Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from across the globe descended on the Spanish capital on Aug. 15 with an array of colorful T-shirts, bloodshot eyes and a unified spirit of excitement about World Youth Day. Sona Mpofu of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and 21 other pilgrims from southern Africa were exhausted by their journey but thrilled about being at World Youth Day. “When you come here, you feel at home,” said Mpofu, 27. “You don’t need to explain yourself. You are who you are. We understand each other.” Said Fungai Mawada, 20: “It’s been an overwhelming experience when you see that everyone shares the same faith, despite color, race and upbringing and culture. We all have that one thing in common. To get here, it’s like coming home to a bigger family.” For most of the group from Zimbabwe, it was not only their first World Youth Day, but their first time coming to Europe and even their first time boarding an airplane or leaving their country.
Zimbabwe Pilgrims Arrive in Madrid