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

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4 thoughts on “Okay Sports Fans!

  1. Sounds like a fantastic day for teachers in Penghu! I’m curious what they toast with….Does Taiwan have a favorite alcohol? (I won’t ask what YOU were drinking 🙂
    BTW, you BOTH have great writing style! It’s nice to hear your voice once in awhile, Nick!

  2. What a hoot! Does that mean that all the tug of wars we saw while we were around school was practice for this day? And were the musicians that we saw practicing on the English Village veranda practicing for this day as well? I am so excited for you to spend next week with the Bowers! Treat them well!

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