About two months ago, (I know it’s late, but late is better than never, right?) I went to the island of Wang An to teach English to the students there. I had a great time teaching (you can read about that here), but the real fun started when Nick and Anly arrived! As I’ve said before, Nick and I are always together, so being away from each other for a week was really strange; I felt very lonely while I was gone (so lonely that I read two books and watched three movies-I had a lot of free time.) I was so excited to finally have people to spend some time with! Friday night we went star gazing, and it was amazing! I would show pictures, but cameras just can’t do that part of God’s creation justice. We found the milky way and Orion’s Belt (the only two constellations I know), and saw some shooting stars, talked, and just had fun enjoying the gift of the stars.
Saturday morning rolled around and we woke to the waves breaking on the shore. I could live by the water for the rest of my life, it’s such a great sound. We went for breakfast at a little shop that served traditional breakfast sandwiches with egg and meat. The lady at the shop also gave us some fresh cooked local corn. It was all really tasty! After breakfast, we went to the port to meet Sharon (Sharon is Bai’s owner, and travel guide extraordinaire). Sharon has done some work on Wang An before, so she offered to show us around for the day. While waiting for Sharon, we had to get gas for the scooter. Seeing white people is a rare thing in Wang-an, so of course the gas station attendants asked why were in Wang-An. Anly (our wonderful friend and translator) told them we were teachers. Once they found that out, they were our new best friends! They showed us around the gas station which had some wonderful paintings done by one of the attendants (I guess it gets boring during the long windy winters). He even treated us to ice cream, and of course posed for pictures! (It pays to be an English teacher in Taiwan).
The rest of the day Sharon showed us around the island. Not only is Wang-An a nature reserve for sea turtles, it also has a village that is about 200 years old and still inhabited. The houses are made out of coral taken from the sea, so they take a lot of time to build (up to several years). Some of the houses have been renovated, but many of them still have all the original materials. It was really interesting to learn about the history of the town and about the sea turtles that nest on the beaches of Wang-An. Did you know that sea turtles return to the same beach they were born on to lay their nests? Sea turtles used to nest all along the coast of Taiwan, but due to industrialization, many of those beaches have been destroyed or are too crowded, so Wang-An is the only place left in Taiwan for them to nest.
After seeing Sharon off, we went to snorkel for an hour or so. There are so many beautiful things to see under the sea. If you haven’t gone snorkeling or scuba diving in a while, you have to go NOW!
Unfortunately Sunday afternoon came all too quickly, and we had to go back home, but not before seeing a real life sea turtle nest!!! If only we could see them hatch!!!