Showing posts from December, 2006

2006 in Pictures

January: my first trip home to Canada since coming to Taiwan. I got to spend one great month visiting friends and family. That seems like a really, really long time ago! P.S. Going back on February 11-26, a month after my next surgery, January 11.

February: I just remember lots of teaching, bust one highlight was going to Yilan's lantern festival with the Pastor and his family.

March: Green Expo. I actually ended up going 3 different times because so many students invited me to go there with them. But it was fun, and situated in a really beautiful area!

April: A Chinese painting lesson! Still waiting for my second lesson ha ha. Maybe that means I wasn't a good student?

May: I did lots of bike riding in May down by Yilan river, where they also had dragon boat races at the end of the month. I wonder where my Hello Kitty bike is now.... I hope she's happy with her new owner...

June: without a doubt the highlight was my trip to Korea!! Here are Attack, Rosalee, Amanda, and myself…

My third Christmas in Taiwan

Even though I've been here just over two years, I just celebrated my third Christmas in Taiwan. Every year has been a little different, but there are some underlying similarities I can highlight in way of describing my Christmas this year.Churches I've been to have almost no build-up before Christmas, apart from decorations. No advent candles, no month (or two) of singing only Christmas songs on Sunday mornings. In fact, I wonder if the only songs they know are Joy to the World and Silent Night which are sung quite liberally (a record breaking 4 separate times in two hours last night)Christmas programs are a big outreach event for the church, and also take on the flavor of a church talent showSinging, dancing, aboriginal costumes (whether you're aboriginal or not) and at least one person dressed as Santa (last night there were 6) can all be seen in Christmas programsDramas and sermons have almost nothing to do with ChristmasDrama done by kids or adults that is lip-synched …
This pic is from last Saturday, at the end of the activity at the university. Lots of students took pics with me at, and I convinced one of them to email his pictures to me. I didn't think he actually would, but there it was in my inbox today!

I've got a busy Christmas weekend coming up, with a Christmas program at one church where I teach on Saturday night. Our class is singing at the beginning. It will be great except that I have to climb a lot of stairs to get there.

On Sunday my regular church has morning service and a Christmas cantata in the evening. Other than that I'll just be wishing for turkey and trying not to be lonely.

I've got to teach on Monday, just like any other day, but I'll be doing Christmas lessons for my students that day. I also might make some treats for the students, but sadly, my oven broke when I lent it to someone today, so there go my plans of apple crisp, cookies and whatever else I might have baked this weekend. I'll try to get it f…

On my cereal box

Text reads: Free crazy body x-ray inside.

Yeah, me too.

On a completely different note...

On Saturday night I got to go out! I went to a high school and college event at the university where I was invited to share. We had dinner and played some games, and I ran into a few of my present and former students, as well as some people I know from church. The university is right next to my house, but it was still a bit of a journey to get there! A guy came and picked me up in his car and we drove to the nearest entrance, which was anything but wheelchair accessible. I had some creative crutch use (next step - obstacle course!) and made it onto campus, was wheeled a short way and then we came to the place where the event was being held. The building had an elevator, but there was a flight of stairs I had to climb to get to the elevator. I got over my fear of stairs a week or two ago, but they still make me nervous... anyways, I made it up! This time there were about 8 steps in succession and I did it without difficulty! I may just be taking the train soon.. though to where, I'…

Embarrassing to say the least

This morning after church, I hopped across the street for a hair wash, and when I was almost finished, the hairdresser brought out a tube that she said someone had given to them. The only problem was, it didn't have any Chinese on it. It had English and a couple of other languages though, so they handed it over to me, asking me what it was, hand lotion or conditioner or....

Turns out it was "personal lubricant." Now try explaining that using simple Chinese and/or body language... needless to say once they figured it out, they were as embarrassed as I was, though not nearly as red.

Grow little bones, grow!

Well I got some good news at the doctor today, after unnecessarily waiting a really long time (I was waiting for them to call me in, they were waiting for me to go in on my own). Oh communication! Anyways, my bones are growing!! The doctor compared my original x-ray with the current one and I could see where it has been growing. It looks like it's about halfway there at the most serious part. After seeing the x-ray he also confirmed that my original dislocation "was really serious".
Anyways, I've had opinions from two doctors that I could do surgery next month (3 months after the original) and I think I'm gonna go for it, despite the original surgeon's 6 months. I've done some research online as well, and it seems that the screw is usually removed after 3 months. This means I could be doing surgery in Mid-January and hoping for a speedy recovery for when my parents come. The doctor said I really can start walking after that screw is out and with all the …

I wish I was here....

Instead I'm here. In my house. Flipping through the 6 English channels we get. Old movie, old movie, CSI.. oh its the one i watched last night, chinese talk show, horror movie...
Ok back to Christmas music.
Physio today was ok...he kept pulling my ankle, which was almost the exact same motion they used when they set it 2 months and 3 days ago. I guess the memory was too vivid, because the therapist took one look at my face and asked if it was really painful. Actually I wasn't experiencing pain at all, just the memory of that feeling and the fear that my ankle would pop right out as he was manipulating it. Guess I need to get over that.


Well this is what they do to me during PT. They hook me up to these little things and send electric pulses through my leg, while baking it under an infrared light which is supposed to stimulate circulation and other things.

This is the original and current x-ray. The most interesting thing that you can make out from this picture is how far my ankle bone actually moved from its original position. The bone is supposed to be touching on the right side.

This is my friend Alice who has been helping me clean my house and taking me to PT. BTW I thought I should post this in case you forgot what my face looks like.

Physio Tales

So I would have to say going to physiotherapy (from now on known as PT) at Pu-Men clinic is one of the more interesting times of my week at this point. There's a new guy, and he's a little strange. The second time I met him, he followed "hi, how are you?" directly with "I'm 5 years older than you." Which maybe he thought was cool, but made me feel a little violated... obviously he'd looked at my patient sheet/record/whatever you want to call it since my last visit. After that the conversation turned to how you spell "pee" and "poo." Oh dear. I also got the feeling he was hitting on my friend, although there could be a cultural thing I'm not getting... if we were in Canada he'd have been hitting on her.

I've also met a Filipino lady who comes to chat with me when she can. She's got it pretty rough actually, taking care of an elderly woman 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She doesn't get days off, and can only sl…

The joys of crutches

Before you had to be on crutches you never knew cooking a simple dinner could cause you to break a sweat. Or washing the dishes. Or getting the ingredients out of the refrigerator.

River of unstoppable blessing

This song comes off a cd given to me from a friend in Yuli, which interestingly enough is a group from Canada that I seem to know a lot of people connected to (Taiwanese), though I'd never heard of them before I came here. The group is called Singing Waters, and they have a retreat centre in Ontario. You can check them out here.

There's a river of unstoppable blessing
Flowing from the throne of God
There's a river of unstoppable blessing
Flowing from the throne of God

I saw a river of pure water
On both sides were trees
And their leaves
Were for the healing of the nations

We are walking in exceeding abundance
Flowing from the throne of God

It's really simple, but the tune is lovely, and I just find it really compelling for some reason. How can I claim this while I sit here with a broken leg? Where are my blessings? But you know what, there have been blessings through all this, trials too, but blessings both during and through those trials. Last night I was able to see many …

Nothing Better To Do

I found out on Friday that my two middle classes at this school would be cancelled today, leaving me with 4 hours in between my first and last classes in which I am stranded here at this school with nothing to do!! Oh how I wish I could hop on my bike and go home and come back whenever I wanted today!
Anyways, this weekend Ariel and Richard came to visit. They are so wonderful! Instead of taking the hour and a half train ride, they drove 3+ hours, especially so they would be able to take me out when they got here. So I got to leave my apartment a lot this weekend, which contributed positively to my sanity. We had a nice hot pot dinner on Saturday night, especially great because it's getting chilly here! And a steak lunch on Sunday after church, all aided by crutches/wheelchair and car. When something like this happens to you, you really discover who your true friends are.
Anyways, what else do I have to talk about? Tonight is the Christmas rally, I'm really excited about it! Al…

Gettin' Around

Two major accomplishments in the transportation area yesterday. First I crutched up a series of 5 low stairs. It wasn't too scary, though I still don't think I could do too many.

Second, I managed to wheel myself downstairs to wait for the car to pick me up for class. This actually entails a lot of things, like crutching over to the door with my backpack on. Using crutches/one hand to open the door and get the wheelchair out over the raised doorstop. Then transferring my backpack to the wheelchair, putting my crutches inside the house, locking the door and wheeling myself down to the elevator and then out the door. This whole process took about 5-10 minutes.

My next challenge is attending Studio Classroom's Christmas musical, which is coming to one of my schools on Monday evening. Do I bring crutches, or wheelchair or both? Do I attempt to sit in their auditorium seating, where the seats could be too low to get in and out of easily? Maybe by an aisle so i can stretch out my …