Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cutest Baby

Of course, I'm extremely biased, but Emily Grace is the cutest baby in the world!! This picture gives me urges to get on an airplane and get back to Canada so I can play with her, play in the leaves, and watch her grow up in person, instead of through pictures. One of the biggest challenges of living overseas is indeed being away from friends and family back home. I don't know how the missionaries of old did it when there were no airplanes, Skype, email, webcams, and Facebook. 
Speaking of which, when I was browsing through Facebook's Canada's Cutest Babies contest which this picture of Emily was entered into, and I couldn't help but thinking that a day is coming when potential employers will be googling and facebooking someone and will find their baby pictures online... the world is changing so fast. Even when I was in high school, no one really even had a digital camera.... now we just need some of these geniuses to turn their talents to finding a fast way to cross the ocean that doesn't cost thousands of dollars... teleportation anyone? Maybe I've been watching too much Heroes

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spiritual Conversations...

Yesterday, I was chatting with some of my students during the break between classes, when I had two very different conversations. The first student asked me what kind of religion I follow. I told him I'm a Christian, and asked him what he believed in. He said he believes in reincarnation, which of course, he didn't know the English word for, so he explained it kind of like this: 
It's like a big circle, so I have to do many good things, because if I don't maybe when I die I'll come back as a poor person or as an animal. 
What a hopeless cycle. Does it mean that poor people are to blame for their situation because of their actions in a previous life? I didn't say this to him, but it made me think about what kind of world view must accompany this belief. 

Another student asked me if I would be attending the upcoming Franklin Graham evangelistic crusade, and shared that he would be dancing on the stage at some of the shows! Imagine that! A high school dance team from a small town will be performing in front of thousands of people for the glory of God!  I will be attending, at least one of the days, and I'll be looking for my student! 

Please pray for Taiwan during this huge event (Oct 24-Nov2), and in the following weeks that the seeds of the gospel will be planted and come to fruit through the work of His church!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's a Cucumber!

It is actually the skeleton of a wild cucumber, dried. It can be used as a loofah in the bath, or as a sponge. In traditional markets and  old streets you can buy long ones and cut them into pieces. Mine is a piece from a friend's, and I use it to wash my dishes. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What is it?

What is it? What is it made from? What is it used for?
This is object can be found in many homes in Taiwan, especially more traditional ones.
A little blog contest for you guys! If you think you know the answer, you can leave a comment, or email me!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10/10 Fun!

We had a long weekend last week, and on Friday I went out with some friends from Yilan for the day. First stop was a mushroom plantation. Now, when they told me we were going to pick mushrooms, it sounded really cool until I started thinking about it.... wait a minute... don't mushrooms grow in.....?
Well these ones didn't! They grew in bags which were placed along shelves in a refrigerated room. We went inside and were given baskets to pick as many as we wanted. Later we had a barbecue and grilled them. They were DELICIOUS! I still have some left from my huge bag, which only cost me about $4.00 Canadian (120NT), and I'm planning to make soup, and a marinara spaghetti sauce with them this week.
Before we took our mushrooms back to BBQ, we went to a lake in the area that I'd never been to before. It was really nice there, and we had a great stroll around the lake. This area, being more remote and closer to the coast, really got hit bad by the two super typhoons. While most of the cleanup in Yilan city is finished (street lights are back on, signs are back up, trees were pushed back into the ground), the cleanup here was still in the beginning stages, and we could see that there was a LOT of damage, including many ruined trees, a suspension bridge that was blocked off because it was bent out of shape, and a debris-covered path near the water that wasn't walkable anymore.
I'm having problems uploading more pictures at the moment, but I'll link to a facebook album soon.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Amazing Race comes to Taiwan

I've always loved the show "The Amazing Race" so I was thrilled to find that there is an Asian version. It's still in English, but all the teams are from Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, The Philippines, Korea, Japan, India etc.) , and they race through Asian countries. The format of the show is the same, for those who are familiar with it, including roadblocks, detours etc.
Season 3 is on right now, and last week, they came to Taiwan! The funniest thing about it was that they kept asking police officers to help them find different locations, which they did (even escorting them long distances) without batting an eyelash! Glad Taipei's finest are there for such causes, even if they don't stop the scooters speeding through red lights.
I was wondering where they would end up going, with all the great places to see, and they ended up going to a place called Shenkeng, which is actually on the way to Yilan! The Shenkeng old street is famous for....stinky tofu! Much to my amusement, they had to eat an entire dish of stinky tofu and duck's blood tofu before they could receive their next clue. Some of the teams made it through fairly quickly, while others were vomiting in between bites. One team said "Sorry Taiwan! I know this is some kind of delicacy, but I just can't handle it!"
Stinky tofu..... what can I say about it? I posted about it a long time ago. My first year in Taiwan, I tried not to go near the stuff! The smell was just too revolting. Finally someone convinced me to try it, but I still wasn't "convinced". After four years, there is one kind that I actually like (shhh don't tell), which is the deep fried cubes with a sweet/spicy sauce and pickled vegetables. But the kind they ate on the show is definitely NOT for me... I just might have thrown up too.

Say YES......

Say NO.....