V21 Retreat- June 10 / by Callie Burnett

Last week, we went as a group to a small town east of Lisbon, Marinhais. Our friend, Vanda, lives there so she hosted us for lunch (it was obviously incredible!). We then spent some time learning from Vanda as she gave a talk on rest. We finished with taking communion together, and then we headed out to the dam you see below to try and not get chased down by ducks. We grabbed cold drinks, sat on the patio, and played games like time didn't exist. We then went to watch the bulls running in a small town nearby. This is a tradition every year on Portugal Day, and it definitely is a window into such a unique culture. Because we didn't finish all of the lunch that Vanda had prepared, we went back and ate dinner. Seamlessly, we transitioned into a time of worship & prayer. Then, when I thought the night was over, we went to a fair as the world had cooled down a bit and the sun was well set. We payed 2.5 Euros for a ride that lasted 10 minutes long (seriously, America could take some tips from Portugal on this one), and walked around dancing and singing as the locals crowded around, waited in lines, and watched live performances. The day ended after 12 hours, and, for your introvert here, I was ready to head to bed! It was such a wonderful day of being together, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.