Thursday, December 22, 2011

There is a Christmas in Taiwan!

Yesterday was kind of a rough day. Rachel and I gave our Christmas presents to our AK class because Jack is on a trip with his family so yesterday was his last day in class. Tiffany burst out in tears because she knows that we are leaving, and then Jack gave us Christmas presents and I started crying. Because Tiffany was crying and I was thinking about Friday and that I wasn't going to see Jack anymore and it was all very upsetting. But the day did improve. Rachel and I went to say Merry Christmas to the scooter people after she got out of class. See, every Sunday we have to walk past the train station to catch our bus to church. There is a parking garage of sorts for scooters next to the train station and there are three different people who work there. Every time we walk past they say hello and smile at us and they have become our sort of pals. So for our sort of pals we took fresh fruit and a Christmas card. And they speak no English other than "hello" and we speak no Chinese that would have been helpful in the situation. And it was grand and we were slightly cheered from our saddening AK happenings. And then on our way home we found this:

A Taiwanese Christmas tree! Hooray! And Look!

CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS!!!! Baaaaaaaaahhh! This made us very happy. Also, I watched the Christmas Devotional yesterday, which is a happy thing too :)

Today I taught my second graders for the last time and my younger writing class :'(  I think tomorrow will be the most distressing though...

Oh! Also! Do you remember my Taiwanese-y backpack that was briefly mentioned awhile back? You know, the one I broke with my over-the-top karate chop? I got it fixed! Yay! I asked Charlene (one of the super awesome girls that works as a secretary here) if she knew of any place that I could get it fixed. She didn't. BUT, someone else downstairs did! And she only speaks Chinese so she explained to Charlene where this cobbler shop was whilst drawing a very obscure and unhelpful map that included a lot of circles and squiggly lines. And I'm sure it would have worked out nicely had I been able to understand her Chinese, but something got lost in translation when Charlene re-explained to me. There was some confusion of directions and something about turning left somewhere around the morning market. And well...I wandered down four different streets and found a bunch of alteration shops and some expensive pomegranates, but no cobbler shop. And I was frustrated and just wanted to be home where I could ask people for help and figure out where to get this stupid bag fixed and I finally decided to walk back to the place where I had parked my bike and just go home. Well, on the way back a girl saw me walking back down the street and asked me if I was lost. And then she walked me all the way to the cobbler's shop and helped me get my bag fixed! Because people are just awesome like that here. Girl who helped me, you will never ever see this blog or me again, but I love you!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Note

First of all, how am I going to say good-bye to faces like this one?

The other day I spent the better part of a Saturday sobbing. I am going to miss these kids so much. There are three days left of teaching and nine until I get on a plane to go home. I have a multitude of mixed feelings over this fact. On the leaving side I am very sad. I don't like good-byes and I certainly don't understand why the word good is in them. I love how willing everyone here is to help and how people actually smile back at me here. Also it is upsetting to know that I will not have celebrity status when I go home :) But, on the coming home side of things, it will be nice to not be stared at all the time, to be able to have complete conversations with strangers, and to not face death every time I set foot outside the school. I am happy to be seeing my families and my friends. And I will not be sleeping on something akin to a box spring! Hooray!

Also, I am going to miss everything being covered in cartoons and such. Everything here is cute! Well, not everything. But all their little nick-knacks and art supplies and bags and, and all that crap that you don't actually need, but want to buy because it's so stinkin' adorable. Plus, the money here is pretty. I will miss the pretty money.

As much as I don't want to leave, I really just want to get it over with. My stuff is packed, my lesson plans are submitted, my last primary lesson is taught, most everything on my to-do list is accomplished and I just want to go!

Okay, i am done with my blabbering.

Peace out my little lemmings (random reference for Heather)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I give you pure joy

A few months ago I came across a photo of strawberry milk whoopie pies. With sprinkles. Their magnificence was so utterly devastating that I almost cried. I know that I am prone to exaggeration, but I swear this is not one of those cases. My eyes were watering and my insides were bursting with joy. I was very nearly brought to tears. Here is the photo. Please revel in it's beauty:

I'm sure you didn't appreciate that as much as I did, but I feel that I have done my part in trying to make your world a little brighter.

Now, I would like to tell you about something that makes me at least one hundred times happier than those whoopie pies. So happy that I feel I might explode into a perfect cloud of sparkly dust. It is something so sweet and wonderful and amazing that I feel the need to share it with everyone possible. It's sweeter than puppies and baby eyelashes and rainbows and perfectly wrapped presents all folded into one sugary sweet ball of perfection. "What," I'm sure you are wondering, "could be so wonderful that it outranks babies and puppies?" Well, I am here to tell you: zombie love. But not just any zombie love. Zombie love in musical form with adorable little zombie figures.

Isn't it so wonderful that it makes you want to weep with joy? If you don't have the impulse to dance and hug everyone in the whole world and eat strawberry milk whoopie pies to celebrate the joy you feel inside, then I think it's probably because you're jealous of a love that is deeper than Edward and Bella's.

p.s. Here is the link if you want it to fill up your whole screen. Something I strongly recommend.
The Zombie Song

p.s.s I need to thank Rachel for introducing me to this wonderful music.

p.s.s.s. You can download this song for free here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tile floors are more comfortable than my Taiwan bed

Hello my fine friends! Long time no post, right? I'm sure you have missed me and have been wondering whether I was still alive or if I had finally found a fatal bicycle accident to involve myself in. Wellllll, lucky for you I have spent the last hour and a half trying out every possible sleeping position on my floor and the bed and found none of them fit for use. Therefore, I am here to tell you some fine tales. And maybe share a photo with you.

There definitely hasn't been a lack of events to post on lately. The predicament is that I finally caught onto the pinterest craze and have been sucked into the virtual world of glowstick lanterns and horses with pretty manes. Also, I have started actually completing the to do lists I come up with.  But who cares right?! On toward story number one...

A few weeks ago I hopped on a train with a pretty pack of girls from the place of Berhan and we headed off to Taichung to see the jade market and visit the art museum. From the train station we had to catch a bus. So we figured out what bus we needed to take and lucky us! It rolled up just as we found out! Great! Grand! Good! MAGNIFICENT! We hurriedly made our way toward it. Only too bad for us. Because it turns out everybody loves that bus and wanted some time with it. So the bussy guy told us "No way Jose are you fitting on this bus! Go back to the curb and wait for the next one." At least I assume it was something like that. I can't be sure because I don't actually speak Chinese which is what the words a comin' out of his mouth were in the form of. Anywho, being the obedient girl I am, and not wanting to try to force myself onto a bus full of sweaty, stinky people, I turned around to go back to the curb. And then I got run over. Not a joke. I for reals got run over people! And this was like a month ago! HOW DID I FORGET TO TELL ANYONE THIS!!! Actually, not only did I forget to tell anyone, I completely forgot that it had happened until Rachel alluded to it on the way home from church yesterday. So the best part about this story is really that I somehow forgot that I got run over. But, back to the actual story: a taxi came a rollin' down the street and landed smack dab on my foot. Because he actually stopped whilst the tire was still squarely on my foot bones and cons. And then I sort of just stared at my foot and Sara looked for a second and then was like "It's on your foot...IT'S ON HER FOOT!" And then I looked up at the driver and gave him a really confused look and then back at my foot with the same look. And I tried to pull it out. But it turns out taxis are kind of heavy, so it was pretty stuck. And Sara made that driver move his car. And everybody was a little bit worried and I told them "I'm okay, it was just a car." Which may not seem like a really rational thing, but it's true. Also, did I mention that the bus station was packed and I had a really large, avid audience? Because people stare at us white girls all the time. So I'm pretty sure most of them caught the whole thing. And then they all watched me walk back to the curb. It was great. It probably would have been a whole lot more embarrassing, except I was super tired so I wasn't all there.

The rest of the day was pretty great. We saw a hilariously inappropriate Buddha teapot and a really beautiful art installation. Plus someone, whose name I will omit, fell up the stairs at the museum, which was pretty entertaining. And then we sung in Chinese for a church meeting and had a few different conversations about squirrels. And the effects of koolaid on stomach lining. Also, due to my lack of sleep I became very...happy? Loopy? Energetic? Crazy. And on the way home we encountered a group of teenagers who looked like hooligans and I told Rachel that we could take 'em, and drove home the point by doing a finely executed karate chop. So finely executed, in fact, that it busted the strap of my brand new Taiwanese-y backpack. Which was equally depressing and hilarious at the same time.

And now my friends, it is 12:08 and I must needs try to sleep again. So I am not obliged to give you a photo at this time. Come and see me again on Wednesday and I'll see what I can to for you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

To My Mother

Hey mom! Look! It's Hannah Montana! I haven't seen Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez around yet. Actually, I have forgotten what they look like, so maybe I have seen them and just not known it...

Clarity and Contemplation

I have spent a lot of time this past month or so paying better attention to my inner dialog. I'll tell you what, it's been pretty chaotic inside here. I've had a lot to deal with spiritually and emotionally lately and I have therefore been putting a lot of contemplation, prayer, and study into the decisions and trials I am facing currently. And you know what? I have had a break through of sorts. What I mean by this isn't that I have learned anything completely new, it's just that being able to sort through everything inside of me created a chance for a lot of important pieces to come together and create something new right in the center of me. And now I feel all bright and airy inside. Like I'm filled with sunshine. And I like that. I am reveling in the peace and clarity that is there. No problems have been magically solved, but I have gained a whole new perspective on them and it makes them seem so much less...daunting. They are still mountains, but instead of a walk along a rocky crag where I feel sure that I will fall to my death at any moment, it will be more like a difficult hike up a breathtakingly beautiful path. And I may even be looking forward to them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kenting and Country Music

This past weekend was moon festival, which I would love to tell you all about. Only not really because I don't know much about it and I spent it celebrating the beach and learning that Taiwan is way cooler than I originally thought. I ate popcorn chicken. Yes people, popcorn chicken. It was like I was halfway home. Even though I don't think I have actually ever eaten popcorn chicken in the U.S. I also received blessings from the sun in the way of a lesson called "Be smart and wear sunscreen or be cooked like a pig at a Hawaiian luau." I am not the smartest all of the time. But I am not the only one who got taught a lesson.

I also got to hang out with some of the most awesome girls out there. I didn't think I could love them more than I already did. I was wrong. Because I do. End. Of. Story.

Oh, and did I mention that I got to speed around on the back of a scooter? I did. And it was FREAKING FANTASTIC.

Other things included in my weekend: new music I love, the most awesome night market I have met yet, a delicious Subway sandwich, lots of laughter, cotton candy, sandals, a three hour train ride without a seat, late night orange juice from 7eleven, a corndog with french fries in the batter, a crazy, but awesome, Canadian hostel owner, and a very awkward/hilarious happening that involved a German, an open bathroom door and a near heart attack.

Here are some pictorial representations of my amazing weekend:

Baisha beach

We had a hard time jumping all at the same time.

LOVE Heather's expression. What is she doing? I have no idea, but I'm glad I captured it :)

Kendra and Kylie

Sara and Jessica...admiring the scenery?
Cute Nica in her cute hat that I want. Only I don't think I could work it like she does.

Heather and Sara are thugs. And they're gonna come after me for posting this photo.

Sara chowing down on her amazing, delicious, magnificent french fry hotdog, and probably wishing I took less pleasure in capturing moments like this.

Terri, the most awesome person ever. She is probably in the top 5 nicest people I know.

Rock. Sharp rock.

Heather is an amazing dancer and I am jealous of her skills.

I would like to point out that there are three whole photos of me in this post, all none too flattering. Be proud of me. Three. Whole. Photos. Really, you need to be proud.