Friday, May 9, 2008

A Trip to Remember

Kelly and I just got back (Wednesday evening) from our trip to Lourdes, France.  It is almost hard to put into words the amazing experience we had.  We went with a group called the Order of Malta, which is an incredible group of people.  This annual pilgrimage is a big part of their ministry to the sick.  Kelly was so taken care of and feels very blessed to have had the privilege to travel to this beautiful, special place.  I'll try to have Kelly write about the trip tomorrow, but she just went out to the movies with Megan and some friends (which is a very good thing for her also!)  For now, I have some photos to share, and they will tell some of the story.  We'll add more this weekend. You can click on the photos to enlarge them.

The sick people that come to Lourdes are affectionately called "Malades" and are pushed and pulled in these carts, also called voitures.  Kelly thought they would be embarrassing and unnecessary before we got there, but she got used to them right away and really enjoyed getting to ride. Everyday, we would have different volunteers from our group who would push and pull her and just take care of her. It was a great way to get to know everyone - we had such a great group.  I think she wished we had one in the grocery store yesterday!

Here is Kelly on a bridge over the River Gave.  We enjoyed walking through the town.  (She did want to get out of the cart and walk too.)   One of the men who was pushing Kelly got her this beret one of the first days we were there. (Thanks Gary!)  She wore it almost all the time.

Every night, there was a candlelight procession through the Domaine.  Our group took part in it one night.  There were thousands of people, each with a candle.  It was quite a sight and very moving.  This is Kelly holding her candle.

One day we walked up to a castle  from the 1100s.  It was up on a hill and had amazing views of Lourdes and the Pyrenees Mountains.

We brought water back from the spring found by St. Bernadette.  Kelly is filling bottles at one of the faucets.

Another beautiful view from the Domaine.  Even though the town of Lourdes is touristy, once you were inside the Domaine, there seemed to be a peaceful feeling.
We took a bus into the country one day to St. Savin and went to an old stone church.  Kelly was happy to find several other young people in our group, who really enjoyed getting to know each other and spending time together.

Kelly loved this gold crown on the Rosary Basilica.  Michael and Melody, two of the volunteers from our group, pulled her up to the top to get a closer look.  And yes, she is holding a stuffed pig.  Father Janze, who was also part of our group, brought this pig named Carpool and every malade in our group had a turn to carry him around for the day (some of the guys did threaten to throw him in the river if they had to carry him, so the girls all took turns!) It just added some fun.


Aunt Jenny & Uncle Bob, Kylie & Ryan said...

Welcome Home!!

It was good to iChat with you tonight!! Have a great weekend!

Aunt Jenny, Uncle Bob, Kylie and Ryan

Amy Jenkins said...

Your trip looked really cool! I'm glad you had fun.

PS- Happy birthday Shannon!

Aunt Tracy said...

Welcome home Kath & Kelly!!
Your photos look amazing! It looks like a trip filled with beautful places, events and people. Now that you're home I hope you get a chance to just let it all sink in!
Love & hugs!...
Aunt Tracy

Anonymous said...

Oh My Gosh.. your trip sounds amazing! What a blessing.
I am glad you had such a good time!
I have been wondering about you guys! I am glad your trip was safe.. and may you be healed Miss Kelly!!

We'll talk soon!
Amy... Kasey's mom

Kimmi said...

your trip looks amazing. i am so glad you two were able to share something so special. hope all is well... Love you all.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Home...Yay!!

Wow, what an adventure! Thank you for sharing the awesome pictures!

Love and prayers Always,
The Diemer Family :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Kathy and Kelly - what an amazing experience for you both. We enjoyed the pictures and the stories of beauty and kindness. You look so happy Kelly! I love the pictures of you getting carted around, the crown (with the pig) and especially, the gorgeous one of you holding the candle - you look blessed in that picture!
Lots of Love and Hugs,
Darla and Family

Catalina Eddy said...

Welcome back Ladies!
I'm so glad this trip turned out to be everything you hoped it would be. You have whet my appetite for more pictures and more of your impressions of this amazing place.
Love you!

Heide said...

Welcome home, ladies!!! What amazing tales, and awesome pictures!!! I'm so happy you were given the opportunity for such a fantastic trip. Thank you for sharing some about it, and I look forward to Kelly's report!!! :)

Happy Saturday, Team Kelly!!

m/o ^Jessica^; forever 17
TEAM UNITE! Help Conquer Childhood Cancer!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing trip it sounds like you just had! The pictures are fabulous! Can't wait to see some more. So glad that you were able to go on such a special trip.


Gabby's Mom said...

Hi Kathy and Kelly - these are such beautiful awesome pictures. Cannot wait to see more!



Anonymous said...

Dear Kelly,

Welcome back. I don't know if I ever mentioned it, but the Order of Malta (Malteser in German)ran the ambulance service in Ingolstadt when I lived there, so the uniform and especially the shoulder patch with the Maltese cross, brought back memories. The same insignia is on the ambulance doors, too.

You got some beautiful pictures. The red beret is tres chic, Mademoiselle. I think the mountain air agreed with you, too.

My wife Kathy and I saw your Aunt Denise last Saturday. She showed us the picture of you in front of the statue of the Virgin. The weather seems to have cooperated for you, too. I'm happy for you.

I also want to wish your sister Shannon a belated happy birthday.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad the trip was so nice. I'm so happy that it was safe and that you guys made it home. Can't wait to here more about the experience. I'm still praying for you, Kelly!

Lots of love and prayers,
Lauren D

this is my blog, thanks for visiting! said...

Wow your trip looked incredible. That is really an opportunity of a lifetime and you really looked like you were soaking it all in.

Thanks for sharing it with us and we can't wait to read Kelly's version too!

Love from NY
Kim and team Hannah

Anonymous said...

hi kelly!
sounds like it was a great trip!
im glad you had a good time!
you look so cute with yout beret!

Anonymous said...

Kathy and Kelly,
Sounds like you had an awesome were great...
Happy Moms Day....Kathy

Maria m/o Jeaneane

Veronica Granier/Angel_wings said...

Thank you for sharing some of the pics you took during your trip to Lourdes. I'm sure it was a very moving and faith-filled experience.

I look forward to the next batch of pictures.

Happy Mother's Day, Kathy..........