There is much to tell about, but I don't really know how. Living here has opened my eyes to so many things. I have grown as an individual and matured in a lot of ways. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have had to come here and experience life here.
Some of the things that has/will happen:
One Saturday me, Candice and Carly went to Ershui and saw monkeys. We were 5 feet away from us. There were mostly females and they had their baby monkeys with them! They were so cute. I forgot my camera that day so I don't really have any pictures to show for that. I still need to steal them from my roomies.
I have also been on quite a few home visits. Mostly with Sam and his kids, but it is still fun. It is nice to meet the parents of the kids we teach and to spend some time with real Taiwanese families and go to places that I would have never gone to if it weren't for them.
This past saturday all of us, except Candice, went hiking with a family from the school. They have taken us out before and they are really great people. Both parents have spent time living in the states and attended college there so they know english really well. We went hiking at Shitou Park. It was a little chilly and rainy when we went and it made it so much better. There was a beautiful mist that covered the area and much of where we were was covered by trees so we were hidden in the forest for most of the day. It was so gorgeous. The main attraction is the "Big Tree." It really is just a big tree that is in surrounded by many other trees. It is said that the tree is about 2,000 some years old and you could tell it had been hit by lightning. It was cool, but not that great.
I have a busy next couple of weeks and am sure that the last 2 months that I have here are going to fly by. This upcoming saturday I am going to Sun Moon Lake, again for the 3rd time, with Sam and one of his kids' family. May 9th I am going to Taipei to see Elder Christofferson speak at a YSA fireside. My stake is paying for us to go on a bus and feeding us dinner! I am so excited to go. May 13 BYU-H Concert Choir will be doing a performance in Taichiung, which is where I go to church, so we are planning on going to that. May 15th I am going on a home visit with one of my kids. It is the only one I am going on that is one of my own so I am pretty dang excited for it. They are taking me to Lugang, which is a town pretty much on the coast of western Taiwan. There is a fan maker there that paints pictures on to fans. In the past other teachers have gotten temples put on the fans. I am excited to see what pictures he can do and see if I can get a cool fan to bring home.
Speaking of bringing stuff home, I have started a list of things I want to make sure I bring home with me. One the top of that list is peanut butter and socks! Weird I know, but it;s true. Also, cards. I went to the stationary store (that is what we call it because we don't know the real name, and we name everything) and spend almost $30 USD. I bought a ton of cool cards because they were so unique. It is hard to find really fun cards in the states sometimes so I am stocking up on cards. I also am buying lots of tights while I am here. Everyone wears tights here so it is pretty easy to find lots of different style of them.
The main reason (which took me a while to get to because I realized how much there was to talk about) is about one of my kids, Frank. He is such a fun-loving, crazy, out-there kid. He tries really hard in school and I am so afraid to give him bad grades because he gets beat if he gets below an A. (If you ever wonder why Asians, from asia, are smart it's because many of them are required to do well and go to school for 10 hours a day!) I found out that on Saturday he was hit by a car. He ran out of his front door into the street and got hit. From what I can understand from the people at work he was in a coma, but is conscience now. He is still in ICU as far as I know. I wanted to ask for you to pray for Frank and his family. I do not know how bad his condition is, but I know that it is bad. I get to go to the hospital with my boss Wednesday morning to see him. I almost cried when I was talking to my boss about this. It really breaks my heart to hear when one of my kids is hurt or upset. A few weeks ago, Minnie, came to school on tuesday and she was the only one there (there are normally only 2 on tuesday). She was really tired and I think sad/intimidated to be the only one. She spent half the time crying. It was so painful to see how upset she was and now with Frank I can barely handle it. Carly pointed out that she loves how me and Candice call our students "my kids." It really is true, I spend 15 hours a week with these kids and get to see them almost every day. I have such a deep love for my kids and want nothing but the best for them. I know that this is just a glimpse into how much I will love my own kids, but I truly care about each and everyone of them. So, please pray for Frank to make a full recovery.
Here are some pictures of Frank:
Andy (on the left) and Frank (on the right) playing with the rope during a game of monkey in the middle.