My meanderings working around the world :)

¡Bienvenidos a mi aventura!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New year!!!!!






Happy New Year Everyone! 

I guess its time to catch everyone up with what happened to me in the last months of 2014. What better way then through pictures and random commentary :) 



Kelly's birthday lunch. A lovely lunch with some of my favorite people from work. The crew that helps me out on a daily basis and makes life so much more enjoyable.




These 3 pictures are of a hike along Caoling historical trail that has been around since the Qing dynasty. Beautiful views and good company. 

Alumni dinner- we went to Gordon Biersch and got to eat American food :) 

One of the must sees of the Taipei zoo- famous giant Pandas.


Formosan black bear, an endangered species and found only in Taiwan. I went on a rainy day which was magical- it was like I really was in the rain-forest in one exhibit. 
Educational literature in every part of the zoo including the restrooms. They had informational signs, posters, mural about scat everywhere LOL.

Yes world I am a chocoholic and I am not ashamed to admit it. 


Great news!!!!! I won the Taiwanese lottery!!!!!!! I won 4,400 NT. I was so surprised and so happy. I used the winnings to sign up for a badminton class. Thanks to Vicki who helped me discover my winnings and sign up for the class ;) My first class is tomorrow. Yeah for learning badminton terminology in Chinese. FYI that is my name in Chinese on my placard outside of my cubicle at work. 


View from the top of Taipei 101 on News Years eve. 


Rode the worlds fastest elevator to the top of 101 floors. View from the top. 


This is one of the dampers that keeps the 6th tallest building in world from swaying in the wind. A pretty amazing engineering feat. 




View of local fireworks from my living room window. I was able to see all the different neighborhoods surrounding my building set off their displays at midnight. 18 floors up.


Living here I constantly see things and I'm like no one is going to believe this. My reality here is so different. The women on the bike with the hat has a parakeet on her handlebars. She is just riding around the park and taking her parakeet on a stroll. No one thought this was strange. I see dogs and families balancing between legs on scooters. There is a man who had a golden retriever balancing between his legs with the dogs tail dragging in the road as he drove. Oh Urban Asia how you keep life interesting. 


My first selfie EVER! Yes that is a true statement. We had everyone at the X-mas party take a picture with this Santa hat. There are some hilarious poses in this hat from our amazing guests. 

Sarah and I pulled out all of the stops with the holiday decorations. All of the snowflakes homemade by us :) My toaster oven got a workout making over 100 cookies for guests. 


Yankee gift exchange time :)

The great people that came to celebrate x-mas with us. A perfect excuse to use the 2 new selfie sticks that were gifted in the game. PS selfie sticks are everywhere here. 


Went to an exhibit where the UNESCO heritage sites were made out of legos. We even got to play and make our own creation at the end. After watching a few too many episodes of house hunters international I choose to create an apartment with Parisian charm ;) 

I am very excited to discover what 2015 brings- hopefully lots of joy and blessings. For all of you wondering what my life plan is post Taiwan- Excellent question! As soon as I figure it out I will be sure to let you know. If you happen to run into my permanent dream job and Prince Charming please feel free to send them my way. Miss you all. I hope you are well. 

新年快乐 



















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