Archive for August, 2016

The Farewell Party

Today we had our farewell party since we are done with classes.  We walked into our classroom and was greeted by our learning partners and all the professors that has helped us out.  One of our learning partners had prepared a video of all of us throughout the trip.  It was nice to see all the pictures and memories we have made here.  The professors prepared a gift bag for us.  Inside the bag was pineapple cakes which is really popular here and black tea.  We were given black tea because it is the group favorite type and now we know how to prepare it hot or cold, with lemon or other items.  Then we were given certificates.  The certificate was given to us because we passed and completed our study abroad program.  It is hard to believe it is over and will be leaving Saturday morning.  After we were given the certificates we had some presents to give out ourselves.  We gave Greta’s niece a nice notebook and some candy.  We gave Viviana an Ashland string back, an Ohio State cup and a Michigan cup along with some candy, we gave Mandy the same then the guys got gifts for Lucas.  We gave Greta a carved eagle because that is Ashland’s mascot.  Then we gave our Mandarin teacher a sign that says USA on it.  Once we were done exchanging gifts and watching the video we all went out to lunch.  We went to a pizza and pasta buffet.  The buffet here was very different than the buffets in America.  You can go and get your own drink, the waiters do not ask you what you want, and you just go up and get it yourself.  Then, you stay at the table and waiters come by asking what main dish you want from the menu.  While you are waiting on your main dish you are given salad to eat.  Then the waiters will continuously stop at your table with different types of pizza asking if you want any and if so how many slices and will hand it to you right then.  Even though it was a pizza and pasta restaurant they also started handing out French fries and fried chicken.  I order beef spaghetti, I thought it was going to be spaghetti in beef sauce but it was actually just spaghetti with hot dogs on top which I had never seen before.  After we had enough pizza, we went up to get our own choice of ice cream.  Once our lunch was over we walked around the streets for about an hour or two until the bus came back to us.  It has been a very eventful day and a great trip.


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Today was our last day of classes! In the Mandarin class in the morning we took the first hour to review all the vocabulary words and symbols we have gone over in the class.  The second hour we then played a game to test how much we have really learned from the class.  It was a bit difficult because we have learned so many words in class but the professor helped us as we went so it wouldn’t be as bad.  Afterwards the professor told us that we have all passed which was very nice to hear.  We have all worked very hard in this class.  It is not easy to learn a new language.  Learning Chinese is difficult when learning the symbols.  At first it seems like pure memorization but now I realize that is not true.  In the symbols you can really see all the different pictures inside of them and the story behind them to form one word.  It is much harder memorizing the symbols by just looking at them.  Our teacher told us that ever character has a story and it is very true.  I did not understand what she was saying at first but now it all makes sense.  I have really learned a lot from that Mandarin class.  In the afternoon we had another class which was a lot of fun.  We were handed white fans to paint on.  The teacher handed out sample pictures we could paint then she would show us how to paint them.  She was really good at painting.  We all went back to our seats to try to do it ourselves but it was not the same.  None of us were very good at painting but it was a lot of fun doing it anyways.  If we made a mistake the teacher would fix it and then it would completely fine afterwards.  I painted a picture of some Japanese cherry blossoms with mountains around.  On the back side I painted another picture which was supposed to be of trees but they did not turn out very well.  The teacher saw I was struggling, took the fan and before I knew it, it looked like trees so I was glad she was able to fix it.  It was raining really hard when class was supposed to end so we stayed in the room for an extra half hour and could paint more.  There is another typhoon but it is not supposed to hit Taiwan.  We are just going to get some cooler weather and rain.  I hope this Saturday when we head back home we will not get stuck so fingers crossed we can go back home!

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The Last Monday

Today is the last Monday we will be spending in Taiwan.  The time has gone by so fast since we have been so busy and having fun.  Yesterday we got back from the Taipei trip which was a really good time.  But today we were back on schedule and had Mandarin class.  We did not learn any new vocabulary words but instead did an activity.  We were given characters we could cut out on paper, glue then put on coasters to take home as a souvenir.  The coaster I made had the symbols for wealth and beauty.  Then I made an ornament that was the symbol for good luck.  After class was over we got dumplings from a little café on campus called The Morning House.  It is a small family run business that is very successful.  The family is all very nice and welcoming.  By going to their café it has taught me some proper ways people should act in business.  For example, I have gone to the café a lot and the employees now know me by name and know that I like to cook as well so today one of the workers gave me a special tea that was new to the menu that they created.  The workers are very personal and really care about customer loyalty.  Once we were done eating we had to rush back to the dorms to change then we were off to our last enterprise visit at Jonessway.  It is a successful company that makes tools.  I have to say I liked this enterprise visit the best out of all the ones we have been to.  We were greeted coming off the bus by the founder of the business who was very nice.  We got to see how they got started and how successful they have become over the years.  They have gotten awards by the vice president of Taiwan for their excellent performance and customer service.  You could just tell how passionate the founder of his business.  They have branches in over 100 countries which is really impressive.  After we left we went to a wetland to watch the sunset and looked at a temple there.  Then we went to a tea house that our culture seminar professor recommended us to try which was pretty good.

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