Sunday, February 26, 2006

Church Bulletin

One of these days I'll get around to taking some pics of this church, but until then, here are two pictures of this week's bulletin. The front has a picture of the church and the inside is advertising my class (apparently!)

Speaking of which, my classes in the church this week started of really well! Both had a lot of new students, who hopefully will stick around for the semester. The pastor had an idea which was proposed to my students before I was told about it, but fortunately it's a good idea - to have dinner together before class on wed and fri downstairs in the coffee shop type place that the church runs. So we'll see how that goes next week and if anyone shows up early!

Oh yeah, and I have a funny language story, though I don't know if it's appropriate for this blog, so if you wanna hear it, ask me about kleenex!

You Are a Cappuccino

You're fun, outgoing, and you love to try anything new.However, you tend to have strong opinions on what you like.You are a total girly girly at heart - and prefer your coffee with good conversation.You're the type that seems complex to outsiders, but in reality, you are easy to please

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

kibbles n' bits

  • I started watching season 1 of Lost. It's pretty good, though not as riveting as 24, it's still a nice diversion

  • I made french onion soup yesterday, particularly nice with the swiss cheese I bought in Carrefour on the weekend and am trying to use before it goes moldy on me

  • I've had two further days of confirmation regarding the principle observed in schools and other public institutions across Taiwan:

    a. One must acquire every variety of the latest technology for one's school/library/office/church and should display it somewhere within said institution, even better if it's all in one room

    b. One must not actually teach anyone within the premises how to use previously mentioned technology (it would be breaking a sacred code I suppose)

  • Technology woes aside, I've had a pretty good week so far. I've enjoyed showing some pictures of my time in Canada to my classes, and, after 6 classes only, can predict with accuracy when students will gasp, break into chatter, and otherwise react to the little slide show I put together.

  • P.S. Does anyone know if opened spaghetti sauce (in a jar) is still good after 2 months? There doesn't appear to be any mold on it, and the best before date is in 2007... I so feel like a university student asking that :P

Monday, February 20, 2006

Staying Put

I'm back in Yilan again after a few days in Yuli. It was so great to see all my friends there as always. Sometimes I'm amazed that certain people still remember me, like store owners - even of places I didn't go THAT often. I guess a year is kind of a long time, and when there aren't that many places to shop, you tend to go to the same places frequently. I saw the teachers from some of the schools we taught at last year, and it made me want to visit them all again! Maybe next time I'll try to borrow a vehicle and go for a few quick visits. Also, I got to have dinner at my old house with my old landlords, Jeff and Sherly, who are expecting twins!! Jeff is a really cute father-to-be, right now he's doing all the cooking and cleaning, and was talking about how they're only buying organic foods now to be healthy for their babies. They're so excited! They've been married 7 years if I remember correctly, and have been wanting children for a long time.

I am pretty much adjusted to the time again. The jet lag seemed much worse returning to Canada than it did coming back here. Maybe because I wasn't there for as long, so my body didn't fully readjust?

I'm starting classes this afternoon, and have a full week. First day of class is always interesting, and I'm hoping to implement a few strategies early on to help the semester go more smoothly. My classes in the church are also starting this week, so it will be interesting to see if I get a lot of new students or not.
Whew, it will be good to get a bit of a routine going again. So yeah, if anyone's looking for me, I'll be in Yilan (well, except for thursday when i have to teach in Hualian, oh yeah, and the holiday coming up next week... sigh...)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lantern Festival

On Sunday evening, I was lucky enough to attend Yilan's Lantern Festival celebrations. Sunday was the final day of Chinese New Year, which lasts 12 days I believe. Last year I saw some lanterns in Yuli, but it was nothing compared to what Yilan had. Though I've heard the most elaborate celebrations are in Tainan. We had to drive about 10-15 minutes to get to the park where the festival was being held. Parking was a nightmare, but we finally found a spot and waded through the crowds at a makeshift nightmarket (arguably larger than Yilan's nightmarket). All the while I could hear and see fireworks going off somewhere ahead. When we got to the park, I was stunned by the decorations, I found it to be quite amazing! There were walkways through what seemed like a tunnel of lights, lanterns in the small pond, bands, light shows, and best of all, tons of little displays or scenes made up of different sizes of lanterns, shaped like everything imaginable. I really enjoyed attending, though we were only there for a short time. Here are a couple of pictures below, I would have liked to have taken more, but the crowds and time just didn't permit it.

In other news, I'm off to Yuli this afternoon until Saturday, and I start classes on Monday with a rather full week, including teaching in Hualian on Thursday!

Dogs featured big in this year's decorations.  Posted by Picasa

The park was decorated with a number of different scenes made up of small lanterns, orante and subtly lit.  Posted by Picasa

Under the sea Posted by Picasa

Fruit Posted by Picasa

Friends and families write their wishes or blessings on the huge paper lantern. After lighting it, they hold it to the ground until the lantern fills with hot air.  Posted by Picasa

up up and away

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

4 for the 14th

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sadly I am not doing much today, but thanks to Jo, I have something to post:

Four jobs you've had in your life:
1) Residence Coordinator
2) English teacher
3) Tim Horton's cashier/baker
4) Library front desk

Four movies you could watch over and over again:
1) Memento
2) Lord of the Rings (um, all of them)
3) Finding Nemo
4) Gattaca

Four TV shows you love(d) to watch
1) 24
2) The Simpsons
3) The Amazing Race
4) Corner Gas

Four places you've lived:
1) Castlegar, BC
2) Caronport, SK
3) Camrose, AB
4) Yuli, Taiwan

Four places you've been on vacation to: (Canada! LOL)
1) Quebec City
2) Sao Luis, Brazil (well it wasn't really a vacation, but it was a cool trip)
3) Hong Kong
4) Green Island

Four places you would rather be (or where you'll like to visit?):
1) The Great Wall of China
2) Thailand
3) South Korea
4) Singapore (all places I hope to visit while I live in Asia)

Four of your favourite foods:
1) Pad Thai from the Thai place in Yuli
2) Sushi or Sashimi
3) Nachos with the works (lots of cheese, olives, sour cream, salsa, guacamole and extra jalapenos, but no onions)
4) Tortellini in alfredo sauce baked with cheese

Four websites you visit daily-ish: (besides whichever of my friends has updated their blog)
1) Sudoku Site
2) My Utmost for His Highest daily devotion
3) Daily Dose of Imagery - Canadian photo blog
4) Get Fuzzy

Four CDs you're digging right now: what a mix!
1) Jack Johnson (Thanks Jo)
2) The Motorcycle Diaries Soundtrack (Really great Latin music from South America - Thanks Kaia)
3) Blindside - The Great Depression (It's really close to being my favorite Blindside album)
4) David Tao - I'm OK (Taiwanese pop)

I'm not tagging anyone, but if you feel like joining in with this fun little diversion, feel free!

Monday, February 13, 2006

home from home

Am I homeless or multi-homed? I don't think that's actually a word, maybe I should coin it? Homed to perfection?
Anyways, if this entry doesn't make sense I'll blame it on jet lag ;)

Here I am, back in Yilan, and unfortunately didn't blog much about my trip while I was there, but I did get some pics up . Overall it was a great (albeit expensive) time.

From Caronport I spent some time in Regina with Kaia and Vanessa, also seeing Krista and some family.

We went mini-golfing, which I don't think has come to Taiwan yet. At least I've never seen a mini-golf course here. If anyone knows of one, please enlighten me!

I also watched a number of movies including Memoirs of a Geisha (excellent, hope the film doesn't catch fire when you go see it), Syriana (not bad, but really heavy - make sure you're in the right mental space if you decide to go see it), and Pride and Prejudice (sigh...timeless).

I saw a ton of people and had some great visits, though most were way too short. I was particularly blessed to be able to visit with Shantelle for a bit, who is still undergoing cancer treatments.

After I got back to my parents house (my grandparents came for the last few days too), my next task was to dye my mom's hair. Now I'm no hairdresser, but I've dyed hair before (cut someone's hair once too, but I probably wasn't the best choice for that) and I was quite happy with the end result. I think my mom was, too.
On my last Sunday in Canada, I had the pleasure of hanging out with my friend and faithful blog reader, Sarah, and attending her church, my last English worship service for probably awhile.

The day before I returned to Taiwan, I went to my brother's Social Studies 6 class and talked about Taiwan. I had a bunch of pictures on powerpoint, answered questions, and had a little competition to see who could use chopsticks to pick up an assortment of items the fastest (one girl kind of gave up and held one stick in each hand). It went extremely well, I was happy with the way the class interacted and responded, and I was invited to give the presentation again next time I happen to be in the country. I think I'm a "cool" big sister, doesn't that rock? My brother and I also watched Kung Fu Hustle (hilarious) together on my laptop.

I flew out of Calgary at 6:15pm on Wednesday and (after a bit of a mix up) got to hang out with Johnny in Vancouver for a couple of hours. Finally at 1:00am I was on the 13 hour flight to Taipei. I think I'm getting used to the length of the flight, because each time I don't remember it being nearly as bad as the first few long flights I made. Though on this particulary flight there were loads of families including a 1 year old (i guess) who would periodically wake up and begin screaming. I managed to sleep quite a bit on the flight, thanks, I guess, to the inflatable pillow I got in the Vancouver airport. I just have to say, it cracks me up that they serve instant noodles as a snack on the flight to Taipei (both times I've had it). I guess they were invented in Asia. I arrived in Taipei at 5:45am on Friday, and proceeded through customs with a massive headache which progressed to nasuea on the way back to the office. Fortunately some air and a shower did worlds of good.

Well you don't need to be bogged down with the further details of my trip from Taipei which are slightly fuzzy anyways, so here's a list:

10 Things I Brought Back From Canada:
1. Cinnamon Hearts (many of which have been consumed during the writing of this entry)
2. Angel food cake mix
3. Pudding mix
4. A box of tea from London Fruit and Herb Company - arguably the best fruit tea in the world
5. Skor bits for baking
6. Canadian paraphenalia and maple syrup
7. Size 10 women's shoes
8. A pretty new bathing suit (among other clothes - yay for Value Village)
9. Blindside, Cold Play, Tim Hughes and Jars of Clay (cd's of course)
10. Two increasingly ragged suitcases that have now been across the world a number of times and may or may not make it one more time

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yes, Canadians really do eat ice cream in the winter. mmmmmm Posted by Picasa

Winter Scene

Outside my aunt's farm. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 06, 2006

Cute Kids

Well I'm back from my trip to Alberta and Saskatchewan, I can't believe I've only got 3 days left!! Time has really flown by. I've got tons of pictures to post, as you may expect. I'll start with these:

Adam and Erin's daughter Mattea in (one of) the chinese shoes I gave her Posted by Picasa

My cousin Noah in his Chinese shirt (from Hong Kong too) Posted by Picasa

My cousin Mallory in her chinese coat Posted by Picasa

My cousin Marshall in his Hong Kong t-shirt Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What do you need?

From Hope's blog: If YOU have a blog and a few seconds on your hands, do a google search for your first name plus the word "needs," then put the first ten results on your own blog (or in my comments!) Sooo funny!

1.Charlotte needs to look beyond banks

2. Charlotte needs an airport that is focused on its hub but also on those travelers.

3. Charlotte Needs to Encourage a More Meaningful Dialogue.

4. Charlotte needs to control fans

5. Features: Charlotte needs your help!

6. Charlotte Needs You

7. Charlotte needs more breath taking, and more often.

8. Charlotte needs Get Fuzzy.


10. I think Charlotte needs another low/middle-end grocery store.

My favorites have got to be 4 and 7.... I'll work on getting my fans under control.... they go a little crazy sometimes. ;)

Back in Caronport

I've been spending the last few days in the great place I went to school, Briercrest. After only 3 semesters away, a lot has changed. Not many familiar faces, though I've been pleasantly suprised at some of the people I've run into. Of course I'm staying with my old rommate (or, as she would put it, my roommate forever) Johanna who has been one of the people I have best kept in touch with while in Taiwan. I've also been able to reconnect with a number of old friends and Brazil teammates. It's been a huge blessing to be here, to participate in English worship services, and to be at school without worrying about getting tomorrow's reading done or finishing up that paper... instead I've been drinking tea, listening to Jack Johnson, baking, shopping, watching Corner Gas and going for coffee. Here's an excerpt from the conversation I've had a number of times with slight variations:

Person making small-talk: So where are you from?
Me: B.C. originally
PMST: And where do you live now?
Me: Taiwan, actually
Wednesday evening I'm off to Regina and then on Saturday, back to my parents. Somewhere in there I need to prep what I'm going to say to my brother's grade 6 class about Taiwan.