We met at the Ottawa international airport at 5 pm yesterday evening, where Archbishop Prendergast saw us off and blessed us. We definitely needed a blessing to get us through this long journey to Aparecida, which took a total of 29 hours! We arrived at our hotel at 10 pm tonight. Our flight from Toronto to Sao Paulo was delayed by approximately 3 hours, so we waited in Toronto for a total of 5 hours, and finally left the Pearson airport at 3 am. Then, when we arrived in Sao Paulo at 1:48 pm, we had to wait for a bus organized by the Oblates to bring our group of nine to Aparecida, and we finally left that airport at 8 pm, and arrived in Aparecida two hours later. We were supposed to arrive here at 2 pm today.
We are blessed to have pilgrims in our group who manage fairly well in Spanish, including Jonathan who is fluent in Spanish, as none of us speak Portuguese and we have been using as much Spanish as possible to get by, and Msgr. Daniel even said he spoke Latin with the Oblate priest as that seemed to be their only common language. I have personally been practising my Spanish to order food at the airport in Sao Paulo, to help Erin purchase a bottle of water at the airport, to speak with the Oblate priest and seminarians who organized our bus transportation, and with a cleaning lady at the hotel as I was having trouble accessing the Internet. All of these were necessities and we couldn't have managed without them.
We will try to catch up on sleep tonight and the next few nights. We have an early morning tomorrow with breakfast at 7 am and Mass at 9 am.