Tuesday, July 26, 2005
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
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
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
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.
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
- 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
- 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
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%
Reformed Evangelical ..........................................57%
Neo orthodox ..................................................54%
Classical Liberal .............................................43%
Roman Catholic ................................................32%
Modern Liberal ................................................32%
What's your theological worldview? created with QuizFarm.com
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Monday, July 04, 2005
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
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
Friday, July 01, 2005
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.