This past weekend, I decided to go on a spiritual retreat with the Colegio Mayor de Jesus Maria. I didn't exactly know what to expect since my only experience with college retreats was with Fordham's Campus Ministry. However, I was in for quite a surprise. I was able to meet so many new Spanish friends and, at the same time, experience spirituality in a new and beautiful way. The retreat house was absolutely beautiful and completely made me feel at home and comfortable with my new friends.
It’s something very special to be able to experience this type of retreat in another language. Something about it makes it feel much more beautiful and it’s very difficult to explain in English. Our word to focus on during the retreat was "encuentro". We looked at this word and various other forms of the word such as "encontrarme", "encontrarnos" and many others and we had to apply this word to what we felt like we were getting out of this retreat. I was especially nervous when it came time to explain my feelings to the whole group since I felt as though I was at a disadvantage since I'm not a native Spanish speaker. However, it made the experience all the more special being able to try to communicate with everyone and having everyone be so hospitable.
We also got the chance to talk to people one-on-one. Each person chose someone that they knew the least to get to know. These one-on-one experiences were the best part of the retreat. Even after the retreat, I have made lifetime friends. It would definitely be something I would try again.