Showing posts from December, 2004 nose is froze and my toes is froze

Ok, so I know my Canadian friends will have little to no sympathy for me... since as Johanna would say, these temperatures are positively balmy.... but that no central heating thing does add an extra coldness factor! I've actually had to explain to people what we do in Canada during the winter because the people here don't heat their homes at all. So yeah, it's been quite cold these days, down to 8 degrees, which is ok for walking around etc but for say, sitting outside eating dinner, or other stationary activities it's not so fun! It's 15 degrees (celsius) in my room, which is noticeably a lot colder than the normal 22 degrees (room temperature). We bundled up to sleep last night! Hope's outfit consisted of 2 pairs of socks, 3 pajama pants, a tank top, 2 long sleeved t-shirts, a turtleneck, a sweater, and a hoodie AND she wore socks on her hands. lol. I wore really warm socks, my flannel pajama pants, a tank top, a long sleeve shirt, and my big fleece housec…

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

A short pictoral of Christmas day!

The first two to wish me Merry Christmas!

Awwww aren't they cute?? I've dubbed this one Bing Cafe (iced coffee), and she is the one Jeff and Sherly are keeping! We are babysitting the puppies, Shao Guay (the mom), and the goldfish because Jeff and Sherly are going to Taipei for the weekend! Oh yeah, Happy New Years everyone!

Hope and I with our stockings!

Our tree (actually Jeff and Sherly's! It's been in that spot since we arrived here)

Hope and Amy

All of our gifts! Suprisingly a lot!

The stuffed animals I bought the girls.

Hope and Amy holding their gifts: yes that is a bottle of Kaluha lol she used it to make cake, I promise!

The Pam Fairy? My little stash :)

The COOL traditional Chinese farmer hat Hope bought for me, you will be seeing it again!

The book from home! Thanks everyone!

Jeff receiving his present from me (though here it looks like he's more excited about the bow!)

We have been introducing people to the strange and…

December 24 pictured

Thanks to Amy, we have pictures from the whole weekend! I'm going to try to post them in a calm and orderly fashion:
That Friday really was a fun day! This is us having lunch with the buxiban teachers, David, Michelle, and Ariel. Ohhh Ariel made us lunch today! She came over with rice, a big pot of curry, and a thermos of soup. She is a really good cook!

From there we went to get our hair done by Eva (doing Hope's and my hair) and Phoebe (doing Amy's hair). They were really busy that day, and we even got to see Pastor Huang's (from Mt. Carmel church) wife! Her son was getting married the next day, so she was getting her hair done. And we again got invited to the wedding lol.

This is definitely something I will miss when I return home. It's really quite a fun and relaxing experience.

From there we go to the Christmas Eve service, where we sat with our friend Mandy and her family for part of it. This is her ADORABLE daughter Annie.

The service included the kid…

A very Taiwan Christmas

Christmas eve was a pretty fun day, we got our hair done and went shopping (I actually think this is the first time I’ve done Christmas shopping on the 24th). We had lunch at the Thai restaurant with the buxiban teachers, which was also a lot of fun! That sneaky Robert paid for the whole thing without us even knowing… these Taiwanese people, they have it down to an art! We had supper at Amy Lin’s which was great as per usual, there were a bunch of other families coming and going as they had to leave for different time to prepare for the Christmas Eve program. We also ate the famous Beijing (or Peking) Duck, which is one traditional Christmas dish someone said. The Christmas eve service was quite fun, we got to see everyone we knew, and there were a ton of little performances. Our landlords did a drama that we have watched them practice for awhile now.
On Christmas morning we went for breakfast and then came back to open presents.
Peggy gave us these beautiful file holders that she…

Christmas is Coming!!

I baked a pie today, but I wouldn't exactly call it a culinary masterpiece.... well at least the apple crisp I made looks good! I'm sure it will taste fine, might just kinda fall apart... anyways, we went out to buy Christmas cards to deliver to about 17 families here, which will be fun as well!
Tomorrow are my only two classes of the week! How crazy is that? Anyways, they will be a lot of fun because I'm going to teach my students "Joy to the World" which they have in Chinese, so some of them have likely heard it before!
We've been finding out some new things about our job description lately for next semester, it's quite exciting actually! We will probably be teaching at an aboriginal elementary school (the place, where incidentally, we went on that big bike trip to the first week we were here). We also have plans in the works for a book club for adults beginning in February as well!
Well hopefully you got my group email about the coming Christmas activi…

only me....

I don't know why these kinds of things always happen, but it does serve to make life more interesting...
Hope and I went on a bike ride today, all the way to Nanaan, a really nice park with a visitor's centre. It's about 9km away from Yuli downtown. The plan was to get lunch to go and ride out to the park to eat.... oh but things i plan rarely turn out so simply....As I was crossing a bridge, with the visitor's centre in sight.... one of the pedals fell off my bike. no kidding! It was quite shocking... I tried to put it back on, but something was broken, and maybe a missing piece.... What to do now? well i considered knocking on someone's door for help, but figured that's much easier to do back home where you can speak the same language as them.... although holding up my dismembered bicycle pedal probably would have done the trick, anyways, Hope rode ahead and I walked my bike the rest of the way to the centre and there called someone to come rescue me.... it…

breakdancing pastors and beautiful bi-dze's

Oh where to start??
this has indeed been an eventful weekend. after my quick (and random post - i watched Les Mis again today, and would love to see the theatre version of Phantom, though i'm sure it can't compare to the real thing), we headed off to the bbq/kids Christmas party, which were happening at about the same time. It was a lot of fun, and we got to see pretty well everyone we know in Yuli! The children were soooo cute doing their little songs and dances.... awwwwwwwwww the youngest ones did this little "I love to dance I love to sing" number which was choreographed (well as choreographed as 5-6 year olds can be). Oh my it was beyond cute!
After that was over and we had thoroughly socialized with everyone, we hit the night market quick as lightning to buy french fries for one of our skits on Saturday morning... boy were they nasty by then... they were none too fresh when we bought them at 10:30pm!
English club went pretty well, though we only had 16 students…

Second week of teaching COMPLETE

Ok, so now that I've washed the chalk off my hands (did i ever tell you how much i hate chalk? if i ever own/run/have any sort of influence over a school i will make sure they have whiteboards only!!!), i can describe my last two days... actually there's not a ton of excitement to relate.
I have two classes on Thursdays, and my first one was kind of wild, and very loud. I am trying to think of strategies to channel their energy without them getting out of control. I'm also considering planning quieter lessons for them so they have less opportunity to act out. This class will be a challenge. Part of it is that there are 31-33 students, which is just generally difficult to manage since there are so many personalities, interpersonal relationships and conflicts, and levels of learning and motivation combined in one room!
Last night we got to go to Mt. Carmel church (Ja Mi Shan) to help our dear friend Amy Lin teach a children's english class. They were doing parts of the b…
Today was a fun day! We met with Dan this morning and reviewed our skits for Saturday, he was quite agreeable to participating, which is really exciting! We also found out that he spend four years in Australia and a year in Japan! Craziness... everything's so close here, many of the people we know have visted a number of countries in Asia, and visiting Australia and New Zealand are just as common as visiting Canada or the U.S.
After the meeting we went to get our hair done, which is always fun! We told them that today we wanted "teacher hair"
The most exciting thing that happened today though was that I got a letter from my dear friend Vanessa! I don't know if she ever ventures out as far as this blog in the internet world, but anyways, it was really fun... she even sent me some homemade snowflakes!!! I'm going to put them up in my room!
Teaching went well, though we weren't able to teach our "second class" because they had some other activity! A…
These are pictures from Sunday Worship, aren't they fun?? They really like to get everyone in the church suddenly holding hands... it's really cute, though we're usually the last ones to figure out what's happening! I really have NO idea how someone (Dr. Su) managed to get a picture of the translation fiasco, but there it is, in all its fiasco-ness, I didn't even know that picture existed until he gave it to us (I told you he was tricksy....oh WHEN does ROTK come out here????) But it really does capture the moment.

Got pictures!!

That may have been the most exciting thing of my day lol.
I like tuesdays, they're pretty laid back, but still a work day.
We met with Dr. Su today and did lots of planning for our English club this week, it's going to be great! The topic is resolving conflicts, and we are going to do some role plays, the first of which will not be announced as a role play, so we are going to pretend to get in a big fight while we are leading the club! At the end (after our 'conflict' is resolved) we want to try to break into the last two lines of a friendship song we will be teaching the students. So far we have had a hard time managing the transition.... but we did laugh until our stomachs hurt (at least mine did!) Our regular teacher helpers, Michelle and Ariel have to take a test this weekend, so another one of their coworkers, Dan is going to help us! What a nice guy... he hasn't found out about the acting part yet! We're meeting with him tomorrow, and hoping that he'l…
Us with our pal, Dr. Su. We really do appreciate him (most of the time). This picture is from our first week here, but I don't think anyone has seen it yet. I should be getting more pictures shortly!

Sing in English? Did we ever!

So Dr. Su, the spontaneous little feller that he is (to quote the real Amy Jieh), decided to suprise us with a solo about 10 minutes before we began Sunday worship..... We were singing Amazing Grace in Chinese and English, and he "suggested" that the second time through the English version, just the ingwun Laoshr's (being the two of us) should sing it.... soo all of my gentle probing as to whether there would be any "suprises" was for naught.... my first reaction was "I KNEW it!" He's always up to something that one lol... and he's so polite about it.... Hope's reaction was "How about EVERYONE sing it together?" to which he responded "Wo ting bu dong" (I hear no understand) I didn't believe it for a second... so anyways, another solo for us... good thing that was our last week leading worship for awhile! It wasn't so bad, though that one high note wasn't my best moment...
Ariel translated for us, though the …

late nights, early mornings

On Friday I taught at the third school, Yu Dong Jr. High, which is good in that instead of two large classes, I have one smaller class for the whole two hours! I'm so excited about that opportunity. The class was fun, but the students are at a pretty low level, it will be interesting to see how i can adapt LTE for them, but they have good attitudes for the most part. I think it will be a lot of fun! One of my big teaching difficulties right now is figuring out how best to work with the classroom teacher/translator. I'm not used to having a translator, and am actually wondering if it's a hindrance in many ways since I don't have to try hard to teach at their level, and they don't even have to listen to me, they can just listen for the translation! Also the teachers have the tendency to take over at certain points, or translate things that wouldn't necessarily need to be translated, like if i say "draw," mime it, and point to a picture of it, it probabl…

And you thought Hilda was good!

That title is for those of you who remember my time as Hilda the Spy this summer!
For the skit I was in at soccer camp I had to wear these sunglasses as part my costume, and had to perform many tasks in them, including running through a darkened gymnasium full of children and sound equipment! Anyways, Hilda was revived, minus the sunglasses, but with all of the super spy powers! Ok well maybe not, but here's the story:
Hope's glasses broke today (and she wasn't even doing anything too strenuous, just taking off a sweater) , about 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave for class! She is even blinder than me, if you can believe it! Anyways, we were wondering if she would have to cancel class or something since she couldn't see! And I got the idea that she should use my glasses, since I can see passably enough to teach a class without mine. Well my glasses were better than nothing, so we decided to go ahead with the plan! It was interesting that's for sure, I coul…

the beginning of my career

this should probably title tomorrow's post actually, but that's ok!
today was a work day that wasn't really a work day..... we had our ministry meeting/Bible study with Dr. Su and Peggy, which is always rather enjoyable, and spent much of it sorting out details for teaching... we did get our Bible study in, but didn't get to sing :(
It was an hour instead of the usual two hours because of what can only be described as a ShuayJiao extravaganza (just kidding!) We went to Kathy's house where we met with their fellowship group (including the english teachers from the cram school here) to make Shuay Jiao! Known in Canada as dumplings... they are kinda like won tons. The process is quite fun, first you take the small dough circle, and drop a teaspoonful of filling (there was pork, chicken, and vegetable) in the middle. Then you wet the edge and fold it in half, pinching it over to seal it. There is another way too, but I didn't quite master it, my teacher, Dan (on…

Cookie Extravaganza!

"Bringing the gospel and cookies to Taiwan since 2004"
Since I didn't update yesterday, I'll have to describe its events later on, but first, the cookie extravaganza! What a fun word... probably wouldn't dream of using it in conversation here... though maybe i could teach it as vocabulary? lol
Anyways, we enjoyed baking so much the other day that we decided to bake on our day off... this small flicker of an idea turned into an all day project! In addition to wanting to bake, we have been wanting to encourage the pastors here, as well as say thank you to so many people who have been taking us places and never letting us pay for ANYTHING! So we made cookies. What could be more perfect? Not only did we make cookies, we made 4 kinds of cookies, M&M (a variation of my famous chocolate chip since i haven't been able to find any), oatmeal rasin, hershey kiss cookies, and peanut butter cookies! JoJo you would be proud! This almost rivals my bake sale days, and is…

Let the fun begin!

Well the typhoon wasn't so bad, all over now! We stayed at home most of the day because of heavy rains and such, but had to venture out to the library to set up for our English Club.
Later we had supper at another nice family's house, who have a 6 year old daughter named Angel (her English name) she was darling, and quite a good artist!! They served us homemade pizza and 2 diffferent dishes of stir-fried veggies and some duck soup. It was quite delicious! I have to say their pizza was better than what I had at Pizza Hut last time we went to Hualien!
Later in the evening we got the crazy notion to bake, and so donned our "rain clothes" and umbrellas and walked to 7-11 to pick up what we needed! How fun! We really didn't get nearly as wet as we thought we would, but that's ok, we can say that we braved the typhoon! (It may have been downgraded to a tropical storm by then, i have no idea!)
So we bought M&M's to make cookies mmmmm Jeff and Sherly were qui…

life is getting busier!

I ended up having supper at the Su's house instead of the other family, which came as a suprise! But it was a lot of fun... after dinner they showed me their wedding pictures and pictures of their children. I also learned about some of the Chinese wedding customs: They have a big ceremony at each family's house before the church ceremony. The bride's family have a big dinner while the groom waits outside (maybe for a couple of hours even!) and then they both join the groom's family for more ceremonies and then go to the church!

Afterward I went to church which was interesting.... anyways it was the last lesson of a book they have been studying, and at the end I got to pray with one person who is a little older than me, and is really involved in the church programs here, she's feeling pretty burned out lately, so I am going to try to make it a point to encourage her when I see her.

Today was a flurry of chinese lessons and bible study planning meetings, so far we…

Sounds of the morning

A scooter drives by. I can hear the people next door having a conversation through my open window, since their house is only a few feet away. Their dog starts barking loudly at something passing by, causing another dog to begin howling. A lady comes around, as she does every day, she is selling or collecting something, and her voice resonates through the neighbourhood, "Hi-aaaay, Hey Hi-aaay." Her voice resembles that of an old mother calling for a disobedient child to come home for supper....

This is planning week, it's pretty slow, but it is the final preparation time for our English Club and our classroom teaching. Yesterday we visited the public library to see the room where we will be teaching on saturdays, and discovered that there are pictures of us on the bulletin board outside the building, as well as some sort of article. I hope we will be able to get copies of it, but I'm not sure if we can. We had a chinese lesson and Peggy gave us two pie crusts that she …