Saturday, November 2, 2013

This blog is so late!!! Better late than never, right??? :P

     Sooo I am writing this blog like 3 months late :( Sorry everyone, but I didn't plan to write one, but then I was for sure going to forget a lot things that I did so here I am. I will be documenting cool/new things I do as often as I can. 

      To catch everyone up on what happened the last three months (not really), I will write a quick summary. So the first day in Taiwan was the longest day of my life. I went literally from a 13 hour flight straight to a 2 hr bus ride straight to doing ARC cards, take pictures, bank accounts, phones, and shopping for necessity items for my room. 
     The three and a half weeks were full of traveling within Taichung (the city where I was placed). The main mode of transportation for us were buses. There was a lot of walking, sweating, and walking involved in the first few weeks. We had training on the weekdays and we had the weekends off. 
     My living situation was pretty bad the first week. There were COCKROACHES in my room the first night so I did not spend the night in my room. I took a shower in my fellow ETA's room and then slept in another ETAs room. Then the roaches were such a problem that I was moved to a different room, which still had roaches. Then I was moved to a third room and of course there were still roaches. I just couldn't escape them :( Finally, when I moved to my permanent apartment there were no more. I was sooooo happy!!!! 
    As for food, it's not as great as I thought it was going to be? However, I am in bubble tea heaven!!! One street has at least one boba shop and some even up to 4-5 boba shows in a row. This is great, but it can be a really big problem for me, health-wise. I am trying to control myself nowadays :)
    I can't forget to mention my school!!! I work with 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. I work with two other local english teachers and I teach 15 classes a week. Then I have English camps on Tuesdays, where I teach with three other ETAs. 

     I love teaching so far and I love my students!!! I play basketball, dance, sing, and chinese yoyo with them. My school is so nice to me and so far I am having a wonderful time. I also play badminton with the teachers on Thursday afternoons. One big difference that I found between Taiwanese schools and American schools is that the students clean their school. Every student is assigned a cleaning area and during the breaks, they clean. The students have a total of 7 periods of 40 minutes, 10 minute breaks in between, and 40 minute naps after lunch (teachers nap too :o). 
Here's a fun Halloween picture of my 4th graders and me!!!

     As Fulbright ETAs we are required to attend several meetings throughout the year. We had orientation in Taipei, Taiwan where we had learned more about Taiwan and US relations and met several government officials.  Then on 10/10/2013 it was Taiwan's Independence day so we were invited to Taipei once again and got to see the PRESIDENT of Taiwan!!! :D Our next trip to Taipei is to attend a Thanksgiving dinner; that is on November 15th!!! 
Training in Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan's Independence Day in Taipei - Taichung ETAs

     My advisor, Iris, took all of the Taichung ETAs to the famous Sun Moon Lake and we had a weekend retreat there so it was awesome! The lake was beautiful, we rode in cable cars, had great food, and saw a concert for free!!! :)

    There are still a lot more to talk about, but for now those are the things that I can think of right now. I will continue to talk more about my daily routines and more things and hopefully you will be able to get a sense of where I am/how I'm doing? Oh sorry for the lack of pictures, there are more pictures on my Facebook, but posts in the future will have more pictures :) Okay well here is what happened today :)

November 2, 2013

     So today I feel a bit sick so I decided not to go to Gaomei Wetlands, which is supposedly a really pretty place to see the sunset! It was okay because today happened to be raining anyways. So instead I stayed in and did my laundry. For dinner, I decided to call up my friend Mari who lives in the mountains. She came to pick me up since she was in the city. So I rode on her scooter to the restaurant, which was very exciting and scary at the same time because the drivers here in Taiwan rarely follow traffic rule :( It's so scary. I swear I almost die every day here. Mari and I had dumplings and some beef burritoish. We ordered some kind of vegetable, but since we both don't understand Chinese, we didn't know that there were no more vegetables. In the end, we went up to them and had a very sad conversation with them asking where our vegetable were. In the end, we finally understood that they had ran out :( sighh, the life of a foreigner. It's okay, it was a fun experience lol

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