Showing posts from May, 2006

I need to get out more!

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

This is completed to include my upcoming Korea trip. There's so much I haven't seen!! Look at all that grey!

Cleaning out the Fridge

Thanks to Jack and Hope for your answers to the survey! Most interesting.
Mine are as follows:
1. Around the world, though I'm a bit ashamed of how little of Canada I've actually seen, I've never been to Victoria, Niagra falls, Ottawa (our country's capital), or Anne of Green Gables' house (in PEI).
2. Sometimes... if it doesn't smell terrible or look suspiciously like it was an important part of some living creature's digestive/circulatory/urinary system, I'll probably give it a try
3. No, though my next trip to Korea conveniently includes staying with two friends. I've been to Hong Kong by myself, and I don't know anyone there, but I think I would have been pretty intimidated the first time if I hadn't had Hope and Marcus with me.
4. In Taiwan I love the railway system which I take advantage of 1-4 times per week. In Canada, well besides the fact that I don't actually have my drivers' license... car is much more convenient.
5. No, and …
The weather is getting hot and to celebrate, I watched The Polar Express. Well actually someone lent it to me, so I watched it.
The rallies on Monday and Tuesday went well, and were a lot of fun. I'm used to teaching, but being on stage in front of 20x my regular number of students is not quite the same. Fortunately I didn't have to say much. I did get to sing an old favorite: Rang Taiwan Ke Ai Qi Lai, which translates to Make Taiwan Love-able, a song which Hope and I sang on a number of occasions last year including repeatedly at Christmas and whenever we had to sing karaoke. As of today it's one of only 3 Chinese songs I can sing completely from memory.
Dragon boat festival is coming up next week, so on my bike rides I've been able to see teams practicing in the river. Also I was able to buy rice dumplings (pictured above) for lunch today. It's probably been about a year since I ate them last. The ones I had today were much tastier than the ones I recall from l…

Interesting People

I met Robert on Sunday when I visited the church one of my students attends. He goes to Yilan High School (where I teach once a week) but he isn't one of my students. He was really eager to practice his conversation with me. He told me right away that he has a speech impediment and then proceeded to show me an English composition he'd written for school. It was really well-written. He's really interested in English grammar and he can speak English though it was difficult to understand him at times. He was really earnest though and proceeded to share many things with me, often opening topics with what seemed to be his favorite phrase "I'm going to tell you the truth:" He shared with me his views on the importance of English and told me about the girl he likes. He was really sweet, and it was fun to see that he hasn't given up on English despite a major obstacle.

Jessica is a teacher at the girls' high school and I'd have to say one of the m…

Picture Perfect.

As I was on the way to Chinese class on Thursday, my teacher called to inform me that they had to go to Taipei, so our class would be cancelled. Since the day was bright and clear, I decided to go for a nice long bike ride, for once remembering to bring my camera with me. My normal path is along Yilan river, which eventually ends up at a small park. Actually yesterday was the first time I'd gone all the way to the park. I snapped this picture looking out the church window on my way downstairs. I love how our building has one tall, solitary palm tree in its otherwise artificial "yard" where the ground is covered by black rubber tiles, probably to prevent serious injury among the many kindergarten students running around.

This picture is taken close to the entrance of the park, the buildings in the background are downtown Yilan. I really like the way the shadows of the trees turned out in this picture, and also how green everything is, I guess that's one benefit of…

ER: Taiwanese Edition

11:30 Saturday night found me in the hospital.

It's always good to start a blog entry dramatically, but don't worry, I'm perfectly fine. About 11:00pm I received a call from my friend Lily saying she had been driving home when she saw someone lying on the road. She stopped to see if she was ok, and through conversation, discovered she is one of my students at Lan Yang Girls' High School. She was with her in the hospital, and would I be able to come see her? I didn't fully understand everything my friend said on the phone, but I gathered that the girl had been on her way home from a concert, and that she was really scared. With this incomplete information I headed to the hospital (fortunately only 2 blocks away), thinking maybe the girl was drunk or had been using drugs.

When I arrived I saw my student lying in a bed, bruised, scraped and in a neck brace. Her younger sister was holding an ice pack to her head and trying to contain her tears. Eventually I discovere…

People to See

If you have time I'd recommend you visit some of the people I think are fantastic. I've linked to them on my sidebar:
Hope: This is her blog from when she was in Taiwan with me. You can still read about her current adventures as a nanny in Baltimore here.
JoJo: My 4th year roomate
Faith's Taiwan: Another Canadian teaching English down in Taidong
Dezzie: A cool class- and dorm-mate who doesn't update her blog that often
Rosalee in Korea: She's only there until August, but has lots of great information about her teaching experiences and Korean culture. I'll be going to visit her and Amanda at the end of June.
Tara and Family: Tara was in my TESOL program at Briercrest and also went on the trip to Brazil we took in April 2004. She has a beautiful baby daughter who is the focus of this blog.
Amanda A teacher and missionary in Kaohsiung (southern Taiwan) who sometimes leaves kind comments on my blog
A-Hsiang's Photoblog: My friend in Hualian who has recently gotten suc…

Today's Chatter

I have a new student in my Wednesday night class, his name is Kongeearthur. He explained that "Arthur" is too common and Americanized, so he added a Taiwanese (?) aspect to it. There's a typhoon coming (in MAY? what the crap?)My kitchen (our perhaps i should say the church kitchen which I share) is filled with buckets of flowers in preparation for Mother's Day I got a compliment on my Hello Kitty bike yesterdayI need to do laundry, but I'm holding off since with the promise of rainy weather for the next few days (see point 2 above) my clothes will take FOREVER to dryI found a really cool book called Poems for 2 Voices that I'm going to experiment with in my classes. It's basically a poem with two parts meant to be spoken aloud. Some lines are different, sometimes only one person is reading, and some lines are read in unison. It reminded me of an activity we did every now and then in my Tesol classes with Shantelle. Those really irritating little ants are …

The Mouse Love The Rice

The Mouse Love The Rice Xiang-Xiang

When that day I hear your voice
I have some special feeling
Let me always think I don't want forget you
I remember at the day
You are always on my mind
Even though I just can think about you
If the day in the future
This love will becoming true
I've never change my mind that I will love you forever
I don't care how fool it is
I will let my dream come true
I will tell you something I want let you know
I let you know
I love you, loving you,
as the mouse love the rice
Even every day has storm,
I will always by your side
I miss you, missing you
I don't care how hard it is
I just want you be happy
Everything, I do it for you
As I began listening to this song from one of my friends, my first thought was that it was a really pretty song. My second thought was "wait a minute, isn't that supposed to be 'I don't want to forget you'?" I rewound to the beginning to listen again, and soon discovered that this song is wrought with English mist…

May snuck up on me when I wasn't looking

It is the 6th of May. How did that happen? I've been here more than a year and a half, and have just over a year of (kinda sorta for certainish) time to go on this current assignment/contract/whatever you want to call it.
I spent 3 days with all of our employees across the island and we went to a place called Jin Shan (translated golden mountain) which was really beautiful. It's situated on Taiwan's northeast coast and is only about 45 minutes out of Taipei. It was fun to meet so many people and hang out with so many English speakers at one time.. it was almost like being at home again! The three days were filled with great music, great messages and great food (especially lots of seafood). It was nice to get away, and to be encouraged. On the first day we had a few hours of free time in the afternoon, so we decided to explore, and ended up walking out to a place called Ye-liu where there are some really cool rock formations. Actually I'm pretty sure I visited another se…
The lovely beach close by the hotel (on closer inspection it had a lot of garbage actually.. what a pity)

It's getting late...

I'm off to Taipei tomorrow for three days. I'll be joining a whole-staff spiritual retreat at, well actually I'm not sure. I think it's somewhere near Keelung, some famous/fancy hotel I've heard. I guess I'll find out. The theme is "It's getting late." I'm not really sure what that will entail, but I'm looking forward both to the time to refocus, and to hanging out with the other foreign staff (as well as meeting TONS of new people I'm sure, since I barely even know half of the Taipei office...) . I'll be back Friday. Actually I won't have class again until next Wednesday, since my students have exams next week, giving me a 4 day weekend. I don't have anything interesting planned yet though, I was thinking about a trip to Yuli, but the concept seems kind of exhausting to me right now (another 3 hours on the train after coming back from Taipei and then running around like crazy trying to fit in all the people I want to see…

Pick up line?

As I stepped out of the elevator this morning to get breakfast, I was greeted with a line I certainly wasn't expecting: "Hello, baby"
I was suprised and amused, but mostly by the fact that it was a 5 year-old who said it! Where do they learn these things???

Maybe it's like in that movie with Adam Sandler (Big Daddy?) where he's training the little boy to help him pick up girls. Perhaps this kid has a father/uncle who wants to meet some foreign girls?

Actually this reminds me of a story from last year when Hope was riding her bike and this "creepy guy" came up behind her and said "Hello baby, where are you going?" which freaked her out until it turned out to be our friend Dan playing a joke on her.

An interesting place for a movie theatre

Another aspect of the Green Festival, which I have blogged about already, is that this weekend, they began showing a number of nature-related movies in both Yilan and its neighbouring city, Luodong (10 minutes away by train). They will keep showing movies at these venues for about 2 more weeks. This movie was being shown outdoors at Luodong sports park, where they somehow mounted the huge screen in the water, creating a really cool effect!