Thursday, March 11, 2010

The people I spend most of my day with

I wrote a post about my roommates, now it is time to show you who I truly spend most of my time with during the week. It is the kids that I teach. Until now I did not have a good camera to take a picture of them. You might think, "any camera would take a picture of them?" Well for some odd reason these kids hate to have their picture taken. When ever I would bring out my camera they would run away from it. They would hide under desks and out the door in order not to have their picture taken. It is quite entertaining, and I have it on video. If I can figure out how to post videos on here I will put them up.

This is Amily. I hate to say that I have a favorite, but it is true. I absolutely love this girl. She is loud and outgoing, but listens to me when I tell her to do something. She always participates in class. She is a sassy girl with a lot of attitude. I cannot help but love her! I want to take her home with me.

Minnie! She is the youngest one in my class at the age of 6. She is such a smart girl.
Cindy... oh Cindy. I never liked teacher's pets when I was school and now that I am a teacher I still don't like them. She is crazy, cannot focus on one thing for a long time and is too clingy. I try really hard not to show that I can not handle her, but sometimes it seeps through. I'm working on it.
Duncan (left) and Thomas (right) So cute! I only teach Thomas one day a week, but Duncan I get for 4 days. They are the cutest kids. They are quiet and do not talk a whole lot, but when they do it shocks me almost every time. Their faces light up when the smile or know an answer

Yoyo. Definitely the most unique name of my kids, but his brother runs a close second with Engine
Frank. He is one crazy asian.
Emerson. Number one punk. He never listens to me. But he is so dang funny I can never really get mad at him.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Last Lecture

I have started to enjoy reading more, now that I am not in school. I can choose the books that interest me and am not forced to read a book. Reading has become much more pleasurable. I just finished "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. He was a professor at Carnegie Mellon when diagnosed with pancreatic caner. The book went into more detail about his life and his reasons for saying what he did during his last lecture. I love books about life. They are normally written by someone that does not have a lot of time left and has time to reflect on everything that has happened or could have happened in his/her lifetime. I love to hear the advice people give, and what is most important to them. When someone finds out they only have 3-6 months to live, that persons true self comes out. You can learn what that person cherishes and what he loves. It was an inspiring book about living your life and living it well. I think it was a great read.

Lantern Festival

I believe I came to Taiwan at the best time. There are two different semesters that I could have been here, and this one is definitely the best. We get more days off (which we get paid for) we miss typhoon season and we got to see Lantern Festival.

Lantern Festival lasts for about a week and today me, Candice and Carly went to Chiayi to see the largest Lantern Festival in all of Taiwan. It was only an hour and a half train ride to Chiayi. We got off the train and started walking down the street that would lead us to the Festival and went into a book/stationary store. We spent a good hour or so in that store. the bottom floor was books and the top was anything imaginable that was related to school and then some. It had art supplies and random collectables. I cannot explain the randomness that I found there, but it was definitely interesting. We then continued to walk towards the festival. Once we got there is was about dusk so the lights started to turn on. It was pretty cool to see all the different displays. The displays were was massive and the area was much larger than I thought it would be. There were not a lot of lanterns, but more lit up stationary floats. It is the year of the Tiger, so the tiger was raised above the other and it would move around in a circle. We got there when a performance was beginning and the big theatrical part was the tiger turned in a circle to music. There might have been more things afterwards, but we could not understand what the announcer was saying. For some reason he was speaking Chinese?!?! I have not yet mastered the language. I am very close though; I know hello, foreigner, american and the numbers 1-3!

Below are some pictures taken today, with my new camera!!! I love it. The color is very vivid and I feel like the pictures turn out much better. So far it has been a great buy! Thank you Nicholas and Stacy for taking me and interpreting for me. I have become so grateful for kind, considerate people. Living in another country and not being able to communicate what I want is hard, so when there are people there to make it easier I have become much more appreciative for their willingness to help me.

Lantern Festival! Great thing to experience and partake of as a local. (I got my resident visa and officially live in Taiwan!!!)
I love the cute little pink dress the tiger has on!
There is a restaurant that we call the toilet restaurant because they serve all of their courses in different types of toilets. We find an ice cream vendor that served their ice cream in a squatter! Of course I had to get one and document it! I think it is so funny, and definitely want to go to the restaurant.
My favorite Tiger of them all at the festival. I feel like this is the typical idea of something asian... a karate tiger!
The massive Tiger that was near the main performance stage.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I am excited to tell you that I got a new camera today. About a month ago I dropped my camera while hiking and broke my screen. I can only see out part of the screen and it makes for interesting pictures because I cannot see what I am taking a picture of. My parents sent me an old camera, but it just was not doing the trick. I am not very good at taking pictures and I have a shaky hand so when I used the old camera a lot of my pictures would come out blurry. I would get aggravated and frustrated with the camera so i stopped bringing it all together. Well, when you live in another country there are so many things you want to take a picture of to document and I was not doing that. So I got a new camera so I can remember all of my experiences and adventures I had in Taiwan. I took a few photos on the roof of my apartment building to test it out! I am so excited to start using it and I am sure it will come in hand when i am going to Chiayi tomorrow for the Lantern Festival!

I got a Canon Ixus 130. It is a new model and has only been out for about a month. It is so small! I really wanted to get the orange one, but the store I went to only had black so I decided that was ok. I am still a little sad about not getting the orange, but it is still a great camera!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Taiwan... I am ok!

This morning Taiwan had a 6.4 earthquake in the south eastern part of the country. At about 8:20 the earthquake happened. I was asleep, after hitting my snooze button, when I was jolted awake to a creaking sound. At first I thought it was my roommate Candice getting ready for work, but I quickly realized that it was an earthquake. I sat in my bed and could feel the building move. I have necklaces hung on my walls that I could hear shaking, so I knew it was not in my head. It last for maybe 15 seconds. It was about a 4.0 here in Changhua when it hit. It was an interesting experience for me, because it was the first earthquake I have experienced. It was not scary, mainly because it was not a violent shaking, more of a swaying. After it happened, one of my roommates, Brittney, asked if anyone felt that. (Sometimes we will ask if anyone just felt that earthquake, because they are little ones that just make you feel dizzy, and sometimes you are just imagining it) But this one we all felt.

Look at the story here from for more information.

Their have been so many earthquakes in the past month... Haiti, Chile, Japan and here that it makes me wonder, have there always been this many natural disasters to this magnitude, this close together? Or is it a sign of the times?

Monday, March 1, 2010


I am beginning to plan my trip through Southeast Asia and China. And I need your help. I want to know if anyone has been there and where I should go. I would love some tips on traveling, seeing as this will be the first time I will be traveling.