Taiwan: Post #1.

(experiencing taipei, and our little apartment)
Our blog is working!

Well, I already wrote one or two new blog accounts, but our sketchy internet prohibited anything from going through. I was so frustrated I took a few days off from blogging (especially since I lost the originals from not saving).

Here we are, in Taiwan! The island, otherwise known as Formosa, or beautiful, is just like its name describes. Aaron and I were in awe as we drove through Taipei to our apartment on the outskirts of town. There are so many semi-jagged hills, plush with thick vegetation, mixed with grungy urban life as well. Taiwan has almost as many people as Australia and it’s a small fraction of the size. Most of the people live in the capital, Taipei, and most people live in high-rise apartments. All of the English teachers at our campus live in such apartments, with a view of the mountains and a single freeway. Our apartment is pretty spacious, complete with couches, a meditation room, and mini-sized fridge and oven.
Since we’ve arrived, we have been so busy! The first weekend we were here was a whirlwind of exploration and adventure. We navigated the Taipei metro system to see our fellow teachers in the north, and then went to church with everyone the next day at a small church that meets in an amphitheater of the Adventist hospital in the city. After the church service, we went to the Taipei 101 area of the city and saw street performers, Chinese tourists, and lots and lots of people.
More on the city of Taipei lata…
We spent that evening with other English teachers our age, who had been in Taiwan since this summer, and they filled us in on many mistakes and lessons that they had already made, especially when it comes to food. We’ll have to do a blog or a few blogs on the food sometime too-it’s just crazy. But since we’re here, I have three words for you: Coagulated pig’s blood. It’s a delicacy here. Here's a little video of our first culinary experience.
Sunday we spent exploring even more of a Taipei neighborhood and found a North Face store, several used book shops with a few English books, and our friends Chris and Lisa took us to a New Zealand burger place that had amazing burgers, even veggie! After that, we went home and started working on apartment to make it more livable.
We are in the process of planning and training to open up a new English school, called Kuolai English Wilderness. It sounds hardcore because it is. We’ll be teaching outdoor skills to urban Taipei’en 5th graders and they’ll be learning choice English phrases in the process. We have an office in a public elementary school about 30 minutes away, and this is our “mother school”, where we will be held accountable as regular teachers with regular hours, even if we are out of the box non-comformers.

There’s so much to say, so little time, so stay tuned!

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