The magic of gratitude at the World Youth Day.

Going to WYD was very emotional for me. I felt full of joy and hope, and at the same time I was afraid and filled with self-doubt. Repeated information about the tragic events in Europe did not help, as well as friends resigning from WYD and recommending me to do the same.

During World Youth Day I was on duty with other scouts from The Scouting Association of The Republic of Poland. My task was to inform the pilgrims about how to get to the right place, explain maps to them and guide them to the right sectors. It was very difficult task that required, above all, good English skills, courage and a lot of patience in contacts with foreigners, and constant repeating of the same messages. After the Opening Mass I was really fed up with a few unruly pilgrims breaking the rules and ignoring instructions of rather short girl in scout uniform (thatwas me). And a thought appeared in my mind: „Why did I get myself into it?”

Luckily, my attitude was changing day by day, thanks to an amazing spirit of WYD. I took part in all important events. Unfortunately, I couldn’t understand a word from Pope Francis speeches, because the battery in my phone had run down and I couldn’t listen to the translation. But I could understand it all deep inside in my heart, by everything I sawand experienced.

I will never forget the incredible joy, pure enthusiasm, smiles on people’s faces, and most of all, the great gratitude of Christians from all around the world. Right after the Final Mass we were ordered to hand out water to pilgrims. Just as a reminder, the temperature at that day was about 30°C. People were very thirsty and they appreciated our job with a polish word „Dziękuję!”, which means „Thank you!”. This magical word pronounced in various versions and dialects of the world for me was the summary of WYD. When I think of the days spent there, I forget about all the stressful moments and only hear this one word of gratitude.

I am so happy that I could take part in World Youth Day in Krakow as a volunteer. By doing this I could make my tiny contribution to the event, feel responsible as Pole and a Christian. It was a truly amazing time for me.