- It's been a cold (relatively) and rainy week and my head's been full of many thoughts and plans.
- I continued my Easter lessons on Friday night with dying eggs in class; my students really liked it! I'm glad I found dye, though it was REALLY last minute... like I bought the dye at about 11am and started boiling eggs at 3pm for my 7:30 class. If you recall, we also dyed eggs last year, but on a much larger scale. I only boiled 16 eggs this year (they come in packages of 8 in the grocery store)
- Got up early Saturday to attend the girls' school anniversary celebrations, which included dances and plays by the students, artwork displays, and booths set up by each class selling food, drinks, and other miscellaneous things. The weather held until halfway through.
- My students were excited to see me there, and all tried really hard to sell their class' products. I also met a few of my students from another school who were rather suprised to run into me.
- Rode my bike home in the pouring rain - I had a rain coat, but when I got home I could literally ring out my pants at the bottom.. yuck
- While I was doing some lesson prep for next week, my friend Lily called me to see if I wanted to come over and "bao shui jiao" or make dumplings. She'd mentioned last week that she'd made some, and I expressed an interest in honing my dumpling making skill, which as it turned out, needed more than simple honing, but it was fun. I think I made one for every 3 or 4 of Lily's! We made them in front of her small beauty parlor which also houses her older sister's fruit shop. Can you picture it? Two Taiwanese ladies and one Canadian calmly making dumplings and chatting as cars, bicycles and scooters go back and forth on the street, and old ladies come to buy fruit and comment in Taiwanese on the situation
- In the evening I went to a "party" I'd been invited to by a recent acquaintance who is good friends with Lily (one of my closest friends in Yilan). Though I went with three Taiwanese people, most of the party's attendees were other foreigners. I don't think I've seen that many white faces in one place since the last time I was home! I met a few people, but it's not really my thing, especially with so many people there, loud music, and being forced to huddle under small sheltered areas due to continued rain. I've long ago concluded that I'm more of a small group person.
- I was also made a little uncomfortable by the fact that my Taiwanese acqaintance felt the need to loudly compare my length of time and corresponding Chinese ability with all of her foreign friends' many of whom have been in Taiwan for quite awhile but can't speak a lot of Chinese. While I do think that making an effort to learn the language of the country you're in is important for a number of reasons (can give you insight into teaching, the culture, and particular problems your students may encounter; make people feel like you're willing to identify with them; and give increased opportunities for friendships and a wider variety of experiences), I know that everyone faces different factors while learning a language. Not everyone has the time, motivation, or aptitude for quick language acquisition, but that's not necessarily a reflection on their character, life, or willingness to adapt to a new culture.
- Wow.. these bullets are getting longer and longer... and I was planning to make this a quick entry! Well I'll end by saying "Happy Easter!" I woke up at about 6:40am when I felt an earthquake, and it immediately reminded me that Jesus has burst open the doors of death and won a great victory through his resurrection. As we sang in church today "Yin Ta huo zhe, wo neng mian dui ming tian" ..."because He lives, I can face tomorrow"