Day 28 – KFC Delivers?!

Sorry, it has been so long since my last post!! I’ve been busy working on my Cross-Cultural Management paper and presentation, so I haven’t had time to blog. As of today, I have officially turned in my paper and presented in class. Woohooo!! When class was over I was so relieved that I took a nap. When I woke up it was about 6pm. I did not feel like going out to eat with the group so instead, I had the guy at the front desk help me order KFC online. In Taiwan, KFC will deliver. I ordered the two piece chicken meal that came with chicken poppers, corn on the cob, french fries, a drink, and a biscuit. It was nice to just relax in my dorm room watching Gilmore Girls for the night.

Now that my classes are winding down I am starting to feel like going home. Our group has been to almost every coast other than the north, which we will see next weekend when we go to Taipei. I feel like I have learned so much during my time in Taiwan and have experienced so many new things. It has been such a great experience being immersed into this culture. Thanks for following me in Taiwan! For now, goodnight from Grace in Taiwan.

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Day 24 -Rainbow Villiage

This is going to be a Plog. What is a plog you may ask. Well, it is a blog simply made of pictures. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Rainbow Village, was created by a former soldier, Huang Yung-Fu. He is affectionately known as Rainbow Grandpa to the visitors. Below I will link a great article that describes this “village” and its artist.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2015/08/29/2003626473

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Day 19 – Over the Mountain

Today we woke up at 7am to get breakfast before we headed back to Taichung. I got an egg and ham omelette wrapped in a crepe and a milk tea.  Originally we were going to go north, around the mountain, to get back to Taichung, but Greta found out that the mountain road opened and wanted to go over it. Going over the mountain in a bus was one of the things our professor told us NOT to try during our Taiwan class last semester. I tried to remind my fellow travelers of this, but everyone seemed set on going over the mountain. I don’t get car sick, but I knew didn’t want to be on a bus where others were getting sick either. Fortunately, no one seemed to have too much trouble with the ride. For me, the slow winding back and forth, and up and down was made tolerable by the awesome mountain views.

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Every once in a while we would stop at “rest stations” usually consisting of restrooms, a 7/11, and a small restaurant. At one of the stops, there was a mountain cafe. I got an iced coffee with peach honey as the sweetener. This honey was made by bees from peach tree flower pollen. This peach honey was the best honey I’ve ever had!!

During the bus ride, I had a lot of time to sleep and think. I began to miss my friends at home and my mom. I wanted to be hanging out by the pool drinking an ice cold lemonade with Delaney, running around the farm with Grace, watching movies with Paige, and going to church with McKenna. This is probably the first time I’ve ever missed home. I’ve been having so much fun here in Taiwan, but I also want to be home having fun with my friends. But more than anything, I’ve missed going to church. I think that I’ve taken for granted my ability to go to church each week, and be able to worship in a language I understand. I’m used to the comfort of being at home where I’m surrounded by people who love Christ. It’s kind of weird being in a country that isn’t predominately Christian; it gives me lots of mixed emotions and is very thought provoking.

We got back to PU at 6pm. I did my laundry, ate some instant noodles, and realized that my 10 page paper, that I haven’t started, is due in 9 days. Ahh!! It’s too late to start on it now, so I’m going to sleep.Goodnight from Grace in Taiwan.

Day 17/18 – Water Adventure Time

As many of you have probably already seen on my Facebook page, I went white water rafting and water trekking while visiting Hualien. What you don’t know is that it was actually gray water sinking and slippery rock sliding.

Day 17: White “Gray” Water Rafting13709882_1793240807571580_8705486023765622735_n

Due to the typhoon that hit Taiwan last week, the sand from the mountains washed into the river we were in, thus turning the water gray. Luckily, it didn’t smell bad. It just felt dirty. You may be wondering why I was able to feel that it was dirty. Well, our raft had holes on the bottom of it which allowed tons of water to seep in. The entire trip, which took about 4 hours to complete, we were slowly sinking. The tiny buckets they gave us to bail out the water was almost comical. None of the other rafts had holes in the bottoms, just ours. Being the competitive Americans that we are, we wanted to be in the front of all the other rafts. So, we not only had to paddle ourselves but our water filled raft into “first” place. [Side note: I should probably do pushups more often] Even though we were slowly sinking and the motor boat lifeguards kept hitting us [to either keep us away from the rocks or slow us down], we had fun on this adventure.

After this we went back to the bed and breakfast we were staying at to get cleaned up. At 7pm we went to the night market to get dinner. I got corn on the cob, sweet potato puffs, spicy noodles, and a black sugar bubble milk. When we got back to the B&B I was super tired and ready for bed. Greta told us that we needed to be ready to go water trekking at 8am the next morning.

Day 18: Water Trekking13701233_995446200569364_8900493724072705071_o

Water Trekking in the mountains was absolutely beautiful. The water was a crystal clear blue color and was nice and cool. When we got to there they gave us wetsuits, water shoes, life vest, and helmets to wear. There were 4 guides that helped us navigate the rocks and currents. [Check out the facebook album with all the pics] At the top of the trek there was a cliff that we could jump off. I wish I could say that I fearlessly jumped, but that would be a lie. I told the guide to just push me off when I couldn’t jump myself [check out the video on FB]. For lunch, they made us noodle soup and we ate by the water; one of the guides brought up the supplies and ingredients in his backpack. On the way back down, I was feeling a little too confident in my trekking abilities. I tried to leap from one large rock to the next, they were only about 3 feet apart but didn’t account for the rock being slippery.  This was a mistake. I’m shin hit the rock and then I slid down it, owie. It’s a good thing that it wasn’t a far jump and I hesitated enough that I wasn’t moving very fast. I don’t think I even got a bruise from this.

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At the night market in Hualien, there was a summer music festival going on. Both nights we went to see some of the performances. The first night we were right up front for the end portion of the show, the second night we went early to get seats for all the performances. Some of the groups we saw were A’N’D, Gentleman, and Spexial. During both nights the mayor of Hualien was presented on stage, and even sang with one of the performers. He also passed out glow wands to some of the audience, and Greta was very excited to be one of the people who got one.

Here is Emily, Greta’s niece, and I the first night up front.

20160716_203005_HDRThis was our view the second night when we got seats.

Thanks for following me in Taiwan. Sorry that I’ve been absent for the past week! I had some class work that took a lot of my time. I promise to continue catching them up!! This weekend we will be taking a trip to Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, so I will try to vlog part of it so you can see. But for now, goodnight from Grace in Taiwan.

Day 16 – Traveling East

Today was spent on a bus. We left the Clownfish Resort at 9:30am to head east. This trip took about 9 hours with two scenic stops, lunch, and dinner. The bed and breakfast we are staying at is located in Hualien, Taiwan.

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The first stop was at a scenic outlook:

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The second stop was at the Sanhsientai Bridge in Taitung, Taiwan:20160714_142708_HDR-2

I can’t believe that I’ve been in Taiwan for almost 3 weeks now. Time has gone by so fast, and I feel like I’ve done so much already! Keep checking back for more Grace in Taiwan adventures.

Day 15 -Beach Vlog Day!

Today we woke up and ate breakfast at the hotel, then we took a taxi to the beach. At the beach I got a pineapple popsicle and a Super Super drink (their version of Gatorade), both were very refreshing. We stayed at the beach for about 5 hours, and everyone came back with sunburn and weird tan lines. I was probably the least burnt, but my neck was sore from that Sea Chariot ride.

We were told that we would have a BBQ dinner by the pool at the resort at 6pm. So we all showed up hungry and ready to eat. What we didn’t realize was that we had to cook the food ourselves. I know this sounds bad, but I was really expecting to be served. In my mind, I was expecting an American style BBQ and hadn’t considered that I would have to cook it myself. This was a good reality check for me, as I had become accustomed to being served food at other places we have been. I’m glad that this moment of entitlement passed quickly for our group and we were able to work together to prepare the food. We had pork, beef, and ribs; all of which were not American style (aka kinda sketchy). We also had leeks, okra, kiwi, bananas, and some bread. No one went hungry even though we started off hangry. With a full belly and a thankful heart, good night from Grace in Taiwan.

Day 14 -We’re going on a trip…

My morning started off in a panic. I set my alarm for 10am, but at 7:15 my roommate Sophie jumped out of her bed and yelled at me to get up. I was really confused and my eyes wouldn’t really open. Apparently, our bus was coming to pick us up at 7:30, not 10:30 like I had planned. But don’t worry, we made it to the bus before it left. Good thing I had packed the night before!

Today we went left for southern Taiwan, specifically Kenting Beach. On the way, we stopped at Honor Seiki Co, Ltd. for an enterprise visit. This company focuses on the production of CNC Vertical Lathe machines (here is a link to their website http://www.honorseiki.com.tw/index.php?lang=en). Honor Seiki is a privately owned company that has about 200 employees and 5 factories. They are a B2B (business to business) sales company, which mean they sell machines to other companies who produce other products; such as GE, Toyota, Honda, and a variety of aerospace companies.

20160712_105938_HDRPictured here is a verticle grinding machine that is part of Honor’s Heavy Duty Series.

After the visit at Honor, we got lunch at the Soya Mixed Meat Museum located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This was a strange place. It was a mix between a museum, a factory, a restaurant, and a shop. The entire time we were on the tour I wasn’t really sure what was going on. I’m pretty sure the museum shows the history of a woman who started her own businesses selling iron eggs (google it), working her way from the night markets into international markets, specifically China. But the tour also had stuff about traditional Taiwanese foods as well. There were also a lot of children in this museum, everywhere. As well as children’s artwork hanging on the walls. Everything seemed random and distracting to me in this place. Anyway, we ate lunch here and it was very good. I finally got some vegetables!

20160712_121901_HDRThe cold tea had the same flavor as the bubbles I had yesterday (similar to maple). Greta told me that it is made from a vegetable and they add sugar, so I’m still not sure what exactly it is but I’m hoping to find out eventually.

Around 4pm we arrived at the Clownfish Resort. For dinner, we went to a night market and because we took a taxi we arrived too early. So, we walked down to the beach for pictures. 20160712_180040

At the night market, I had Baozi (steamed bun with pork and bamboo shoots), banana pancake (crepe with banana, chocolate, and honey), fried milk (cubes of condensed milk fried), crispy sweet potato bites (also fried 😉 do you see a pattern?), and a mango smoothie. This sounds like a lot of food, but other than the baozi and smoothie everything else was shared within the group.

To end the night, we played sand volleyball at the hotel. Today was a lot of traveling but was really fun. So for now, goodnight from Grace in Taiwan.