Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Dog Days

Hello everyone!

I have to start out by saying that Nick and I are really liking it here.  We have started to feel more at home here.  We’re getting to know our way around town better, we know the names of the roads (an accomplishment for sure), and everyday we’re discovering new cool things about Penghu (like stores decorate for Christmas)!!!

On to the important stuff!  Nick and I volunteered to keep a friend’s dog for a while when she is out of town.  Our official duty does not start until December 8th, but we got a free trial this weekend, you know, just to make sure we all like each other.  We had so much fun keeping him!  I think he likes us, and we definitely like him! 🙂  I am so excited to be keeping him for a longer stint; having a dog in our house has been a long journey.

Meet Bai. Bai means “white” in Chinese

Before we got married, Nick insisted that he would never want a dog.  I pleaded and pleaded with him, and finally he said maybe, but it would have to be an outside dog.  I did not like this response, so I pleaded and pleaded, and he didn’t really budge on that for a while.  I understand his concerns, but I just feel like it’s so harsh to leave a dog outside all the time.  I know everyone has different opinions on this, but that’s just me.  Finally one day (unprovoked I might add) Nick started talking about getting a Cocker Spaniel one day.  I was estatic!!!  A Cocker Spaniel was not my dream dog (I’ve always wanted a chocolate Lab), but it’s a dog none-the-less!!!  As the time went on, we would talk about a future involving a dog, this always made me happy.  You know, studies say that people with dogs are much happier. 🙂

Anyways, flash forward to our life in Taiwan.  There are dogs everywhere!  People here really love their dogs, I mean like really love their dogs.  They will take them everywhere!  The funniest dog sighting we have seen was a lady in McDonalds, feeding her dog (who was sitting on a chair in a sweater) french fries and chicken.  She even blew on the food to cool it down for the dog.  Now that is love, and slight insanity. 😛  Watching everyone’s love affair with dogs made me really want to have one!!!  I would ask Nick all the time if we could have a dog, and like the reasonable person he is, he would remind me that it wouldn’t be fair to the dog because were would be leaving soon.  I understood his reasoning completely, but I still wanted a furry companion.  Then we met Sharon.

Sharon does all sorts of humanitarian stuff around Penghu, and Taiwan.  She works on the island of Wanganyu during the summer, rescues animals, scuba dives, and is learning to free dive.  We met her while at The Beach Break surf shop one day.  She told us that she was going out of town a couple times this year, and needed some people to keep one of her dogs.  We immediately said yes, and have since fallen in love with Bai!!!

Aren’t we a cute family?

While we had him, he was such a good boy!  We immediately learned that he really likes to cuddle.  Whenever you start to pet him, he’ll put his head up against you and lean in.  It’s so cute and he wins me over every time.  He was also very chill when we had him.  He just went with the flow and loved going for walks!  Monday morning, the alarm went off and the clock said 7:50!  We are supposed to be at work at 8, so I woke Nick up and we rushed around to get ready.  Nick had to take the dog out, and when he got back in 5 minutes later, he looked at the clock again and said that it was 6:50.  I double checked all the clocks in the house, and he was right, it was 6:50, I had just read the clock wrong!  But the whole time, Bai didn’t care a bit, but he was really excited when we took him for a longer walk!

No animals were hurt in the production of this picture.


We will train Bai to do this!

Well that’s all I have to say about that.  Love you all, and talk to you later.
Liv

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Categories: Family, Friendship, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

A Taiwan Thanksgiving

Doesn’t that sound like a Lifetime movie title? 🙂  That’s one thing I’ll miss this Christmas season, but thanks to the world wide web, I can watch some of the Lifetime Christmas movies online, the only thing that will be missing is my mom.  But enough rambling, I’m here to talk about our Thanksgiving.

So in case you didn’t know, Thanksgiving is an American holiday (well Canada too, but I’m not sure why) and most people in Taiwan know nothing about it.  We, being the food obsessed people that we are, stepped up to the task of informing our co-workers and students about Thanksgiving traditions in America.  For the last two weeks, Nick and I have been teaching our students words such as Turkey, Pumpkin Pie, Native Americans, and thankfulness.  It really got me into the Christmas spirit (I’m not sure how that happened, but alas, it did).

So with each lesson, Thanksgiving day got closer and closer, and Nick and I realized we had no idea what we would do.  We thought about making some of the yummy Thanksgiving dishes, but decided that wasn’t the way to go.  We then thought about having a quiet night at home with some pizza and movies, but decided that sounded too depressing.  And then on Monday night we ate at a fantastic restaurant for my parents’ last meal here and knew that was going to be our Thanksgiving dinner location!  We decided we would eat there with some friends from work, holidays are always better with friends. 🙂

Nick and I on Thanksgiving

When Thanksgiving got here, it was warm and humid just like a Houston Thanksgiving!  We were also observed by some people from the Ministry of Education (not magic).  If you don’t know what that means, they are the people who hired and pay us.  I was a little nervous, but overall we were both confident in our lessons and teaching skills, and ended up getting good reviews!  Thanks HBU!

Yes, we’re dancing! You gotta keep those little ones movin’!

 

That evening we had a really good Bible study (more on that to come later), and went off to dinner at Camera Cuisine.  We had a wonderful time with Sophie and Anly!  We saw some pictures from Sophie’s trip to Spain, talked about random things, and discussed our New Year’s trip to Taipei!  We ended the evening with going around and saying what we are thankful for!  We had to include that in our Thanksgiving dinner.  We left for home totally stuffed and happy.  It wasn’t your typical Thanksgiving day or meal, but it was great none-the-less! 🙂

Our Thanksgiving feast!

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!  We are so thankful that we have a wonderful loving Savior, a very supportive and loving family, a job that lets us be silly and live in a new country, and friends all over the world!

❤ Liv

Categories: Friendship, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Am I lazy, or just busy?

Nick brought it to my attention lately that I have not posted anything on the blog for like 2 weeks or so.  This realization made me groan because that means that I have so much that I need to catch everyone up on.  I know I have said this many-a-time, but I will hopefully get you all up to date on what’s been going on in our lives here in Penghu.  Here is a quick list.

1. Both Nick’s and my parents have come and gone.
2. We have been taking Chinese lessons (sorta).
3. We just started a small English speaking Bible study at our house on Thursday nights 🙂
4. I went to another island to teach on Friday.
5. We got an iPad!
6. Our friendships here have been growing! Yay!
7. I’m making some artwork for our house. (We’ve gotten tired of the bare walls).
8. We got observed for the first time last week and both did really well!
9. I went scootering in the rain.* (I know it’s not a real word).
10. Today is our 100th day of teaching in Taiwan.

Image

As you can see, we have a lot to talk about, so hopefully you will see a new post from us every couple of days.  Also, here are some upcoming events!

1. Thanksgiving (this will be our first Thanksgiving flyin solo, so find out how we decide to spend it.  Remember we’re fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kinda people, so we have no plans yet.)
2. We get observed by the ministry of education on Thanksgiving Day.
3. We are going to be watching a friend’s dog for a couple weeks in December.
4. My birthday is only a month away! (Well less now :))
5. We will spend our first Christmas alone, and working!
6. We have been invited to a friend’s wedding on December 29th, we are excited to see that!)
7.  New Year’s Eve in Taipei!
8. Soon I will attempt to make bread.
9. Next week we will give a presentation about life in the US.  Leave comments with anything you think we should share.
10. Over our winter break we plan on making a trip to Tokyo, Japan!

So there you have it.  A short post getting you up to date.  Tomorrow I will try to post again, but no guarantees. 🙂

Here’s a short thought and video to leave you with.  Most places here in Taiwan have squatty pottys as the main toilet option.  This is a totally foreign concept to us, and frankly, I’m afraid to use them simply because I don’t want to pee all over my clothes.  I haven’t quite gotten the process down in my head and I don’t want to risk it.  After wasting some time on the internet at http://www.iwastesomuchtime.com Nick found an interesting video about how squatty pottys are actually better for your body than our western toilet.  Who knew?!  If you don’t believe me, you can check out the site devoted to the squatty potty revolution here. Watch the video and your whole world will be turned upside down!

-Liv

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Okay Sports Fans!

Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve made a post, but so much has been happening lately that I’ve
decided to help Olivia and say a few things here.

Let’s jump back to a couple weeks ago. The last Saturday in October was our school’s sports day,
which meant we had a very busy day! (Don’t worry, I know you’re thinking, “They had to work on a
Saturday?!” Yes, we did go to school, but we had a lot of fun and there was no school on Monday to
make up for the extra work day.)

In the week before sports day, the school was busy with preparation activities- on Wednesday a few of
my classes were even cancelled for practice. At first, I thought this sports day was going to be similar
to the field day we had in elementary in the U.S., so we were a bit surprised to hear that there was an
official program, marching, and more!

After much anticipation, Saturday finally came. We were in charge of the rummage sale that was put
together by our English Village co-workers, but we were still able to see much of the performance. First,
every class marched around the track and then stood in formation in center field. Once everyone was
in position, the student marching band played the school song followed by the national song while the
flags were raised. We had seen a lot of this during practice earlier in the week, but what came next
certainly surprised us!

The classes moved to the edges of the field, and each grade, one at a time, moved to center field
to dance! They were all choreographed, and some of the songs lasted four or five minutes! It was
impressive to see how well the students did and very entertaining as well!

The rest of the sports day included races and tug-of-war. All the students had a lot of fun, but we were
certainly tired at the end of the day! Just when we thought we were done and cleaning up, some of
our friends reminded us of the dinner that night and told us that it was one of the most expensive
restaurants in Penghu! We went home, took a much-needed nap, and got ready for dinner.

At the dinner, there was so much great food! Most of the English teachers and the art teacher, who
goes to our church and knows English, sat with us. Just when we thought dinner was nearing an end,
the staff brought more and more plates of food! We had everything, from shrimp, fish, and squid to
beef, pork, and even lamb ribs. Then, much to our surprise, the principal and another man started going
to each table, making a toast, and drinking with everyone!

They explained to us that it was traditional in Taiwanese culture for the host of a party to toast with
each table and then everyone go “bottoms up” and finish their glass. Several people from the local
government, who had also attended the sports day, started going from table to table as well. They were
all very excited to come to our table and talk to the foreign English teachers, and they were even more
excited that we would follow their customs and toast with them. However, as their sobriety became
progressively questionable, several of the politicians started coming back to our table for more toasts!
One man in particular, who knew a little English, introduced us to his wife, then made another toast,
invited us to his shop some time to have something to drink (I couldn’t tell if he meant tea or booze, but
I’ll let you guess), toasted again, and then said some farewells with a third toast.

The entrance.

Unfortunately, we didn’t take as many pictures as we should have.  But I really think they got lost somewhere.

Categories: Education, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Long Time, No Post

Hello Everyone!

I know, I know, it’s been such a long time since we have posted anything (about two weeks, I think?)  Well, don’t be afraid, we are not dead (unless you wanted us to be dead, in which case, be afraid, be very afraid).  Anyhoo, we have been so busy ever since Nick’s parents left.  We had a great time with them and will miss them very much, but the show must go on! 🙂

In case you live under a rock, yesterday was Halloween, and with it came Halloween festivities!  We spent weeks gearing up for these festivities.  We taught many lessons about Halloween vocabulary, costume ideas, and Halloween traditions.  Of course the kids were excited about the candy (as were we). 🙂  In our time outside of teaching class, we also put together a small fall festival for the students.  Nick and I were asked to come up with some ideas for a Halloween celebration and my first thought was a fall festival, so we ran with it, but it would not have been such a huge success if not for our co-worker Anly.  She was the brains behind the whole operation, and kept us organized and on task.  We made several games, a witch’s hat ring toss, soda bottle bowling, pin the spider on the web, and Halloween puzzles.  After all our work, we were hoping the kids would enjoy it, and they did!!!  We had long lines of eager kids lining up to play each game, as well as helpers at each game.  I really liked this because it meant that I didn’t have to pick up the bottles each time a student knocked them over. 🙂

Witch’s Hat Ring Toss

Pin the Spider on the Web

Soda Bottle Bowling

Long lines of students waiting for their turn.

My favorite part about Halloween is seeing everyone’s costumes, and man did we have some great costumes this year.  Many of the students made their costumes at home and wore them to school.  Spongebob made an appearance, as well as Batman and a few pirates.  It was so much fun to see what everyone was.  I think it really lets you peer into the soul of a person and see what he or she really likes, but maybe that’s a bit too deep for Halloween.  Nick and I made our debut as Angry Birds and were a huge hit!  Angry Birds is so popular among the kids here, we see at least 20 Angry Birds shirts a day, and numerous Angry Birds pencil boxes, so they thought we were pretty awesome!

Just imagine him trying to bowl with that on 🙂

She is so adorable!

Ta Da!!!!!

Well, that’s all for now.  We will post again soon, I promise!  So much has happened that you all need to know about!

-Liv

 

 

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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