An Argentinian family drove 13,000 miles from their home in Beunos Aires to see the Pope in Philadelphia as the Pope visited the United States. They made the trip as a great adventure, taking six months to make the drive in a Volkswagen micro-bus. They not only got to see the Pope, they also met him and talked with him as an added bonus.
The family, Catire Walker, 41, his wife, Noel Zemborain, 39, and their four children, ages 3 to 12, got a phone call early in the morning and were surprised they had been invited to meet the Pope. They never expected to get the call, and they rushed to get ready and went to meet the Pope, still not quiet believing it was true.
“You are crazy,” the Pope, who is also from Buenos Aires, told the family as he joked with them, according to an article on the Washington Post.
The family said the Pope was very warm and friendly. The Pope had been following their journey on the Facebook account they had set up to keep friends posted about their progress on the trip. They made 13 border crossings during the trip.
To make the trip they drove across Argentina to Chile and up the west coast of South America, through Mexico, and went through New Orleans before heading to Philadelphia. They made many stops and saw a lot of sights. They home schooled their children along the way. There were a few breakdowns, one in Guatamala left them stuck for three weeks, and there was another breakdown in Delaware. There were several minor breakdowns, they said, and their faith that they would make the trip rose and fell at various times along the way.
They stayed with many host families along the way, and said they were grateful for financial support they had received as they made the trip. They had been hoping to make a long vacation trip, but were busy with raising children and working jobs that left them little time. When they heard the Pope was coming to the United States, they decided to take the plunge. They both quit their jobs, loaded up the micro bus and set out on their journey.
They will be going back to Miama and will fly home from there. “This was a trip of hope,” Noel Zemborain said last week just before they got to Philadelphia.