COUNTDOWN TO A HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE
Thursday, May 22, 2014
AM IN JERUSALEM - WROTE A FEW LINES ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE, joansrome, SO GO THERE FOR AN UPDATE - IS NOW SO LATE I AM NOT SURE IF IT IS LATE AT NIGHT OR EARLY IN THE AM! BUT I'M LOVING EVERY MINUTE!

COUNTDOWN TO A HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE

What can I say! I was overwhelmed with messages in my email and on my Facebook page about my upcoming trip to report on Pope Francis as he visits the Holy Land! A million thanks! I am heartened and excited about the many prayers that will accompany me in coming days as I visit Palestine, Jerusalem and, at the very end, Jordan. And if I get the chance to get a message to Pope Francis, Ill tell him of your prayers for his pilgrimage!!

You can follow me in the next 10 days on this page (when I have time to write), as well as on my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I will post news and photos as both time and circumstances allow, mainly having wi-fi or some kind of Internet access. Ill also post videos on my Youtube page as frequently as I can.

I will also be doing three half-hour radio reports for EWTN as well as wrapping up some of the live coverage on TV with Raymond. I am set to be on EWTN radio live wherever I am at the time Friday at 2:30 PM (ET), and both Saturday and Sunday at 4 PM (ET). So stay tuned!

Ill be moving around a lot and visiting people and places and, when allowed by local authorities, Ill cover papal events in person. Right now the press only has permission to cover Pope Francis arrival at Tel Avivs Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday morning and his visit to Israeli President Shimon Peres. All other events are small media pools. By the by, journalists who cover the meeting with the Israeli president will have a time trying to understand what they say to each other because both the Pope and President Peres have very soft voices. I have been to the presidential residence and heard Peres speak a few years back and you really had to lean forward to hear him.

I am really excited about every moment to come. I leave tomorrow morning for Tel Aviv and, with the hour time change, am scheduled to arrive at 2:15 pm. Ill get a taxi to Jerusalem, check in at my hotel and then go to the media center at the Hotel Mamilla, not far away. This is where the Vatican press corps will be staying for two nights. Ive been following the price increases online at Jerusalem Hotels. The 5-star Mamilla is a fantastic place but is now going at the rate of about $1,000 a night (NOT, of course, what the Vatican media arranged for!).

Heres a look at the historic Jerusalem landmark where I will be staying at a FAR lower cost! I wanted to be near the media center and also one of the ancient gates to enter the old city of Jerusalem. In addition, I am right across from the famous and historic King David hotel. http://ymca3arches.com/

As I prepare for this trip, I feel like I am experiencing AADD - Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. I start to write an email to someone about my trip and it reminds me of something I must tell someone else and I start that email. As I write I am reminded of a trip-related errand I must run so I make a note to do that and go to put it on a table in the hallway. In the hallway, I see something I should pack with me to take on the trip so I take that item and go to the bedroom and put it on top of the suitcase. I naturally then spot something that must go in the carry-on that will have my computer, documents, and other travel essentials and set that aside to pack. As long as I am in the bedroom, I think that perhaps I had just better start the whole packing procedure. This takes some time because Im interrupted by a few phone calls.

It is almost dinnertime and I finally realize I have to write Joans Rome so I return to my computer and voil, I spot the emails I started writing hours ago!

The three and a half-hour trip to Tel Aviv will be so relaxing: Emails have been sent, packing is done, carry-on is ready to go, travel documents are at hand. I just have to board the plane....and study the pages and pages of notes I've written!

The following information will be very useful for you well beyond the Holy Land pilgrimage of Pope Francis:

General information on all the ways to access EWTN - www.ewtn.com/everywhere/ U.S. Direct to Home Satellite Services - Dish Network Channel 26, Direct TV Channel 370 Satellite Information on all EWTN feeds around the world www.ewtn.com/tv/schedule_index.asp Web-streams of all EWTN feeds - www.ewtn.com/multimedia/live.asp EWTN web streams can also be viewed and heard on the EWTN smart phone app. EWTN Channel Finder for U.S. - www.ewtn.com/channelfinder/ U.S. Radio Affiliates - www.ewtn.com/radio/radioaffiliatemap/ U.S. Satellite Radio - SiriusXM channel 130 Shortwave Radio Frequency Guide - www.ewtn.com/radio/freq.htm EWTN page for the Papal Visit to the Holy Land - www.ewtn.com/holyland

Write to Joan at:
joansrome@ewtn.com

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View Joan's videos at : www.youtube.com/joansrome

CLICK HERE FOR PRACTICALINFORMATION ON VISITING THE VATICAN.




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