Exchange – Week 3

What a great week, with so many highlights! The week 3 summary covers the dates ranging from September 5 to September 11. Interestingly, this week coincided with Labour Day on September 5, meaning we had a public holiday on only the second week of classes!

Send Silence Packing – Suicide Awareness

Now, the first thing I wanted to share is a topic that might be distressing for some people, so please feel free to move on to the next part if this is too confronting.

During the week, UPenn was visited by the ‘Send Silence Packing‘ display from the ‘Active Minds’ organisation. This display was a confronting reminder of the number of people which sadly end their own lives. To represent this, they had backpacks on a lawn, where each backpack represent a person who had taken their life, with a description on the backpack about the person.

The idea of the display is to encourage the public to end the stigma of mental health, and to encourage us to talk openly with people we trust about the problems we are facing. This is best summed by one of their billboards, which says, “Stigma is shame. Shame causes silence. Silence hurts us all.”

It is my hope that all people have someone that they can turn too and confide with if they need to talk to someone. I have no shame in admitting that I’ve had some dark times where I’ve had to get support from those around me. I found talking about it incredibly helpful. I certainly hope that if anyone I know is struggling, that they’d feel comfortable reaching out to me for a chat.

Some additional resources that might be helpful for people in Australia:

I unfortunately don’t know enough about the States to provide a list, however, a quick Google search for resources in your state could be a great place to start. Additionally, if you are a student at UPenn whom is struggling, you should check out ‘Wellness at Penn‘, where you can received confidential and free psychological help. Also, some of the Australian resources above have some great articles to read which could be of use!

Reading Terminal Markets

For Saturday breakfast, Carson, James, Daniel and I went to Reading Terminal Markets. Essentially, the markets were in a massive building, where there were all these back-to-back eateries, featuring a plethora of different cuisines!

We all ate a crepe eatery, where for brekky I ate a croissant with egg and bacon, and for dessert, I couldn’t resist a Nutella crepe with ice-cream!

After we had a nice walk, where we had some nice nice photos in front of City Hall.

Phillies Baseball Game

One of my favourite moments from the week was heading to the Philadelphia Phillies vs Washington Nationals baseball game! This was the first full baseball game that I recall ever watching, and it was awesome. It was so engaging, and I honestly think that it might now be my favourite game to watch other than rugby league! I was so grateful to the Christian Union for inviting me to the game!

Thanks to Carson for taking and sharing some great photos!

Here is a panoramic view of the entire stadium:

Christian Union

I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to connect with the Christian Union! They’ve been such a warm and welcoming community. This week, I was happy to join them for ‘Philia’ on Thursday night, their weekly worship night. I also enjoyed joining them on Friday night for ‘Freshman and Friends’, a weekly event where we share a home cooked meal prepared by some members whilst sharing chats and games. As mentioned, it was also great to join them at the Phillies game. I’m so grateful to God for connecting with such a great group of caring and loving people!

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