Tuesday, July 26, 2005

off to Taipei

since we have no classes this week, all of our work consists in preparing for next month's classes. What better place to do it than Taipei! haha
We're leaving tomorrow and planning to spend about 5 days there, to see Hope's sister before she returns to America, to go shopping, to hopefully talk to some people about next year, to eat Subway and maybe even to go to the zoo! I'm sure we'll do some interesting things, and even get some work done...
next week (when we get back) we start a 4 day camp in Fuli (about 25 mins away) and our twice a week class here in Yuli.
I randomly decided to braid my hair into little braids yesterday, and it has been a matter of great excitement for all who see me... lol it's fun though, considering the number of people whose hair I've braided this is probably only like the 2nd or 3rd time I've had it done, and the first time i tried it on myself. I have no idea if the back looks terrible.... anyways, I don't have a camera at the moment, so I suppose I'll have to do my hair like this again once i get mine...
so yeah, as you can tell, i haven't been doing too much since camp ended, i was really social on Sunday, more so than usual even, I went for brunch with Michelle after church and we met later to play badminton (we went to the senior's centre close to my house where an old man was happy to keep score for us by yelling something in Taiwanese every time the birdie touched the ground...) it was too windy though, so we went for coffee instead. Michelle's also a teacher, so it was really fun to talk with her, and compare stories. Being able to speak Chinese is such an advantage as far as building relationships with the students... someday....
WHEW tangent, I was saying how social i was... so after brunch i went home then decided to go get a bing - shaved ice with various toppings - because it was really hot, and 3 of the team leaders from camp were there - Renata, Sky and Jan, they are all around my age. I joined them and chatted for awhile. They asked me such interesting questions as: do I want a boyfriend from Taiwan and could they stay with me if they ever came to Canada. Hope wasn't feeling well, so I was on my own for dinner. I grabbed a book and was going to go to a restaurant when I decided to call Ariel and see if she wanted to join me. She had just finished cooking something and invited me over. We watched Madagascar, which wasn't the best animated movie I've seen, but had some funny parts.
I guess I'm a little chatty tonight... last fun fact, our puppies are so cute right now, they're all walking around, big enough to play with now. I took one in my bike basket to visit some little girls we know. The puppies are the perfect size for that right now. My favorite is a black and white spotted one that we've named Xiao Niu (little cow).

Monday, July 25, 2005

A story.

I made a student cry....

He was one of the most outgoing and brightest students in my class, tall for 12 and always smiling. On Friday morning we had a test. As it was nearing its end, I looked up to notice him looking at his hand and writing on his test paper. I was surprised to see this happening, but it looked rather suspicious, so I went over to him and checked his hand. Sure enough, there were vocabulary words written on it. I calmly took away his test paper. I tried to get the Chinese teacher's attention so that she could ask him to explain in Chinese, but she was chatting with a team leader. By the time she went to go talk with him, he was in tears at his desk. I guessed then that there might be another explanation. The teacher took him into the hallway to talk and I graded the test with the class. He scored 100%.

The teacher came in and explained to me that he hadn't been cheating. The first question on the test required students to unscramble vocabulary words, and he had decided to write them on his hand instead of working it out on the paper. He didn't want to return to class because he was afraid of what his classmates would think. I went out into the hall and talked to him (through a translator) and told him that I believed that he wasn't cheating, and that I was sorry. I told him he was one of the smartest students in the class and that he got 100% on the test. I asked him if he would come to the front of the class so I could apologize. He agreed, and I explained what had happened to the class, and then had them applaud him for his test score.

I felt like such a terrible person.... As I was talking to him, I very nearly started crying myself.

Anyways, he was smiling again by the second hour of class (the test was at the end of the first hour) and wanted me to sit with him and his friends at lunch where we sang a bunch of the camp songs together. There didn't seem to be any hard feelings. I hope he's not traumatized for life.

In retrospect, it would have been wiser for me to have asked the Chinese teacher to handle it from the start so he could have explained right away, but I think if he really had been cheating, my actions would have been appropriate.
Anyways, it's a story I shan't forget.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Nanan


After our first week of camp, all of the teachers and leaders took a much needed rest at Nanan Waterfall, about a 10 minute drive from Yuli. We played, we ate, we took a million pictures. It was great fun. Now camp is over, and we're planning to head to Taipei on Wednesday.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

"The Enormous Turnip" - The Musical!

One more day of camp and then a wonderful (though still busy) rest!
This week has been a lot of fun, with fewer students, it has been easier to remember names and get to know them. I have some interesting names, including Lion, Una and Swallow. Many of the students are from Mt. Carmel church or from San Min Jr. High, and it has been a pleasure to see them again.


We're preparing for a replay of "Hansel and Gretel" translated in Chinese as "The Candy House" with one of the teens from the church filling in Marcus' role - his chinese is SO good! ;) I guess being Taiwanese helps...

The most memorable moment of the day was when I was watching the Enormous Turnip group run through their drama, which opened with a line that I definitely did not recall writing into the original skit... so you can imagine my shock when my 12 year old student began the play with the words "Oh, Shit"

anyways, I quickly informed the teacher that that wasn't the appropriate terminology particularly for this "character building camp" aiiyo anyways, it just goes to show that curse words don't really transfer from one language to the next. I suppose each language has its own unique words. Anyways, I don't think I know any Chinese swear words. ah well...

they were actually talking about poop or "fertilizer" which has now become central to the story, along with a gorrilla (in a very interesting costume) instead of a mouse, and about 6 bits of songs added in... it should be extremely interesting to watch... i guess this is what happens when teacher work on a drama for 3 weeks and get bored of doing the same thing? haha

Monday, July 18, 2005


I just received some pictures from Yon Feng's graduation... this is a picture of all the teachers. Especially notice the incredible backdrop, made by the extremely creative 5th grade teacher (the last person in the 2nd row). Also note the purse I am wearing which I'd just been presented as a gift from the school for teaching there. Posted by Picasa

Yon Feng's graduation ceremony - the students are Amis (aboriginal) Posted by Picasa

Yon Feng's grade 6 grads. Posted by Picasa

ME in action! ;) Posted by Picasa

warship and adore

reverend fun :: artchives :: cartoon display

during our first meeting in Yuli we sang a song that had an amusing typo in it, which this comic reminded me of.

So we're inside for the day, waiting out a typhoon. So far it isn't too bad, just lots of rain. We got caught in the rain yesterday after going out during a short sunny break. Camp is postponed until tomorrow, and will only last for 4 days. This week we only have around 46 students, much smaller than the other weeks, I hope that will make it more fun, and that because of the smaller number, we can get to know the students better. Well if our power doesn't go out, I'll probably blog some more later (since there's not much else to do!)

Friday, July 15, 2005

random thoughts of the day

  • when i arrived in my room this afternoon, the temperature read 37 degrees (celsius)
  • another week of camp done...had more great students this week, and our little drama was quite a success
  • Amy and Andrea are coming to visit in an hour or so
  • i'm tired!
  • there might be a typhoon early next week
  • watched Hitch last night, which had some really funny parts, though it was pretty predictable at times... i guess hollywood doesn't really have any new ideas, just keeps trying to recycle the old ones in such a way that they will keep making money

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

outta pictures

so yeah, camp is here in full force, the first week went suprisingly well, actually made me like Jr. High students again, though there were a few frustrating moments. For the most part the kids were really excited to be there and eager to talk to us (in English or Chinese) there were quite a few of our old students and church kids, which also made the atmosphere a little better (many of them taking the first step in talking to us, participating in class etc.). We had a lot of fun, and I'd have to say one of the highlights was watching them all perform their amazing dramas on Friday afternoon. Though everyone complained that they were too hard, the students pulled it off extremely well! They were highly entertaining, though I think Hope and I were laughing the most! Some of the highlights of the dramas were:
  • the smallest student in my "A" class doubling as a ferocious tree in sleeping beauty... I don't know what was cuter, him hopping out in a tube of brown paper taped around his body, his deft blocks of the princes' swords, or his facial expressions!
  • a team leader acting as Snow White, she really played it up
  • the evil queen in Snow White - this girl should go into acting, she was amazing
  • little red baseball hat (aka. Little red riding hood)
  • Johnny, the most outgoing student in my "B" class as the shoemaker demanding of his little family "Did you make the shoe!" and his "dear wife" (also played by a boy in an apron and bonnet)
  • sleeping beauty, played by a boy, who had some wonderful "beauty poses"
  • the stagehands who kept donning various costume castoffs in between each skit - including fairy wings and pig noses

Anyways, I'm sure they will do just as well this week. We are also planning a suprise for the students, we are going to do a Chinese drama for them - our rendition of Hansel and Gretel, from now on known as Xiao Wei and Xiao Rei.... We wrote it in English and Peggy helped us translate it into Chinese. The best lines are when Hansel is telling me not to eat the candy house "Be careful, that's not your house" and Hope as the witch saying to us "Wo zui ai chi xiao hai, bu bu bu, wo shi shuo, wo zui ai xiao hai" which means, "I love to eat small children.... I mean, I love small children!"

This weeks camp is off to a bit of a slow start I'd say... I don't remember last week's students being quite so shy. Three of my San Min students came, which is fun! Anyways, we'll see how it goes! Actually, I remembered that I have another picture to share. A couple weeks ago when we were having dinner at Dr. Su's house his friend from Taipei was here. He works for a magazine and is an avid photographer. He kept snapping pictures of us throughout dinner, which actually got a little annoying after awhile, as you can see from this picture......

Sunday, July 10, 2005

sunday morning quiz

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavily by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan .................................93%
Emergent/Postmodern ...........................................82%
Fundamentalist ................................................71%
Reformed Evangelical ..........................................57%
Neo orthodox ..................................................54%
Classical Liberal .............................................43%
Charismatic/Pentecostal .......................................36%
Roman Catholic ................................................32%
Modern Liberal ................................................32%
What's your theological worldview? created with QuizFarm.com

Saturday, July 09, 2005

an evening in my class


Here are 4 pictures from my class at Dukarel Church. I really like that my coteacher, Lucia, got a lot of shots of the students in mid-activity. In a typical class i'll do a number of activities like these.





Thursday, July 07, 2005

Dragon Boat



More dragon boat pictures. The detail on the boats is really great.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

mid-week

This is a picture of me with one of my Zhuo Feng students and her parents at gruadation. I was randomly called up to present her with this gift. Anyways, she's here at camp this week, which is really cool, though I think it's really hard for her. Camp overall is really fun! Tonight we had a really fun review class, complete with lots of acting on our part, including our ever popular "Is this your dog?" skit, which illustrates emotions. We even got one of our students, Lily, to come up and be our dog for the skit! Afterward, we went to hang out at Euodia, the new centre Dr. Su's organization has just opened. They have a climbing wall which they placed mats underneath, and were allowing students to climb a little. We ended up talking with a bunch of the students for a long time. They are so adorable! Anyways, things are going pretty well, but I'm really tired!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Dance


The adorable dance performed by the 3/4 grade students at Zhuo Feng.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Bunun candle lighting


The opening of the graduation ceremony at Zhuo Feng. Each student had a candle (possibly made out of wood).

Today was our first day of camp! We spent the weekend training the English teachers, who are really fun to spend time with! It has been pretty enjoyable so far. I was suprised today to see a number of my students from last semester at camp, including 4 out of the 6 Zhuo Feng Graduates! Only one of them is in my class, but it's really cool to see them nonetheless. Many kids from church have joined the camp this week, and a couple students from English Club. My first impression of the students was pretty good. If you remember, I was kind of dreading 3 weeks of working with Jr. High students (who I found to be not so fun to teach), but most of the students i met today had a pretty good attitude, and are willing to TRY which is the most important thing! So yeah, I slept for about 3 hours when I got home this afternoon, hopefully I won't be so exhausted the rest of the week! (Of course I only got about 5 hours of sleep last night, so that plus the heat probably contributed to my tiredness). So that's camp... keep praying for us! :)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

our boyfriend


This photo is taken mostly for tradition's sake. This statue is at Zhuo Feng Elementary, and we first saw it on that bike trip our first week here. You can see the first time we took a photo with him here. Today, I believe he's thinking "Now how did I end up taking these two beautiful girls to graduation?"

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Yo En


I didn't take this picture, but it was on the cd i received from the Yo's (whose camera I borrowed). This is their daughter, Annie, who is about 6 years old, and a beautiful background!

Psalm 40:9-10

I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Canada Day!


San Min 7/8. My favorite Jr. High class. In honor of the holiday I saved the picture with students waving Canadian flags I gave them.

This has been a pretty busy week so far, though not stressful. We've had singing practice these last two mornings, and have been finalizing our plans for camp and training, which starts tomorrow afternoon. Please pray for us as we begin three weeks of camp. Pray for all of the teachers and staff, as well as the students.