The Audience

We were told there was about 35,000 people there. Started with Pokarikarianna. . . did Ave Maria. Margaret fif the Karanga in Aoteraroa. Was stunning . . .


Rosemary and the choir between singing. . . . jut taking a breather. Considering very little of the 2.5 houtrs was in English, it was very relaxed.


The guys in the background are visiting clergy and other groups . . .


The Pope does these audiences every Wednesday. There is a huge effort to get things sorted. They still managed to make a mistake . . . they let us sit behind the choir. We were supposed to be somewhere else. But, what a view . . .

The pope leaving. Yes, they do call it a Pope Mobile.


We were less than 20 m from him. Beautiful day. Choir didn’t miss a beat. We had had a personal tour of the crypt beforehand. A last look around St Peters with no crowds afterwards . . . as someone said: it doesn’t get much better than this.

Not sure how much time I will get after this on a PC. Phillipa is talking to home (Happy birthday Anna, Mark, send us an e-mail . . thanks Phil for the topup (yes I can get your items), Raewyn, hope things are going well . . .

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 Itinerary: leave today

Running out of time to clean up the formatting here. :-)
Into Rome Sun 24/9 – Thurs 28/9
Sun 24/9 – 6pm Mass – San Laborio Parish Via Tino Buazzelli (15 m away)
Mon 25 –Central Rome Day
Tues 26 – Explore Central Rome
5pm Mass –St Peter’s Basilica
Weds 27 – Papal Audience, St Peters Basilica.

Thurs 28 – Galleria Borghese

Evening mass in Santa Maggiore

Exit Rome and into Venice Fri 29/9 – Weds 4/10

Fri 29 – Head for Lido di Jesolo via Assisi.

Sat 30 – Visit Glass and Lace, Murano Island

Eve Concert at San Polo Chiesa.

Sun 1 – Punta Sabbioni, t/f to central Venice-St Marks

Mass at St Marks Basilica

Mon 2 – Explore Venice.

Tues 3 – Opitional vists day

Exit Venice into Florence Wed 4/10 – Sat 7/10

Wed 4 – Visit Bologna en-route to Florence

Thurs 5 – Full day in Florence

Evening performance at Sainta Maria dei Ricci

Fri 6 – Free day in Florence.

Exit Florence into Sienna Sat 7/10 – Tues 10/10

Sat 7 – en-route to Siena-

Sun 8 – Arrive Sienna – free time to explore

11am Mass-Santa Maria in Provenzano

Mon 9 – Visits to Montepulciano, vineyards, olive groves.

Tues 10 – Visit the Museo dell’’ Accademia Etrusca.

Exit Siena into Rome Wed 11/10 –

Wed 11 – Visit Lake Trasimeno en-route to Rome

Thurs 12 – 16:15 Depart Rome for Dubai

Flight: EK 93

After un-conference

I go to a lot of conferences. Often these are paper treadmills. Not today.

The Future of Learning in a Networked world. If you think about this a little, it is a very interesting question.

Whole bunch of us sharing ideas and experiences for a morning. 8 individuals with laptops and dataprojectors. Lits of interaction . . .

Mark came to help. Was very interested in second life:

Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by 319,395 people from around the globe.

Michael Couglan recorded some piano playing of Mark’s which may appear in a podcast sometime. Watch this space!!

Lots of fun. Interesting last night – met 9 really wired people from the airport. Was suddenly very conscious of my gadgets – memory stick, cell phone and camera. Brand new camera. At last I have joined the modern era.

Tea at the Sudima Hotel.

Pictures tomorrow.

Coffee in Melbourne

As is usual, sometimes it was difficult to get decent coffee. This is from a new posh mall in the outskirts of Melbourne near the airport.

Mark has this technique of watching a few cups made by the barista first. Crema, technique, cleanliness of gear. Life is too short to have bad coffee, and besides it is expensive if you are buying it.

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.