Friday, March 28, 2008

New Life!

Happy Easter everyone! Jesus is risen! I celebrated Easter from Sunday morning to Monday evening. I joined the worship team on Sunday morning and we sang about 10 songs in Chinese. Fortunately they were almost all songs I know in English, so I figured if I forgot the words, I could just switch to English. We got to wear choir robes, which were really hot.. haha, no literally, I was sweating, and I just had short sleeves underneath.

After church we had a big lunch. I spent the afternoon making a cake which I kind of botched, but was able to recover (thanks to LOTS of icing!), and getting ready for the Easter party in my class Monday evening.

At the party we colored eggs, watched part of the Jesus video, sang songs, made a craft, and had a scavenger hunt. My students LOVED the scavenger hunt, though they got quite competitive.
There are some pictures of the class here (it's all in Chinese, posted by another class member, but you CAN see pictures).

Oh and speaking of new life, my hair REALLY needed some.... so I got a perm!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Define yourself!

I did this once a long time ago, and just got the idea to do it again a little differently! The idea is you type "your name is" into google (you need to quotation marks for it to work. Then post the first 10 (or 10 most interesting) sentences from the results.
So here we go:

  • Charlotte is Wise, Patient, and Caring (that really was the very first one that came up!)
  • Charlotte is leaving the hospital
  • Charlotte is on maternity leave.
  • Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina (I'm surprised there weren't more like this)
  • Charlotte is taking a hiatus from blogging.
  • Charlotte is disturbing and shocking
  • Charlotte is obviously suffering from the uniquely female illness, hysteria
  • Charlotte is just as important to children's books as the other one
  • Charlotte is from Sparta
  • Charlotte is definitely dually talented,
  • Charlotte is more than a pet
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you try it!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Give us faith so we'll be saved

We just had an election here, but the morning before the election, my good friend Libeck was part of a duet singing The Prayer, a beautiful song that has been on my heart ever since, and quite fitting for this time that we should really be praying for Taiwan. There are lots of versions of this song, and I wish I had a record of the one they sang last week, but here is one. If you have time, check out the duet between Josh Groban and Charlotte Church, or Chloe Agnew giving it a Celtic flavor. I know the last line of the chorus is "Give is faith so we'll be safe" but I can't help but replace it with the word "saved" sometimes. Like the man in Mark who cried out to Jesus "I believe, help my unbelief!"

Anyways, all that musical goodness to say: Taiwan has a new president! Well, he won't take office until May, but he was elected on Saturday. Ma Ying-jeou is the leader of the Nationalist party or KMT, or as known here, the blue party. Everyone was really conscious about wearing (or not wearing) blue or green the last few days since that's the color of the two parties. The KMT is the party that tends to favor eventual reunification with (a democratic) China, while the green party is for Taiwan independence.

Anyways, the election was held peacefully and democratically, and Taiwan is NOT going into civil war! Just in case you had heard otherwise.

Oh yeah, and when I got back to Yilan on Saturday (via a noisy bus ride with non-stop election reporting) I discovered that our church was a vote-counting site. Interesting.

Next entry: Easter!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

New Technology!

Yesterday I went to a training session for a new toy one of my schools has decided to buy: a computerized whiteboard! What is it, you ask? Well after an hour of demos and getting to try it myself, it's simply amazing!
It functions as a regular whiteboard. You can use whiteboard markers on it. BUT you can also project your powerpoint screens or websites (anything you have on your computer actually) onto it. BUT the coolest thing is that once you have a screen projected onto the whiteboard, you can use a special computerized pen to interact with it!

So you can use the pen to go the next or previous slide, and to go from a powerpoint slide to something else (like a website). No more being stuck behind the computer for the whole class.
In addition, you can use the pen to write stuff on your screen! So you can underline, circle, or point to certain parts. You can also write words. You can choose to record all the screens and pen strokes you make, and can even add voice recording. You can save new slides as you change them or write on them. You can also go back to your original file any time. It also has a spotlight tool, and a number of other fun toys. I can't really describe how cool it is, but let me just say I'm really excited about it, since they're installing it in MY classroom! woohoo!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Sometimes Taiwanese attempts at western food still end up being very... Taiwanese.
Ordering a "salad" at a lot of restaurants will get you a few pieces of iceberg lettuce drowned in mayo with a couple of raisins on top.
True to form, my "fruit bagel" this morning included apple, dragon fruit, raisins, lettuce, and thousand island dressing! hmmmm it was edible, but I don't think I'll order it again!

Monday, March 17, 2008

27 Dresses

Last Thursday I went to see 27 dresses with about 10 other ladies. We all got dressed up, either in nice dresses, or in former bridesmaids dresses.
We ate in the mall food court first, and then went to see the movie. It created quite a stir as we made our way through the mall. We got some “Hi Baby”s and stares.

At the place where I ordered dinner, the chef came out of the kitchen and asked if I could take pictures with him. I posed for cell phone photos with the two chefs and one waitress. It was fun to be dressed up, but still wearing fun shoes and not spending time and money on the hair and makeup. Some of the girls wore their Crocs under their bridesmaid dresses! The movie itself was pretty good, though fairly predictable. The dress scenes were great though! I’m thankful the ladies I’ve been fortunate to stand up with have good taste, and didn’t feel the need to make sure their bridesmaids looked awful!

The most repeated line of the movie is “You can shorten it and wear it again!” which is often said, but not that likely.
Well I’m fortunate to have been able to get at least 2 wearings out of the three formal dresses I’ve owned. My high school grad dress also got to play a role in our French soap opera (a final project we filmed in grade 12) and I wore it to a Christmas banquet my first year of college -- that was the one that I decided to get my ear pierced than morning and ended up fainting in the mall…..i had a bruise on my face, but an nice dress!

My dress for Carmen’s wedding was a pretty blue one that I was able to wear again for college grad, since she got married in Sept. of 2003, my final year. And last week I wore my fantastic red dress from Johanna’s wedding. I have to say though, I’m glad I don’t have to wear formal clothes every day!

Any more suggestions for theme movie events? It makes the whole day so much more fun and memorable. If you have a chance, you should try it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Zha qi zha ba

The Chinese phrase Zha qi zha ba means "random stuff"

First, I think I strained my foot! Not that foot, but the other foot, the good foot... wierd. I did a lot of walking this weekend, and on Sunday night my foot felt like it had a cramp, one that didn't go away. When I walked around on Monday it felt worse, and after 10 hours of class between Monday afternoon and now I'm walking with a limp! I didn't fall down or anything, but it really hurts. I went to the doctor and he said it might be a strain, since the pain is all along one area. Just got some pain meds though... hmm. Anyways, pray that it will get better... like by tomorrow! haha I am thankful though that it doesn't hurt to ride a bike! So I can still get around more or less. I haven't had to break out my crutches yet, though it did cross my mind at one point.

We have a long weekend coming up next month, and I've been thinking of taking a little trip! Another colleague and I were looking into the Philippines, but I don't know if there's enough time for it because of the available flight times :( Theoretically, we'd have from Thursday evening until Sunday evening, but the flights are like Friday noon and Sunday noon.... would you pay $400 for that (flight + hotel) ?
Other options are going somewhere in Taiwan... but I'm really itching to see more of Asia...

I'm going to see 27 Dresses on Thursday! We are wearing formal dresses to go see it! Pictures to come next week :)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

no rest for the weary...

this overdue blog update is brought to you by the friendly neighborhood construction...grrr
Life in Taiwan is punctuated by short breaks between construction it seems. First it was the house above us, then across the street, and now it seems to be right outside my window.. i mean somewhere below. Anyways, there's nothing I can do about it, except be grumpy that it woke me up at 8 on a SATURDAY morning!
Taiwan doesn't have as much construction as China, especially from what I remember from Hong Kong, and of course I'm sure there's even more in Beijing as it's getting ready to host the Olympics. But people are always building something new, or renovating their old place, or building an MRT station or.... It just seems like there's way more than in Canada, and due to the close proximity of everyone, especially in crowded Taipei, you can tend to feel like there's no escape from it! On a list of countries by population density, Taiwan is number 15. What about Canada? 230!!!! By the way, Macau, Hong Kong, and Singapore are numbers 2, 3, and 4, respectively.

Anyways, since I'm up for the day, here's a bit about what I've been doing lately.
The past two weeks, I've been getting ready to start up my English bible study in Yilan again, and last week we had another English worship service. I was really busy getting ready for it, since I was in charge of almost all of it! It went well, but the timing is not quite right for it to become a regular thing at this point.

I've been hanging out a bit with my friends in Taipei, and we had a pizza party a couple weeks ago. I also got to go to the very-expensive-but-worth-it-once-in-a-while TGI Fridays last weekend. I eat a lot more western food in Taipei than I do in Yilan. I've also been making some Mexican, since I picked up wraps, salsa etc. at Costco. Every now and then you just need to have some slices of life back home...

In classes I've been quite ambitious this semester, wanting to get even more out of my advanced classes. I just started tackling debate with one group, and I'll be starting Pride and Prejudice with some of my girls' classes next week!

Well that's all for now... I should go get some breakfast!