My meanderings as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras y Mexico!

¡Bienvenidos a mi aventura!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rice, rice and more rice

4 months in! 

I have been traveling a lot for work- giving workshops and also conducting observations and confrences with each one of my advisees. It has been really great to be able to see in person what is going on in classrooms here and talking directly with teachers. 

AIT hosted a really nice early thanksgiving dinner for all of the ETAs and grantees. 

My Chinese is still non-existent- but Im still trying. I have 2 tutors and a great language exchange partner. 

I really would love to hear from you all- so feel free to send me an email or postcard ;) 

Sun Yet-Sen memorial Hall


Conrwmpary art musuem with ETAs- best exibit ever a room full of yarn to nap in



Standing in a rice field surrounded by mountains- Taitung 


Ricecream

Famous luchbox with special rice

Work colleagues & their families house warming party for Dr. Voke 


Costco- seafood pizza and Mango shaved ice say WHAT! 








Monday, October 13, 2014

Celebrating Columbus Day (a Terrible historical figure that I do not approve off) with a blog post


I am finally sitting down to write an finish a blog post- I have today off becuase it is Colmbus day- yes I know that it is weird to be in Asia and get Columbus Day off and that we are still celbrating Columbus Day considering what he did- but becuase of my job we get some American Holidays off which is GREAT. I really needed a chunck of time to catch up on life stuff and communicate with everyone that I have been missing. 

I have gotten worse and worse about taking pictures as I have been getting older but luckily for you all- I am living in a country where people are obsessed with taking photos- so this means I actually have some thanks to friends here to share with you. 

So I have been here for about 2 and a half months now. Which is kind crazy to think about. 

Work has been interesting and has been keeping me busy. I am giving workshops, doing observations confrences and reports, readiing and responding to teacher reports, problem soloving....

I have to admit I hate the question that I keep geting lately- How is chinese going? Not so well, my retention is pretty nonexistent- despite my tutoring sessions. I am so exhuasted with work stuff and living in a nother country and culture stuff that my brain hurts by the end of the day when I have chinese tutoring. I started a langauge exchange with a friend from work- so I'm hoping that will help too. 

I had a house warming party 2 weeks ago, and all of my favorite people came which was really special. My place is starting to feel much more homey post the party. They brought me some fabulous housewarming gifts which was so unexpected and so sweet. I made quesadillas, chismol, guac, brownies, cupcakes- and they seemed to go over well. 

Other news- I have taken some really great trips with friends- Which also included crashing a wedding with a famous Buddist Master. (see pictures below). On friday I went to the presidents mansion for a national day party. It is probably the fanciest part I have ever been too (pictures below). See pictures below for some of the highlights. 


Wedding crashers. After attending a very special memorial ceremony in a temple for people who suffered in natural disasters- we were invited to a very fancy- very loely wedding 14 course vegan wedding banquet. 

Stinky tofu- a tiwanese favorite. It really really does smell bad- and kinda tastes like a dirty sock in my opinion. 
Tofu with green bean noodles 

My neighborhood shuttle bus picture

Mango monster ice- so yummy!


Natural hot spring- BETO

View during night time bike ride

Temple near work


Waterfall outside of temple in the middle of the city. 

Puppet theater in a park for moon festival 

Elephant mountain view of Taipei, waiting for the moon on moon festival day. 

The moon in its full glory 




Sun moon lake trip (below)
Getting weird looks from small children- I guess this happens in Asia too. You think I would be used to getting stared at. I had some students pet my arms and touch my dimple when I was doing an observation the other day. Arm hair gasp- Im a freak here 
Look who I found !!!! 








Bambo forest & bike trip Nanto (below)






 10/10 party the Prez Mansion 


 Chinese characters for 10/10- national day



Trip to waterfall & wish lanterns Pingxe

 the tiny things in the sky are the wish lanterns
 some people getting ready to send off their lantern





I hope you are all well. Take care. Keep in touch. 

Em

PS Please ignore any and all spelling and gramatical errors 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

1st post from Taiwan

Hi Everyone, I made it! I’m alive . I have been so busy with work that I have not had a chance to sit down and write a post. I have been her for about 3 weeks, which is hard to believe. Time is such a funny thing- how it can feel fast and slow at the same time.

I arrived late and was put up at a nice hotel by the Fulbright office. The problem was that the next day was a typhoon day- which is kind of like a snow day for all of you Midwestern folks. It was nice from the standpoint that it gave me 24 hours to adjust to being here- but made things difficult to find housing- because I couldn't start looking right away. I have found a place and I am starting to feel settled in a bit. All of my colleagues from Fulbright have been incredibly helpful and kind. Without them I have no idea what I would have done- they have helped me with everything from finding housing, setting up a bank account, cell phone, transportation…. I am really lucky to be working with Sarah- we knew each other from graduate school- she was in this same position last year- and she has been a god send on so many levels both professionally and personally.

I have 2 Chinese tutors and I have been taking lessons a couple days a week. I can’t really say that I have been retaining much- but I am trying. I think picking up some of the language will allow me a lot more independence and confidence living here- not to mention it’s importance on a socio-cultural level.

Work has been pretty crazy. I have been doing at least 3 five hour workshops a week, traveling around the country by myself to give them. It has been really interesting seeing different parts of the country- and great to meet all of the new ETAs (English teaching assistants). It has been very exhausting though. For one day I literally was in a taxi, a bus, a high speed train, a motor bike, the metro, and walked in order to do my job. Literally my reality is planes, trains and automobiles.


 Crazy toilet in the hotel. All the buttons were in Chinese :(

 View from the hotel, a block away from my office. Welcome to urban Asia!

 Funny translation yes I know I'm a language nerd. 

Taipei has a ton of amazing parks like this one

 Peace park

 peace park

 Acupuncture foot path 
 Walk across it barefoot


 Taipei 101 worlds 2nd tallest building


My apartment lofted bed




Living room



View from the front door

Kitchen and washing machine 



Hope you are are well :) Stay in touch! 

Emily