Namaste, Philly!

Sprawled on the couch this rainy Wednesday night, post-Vinyasa Flow and spooning peanut butter, I have come to the realization that summer is almost over. I suppose I jumped on the blog train a little late, since most people are now ending their accounts of exciting travels or internships and getting back into school mode. But why not continue a blog into the semester… or even longer? It would be nice if I had better documentation of my work at LIFT and my time in Philadelphia, it was awesome, but I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it! In honor of its awesomeness, however, I will include a few brief highlights.

The first, would definitely have to be my job. I worked full-time as a summer fellow with LIFT Philadelphia. On a typical day I did one-on-one client service with low income community members, helping them write resumes, apply for jobs, secure housing, and just being there to listen and support them on their journey. (We do a lot more, but you can read about it on the website). I got pretty close with some of my regular clients, and even closer with the rest of the staff. We would get together for weekly Taco Tuesday nights, go swing dancing, discuss poverty in-depth, and just hang out at the office. In addition to client service and getting to know the staff, I worked on a special project all summer – creating a promotional video to use in recruitment. I’ll post the link here when it’s finished!

Some of us at the office on Sandi's Last Day

A still frame from the footage for my project

The next highlight would have to be Heather’s visit. It was such a great weekend, and she is by far one of my favorite people. We shared a bottle of wine at this great little local foods restaurant the first night and stayed up way too late talking. On Saturday, we went for a run along the Schuykill River, visited the Rittenhouse Square farmer’s market, and did the audio tour of the mural mile. We had another excellent dinner out, then made a strawberry pie (which unfortunately melted into a soupy mess) to take to a live arts backyard party with some of my friends from Circle. FYI, Circle of Hope is the church I’ve been attending this summer, and it’s wonderful. Saying goodbye on Sunday wasn’t too sad considering we’ll hang out all the time in the fall, AND that I was headed out to Colorado that afternoon.

Heather and I in front of one of the awesome murals

Which brings me to my last highlight – my amazing week in Colorado. Beth and I flew out to visit our parents in Boulder, where my Dad is doing sabbatical this semester. My aunt’s family (Joanne, Greg, Mike, Christian) was also visiting so we met up with them in Breckenridge for some hardcore hiking and mountain biking and then back in Boulder for more hiking and family time. I haven’t gotten the chance to really spend time with them since I was twelve, so it was really nice. Plus it’s always wonderful to see my parents, and my adorable dog, Sadie. The whole visit was just relaxing and rejuvenating. I needed to get out of the city for a while, and a break from the job really helped. As much as I love it, my work can be mentally and emotionally draining. The scenery in Colorado is just breathtaking, and the air felt so clean. It was perfection. I wish I could move out there, too! I can’t wait to visit again in the fall and do some skiing and snowboarding!

Some of the beautiful wildflowers on our first hike

All of us in front of a glacial lake at the end of a hike in Breckenridge

I didn’t mention the rock jumping afternoons at the river, the crazy DJ Deejay dance parties, the stabbing at the park, cat-sitting in center city, my bike getting stolen, the fabulous weekly cell meetings, roller blading on boathouse row, or my visit to the Simple Way, but believe me, it all happened. I can’t express how amazing this summer has been and how much I love Philadelphia. And now it’s all coming to an end… in a matter of two weeks I will be in Auburn, AL celebrating my 21st birthday with my best friends. In a matter of three weeks I will be in class back at Furman in Greenville, SC. In a matter of four weeks… ha ha just kidding. I wish!

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