Monday, April 27, 2009

27 (twenty-seven)...

is the natural number following 26 and preceding 28.
Twenty-seven is the smallest
 positive integer requiring
 four syllables to name in English, though it can be unambiguously defined in just two: "three cubed." 
It is also the atomic number of cobalt.
There are 27 books in the New 
According to Google, Samuel Morse was also born on April 27 (1791). 

Psalm 27 Reads:

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.
4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.
13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hanging out with students

Every year, schools have a big fair/carnival to celebrate the school anniversary. Each class puts up a booth and sells different foods, and all the clubs in the school do performances throughout the day. I always look forward to going, and this year was no exception. I spent a lot of money, ate a lot of free samples, and took a lot of pictures. Here are some of the highlights:

Part of the "kung fu club"

wearing traditional Chinese dresses (qipao)

selling their wares

each class designs their own shirts

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Resurrection Day

I probably say this every year, but I LOVE the Chinese translation of the word Easter - Fu Huo Jie, literally resurrection holiday.

Last night I had a student who asked me if the word "Easter" was found in the Bible. He pointed out that Passover and Pentecost are in the Bible but not Easter or Christmas. I think he was trying to imply somehow that we shouldn't celebrate them.

Actually there is a religious group in Taiwan that holds to this teaching. While I freely admit that you don't need to waste your time searching concordances for the word "Easter", there's certainly nothing wrong with celebrating the event of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. You won't find the words car, surgery, or Internet in the Bible either.

Making cream puffs

Here are some of the highlights of Easter celebrations this year:
Our church had a carnival outreach event on Saturday. Over 400 people came throughout the day. There were 5 game stations which included reading part of the gospel message.

I worked at one with two other people, where we introduced love and talked about how God's love is the ultimate love. Then they got to do a ring toss onto different pillars with the different kinds of love. The teenage girl that was helping was so funny, because she was a great host.

When people got one, she'd yell out (in Chinese) "Congratulations, you've received God's (parents' friends' etc) love!"
Easter Sunday, I have to admit was a little disapponting just because part of me longs for the rich tradition of Easter services that I've experienced before, singing the great Easter hymns and really having something different and special from the rest of the year. We did sing "Because He Lives" though.

Sunday afternoon was spent draining eggs so the shells could be colored and making cream puffs at the church.

I did Easter classes all day Monday, and on Monday night we had a feast with all the egg! There was a lot of food.
This won't hurt a bit...

We also had a clue hunt which the students got really into! Thanks to my mom's suggestion, I had them write their own clues for the other team this year. One of the funniest ones was: I'm popular, and I'm imported.
Where was the clue? In my pocket!
Being a teacher is so fun!


Great clue hunt shot, and two clues:
1. We go here every week, but not this one
2. I can't walk but I never stop

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


A song I've been listening to a lot lately:

This is quite an appropriate song for the season, as we reflect on the ends God would go to rescue us from ourselves. Speaking of the season, an Easter post has been written, but it's kind of long, so I'll post it when I have some pictures to break it up!  

Friday, April 10, 2009

Small World

I had dinner with a friend of a friend who was visiting Taiwan the other night. Halfway through the conversation, she said, "You know, Charlotte, I think I've read your blog before!"
Craziness, but it reminded me again of this huge Internet community we choose to take part in in varying measure.
In the last week this blog has had readers from Ohio, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, and Georgia...but as far as I know I don't know people in those places! Feel free to say hi btw...or maybe I'll meet you someday in Taiwan!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Strawberry season

  • Winter is strawberry season in Taiwan.
  • People pay to go to little strawberry farms and "pick" strawberries. You're usually given a pair of scissors to cut the berries so you don't damage the plants too much.
  • Juice vendors here think you're crazy if you ask for a strawberry-banana combination, it takes a lot of convincing before they'll make it for you.
  • This generation of young people (born afer 1980) in Taiwan is nicknamed the "strawberry generation" because they have grown up in a time relatively free of hardship and are often over-protected by parents, which makes them less able to withstand hard work and pressure. Like strawberries, they are bruised or crushed easily.  This is also the generation I interact with most. A speaker I heard a few weeks ago pointed out that the strawberry generation was created by "strawberry" parents and teachers. A google search of "Taiwan strawberry generation" yields some very interesting results if you want to read more.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Poem of the day

I've been using iGoogle as my homepage lately, and you can add a lot of different boxes that update themselves daily. One I've been enjoying is "Poem of the Day". In the 4+ years I've been in Taiwan, I haven't really been able to indulge in as much literature as usual, as it's not really available, and since 90% of the time, I'm thinking of ways to simplify the English I use rather than turn it into metaphors, allusions or iambic pentametre.... But now that I have this fantastic feature on my homepage, don't be surprised if you see some fun stuff popping up on here from time to time.
Today's offering, one of my favorite poets as a child: Shel Silverstein
Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

- Shel Silverstein