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Archive for the ‘Taiwan’ Category

Today was definitely rough at the beginning. We got up and meet on the bus at 7:00 am. The ride itself was not horrible, it was more than multiple stops we had to make for our bus driver. Now normally this wouldn’t seem like such a bad thing. But the reason and the timing made all of us a little upset. After lunch, we went about an hour and he needed to stop. Then we didn’t even go 30 minutes and he needed to stop again. It was at this point that I realized why we had to stop so much. Our bus driver was a smoker. Every time we would stop he would smoke a cigarette. Or more precisely every time he would need to smoke we had to stop. Once we made Hualien it was a much better time though. We went to the beach for 30 minutes and just sat and skipped some rocks and took some pictures. For example the picture below of Mitch, Elena, and I was taken at the beach as you can probably guess. After the beach we went to where we are staying and let me tell you, it is nice! 10/10 would stay here again. Then we went out to dinner at an aboriginal restaurant that was pretty good. Not necessarily the food, although most of it was good. But the stuff they had in there and let you use and stuff and the hospitality was amazing. Then I had another first on this trip as we went to the Hualien Summer Festival which was a week long of concerts. My first concert! It was a good day overall but I could have done without a 9 hour bus ride.

Blog 2

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So today we left for our 4 day trip. We first headed to Kending Beach and went out in the water. I cut up my feet on the choral pretty bad. We ended up going out on inflatables being pulled by jet skis. the first two were good. and then all of us got on a banana boat and fell off right away. Then when we got everyone on, we lasted a little bit longer but some fell off. I was lucky enough to stay on. We got back on the bus and headed to where we are staying. Below is a picture of all of us minus me of course in our room. This was taken after we got back from the night market that is right outside our inn. We are just about to head out to walk on the beach. Then come back and play dome uno. I can’t wait to go to anther beach tomorrow! I will talk to you soon.

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Today was a pretty standard day, we had class and then after our mandarin class we had a free day. But this day was special, we decided to go launch some fireworks at 7:30pm so we left around 6:20 to get to our destination and our wonderful host Greta introduced us to her friends which owned a mattress and pillow company. We brought the fireworks to a park but it was sadly closed so Greta called her friends and they let us use their land to launch our fireworks. It was a great experience but it didn’t stop there, they offered to take us to their estate without having any time to prepare and welcomed us to their home like we were long time family friends. They offered us Taiwanese Beer, fresh fruit( dragon fruit and mango) and even went out to buy us dinner. They showed us the upmost respect and treated us like family. It makes me want to improve my hosting skills to be half as good as
they were. We stayed for over 2 hours eating and talking and had the time of our lives with people we didn’t even know. They even offered for us to come back next week to come to their festival and we graciously accepted. Their estate was beautiful and had a modern design. This was by far the best day I’ve had so far and look forward to meeting more nice people.

Written by Mitchell Staedt

 

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Today was an early start at 6:30 am so the rest of the guys could take a shower and get ready by 7am. Once we all met up in the lobby we all crammed into a small bus that seemed like it wouldn’t fit all of us. It was a 1-hour bus ride to get us to our first destination. It was Chung Tai Chan Monastery, it’s a currently practicing Buddhist temple/shrine. We took an hour tour of the Monastery and learned all the different types of buddhas they worship. Sadly, we weren’t allowed to take pictures anywhere in the monastery(even the gift shop!). The architecture and artwork was beautiful mostly made of Indian marble or other tough materials. Next stop we went to a theme park, it was mostly closed for one reason or another but a few of the rides were still open which were rode over and over again. The next place we went to was also in the park, it was a play! The play was different from anything
I’ve seen in the US they gave the views sake and threw out little gifts in the middle of the play. It was a very unique experience that is hard to describe but worth watching. The final destination was Sun Moon Lake which was more of a shopping district then a lake revolved around housing and estate sales. There were multiple vendors trying to sell us fresh honey from the bees they kept. The rest of the trip we were spent stuck in the rain on a boat, but it was very nice to get a cooling breeze that made the temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Overall, decent experience but I don’t think I’d go to sun moon lake again it feels more like a tourist trap then a fun trip.

-Written by Mitchell Staedt

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Today we had our regularly scheduled mandarin class from 9:10-12pm and then afterwards we were going to go to the night market that’s what the plan was. We started off our day in Mandarin by going over what we learned previously, which would be counting in numbers into the thousands place. After that we learned more words for us to use in an everyday conversation in China and Taiwan, most being phrases for food or drinks and we went over what the Chinese characters symbolized. For instance, the word for milk is nǎi and its symbol is 奶 which symbolizes a woman with a child and breastfeeding. At the end of the class, we were assigned to take a picture of similar characters that we learned and bring them into class on Monday. After class, everyone decided to do their own thing, but most people just relaxed in their room waiting for the night market getting projects done. When the time came to leave for the night market it started to rain incredibly hard and we decided it would be a better idea to just go to the mall and shop around (good thing too because it rained till 10 pm) so after all was said and done we split up again and went our own ways. Vince, Noah, Trent, and I all decided to stick together and went to a restaurant called HOPS, it was an American restaurant with American food, but I was getting a little sick of using chopsticks myself so a fork was a nice change of pace for me.  Lastly, we broke off once again where Trent, and I were all alone in a mall and decided to head back. Yet, we went down one floor to many and ended up in H&B while looking for an exit Trent found a Hawaiian shirt in the store and told me the story about how he collected one of his last trip from Jamacia and wanted to get one here as well. So we hunted down the sales clerk and took us some time to ask some questions about the shirt and if it would shrink (no materials list on it!). Fun conclusion to a good day.

-Written by  Mitchell Staedt

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cobe blog 2

Today we started class, due to fact that the students are affected by jetlag we woke up around 6 am and then lied in bed till about 7 am. Then Sulley and I started by heading out to the Morning House which is where most of us will be getting breakfast for the next 6 weeks. We meet Elena and Erin at the cafe and ate with them. Later on, we got ready for our day by getting cleaned up and figuring out what we’d be doing for the rest of the day. We left for our first class at around 8:30 am ( the class starts at 9:10 am) but we left early so Professor Pittenger could talk to us about group members not getting along and it’s being normal under our circumstances.  After our “pep talk” our Mandarin professor walked in and started her review. We mostly went over what we already learned for the first two hours of the class but then in the last hour, we learned why the Mandarin numbers having looked the way they do, describing heaven, earth, and humans. We had a little less than an hour break before our next class started. Our next class was a culture course that talked about the different cultures that make up Taiwan, being mostly Japanese and Dutch. The class ended around 4:05 pm a little later than expected but we quickly went over to the dorms and got ready to go to the gym to workout. Vincent, Sully, Elana, and I all went to the gym to work out, while Erin, Trent, Noah, Camile, and Lora went to eat dinner with students that live in Taiwan but went to Ashland University. The four of us stayed till the gym closed at 6 pm (we got inside around 5 pm) then hastily went to the showers to get cleaned up. Afterwards, we went to the night market and got some strange but tasty foods. Overall, a tiring day but very satisfying.

-Written by  Mitchell Staedt

 

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cobe blog 1

Monday June 26th, 2017:Today was the first time waking up in Taiwan, and it seemed like everyone was exhausted from not getting enough sleep, due to jetlag. Everyone in the group got an early start to their day, most of us waking up around 5-6am and waiting for our day to start at 8:30 am so Trent, Noah, Sully, Vincent, and I decided to go for a walk around campus before we got breakfast. We walked around campus for around 30 minutes then we decided to head back to get our stuff before we head out to breakfast. I got a noodle egg and mushroom meal for my first breakfast, it seemed to feel more like a lunch food but it was a good change of pace for me. After we all finished breakfast we got a tour of the classroom that we’d have our language class in for the next 6 weeks. There we meet our learning partners and a couple of our new teachers. After all the introduction’s and videos were over they decided to treat us to lunch, surprisingly they ordered 10 pizza’s 5 of which were unique. After lunch, our learning partners took us on a guided tour through the campus, mostly the library but it was a beautiful sight to behold. The building was spectacular from the inside to the outside, the inside of the building was recently renovated and looked like a modern masterpiece. After that tour, we had a break till 3:30 at which time we’d go shopping. Our first stop was Nova, it was a huge mall that was four stories tall and what seemed like endless amounts of stores inside with products that confused and amazed us. It took the entire group around an hour to pick out everything they wanted to purchase from the store. The last and final destination we went to was Japanese style cuisine, which most of the group didn’t know what they got since the entire menu was in mandarin most people took a shot in the dark. A couple people were surprised what they got and others need time to adjust to the new food. Overall we did a lot of walking and returned around 8 pm that night and was expecting everyone to get a good nights rest.

-Written by Mitchell Staedt

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