Tomorrow’s the 19th of July. It is officially a year since I went to Warsaw-Krakow for World Youth Day 2016. So to celebrate, I decide to finally post about my experience joining it. I have been procrastinating for a year to finish writing, even though to be honest, I wrote huge part of this post on my flight home from Warsaw-Istanbul, and then Istanbul-Jakarta.
A little bit of information before we proceed, I joined the Indonesian Pilgrims group for last year's World Youth Day. Before the main event, which was held in Krakow, we got to spend a week for Days in Diocese, which is similar to live in, or the preparation. My Days in Diocese was in Marki, Warsaw, which is the capital of Poland. These are the footage of my trip during DID. This is not going to be a regular post, squad. This is also my thank you note to family and friends back in Poland. So I hope I don't bore you😄 Ready? Here it goes-
I was strolling by the halls of Chopin Airport, Warsaw when I thought of this.
Walking through the front gate for the first time ever, I found more than a dozen of Polish youth (everyone looks like Barbie and Ken to me) singing songs and waving flags. They brought cartons with INDONESIA written on it. The TV crew pointing their cameras on us and calling some of us for a quick interview.
It was definitely a long journey to get to Poland. 12 hours airplane to Istanbul, and then another 2 hours to Warsaw, the capital.
Chopin International Airport, just where I'm sitting right now, hours before going home, watching couples and families hug and kiss, bidding farewells-
Today, there is nobody to hug, nobody to kiss, and nobody to cry for. I have spent a lot of nights pouring out tears like sweat.
Leaving Poland, I never thought that something I once resist joining can be so hard to leave.
In the Embassy of Indonesia in Poland
I'm really bad at goodbyes. But here's a little list of stuffs I'll never ever forget:
1. Mi casa es su casa (My house is your house too)🏠
The volunteers. Marki, the little town I stayed in, welcomed us like never before in my entire life. At a rough average of 17'C to 28'C, it felt like home. They started preparing for our coming, 2 years prior from the event. Everyone was nice. I'll never forget the feeling of being a total stranger at first. Feeling lost, short, little, nothing compared to the locals. My Marki friends, Joanna, Bartek, Marta, another Bartek, Wiktoria, Symone, basically everyone. I didn't manage to get to know all of them deeply, but wherever they are around, it feels like home. I feel liked, I feel better, I feel comfortable, loved, and welcomed.
2. My dear, dear family: Mac, Monica & Max❤
If I were to really write a thank you speech, 50% of them totally goes to you. In fact, I am writing this on the notebook Monica gave me. Ci Vina and I remembered thinking that we would be given a room to sleep in together. But you gave each of us a room instead. Ci Vina slept at Mac and Monica's room, while I slept in Max's. We were speechless. We didn't know how to react. We didn't even know how we felt at that moment. Every morning was like being in the movies. Had the most hotel-like home cooked breakfast for a week during our Days in Diocese in Marki. I never thought someone who speaks different language from mine could love me that much. You showed me kindness without return. You showed me love without structured words. Words cannot describe how much I love each and every one of you. I love you and I'll never ever stop missing you💓
3. The Beautiful Church and Latin Mass
"Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa" which literally means saya berdosa, saya berdosa, saya sungguh berdosa in Indonesian. (through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault, in English). This is one among the things that will stay in my mind forever.
The church which Parish was host to us is St Izydora Church in Marki. The building? Magnificent. Entering the church, it was classic. The altar was simple, yet very vintage. Incredibly beautiful, dominated by the color brown, gold, yellow, and a little bit of blue and red. Every mass, around 10 altar servers (putra altar/misdinar) will line up and join the priest to enter the altar. The Polish are still tight and strong with their tradition of going to church and being faithful to the Lord and the Catholic faith. I prayed my heart out there because people used to say that when you pray in the church you've never been before, your wish will be granted.
4. Belgian Dances
I am a sucker at dancing. This is true. The only one I can do is Indonesian Poco-poco. But there in Marki, we are forced to dance. Their traditional prom dance includes guys and girls walking, taking two big steps and a pause. I must have been the worst. A step for one Polish guy is two of mine. And as a result, I totally messed up.
I liked the Belgian Dance though. 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, inside, outside, turn around. Inside, outside, change. That one you can never ever forget. I wasn’t aware of my last time dancing to it, but we did it several times and met amazing people, French guys even, through that simple dance.
6. Learning Polish
Cześć! Dzien Dobry! Dobranoc! Tak! Nie! Kocham Cie! Dziękuję! Smacznego!
After 2 weeks, I barely manage to remember anything. How do you even say you and I in Polish? I remember learning on the train with our lovely Barteks. Fact is, we barely struggle to communicate there because there were always someone who translates for us English-Polish. People we don’t even know.
7. Beautiful Breakfast
I am not going to say anything, but here’s the picture. I hope Monica reads this, but these were prepared by her. And me and Ci Vina are very thankful for it. She even made us meal for the trip. Sometimes after a long day, Mac, Monica and Max would pick us up at the church and still served us with snacks before bed😊
Polish Blueberry Pierogi, made by our host parent Monica🌟
He wore it right away!
8. Polish and Wayang
Due to privacy reasons, I retain from posting videos with our Marki host parents in it. But I do remember Mac and Monica going back and forth thinking about where to hang the Wayang I got for them. Their expression was unbelievable. They were like a ball of sunshine and happiness.
9. Warsaw’s Old Town
Breathtaking. And they have the most complete gift shops. And ice cream shops. Mac, Monica and Max took us there twice. Ci Vina and I explored and loved every bit of it. I regret not taking a better camera with me. And not being there with my photo-lover dad. The buildings are very classic and beautiful. Very different from the Kota Tua we have here in Jakarta. I would say that the places are similar to those I saw in the prank show, Just For Laughs Gags. Loved strolling in there, especially in the evenings.
Photo by Keddric, my personal photographer who would take pictures with me until they yell at us to hurry up🔥
ft Bartek and Marta making me jealous
Ci Jess, Keddric, and I were bad at crowds. We do love history, but there were too many people when we got there. So instead of leaning stuffs, we turned it into some kind of trick eye museum instead. Here are some pictures about it.
11. A Funny Story
One beautiful morning, we had breakfast with Monica and were talking with the help of google translate, Monica’s english-polish dictionary, and hand gestures. She laughed, we laughed. She said something, we pretended to understand, or at least guess what she said. We said ‘tak, tak, tak’ (yes, in Polish). And then she asked about our education. And I remember explaining to her that I have just graduated school. But she didn’t really understand the word “University” so we used hand gestures. After a while, she realized what I was talking about, and said “Oh, tak tak. Upstair school?” And we replied “Tak, tak!” Having faith at her understanding.
12. Red Group
The Parish youths who were in charge of us divided us pilgrims into 5 groups, if I’m not mistaken. I was part of the Red Group, with two Bartek-s as our mentor. With this group of people, we experienced a lot of things together. We even learned how to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ in Polish because Mac had his birthday on our 4th day staying. The older Bartek even brought a birthday cake for us to surprise Mac right after we got off the bus. And we downloaded virtual candle for him to blow. I could recall the moment over and over and still won’t get bored.
Why you looking at us Bartek?
Served by the Parish youths on one lunch time is soup. It was a super duper sweet carrot and chicken. They cooked it themselves. And it was kinda funny because it was the first time I realized that they use fork to eat, rather than spoon like us, Indonesians. In one occasion, Ilona didn’t get any fork so she used spoon to eat the rice. And she said to us “I don’t get a fork, now I have to eat with the spoon”. She looked down on our plates and saw that we used our spoon for our rice. She laughed in confusion afterwards.
Oh, and we did serve them food too. We served them Indomie Goreng. Which is such a pitty considering the fact that Indonesian cultural food tastes amazing and we have tons of it. I think they enjoyed our Indomie. Even though Mac and Monica thought it was too salty for them.
14. And then, the songs.
The thought of recalling the songs had me in tears. Jezu, ufam Tobie! is my personal favorite out of all the official songs. Jezu, ufam Tobie means “Jesus I trust in You” and I missed singing and dancing to it everytime. World Youth Day Krakow 2016’s theme song was Błogosławieni Miłosierni (Blessed are the Merciful) and they even got a special dance for the song. It was the year of Mercy, so the song is basically about it. Another song was Jesus Christ, You are my Life, and it was my mom’s favorite. They played Hillsong’s This I Believe during the 20km walk to the WYD closing event (I will talk about this on my next post).
Our last night in Marki
Bartek told us about the statue in the middle of the Old Town that can grant wishes of coming back to Warsaw. He said to walk around it three times. I did it 9 times, just to be sure. I miss Days in Diocese Warsaw 2016, even a year after it was over. I hope that I can comeback someday in the future. Darrell have promised me that, on my last day in Warsaw, when I called him crying about not wanting to leave.
In this post too, I want to thank mom and dad, who paid for my trip to World Youth Day Krakow 2016. Thank you for forcing me to do this. To be part of this experience. I know that you’ll only pay for me to go once, but please pray for me so that I can pay for the next World Youth Day on my own. I also want to thank Ko Verby, Ci Velis, Ko Lary, and others that I can’t mention one by one. The team prepared for everything we need to go to Poland. Their hard works clearly pay off because we enjoyed every minute of it. Although they might not read this, but please know that I really really am sorry for causing you so many trouble, and words can’t explain how thankful I am to be part of this group.
I hope to post about Krakow soon. There are still so many things I want to share, so many people I want to thank. Please pray for me, and my memory💛
Beware of me treating this post as a photo album📷
I remember she told us that she owns a restaurant in France🇫🇷
The whole world loves selfies
I can solely swear that this guy is as handsome as Zac Efron😍
Addicted to doors
Can you believe that this one is about to have a baby?!👏
Bartek "Let's go let's go!"
It was so hard to take pictures because they kept asking us to hurry up. But what can we say? Tourists!😜
I hate goodbyes:(
They were not thrilled
On the earlier days. I don't look as ugly as I did on the last days haha
Managed to take pics even though they asked us to hurry
Egen💗 She made friends with French guys fast
I remember watching a drama about Sister Faustina in there. The Sacred Heart of Jesus🌟
Jezu, ufam Tobié that I'll be in another World Youth Day, and I'll be back to Poland in the future, Amen🌹