Friendship

It’s finally here!!!

Tomorrow Nick and I will be flying back to America, back to home!!!  You know the old saying, Parting is such sweet sorrow?  Well I totally understand that now.  Going home is such a bittersweet thing for us.  We’re so excited, because “home” will always be home, no matter how far we travel, but we will be leaving a part of our hearts here in Taiwan.  The whole two years we’ve been living in Taiwan, we’ve been missing friends and family back in the US, but now, going back, we’ll have all of our new friends in Taiwan to miss.  I guess nothing is ever perfect.

We have enjoyed are time here immensely and our lives will forever be changed because of the two years we lived here.  We have gotten to experience new food, new people, new cultures, new languages, and a new way of life, and that can never be taken away. 🙂

On another note…no one ever tells you how much stuff you can acquire over two years.  We tried not to buy things, but it’s inevitable.  So, for the last few days we’ve been going through everything trying to decide what to keep and what to toss because it won’t all fit!!  Where’s a Mary Poppin’s bag when you need one?

Well, I guess it’s farewell for now.  Our next post will be brought to you from the United States of America!!

Categories: Family, Friendship, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Penghu’s Night Market

Night markets are a big deal in Taiwan.  All the major cities have them every night and they are packed with people!  They’re filled with food and clothing, jewelry, electronics, pretty much anything you could want, you can get at a night market for pretty cheap.  If you ever go to Taiwan, night markets are a must do!

Penghu usually doesn’t have a night market, but for about one month each year, we get one!  It’s not huge like the ones in Taipei or Kaohsiung, but there is food and games, and it’s pretty fun.  We went on Saturday night and got some yummy food!  French Fries, curry wraps, and crickets!

Yep, you read that correctly, crickets.  There was one stand selling crickets and we decided that we had to try them!  They didn’t taste bad, but it was still kind of weird to be eating a bug (especially feeling their legs inside your mouth).  Anyways it was fun and a little crazy, just what you would expect from eating an exotic food, right?

 

Categories: Friendship, Fun Stuff, Taiwan | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Shenanigans

Hello folks!!

Summer is officially here (at least in my mind), and that means more beach time!!!  Yay!!!  This weekend we kicked off our summer with a trip to our favorite snorkeling spot, Shili Beach, and boy was it a sight for sore eyes.  Other than the water being ridiculously cold, we had a great time snorkeling with some teachers Nick met while teaching on the island of Cimei.  We saw some clown fish, zebra fish, and I saw two eels!  We even brought the pup along  He didn’t appreciate being left on the beach while we went for a swim, but he had fun digging in the sand and playing ball.  It was a great day, that’s soon to be repeated!

Categories: Friendship, Fun Stuff, Nature, Taiwan, The Beach | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Year, A New Adventure

Happy_New_Year_Charlie_Brown1

While Nick and I kicked off our New Year by throwing on our Christmas jammies and staying in all night, this year is going to bring us lots of adventures!!! (That’s the plan anyways).

Some of the adventures we hope to take are:

1. Go scuba diving in the Philippines.  Sharks and ship wrecks and a volcano are going to make an appearance.

2. Explore more of Taiwan- this country has so much culture and history!

3. Say goodbye to Taiwan and move back to the Lone Star State. White dog in tow. 🙂

4. Buy a car.

5. Get new jobs.

6. Buy a house (if all goes according to plan).

7. Eat a full Thanksgiving dinner.

8. Celebrate Christmas with our families for the first time in two years.

As you can see, this is going to be a big year of change for us!!!  We would most definitely appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement as we go through the rest of this year.  We hope that you have a very blessed year and that God’s love and joy is abundant in your lives!!

Philippians 4:6-7 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Categories: Bucket List, Friendship, New Year's, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Merry Christmas y’all!

Christmas is my favorite time of year!  Everything about it puts me in a good mood.  The songs, the decorations, the cookies, the hot cocoa, the movies, but most importantly, the birth of our Savior!  It’s the most wonderful time of year!

Christmas in Taiwan isn’t the same as it is back home in Texas, but maybe that’s for the better.  Sometimes we can get a little caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping and decorating and entertaining and lose sight of what’s really important.  Love, joy, peace, family, Christ.  Those are the important things!  Being in Taiwan has reminded us of those things, and while we’re a long way from our family and friends, Christ’s love it with us every where we go!  He will never leave us, or forsake us.  His love is forever and can reach forever as well.  This Christmas, let’s all take the time to remember the important things, and thank God for everything He has given us.

christmas card new

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

Food Marathon!

Last weekend, our city hosted a marathon, we didn’t run, because we all know how I feel about that.  Instead, we had a food marathon!  Friday night we made dumplings with some Taiwanese friends, and Saturday we made Hamburgers with some American friends.  I have to say, it was so much better than an actual marathon.

Dumplings are my favorite Taiwanese food.  They’re so yummy, and always make for a quick meal.  Friday night, our friend brought over the ingredients, and we all got to make dumplings and then eat them of course!  We made so many dumplings!  Nick estimates we made around 70!  We fried some, boiled some, and froze some for later. 🙂

Hamburgers are Nick’s favorite American foods, and unfortunately where live in Taiwan, a good burger is hard to come buy.  The best our city has to offer is McDonalds, and if you ask Nick, that is a sad excuse for a hamburger.  In order for Nick to get his burger fix, we made hamburgers ourselves!  We invited some of the other American teachers in our city, and they were just as happy as we were to have a taste of home.  Unfortunately, I was too busy making and eating burgers to take any pictures, but just take my word for it, they looked and tasted delicious!

Categories: Cooking, Friendship, Taiwan | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

And Finally…Hualien: Part Two

I know this has been a long time coming, Nick has been urging me to blog for about a month now, and I haven’t done it because there were actual people around that I wanted to spend time with.  I know you are all wondering about our month back at home, what we did, who we saw, what we ate etc.  but just calm down, I’ll get to that (eventually).  For now, you’ll have to settle for the rest of our trip to Hualien.  If you don’t remember that we went to Hualien, or what we did, you can refresh your memory here.

So, for our third day in Hualien county we had made plans to visit another FET who lived about an hour away from where we were staying, the only way for us to get there was by taking the train.  We had never taken a train by ourselves in Taiwan before (or anywhere for that matter-which brings me to another thought, why doesn’t the USA have an affordable cross-country train system? It would be wonderful, wouldn’t it?)  Despite our nerves, the train ride was uneventful, we just stood and read our nooks (there were no seats left for us).  We even managed to get off at the right stop even though we couldn’t hear any English announcements. 🙂 Go Us!

Our friend was at the train station waiting with open arms and lots of smiles!  She first took us to an old sugar factory where we had some delicious ice cream!  After we were hyped up on sugar, we had a quick lunch (backwards, I know) and went to the Butterfly Valley Resort to do some hiking and look at the butterflies of course, but not before putting on sun block and bug spray (we’re responsible adults after all :P).  Our hike started in a butterfly valley (but you already guessed that, huh?) and from there we hiked up a hill mountain.  In the butterfly valley, there were some butterflies that would not leave Nick alone!  They would sit on his arm for like 20 minutes!  I was starting to get a bit jealous, he’s MY man! 😛 Eventually they got the picture and moved on, but not before I made him give me a butterfly and snap a picture.

Once we made it past the butterflies, it was onward and upward!  Nick and I think we’re pretty spry, so we thought we were up for this little hiking adventure, but we were in for a steep climb!  We felt like we were going up FOREVER!  Thankfully they had benches every so often so we could rest for a minute, or ten.  When we finally made it to the top of the hill mountain, we crossed over a suspension bridge and started back down the other side.  By this time we were drenched in sweat and probably smelling pretty rank, so of course we run into people that wanted to talk with us, and of course the lady is looking perfect with her perfectly curled hair and not a drop of sweat in sight (some people).  They turned out to be really nice Taiwanese people, they even offered to show us around if we ever came to their part of Taiwan!  When they found out we were from Texas, they asked us if we rode horses!  I was floored, I had never actually been asked that in seriousness.  It was hilarious!  I, of course, told them we did and that my horse was named Betsy and that she was a dapple gray. (Not Really!)  We finally made it down the mountain, and into the gift shop for some much needed air conditioning and water!

After that, we headed to the Hot Air Balloon Festival, but I’ll save that story for next time!

Categories: Friendship, Nature, Taiwan | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Just a week in Paradise!

Hidey ho there neighbors!

Last week was AMAZING!  Once again, teaching in Penghu trumps any other teaching job ever.  I was sent to the small island of Wang-An to teach the students there.  As with any other new school I was nervous.  You never know how you will be received by students and teachers alike.  This time my fears were unnecessary, everyone was so welcoming and helpful, and the students were very excited to meet me!

I taught elementary and junior high school while I was there.  There were about 40 students at the elementary school and 17 at the junior high school.  The elementary school students were shy at first, but once they warmed up to me they didn’t want me to go (one class literally locked me in their classroom when I tried to leave).  Being in a small outlying island, the students don’t have many opportunities to speak English to foreigners, or even see English-speaking foreigners for that matter, they also don’t have the opportunities to attend English cram schools to further enhance their English-speaking skills.   Because of these disadvantages, their English skills were much lower than the students I teach on a regular basis at Wenao, but their energy was just as high!  For the first few minutes of class, the students would look to their teacher for translations every time I said something, but then she got smart and left, so they had to really start tying to listen to me.  We played games and read books and had some basic conversations, it was a great time!

While I had a blast teaching at the elementary school, my favorite part of teaching in Wang-An was the junior high school.  Because these students have been studying English for a long time (since 3rd grade), their English was much  more advanced.  I could hold a conversation with many of them, and if not, there was always another student around to help translate (can you believe that?! Students were translating without the help of the teacher!)  The students were a lot of fun and in our classes we could hold more conversations and really learn about each other and discuss some of the more intricate matters of English.  We also had time for some fun.  Fun?!  In a classroom?  That’s right, singing, dancing, ukulele playing (aren’t you jealous?) We had a grand ole time!

Unfortunately Friday came around and I had to say my farewells to the students.  They made me sweet cards and yummy pizza (what a way to go out)!  But Friday also brought another round of fun, Nick and Anly!  Stay tuned for details on our Wang An wanderings!

Categories: Education, Friendship, Taiwan, The Beach, Travel | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

BBQ Fun!

Ahoy ladies and gents!

Today our topic is Bar-b-que.  Bar-b-que is a well known word in Texas which inspires visions of massive smokers, grills, tubs of potato salad, sweet tea, baked beans, and a sunny Texas afternoon.  Nick and I love bbq!  When we came to Taiwan, we thought we’d have to say goodbye to bbq for a year, but we were surprised to find that bbq is a popular thing here although it is done on a much smaller scale.  Massive smokers are replaced with tiny grills, brisket and baby back ribs are replaced with chicken, fish, squid, and other Taiwanese favorites, like sweet potatoes.  But the thing that the two have in common are friends and fun!

A few weeks ago, we were invited to a BBQ at Anly’s grandparents’ house; they live right on the water, so we had some fantastic views and some great friends to BBQ with.  Anly’s uncle fishes for oysters (I’m not sure fishes is the right term, but you know what I’m saying), so we had some delicious oysters, sweet potatoes, chicken, sausage, and fish.  The whole night was full of fun, laughter, and good food!

Categories: Cooking, Friendship, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Cooking is Fun…sometimes

A couple weeks ago, we had a four-day weekend and we celebrated with some cooking adventures, and trust me, cooking is almost ALWAYS an adventure in our house.  We have decided that our cooking motto is “However long it is supposed to take, double that, times it by five and subtract three, and that is how long it will actually take us.”  (Yes, it is a bit long for a motto, we’re working on making it short and sweet then slapping that baby on a t-shirt.) 😛  Okay, so maybe it doesn’t take that long, but it always always takes us much longer than we anticipate at the get go.  I guess we just haven’t gotten cooking/baking down to a science yet.  I always feel like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything put together correctly.

Anyways, we kicked off the weekend with cooking our pumpkin.  Canned pumpkin is not a commodity we can find here in Penghu, and Nick and I love pumpkin.  We just couldn’t imagine letting a year go by without some yummy pumpkin treats.  We made our first batch of pumpkin puree back in November (when everyone on Pintrest was pumpkin crazy), and it turned out really well.  We were just about to run out of the frozen pumpkin puree, which would be a tragedy,  so we decided to make more.  Making pumpkin puree is very easy, but we only have a tiny toaster oven, so it takes us a loooong time to cook a whole pumpkin.  We’re talking four hours of time.  Each batch has to bake for about 45 minutes, and then we have to peel the pumpkin, puree it, measure it, put it in a bag, zip it, label it, and finally place it in the freezer in what has become “the pumpkin spot.”

After sitting around and being lazy for the rest of the weekend, Sunday night we  decided to make some muffins and egg salad.  We’ve been craving egg salad ever since the Eggtastrophe.  Our biggest problem was not having mustard to make it (we checked every store in town, and all we found were packets for the hot dogs at 7-11), but our fellow FET was making a trip to Taipei and told us she could pick some up for us!  So, mustard in hand, we  enlisted our friend Anly for some help, and we began making our egg salad and muffins (don’t worry, these were new eggs).  While the eggs were boiling, Anly and I started making some yummy French Toast Muffins for breakfast in the morning. All was going well until Nick took over washing the dished for Anly.  He always uses the excuse that his hands are too big to fit in the glasses in order to get out of doing the dishes, and was making that exact comment, when all of a sudden he yells out, “Ouch!  That’s deep!”  I rush over and see that his hand had broken one of the glasses and had stabbed him.  The cut was deep and seemed like it would not stop bleeding.  We cleaned the wound, and were about to leave for the ER for some stitches when the bleeding stopped.  We bandaged it up the best we could (which wasn’t very well  considering we have 4 band-aids at our house), and Nick sat down to rest while Anly and I finished up the dishes.

Nick is fine now, he saw the school nurse and she cleaned and bandaged the cut thoroughly and it’s healing nicely.   I’ve made it clear to him that this does not get him out of dishes for the rest of his days, he’ll just have to leave the cups to me.  Also, we are proud to say that despite the incident, the egg salad and muffins both came out wonderfully!

The pumpkin making process

The pumpkin making process

The finished product- 8 cups of pumpkin puree!

The finished product- 8 cups of pumpkin puree!

Yummy Egg Salad Sandwich

Yummy Egg Salad Sandwich

It's always fun to have a friend around.

It’s always fun to have a friend around.

Categories: Cooking, Friendship, Humor, Taiwan | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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