Community Engagement: A memorable day for a group of Penn State University Students in Lancaster, PA

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On Saturday, April 21, 2018, a group of Penn State University Students visited Lancaster and its attraction and charming sites. Members of Bridge – an organization that helps through food and music to put people together – explained the inspiration and motive behind its creation.

Born in Lancaster and living in Philadelphia, Talisa Ramos, Assistant Director of Student engagement led the group of students who were amazed to discover the beauty of Lancaster. This county of 519,445 is growing every day.

Socially, the City is growing on the same rhythm as the county. Today, Lancaster is opening itself to the world and to diverse cultures. Refugees and immigrants from South America, Africa and the middle East are bringing their contribution to the chapter.

Called the Refugee Capital of the US, Lancaster is not only growing socially but also economically; the County is recreating itself; Park City with its 150 stores, Tanger Outlets with 65 stores, Rockvale Outlets with over 100 stores, and the new mall ‘’Belmont’’ on fruitville Pike all shine together with the Lancaster Central Market, shops, bars, cafes, arts galleries…

There is too much to see in Lancaster and, Penn State University Students were served. After the busy day, they sat at dinner table where Bridge Possible introduced them to Congolese food – Soso na Mbika [Chicken with Pumpkin seeds sauce], Makayabu [Salty fish], Pondu [ Kasava leaves], fufu [ Kind of Hard mashed potatoes], Mikate [ Congolese donuts] …

Mu Kaw, a refugee from Burma shared his story from refugee camp in Thailand to a safe and free life in Lancaster, PA. As musicians on their spare time, Mu Kaw and Shaddrack Bunkete from Democratic Republic of Congo played two songs each. Penn State University Students enjoyed every moment of this memorable day.

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