Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The World Be A-Trembling

Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Tomorrow I will have been in Taiwan for two weeks! What a crazy thought, in some ways it has gone by so quickly and I feel like I have been here almost forever, but in other ways I am still learning tons and feel like I just arrived yesterday.
Sunday’s dinner was quite good. It was vegetables and I actually liked most of them, the only one that wasn’t my favorite was Taro, Luke told me not to totally give up trying it, he said if it had been cooked a little different it would have been better. It was a quite delicious dinner also with chicken and some watermelon; it has been fun having dinner together each week together (though it feels like we have to spend a lot on it). After we had dinner we decided that we wanted to play some card games, it was nice having Luke, Kaylene, and Brooke like to play card games; but it was sad as Natalie and Amy decided to go and do friendship bracelets together in the other room- we were wishing that everyone would be together in the same room.
So I am excited to say that on Sunday Natalie and I sat down and we talked together and we were able to make the list of the themes for every week for the rest of our time that we are here….that is a BIG DEAL!! Last week we were scrounging for our theme at the last minute. It took a huge stress off my shoulders. I was still kind of disappointed as Natalie had the idea for what we were doing this week and she had 10 ideas about what we could do, but she once again took the best ideas. I guess that I should be happy that we are getting better at working together. Besides getting the weekly themes done for the rest of the 5 months I also made a list of daily lesson ideas for me, I think that I have close to 60 or so, so that will be able to cover me for awhile.
Yuling came back yesterday!!! It was exciting to finally meet her. She seems like such a nice lady, she told me that if I need anything just to tell her and she will try and find it/ get it for me. She said that they don’t want us to have to spend our own money on things so if we can give them a heads-up they will do it. I can’t believe that she just had a baby a month ago; she doesn’t even look like she was just pregnant. She seems a little older, but not exactly really old. I think that everyone is relieved to have her back, especially Teacher Stephanie (who has been doing all of Yuling’s work and her own while she has been gone). I have had a weird beginning; I guess generally Yuling is more involved with the new interns helping them find places and showing them the good businesses to go to. It has been an interesting beginning.
Yesterday my lessons went pretty well I thought, in my morning class we talked about pushing and pulling, we first looked all around the class and talked about which things we have to push or to pull to make them work and about how there are many things that can be pushed and pulled, depending on whether you needed to open or close it, etc. We then played a game where one person held my left hand another person held my right hand, the class then told each person whether they were supposed to pull or push, at one point the kids kept on going rather than the straight line that everyone had been doing and they went in a continuous circle, needless to say, by the end of the three classes I was quite dizzy. On Monday’s for my middle class I am supposed to do a lesson on some concept of safety or health, so yesterday I decided to talk about crossing the road safely and what the different lights mean. So of course we had to play red light, green light :D The classroom that we are in is not very long and they are quite fast so they have to ride these plastic horses, it is one of the funniest things that I have ever seen, seeing these kids bounce up and down across the room on these plastic horses. This week for the afternoon classes our theme is Transportation, so yesterday I talked about Bikes. My afternoon class is the hardest one that I have to deal with as it is 45 minutes long, and sometimes it is pretty hard to find information to fill those 45 minutes. So yesterday my lesson was a little bit stretched, at the end we were just stretching out coloring a picture.
I was so proud of myself last night; Brooke had invited me to go to the night market with her to get some juice. I went with her and was able to give directions the whole way there and I even did all of the corners without getting off my bike or completely stopping. I am starting to get even more confident on my bike. When we got to the night market I decided that I would also get a coffin bread for my dinner while we were there, I went with a new flavor and got barbeque pork, it was really good too- I think that I will like all of their flavors except the shrimp and pineapple and whatever the one with the mushrooms are. I also got a mango/kiwi juice (it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t my favorite flavor that I have tried).We also stopped at the fruit stand on the way home, Brooke wanted to point out a fruit to me that she had tried in Thailand that she had really liked, so next time I go to the fruit stand I think that I will buy one and try it (I think that it looks like an asparagus though), she also got some kiwis for us to try, as most of our kiwis are green inside these ones are yellow, I still have yet to try them but I will try them soon. I safely made my way back, even at one point Brooke made a turn before a car came and I couldn’t make it, I told her to go on- I knew the way home and I rode the rest of the way by myself. When we got home I decided that I needed to run to the grocery store and the bakery to grab some things I was pretty confident that I knew where I was going but I kind of wanted someone to go with me one more time, Brooke said that she would go with me just I would lead the way, so that is what I did- I led the way and got us safely there and back (Wahoo!!). When we got back she and I ate our dinner (delicious!) and just talked again for awhile, it is crazy tomorrow she is leaving for Hong Kong for the rest of the week and then when she gets back she is only going to be here for one more week (that kind of makes me sad as I really like her and get along with her really well).
It was kind of funny last night, when I was coming up the stairs from putting a load of laundry in the washer when I looked across the way and saw this beautiful building that was all lit up with lights, it looked like a palace to me; I went inside and asked Brooke if she knew what it was. She came outside to look at it with me and she didn’t know what it was. I let go of it, but I guess it kind of bugged Brooke because like 10 minutes later she came and told me that she would be back in awhile, she was riding to go and find out what it was. So after all of our hopes and building it up to be a palace of some kind she came back like 30 minutes later to tell me that all it was, was a hotel- she said the best view was actually from our apartment. She had tried to take some pictures of the hotel from down there, but she said that it was surrounded by buildings; she tried to turn off the flash so that you could see the hotel but she was shaky so the pictures weren’t very good. I still would like to see my “palace” up close and so will probably still ride out there one of these days, but not today.
Today I feel that my lessons went a lot better! In my morning classes we were talking about sorting, I first started out with a book called “Three Jars,” and it is just some kids who have a bunch of buttons and them talking about the different ways they could sort their buttons. After the story I had a bunch of magnets that came in 4 colors and 3 shapes, the kids got to take turns coming up and sorting one magnet into the appropriate jar. After the magnets I also had a big trash bag of the plastic colored balls like they put in the ball pit at fast food restaurants. I felt that it went really well as even the 3 year olds were able to get involved, I sat down in front of them and placed two balls in each basket (to show them what color went in each basket) and then asked them if they would be willing to help me sort them, of course they all got up and started to help me (it was even cool as Leo was crying again this morning and I was able to get him to stop crying and to help me sort, at first I would just hold up a ball and he would point to which basket it went into, towards the end he would even take a ball from me and put it in the basket). The topic that we cover today in the middle class is music or literature. I decided to talk about drums today. It was cool, first I showed a video on YouTube of a guy playing drums and we all tried to see if we could pretend play as fast as he could. Then we went to the tables and pretended that the tabletop was our drums. It was such a fun class as I also had like 12 real drums that each kid got to play with, I guess at one point during the class there was an earthquake but the kids were playing so hard and loud that we didn’t even feel it happen (though I did feel the other two that happened after class)… I guess that Taiwan is right on a fault and that is what created the island and we actually have earthquakes quite often here (they say though that, that is better that we have small earthquakes quite often rather than a big one every now and then), in my apartment we actually don’t feel them that often as I guess they built our house especially to be earthquake proof. Anyway then my afternoon class today was again continuing on about Transportation but today I was talking about airplanes. We first looked through different pictures of different types of planes, then we talked about the stewardess and the different things that she tells us at the beginning of the flight and how she gives us a snack (and of course I had to have a snack to give them as we were learning about airplanes ;D). After they had finished their snack (which took a really long time it felt like) we played pretending to be airplanes, first they started walking and I picked them off to help them “take-off,” once every kid had taken off we all flew around for awhile and then of course they had to land, so I helped them land their planes (once again picking them up and bringing them down to the ground as I was running forward), I picked up each kid at least twice (some of them snuck in for more than once before I caught them), so I figured that I got my weights in for the day (they are not all light kids).
I think that I am starting to get more used to the heat. I don’t think that my body is all the way used to it as I still sweat like crazy :D. I feel better about my not liking the heat though, as all of the people who live here still sweat like crazy every day too!
Today Brooke and Amy went to a stone museum somewhere in Hualien, I guess Hualien is supposed to be well known for this museum. Natalie and I talked about it and we decided that we want to go sometime also, so stay tuned for when I hope that we soon go there.
I mentioned earlier that we have been having a lot of earthquakes today, not only did we have at least the three earlier during the school day, but I think that we have had probably 10 more small ones tonight, they just keep going and going. I know that they say it is better to have lots of small ones and not a large one but all of these small ones are getting quite annoying.

No comments:

Post a Comment