After a slight delay Liverpool's World Youth Day Pilgrims arrived in Brazil on Thursday 18 July. Their flight, which had been due to arrive in Rio on Thursday morning, was diverted to Belo Horizonte due to fog but after it cleared they landed in Rio on Thursday afternoon and, after a visit to the statue of Christ the Redeemer, travelled to Rio Bonito to begin their 'Days in the Diocese' preparation for the World Youth Day celebrations.
Sarah Beatty writes: 'In Rio Bonito we were greeted by our families and other people in the town. One of the host families had a party for our arrival so we were all then taken to her house where we were introduced to some Brazilian music and dancing, and some of their praise and worship songs and their dance routines. It was a lot of fun despite our tiredness.
'On Friday 19 July we had our "Solidarity" day in which the town shared with us how they work in solidarity with the poor and those less fortunate. They have Day Care Centres which are free for the parents to leave their children while they work. There are also an old peoples home, drug rehabilitation centre, and a parish run medical centre which helps around 4000 families a year. This day, as typical with Brazilians, was opened by Mass and more music and more dancing.
' On Saturday we had a "Family day" which meant we spent the entire day with our host families, some going to the local beaches, some played football with the locals and other activities. After this we went to a "quadrilha" dance party, which in English terms would be a Barn Dance. It was great fun and a good chance for the local people to gather with us and share their culture. The party itself was to celebrate the month of July.'
More pictures from Rio Bonito are here