterday afternoon, thunderstorms and lightning.

Practice before tea and after tea.  Early start, but then delayed since our bus driver never showed up for work and they had to send another bus.

Only a few minutes here in an internet cafe, so just a few pics.  One of the girls took 1000 photos yesterday.

Outside St Peters . . . This is Charles, he has looked after us really well.  Off to the NZ embassy tomorrow.


Sorry for the minute size of these pics, the program is doing this and I don’t know why. Here is inside St Peters, after the choir had sung.  They were NOT ready for the call in Aoteraroa.  :-)


Watch this space, once I sort the technical problems.

All the crew is fit and healthy, we have NOT lost anyone, we have been reminded often that we are Pilgrims not Tourists – like when the bus was late and we had to queue for 2 1/2 hours . . .  but at least it was not raining.  Food at the accommodation is simple but nice, coffee is good, great guide and a great group.

Mass at night: SAN LIBORIO

It was interesting to go to the Mass last night. A superb church. There is something about many rooms we enter into, about the colour scheme, the dynamics of the shapes, the spaces. This building seemed to get it just right. Huge blue stained glass window and a lowered roof with lights, with superb acoustics. Choir did well, even though some were nearly aspeep on their feet.

So that I had something to do to keep of curling up with sleep/exhustion during a service with no English, I tried to see if I could figure out the theme by just listening to my spirit. Hard to say the results. I think at one time I got it right at least, judging by the actions of the peiople.

Charles Dennan has looked after us really well. Fanta, coke and chips afterwards with the quite vibrant bunch of young people there. Dying to head to the world youth day in Sydney in 2008.

Arrived in Rome

We are in Rome. The plane touched down at about mid-day Sunday and Tony our neat guide met us at the airport. He had lost the bus and the driver, but that was soon sorted out.

Departing pic at Christchurch . . .

At Airport

The times were about 4 hours to Sydney (60 min stopover) and 14 hours to Dubai (70 min stopover) and then 5 hours to Rome. (24 degrees).

Nothing exciting, dangerous or anything happened on the trip. Just some great views as we flew over the middle east (Oman, Turkey, Greece . . .) really nice food, cramped seats and lots and lots of movies.

. . . and the usual cultural idiosyncracies with each airport. Free internet at Sydney, and I think Dubai, but it was to busy to get close to look. Dubai is of course huge, with everything the same as Sydney, Auckland and every other duty free airport place. Lots of people sound asleep on the floor at Dubai. Customs at Rome was amazing – there was no place to go if you had anything to declare, just a doorway. They didn’t even ask me what I wanted to declare. Just asked what was in the box containing the amp. They asked none of us 43 people anything and we zipped through. :-) I guess they make up for it by havng people present passports for accommodation and some bus/train trips.

At ROME Airport:

At Rome

The first bit of Old Rome I saw was breathtaking. Just the wall. But 25oo years old. And then the churches.

We are staying in a nice place about 20 minutes drive from Rome.

Italy Trip: leaving Christchurch


Christchurch. 4 good guys . . . There are always those who hold the fort.

Christchurch whanau . . . Watching the last song by the choir.

Supporters . .

Dubai airport . . . Crowded. But organised.

Greece from the air . . .

Greece . .

The wall around Rome.

Rome wall

That’s all for now . . . Today was the Colloseum and the catacombs. Pictures later.

Italy Trip

Rome beckons!! We set off on Saturday via Dubai (3 hours stopover). In Rome along the way I am meeting up with some people I have met online in Florence (or Flirenze in Italian) for a ‘Muckabout’. We have hired space in a villa to talk, ponder and drink coffee. We planned our trip in December. The Muckabout was planned weeks later with no input from me, and I am in Florence at the time. Neat eh??

The Prato Dialogue (or dialog) is a pretty half hearted group blog for this event. The topic is “Memory and Forgetting: managing our corperate memories in Community.” I’ve written a little quoting Nietzche’s view of memory in this blog.