Friday, December 12, 2008

A Weekend At The Beach

Beautiful Beaches of Kenting

For a little weedend trip Jake and I met Shannon, Jessica, and Megan down in Kenting. We had a lot of fun playing on the beach and being cold. We made some Asian friends that were hilarious and Megan may have gotten a date....

Yes, it's cold...

So, yes it actually gets cold here- I never thought that it would happen. It is a very different kind of cold though. I will have on the two sweater I brought, pants, gloves, and a scarf and then find out that it really is 69 degrees outside! It's so funny. Driving to church on my scooter gets really cold- as you see with my lovely outfit.


Wow! This was one of the coolest hikes I have ever been on. I felt like I was climbing up to a tree house the whole time. It was like this the whole way, and there were other "paths" all around the mountain. It was incredible. Notice that I don't have any shoes on....
Yes- it was really quite a climb in some spots.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

November Fun

This is our hostel- I almost had to sleep with a man. But after the lady saw my face she said she would make him sleep somewhere else. Thank goodness!

Lindsey and I could not get kindergarten songs out of our head so we resorted to the ipod. It was our curse for missing Morning Kindergarten. "Daddy's taking us to the zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow.." Oh great, now it's in my head again :)

Around Taipei-at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial

I got to see lots and lots of monkeys.... and we were not even at the zoo.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kitchen With The Kids!

Right now in morning kindergarten I have the kitchen rotation. It is hilarious to see what they do with some of this food. This week was Halloween so we made a bunch of ghosts, witches, and bats...

These are our ghost people. They were hilarious!

This is an activity gone completely wrong... but hey, we made up our own thing and I think they ended up being quite cute pizza people. I was so excited to eat mozzerella cheese! It is SO expensive and hard to get here so I don't get it very often.

This is Rex. How we love him!

This is the very sick Miss Rachelle. I don't know what got me, but I have been so sick the past week and a half. I have been caughing my head off and been talking really funny. Here in Taiwan they wear masks when they are sick so I have been wearing one all week.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Green Island
End of our trip: We finally made it to Green Island Saturday night. The Ferry ride over was HORRIBLE!!! I usually NEVER get sea sick, but I was really sick. Every one around me was throwing up. It was gross. We made it to the island, got our scooters and then checked in to our "hotel". We went to fill up our scooters with gas at 6:00 pm. and guess what? The one and only gas station was already closed! We spent our time on Green Island looking through the shops and driving around. It was so beautiful!

This is my favorite picture of the whole trip! We all look exactly like what we are thinking.
They gave us these leaves to rub on our goggles and we couldn't quite figure out what they were for. Most of us were slightly confused- especially me. Pay close attention to Shannon's hair, it is awesom. Love ya Shannon!

We really didn't want to get sick again on the way home so we took this great
"NO SICK"medicine and I really think it helped :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Green Island

My Hualian and Green Island Trip
We finally got a day off for 10-10 (October 10th). This is a National Holiday in Taiwan and to be truthfully honest, I don't really know what it is for because they are still part of the Republic Of China. I will research that one. Anyway, we had Friday off which means we had a long weekend and we wanted to travel. We planed to go to Green Island (an Island off the South East Coast of Taiwan) so we booked our hotels and got on a train. We left early Friday morning (getting up at 4:30 am to be exact) and rode the train up through Taipei and then aournd the east coast. I was so excited to actually see the ocean and remember that I live on an Island!

We arrived in Hailien and got our own private taxi drivers that took us where ever we wanted to go all day. We had so much fun driving along the coast and playing on the beach and looking at the gorgeous scenery.

These are the lovely teachers that I work and live with... I love them all! Shannon, Emily, Fenny, Connie, Lindsey, Me and MeganI was so excited to actually see the ocean! I was SO pretty and warm!

After butting on our swimming suits and playing in the warm water for a good two hours, we hopped back into our taxis and went to a bat cave. And guess what? There were LOTS of big bats! It was kind of kreepy, but quite cool. I don't think I have ever seen such large bats before. It was a very interesting experience floating in a little boat into a very dark cave and then hearing all these screeches above you!

This is us going into the Bat Cave

That night we stayed in a hostle that was REALLY nice considering we are in Taiwan! We felt very lucky and crashed on the on the long bed because we were so exhausted from the day. We got up the next morning and went RIVER RAFTING! I think this one one of the most amusign experience I have ever had in the water. Just imagine 200 Asians and 10 White Americans charging to their rafts after watching a video ( that we couldn't understand) and with NO guides on the boat. The Asians were all wearing jeans and sweaters- what is this we are rafting, shouldn't one be wearing a swimming suit??? Well we jump in and head out and basically is is a 4hr long water fight. Seriously, the whole time people were throwing water at us- it was insane!! This made me laugh.. so you know how I said we didn't have a guide, well to send us in the write direction they had about 10 motor boats that would just come up and run into you to turn your raft around or the make you go the right way. It was so bazerre. THey didn't even care if they ran straight into a person ( I think my leg almost got taken off more then once) and they thought it was so funny! Weird. Unfortuantely I was not able to get a video of this :(. So we did really well the whole way down and then they made us hook up to 4 other boats to make a chain (we still don't know why) and we got swung into a wall and tipped over. The 10 Americans were sent frlying and it was a huge ordeal getting every one out of the water. My friends thought I was dead because I got put on a different boat with some very nice Asian friends that didn't speak any english- but they found me and I survived.Look forward to part two of my blog coming soon!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Big Buddha, Big Buddha

On Sunday, September 20th Lindsey and I took a little trip to Chunghua after church. Our great friends are wonderful and showed us around their city. Here in Chunghua, they have a HUGE Buddha. This Buddha weighs 300 tons. You could actually go inside him, it was cool!

Behind Buddha is a Confucius Temple. It is one of Taiwan's oldest temples. It was BEAUTIFUL! Inside they have many different Buddhas and this huge sward that we could try and pick up.... I think I made it move a little bit, I swear!

After exploring Buddha and the Temple, we walked around the grounds. We saw a cute old man meditating and he welcomed us to Taiwan. So nice. We got a little crazy, but hey, we love these pictures. Can you just feel the action?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Life of Morning Kindergarten

8:30 a.m. The children come in, we play for a minute and attempt to have them each sit on their own mat. Wait, we are actually thinking that they are going to sit down? Yeah, funny thought. We get to sing lovely songs in which the children are either not singing, or singing so loudly that I can't hear my own thoughts or begin to understand what they are singing.

After 20 minutes we split the 26 (or more) children into four groups and go to our own rooms. This is where the we are SUPPOSED to teach them English.... We have a things BMC's ( I can't even remember what it stands for) but they are Target Language Needs and they are specific things that we have chosen to work on for the day. This is what a lesson might sound like...

Me- "This is pink pig. What is this?"
Child- "P.. Pig."
Me- "Yes, this is a pink pig"
As I do this for EVERY child in the group until they have all said what I wanted them to say. It often turns into...
Child- "I want. I want" Me- "What do you want?"
Child- "a;lsdkfjasl;kdjf" Me- "Are you speaking English?"
Me- "Who is sitting nicely?" Child- "I am sitting nicely" (which they are NOT!)

The last few weeks I have had the "Story and Drama" rotation so my children are now very good at saying, "Little pig, Little pig. Can I come in? NO! NO! NO! You can not come in!" I think they say that just about every time we see a door.

This is us acting out Cinderella. You would not believe the fun we had putting on and taking off a yellow dress!

This is Shayla. She used to have really cute hair until she got hold of the scissors and decided to give herself a hair cut... whoops!

After the day is over, we count our tokens (yes, they get a token every time they say something correctly) and head back to the group for closing.

Closing is usually a time of utter chaos.... The children don't want to sit there, us teachers are tired and our voices hurt. We attempt at some more singing and language practice and then we do our beloved "Rain Song". For some reason the children love this song and will sit quietly on their mat doing a little dance and we have 3 minutes of peaceful singing.. It is really cute! Often times Oscar will fall asleep while sitting there, Owen will be rubbing my leg (he loves the feel of smooth legs), and Cooper will be dancing like crazy.

Finally, Kindergarten has come to a close. I clock out, grab my stuff and leave the Old School with 27 children yelling "Good Bye" in English and Spanish. By this point I am exhausted and I have no voice. I hop on my bike and ride back over the the New School (where I live) in the blazing sun and cloudy skies to eat lunch and get ready for my next class :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Taipei Temple Trip

Taipei Temple Trip

Saturday August 30th, 2008

I had my fist experience with a Branch Temple Trip! We met at the Feng Yuen chapel and rode a bus up to Taipei with members from our branch. On way up we watched Johnny Lingo and watched the beautiful scenery pass by.

The temple was SO beautiful! We were just driving around and then, there it was.. right on a normal street. The grounds were beautiful and very well taken care of. I think it was the best looking block I have seen since being here. We walked inside the temple and I was shocked at the clean, white surroundings. I have only been in Taiwan just over two months, but I think I forgot how amazing it feels and how peaceful it is in the temple. The baptismal font was the smallest I have ever seen, but it was amazing to hear the baptisms in Chinese and yet still be able to feel the spirit and know that those words were so important, even if I couldn't understand them.

Taipei 101

One of the Worlds Tallest Buildings

After the temple, we went to Taipei 101. At the moment it is the Words tallest building. There is another building being built that is taller, but it is not finished yet. We went on this elevator that goes up 89 stories in just 44 seconds! From the top we had a great view of Taipei. You know, as impressive as it was, it was not my favorite view I have ever seen. For some reason it just wasn't as magical as other views I have seen. But, I am glad I got to see it, it is a HUGE city!

I looked very excited in this picture- someone told me I actually almost look Asian :) The other picture is us eathing at Subway... The first lunch meat I have had in 2 months!!! It was SO good! Well, this trip was a great adventure and i had so much fun. Taipei, I will be back soon!