Monday, April 26, 2010

Kindergarten Court

(Post by Bacon)
A loosely based People's Court parody done with Taiwanese kindergarten students.
Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Kitten

(Post by Bacon)
Well it was only a matter of time until we found another kitten. This one was outside a construction site down the road. She is about two weeks old and in perfect health. Unfortunately we will be heading back to America and will have to leave this kitten (Mei Mei) and our other cat (Chou Chou) in Taiwan. Fortunately  we have found a happy home for both of them. I made this quick video to document Mei Mei.
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hualien (Part Two)

Some places are so beautiful that visiting them one time just isn't enough. This is the case with Hualien, Taiwan, located on the eastern coastline. The scenery there is simply stunning; towering green mountains stretch for miles along highway roads as misty clouds roll through the skies. Probably the most breathtaking bit of coastal views we took in were the Cinshuei Cliffs. From heights of almost 1000m, they plunge straight into the teal waters of the Pacific Ocean. The colorful stone beach below is made up entirely of marble, rocks, and pebbles. This spot goes down as one of the most beautiful places we've ever visited.

While there, we also visited Taroko Gorge again. It's hard to capture the sheer magnitude of the marble cliffs and winding river gorge. From the jade-colored pools of falling water to the wide span of ferns jutting from the rock face, we definitely understand why it's labeled one of the most beautiful places in Asia to travel through.

The last day we were there, our group of friends met up with some other foreigners from our hostel and we all went on a white-water rafting trip down the Xiuguluan River in Rui-Sui, an area a little south of Hualien. The trip down the incredibly scenic river started out mild while we all got used to paddling as a group and going down mini-rapids. About an hour and half in, we took a break for a classic Taiwanese lunch of rice, tofu, meat, and veggies called biandang, or lunch box. After the break the second part of the trip began and the river really started to get fun. We paddled down crazy rapids, whooshed down small waterfalls, and maneuvered our way through some rocky spots- we almost tipped our boat on a huge rock formation when when crashed into the side of it and went spinning. Our river guide was hilarious, and he kept zipping by us in his speed raft to splash us and try to trip us up. Unfortunately we couldn't take any pictures, but we had a great time.

Random highlight: I mentioned to my friend Elle that a life-long goal of mine was to pick and eat a banana off a wild banana tree. When we were scooting back from the Gorge on Saturday, Elle shrieked and made us all pull over. She spotted some banana trees on the side of the road and I finally got to taste my dream!

Less than three weeks and we'll be Stateside again- see you soon!
Monday, April 5, 2010

Quick Pic of the Day

(Post by Alisha)
On Saturday we took in some sweeping views of Taipei from one of the tallest ferris wheels in Taiwan. It was a pretty night and a cute way to see the city.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

One Year in Taiwan!

(Post by Alisha)
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
– Alan Keightly

I thought this quote was apt in describing the way I feel about the year spent living in Taiwan. I'm so glad that "once in a while" came for me. This experience truly changed my outlook on the world and the ways in which I want to expand that perspective. I no longer feel pressure to subscribe to any lifestyle that doesn't challenge or creatively inspire me to live life with a deeper fulfillment of it. So while I feel conflicted about leaving, I know that Taiwan was just the first of many steps in my travels and experiences in this great, big, world.
(Photo credit: Elle McManus)

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