Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Things I will miss

1. Seeing my beautiful, fun loving kids
2. Being a celebrity
3. Having my picture taken either with my knowledge or without
4. Playing charades every time I want to communicate with people
5. Riding my bike everywhere
6. Riding my bike in the middle of the street
7. Going to other countries--We have named specific places Japan, Vietnam, Philippines and Korea
8. Chocolate Bing-shas (I need to figure out how to make them at home because I will go through some serious withdraws)
9. Almost always having someone with me when I go somewhere (ok, I might not miss this too much, but I will most certainly miss the company that my roomies provide me)
10. Getting lost with no way to figure out how to get unlost- no phone and a language barrier
11. Going to Clothes Street or Food Street
12. Staring at people and not feeling bad or awkward
13. Being stared at 24/7!
14. Haggling prices for stuff
15. Buying shoes for $6 USD
16. Trying to decipher what a sign says
17. Making up translations for what is being said
18. Talking about people when they are right next to me
19. Carefree life of living here
20. Waking up after I am scheduled to go to work, and not rushing to get to work
21. Asian fashion style... anything goes here!
22. The people I have met
23. Fresh fruits! They are amazing here
24. 7/11 on every other corner- The ones at home just don't compare to the ones here.
25. Night markets
26. Shopping in Taichung
27. The Philippinos!
28. The garbage truck song

I am pretty sure there are things that I missed, but you get the idea. I have learned to appreciate this country and the things in it. I still think to myself, Really, Really that just happened?!? But it is those moments that I love the most. A lot of things are very different than in the States, but if they were the same it would not be Taiwan. I hope to come back to visit some day (maybe by then I will have learned some Chinese). I can't believe I only have one more week of teaching and 2 more weeks until I am home. This might have been the fastest 6 months of my life!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The end is coming...

Well I failed miserably at my year in photo challenge. Oh well. I am not too upset about it. But I do have some photos of what I have been up to.

We had our Spectacular show in the beginning of June. This is me and Gina. She is not one of my students but she is fun to talk to.
My favorites! This is Amily on the left and Minnie on the right. If I could take home any of the kids it would be these two. I just love them. They are so fun and adorable. They make my class entertaining. Sometimes they get a little too out of control, but in general are very good students. I am going to miss them so much!
Walking along the street in Taichung from Japan. We found the equivalent of the Japanese dollar store and have been there multiple times. When you go there you find things that you did not know you couldn't live without, such as a rice molder in the shape of a heart.! But as we were walking back to the train station we looked up and saw this billboard. Yes, that is a baby in a test tube. Gotta love Taiwan :)

President and Sister Hoer. This is the mission president for the Taichung Taiwan Mission and his wife. I absolutely love these two. They were so great and helpful and nice. I have decided that I want to be like Sister Hoer. She is a spunky, energetic, passionate woman. They leave the same time as us to return home after 3 years here in Taiwan.
Finding a bathroom is sometimes hard to do here and when you do you are scared of the conditions it will be in. One night while shopping in Taichung we found this bathroom in the back of an eyeglass shop. This is a picture posted on the wall of the real toilet. The other one was a squatter. I just love the picture of the Lego man.

What is that you ask? Oh that is a bunny in the mall's food court! The guy took it out of its cage and sat it down and started feeding it. I did not know you were allowed to bring animals into the mall but now am intrigued to find out exactly what kind of animals I can smuggle into the mall.
Saturday afternoon I went to my friend Nic's boxing match. This is the second one that I have seen and the second one that he has ever done. The first one was pretty bad on his end. But he improved a lot and won his match! Way to go Nic!
Saturday night we had a talent show in our branch. This is Emily playing the piano. She is 5 and is one of the cutest kids ever. She is the Branch President's daughter and is such an angel. I am going to miss her and her brother Bradley so much! You would be amazed to see how well behaved the two of them are.
This is Rolland. He gets the most changed award. He was a quiet boy that did not talk a lot in class. Now he is the class clown. He loves to say "Teacher want to die" and draw pictures of me dying. He is much more outgoing in class and I love it. He has such a cute smile and a fun personality. I am so glad that I was able to see this side of him before I leave. But it makes leaving him that much harder.
Oh, why hello. I did not see you there. Oh wait, you're not real?!? You are a mannequin! They love to have their mannequin's look like real people. They do not look asian either. They have wigs and make up on. It is crazy to see them and I frequently think that it is a real person and then feel stupid after realizing that is fake.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Oil everywhere!

Since being out the country and having less chances of hearing the news, I have been trying to read the news to keep up with what is going on. Thankfully I have Candice who is much better at it than me and tells me plenty of news that I don't read. But how can I not have read about the major oil spill that happen in the Gulf.

I did not read about it when it first happened, because I was watching the news on Thailand to see if it was safe for me to travel there or not. Now that I am not traveling anywhere in Asia, by attention has turned back to American news stories. The oil leak is the worst in history and let's hope there are no more after it that surpasses the damage that has been caused.

I have thought how thankful I am that I am not on BP's Public Relations team. I can't even imagine the nightmare of having to deal with this kind of catastrophe. I never wanted to go in to crisis PR and definitely do not envy their jobs right now. People are angry for the damage being done to the water, marshes, beaches and their lives. I completely understand where their fear and terror come from. But people are forgetting that it is because of them that this is happening too. No, I am not talking about the end of the world and the showing of the times. I am talking about the need for oil. Every person needs it. Every person expects to have oil to make their lives run easier. It has always been a risk that a rig will explode and/or leak. I am sure that there were things that BP could have done to prevent it, but that time has come and gone. Now they are trying what they can to get through this and to clean up the damage that they have created. But if our need for oil did not drive their company, would they have been in the Gulf?

I am not trying to play devil's advocate, or defend BP. I just want people to remember that it is impossible to place all the blame on one party. They are a business and we are the consumers.

I also am slightly annoyed at the people that are angry at President Obama. They are upset that he is not showing more emotion, but then when he does show emotion some people call him out on it. The position of being president is one of the most difficult things to do, I imagine, and it is impossible to be Superman. People forget that he is human and that it takes the same time as anyone to gather and process information before he acts. If he made decisions with getting all the information he could, and made the wrong decision people would never let him forget it. I hope that he takes the time to learn what he can before he makes a decision that could cause more harm and damage to an already fragile situation.

Alright, I am done venting about things. Let's hope BP can drill those relief wells quickly!