Thursday, July 31, 2008

Taiwan Journey-- Thursday, July 30, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008 (Hualien)
A new day has come and is part way through, where does the time go? How am I ever going to keep up with my life? I do not know, but it will definitely be done. So where to start, last night after I took my nap I was just sitting at my computer typing away on more of my journal when Natalie and Brooke came by my window asking if I was hungry (of course I was ;D) so we got on our bikes (I borrowed one as mine wasn’t brought until later last night) and rode to a night market, it was ok I only almost killed myself twice. It has been a really long time since I have ridden a bike and it was a little weird, but I made it and all was ok. So anyway we parked out bikes at the night market and we started to walk around. Brooke kind of gave me the tour, explaining what stands sold what, which ones she thought were good, etc. After we had walked through the whole place she asked me was sounded good, I knew right off that the fruit juice stands sounded really good. But I also thought that something called Coffin bread sounded good too! We went and ordered our coffin bread, I got sweat and sour chicken (is similar to French Toast, but filled with savory fillings, such as black pepper beef or curried chicken—it what really good they cut it open half way down and then fill it with stuff and then cook it with eggs), I liked it but I was trying to go slow and didn’t eat the whole thing- I brought it home and put it in the fridge and had it for breakfast (I actually liked it better cold). While we were waiting for the bread to cook, Natalie and I went over to the fruit stand to order our juice, basically you just tell them what fruits you want and the size that you want and they will put the fruit in a cup and then in a blender and mix it, pour it back in the cup, and then they do the coolest thing they seal it with a lid. Then you can take them home in your bike and not have to worry about them spilling, when you are ready to drink it, you just take a straw and pierce it and there you have your drink. I will try and take a picture of my drink next time I get one (as I am sure that I will be having a lot more of those drinks)- what I had last night was pineapple and grape (It was absolutely AMAZING!!) After we had eaten our dinner we decided to head back, Brooke had to come back home for a tutoring session so she went on ahead back to the apartment, but Natalie and I decided to stop and get some fruit at a fruit market. There was so many different types of fruit, many that I had seen and heard of but many others that I had not. One thing that is interesting, if you get the smaller watermelons they are yellow inside, I guess they taste totally normal but they are just a different color. I bought a couple of apples (totally funny, they have Chile stickers on them—ok so I thought it was funny) and I also got a bunch of grapes, it was kind of funny when we were looking at what bunch of grapes a lady who was also shopping for some just started handing us grapes from different bunches to try, I guess Natalie said that they did that the first time she went also, they think that color of grapes that we would normally get (which is what she tried to grab in the first place) are sour and that we should get grapes that are almost black (of course they were right they were way sweeter). So for a bunch of grapes and 2 large Fuji apples it only cost me $140NT ($100NT is supposed to be about $3)—oh yeah also my fruit juice only cost $25NT and the coffin bread cost $40NT, food here is way cheap. After we bought our fruit we headed back, Natalie was impressed that I remembered my way back, though I did try and stop at the wrong house at first. I did get scared out of my mind when a dog barked out the shadows only like two feet from me, I have been told that I will have to get used to all the wild dogs and to never feed them or they will follow me home.
So when we came home I got back on the computer for a little bit longer and then I started to be able to smell myself and figured that, that wasn’t too good (it had been 2 days since I had last showered and being in the humid heat hadn’t helped matters much either) so I asked Brooke when she was done with her tutor session how to work the shower, the water was absolutely freezing and at first it was a shock but it felt so wonderful that I didn’t care. I guess in the past few weeks or so the utilities have gone up 30%, so we have to try and leave the lights off and try to use the fans as little as possible (so not use them all night, etc.) I guess it will be a good thing that I most likely won’t need the water warmed very often (I guess that Keylien (the one that just moved out and I probably just butchered her name) takes a hot shower every night (I don’t understand why she would want a hot shower)). After my shower I was getting ready for bed when Natalie came in to my room and we talked for probably 45 minutes just about random stuff, her mostly trying to help me get orientated, as I was being told a lot of information to take all in on one day. She told me about this restaurant that she went to this past week that we are going to go to at some point, she said that you walk in and there are pictures of cats everywhere and you can go to this window that looks out into a courtyard kind of thing and it is filled with tons of cats, she also said that there were several people eating at the restaurant who had their dogs with them. What she said was the coolest part though was that many of the seats were swings, they were connected to the ceiling and you could just swing back and forth. I am really excited to go, it sounds a little weird, but cooler than weird. Before I forget, one of the random things is that you can’t flush toilet paper down the toilet, I guess their pipes are not very good and if you do it to often it will back up and flood (which I guess that two past interns found out the hard way “twice”) I keep on forgetting, like this morning I went in and remember as I walked into the bathroom but as I was going my mind wandered to other things and it went straight into the toilet, I remembered as I was flushing. They told me that if I only do it a couple of times it will be ok but try and not to do it too often, I think that I am going to have to put a sign on my bathroom wall that says “DON’T PUT TOILET PAPER IN TOILET, PUT IT IN TRASH CAN” I would hope that, that would help me remember. I am sure that as time goes on it will just become a habit, it might be a little weird when I go home and just keep doing it, sorry for whomever has to deal with the garbage :D Oh to continue with the garbage, I found out how they gather the garbage, the garbage truck comes down the street playing the ice cream truck music and that tells people that they need to run out with their garbage (that is normally how they do it), but because we are a school Yuling has made a deal that we have it all tied together and we can put it out twice a week and they will pick it up, we just have to tie it together so it is only one thing that they have to pick up. An interesting thing about my shower is that there is no separation between the shower floor and the bathroom floor, it is all one floor so when I shower the floor is all wet and sometimes throughout the whole day. Anyway last night I was quite proud of myself, I went to bed by 11pm. I finished talking with Natalie, said my prayers, put my headphones on and then went to bed.
I had set my alarm for 7:30am, but the sun comes up rather early and so I was up at 6am. I did not know what time it was when I first got up, I was afraid that I had overslept through my alarm (as it has happened many a time before) so after going potty I checked my clock to see what time it was, I considered going back to bed but instead I started writing in my journal again to get caught up on what had happened. I continued writing until about quarter to 8 and then went into the kitchen where I ate breakfast (the rest of my coffin bread and some grapes) I then jumped into the shower (where you know what I did ;D). At 9am I went downstairs with Brooke where I joined her for the day in her classes to see how the schedule worked and what kind of things to plan.
The first part of the day is one hour long, right now it is broken into two groups (3-4 year olds and 5 year olds) as it is still summer, but when summer is over they will be broken into three groups (one group per age), both Natalie and Brooke start with a group, with Natalie working on letters and I am not quite sure what is Brooke’s set topic. Today we were talking about Opposites and we also did Calendar, anyway they work with the first group for 30 minutes and then switch groups (with the three groups it will be 20 minutes long). After the first hour the American teachers (which will be ME!!) are given a 40 minute break while the children have Chinese class. After that we come back together again and do 2-45 minute classes again, this time we talked about Earthquakes. After those sessions we have lunch with the kids and then they take naps while we are given about a 2 ½ hour break. After the nap we come back and the kids are in a mixture group with a little bit of each age in the groups. This week Brooke is teaching about the Olympics and we were discussing the sport Hockey today. I think that it will be an interesting adventure, I am very excited. I was introduced to each child that was there today, I already am pretty sure that I can remember some of them. I think that the girls will be a lot easier to recognize than the boys but we will see tomorrow. There are already some that are my favorites, Maggie, Cindy, Little Alice (there is Alice-she is gone for the summer, Little Alice, and Little Little Alice), and for the boys Jared and Sam (it is kind of nice there is an Eric and a Sam).
I guess that this is all for now, we are done with school for the day, now what would happen is I might be tutoring throughout the evening but tonight Brooke is not tutoring anyone and has invited the Sister Missionaries to dinner. That will begin in a little bit. I am sure that I will add a Part II later, as after dinner we are also going to the grocery store so that I can stock up on stuff. So for now, this is Betherd, signing off!

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