Bus 16 celebrated De La Salle College Ashfield Year 10 student Alfred Niumetaiwalu’s 15th birthday in a way he is unlikely to forget.
The group of 35 people caught taxis from the foothills of Assisi where their hotel is located to buy delicious gelati and a surprise birthday cake – a chocolate-drizzled merengue the size of a large plate – for Alfred before making their way to the square outside the Basilica of St Clare, where the group’s walking tour of Assisi had ended at noon that day.
There we all sang happy birthday and watched the sun set. Bus 16’s musical talents were on full display, with students lending their guitar, ukelele, and vocal skills to the birthday tune and others.
There are not many where walking the streets in song wouldn’t raise eyebrows. Here it’s a sweet-sounding part of pilgrim experience.
“I was surprised and excited,” Albert said of his first overseas birthday.
“It was amazing that people were willing to be involved and celebrate that way. The cake was good. It was a vanilla flavour with chocolate on top.”