Exchange – Week 4

Week 4: September 12 – 18.

This weekend was my most eventful weekend in Pennsylvania since arriving in the US almost a month ago! Whilst the first part of the week was cliché (lectures, homework, exams…), the weekend was epic as I joined the Christian Union (CU) for their Fall Retreat!

Fall Retreat

Fall Retreat is a get away that the CU has, where we head away from the concrete jungle of Philly, to the relaxing and peaceful Pennsylvanian woodlands. Joined with around 30 brothers and sisters in Christ, we stayed at Black Rock Retreat, which was around an hour and a half drive from UPenn. The scenery was beautiful, and below are a few pictures (including a photo of a squirrel, because as an Australian, I just love seeing these fluffy rabbit like creatures roaming around):

We left UPenn for the retreat on Friday at 5pm, and then we left on Sunday to arrive back for 1pm. Over those few days we spent time hearing from God’s word, where we delved into the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7). We also had heaps of free-time as well, and in particular, it was great fun playing soccer!

It was also great to have my first ever campfire s’more! For those Australians who don’t ever experience anything beyond a toasted marshmallow, a s’more is where your wrap toasted marshmallows compressed between chocolate and crackers. Everyone was so excited to share in my first authentic s’more experience!

Empowered by the s’more sugar high, we then stayed up late for karaoke, before crashing to sleep in our cabins!

Overall, it was such a great time away! I’m so grateful for feeling so welcomed in the CU community, and I’m sure this trip will remain a key highlight of my year in the US!

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