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james' diary

Diary entry - 3rd August 2012

As if school ending had corrupted my love of routine enough, my first week in the holiday was spent a week in Lourdes. From the 25th of July to the 1st day of August the Diocese of Shrewsbury were taking a large group of students, teachers and pilgrims to Lourdes in France, myself included. Students or young people like me will be volunteering in Lourdes, escorting pilgrims around the town, caring for patients on hospital wards and organising the pilgrimage in general. I've never been too religious, I'm a very critical thinker, so I was very interested to visit a place where sick and dying people have claimed to be cured or their illness by being at the place where this girl Bernadette had visions of the Virgin Mary.

Before the trip I did have the prejudgement that I wouldn't enjoy a single second of it. I thought that I'd be lonely and have no one to talk to, that I'd be spending my nights in the hotel being bored out of my mind, and that I would be pestered and harassed by pilgrims and priests to join in with the riveting masses. Great news! None of that happened! During the 23 hour coach journey to Lourdes you get to join in with many conversations and at night you'll be invited to join at least 1 clique to come to a bar or club in Lourdes. I am still amazed at myself that I managed to make a couple of friends at my time in Lourdes.

The excitement doesn't end with Lourdes, oh no no no. 9th August sees my band having its first gig as the headlining band, we're all nervous but we're still bouncing off the walls in anticipation at the same time. 10Th August is the day of my qualifying Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition, it's going to be the most physically demanding 4 days of my life... so far.

Ciao for now.