Posts Tagged With: snorkeling

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!

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

Wang An Adventures!

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!!!

Categories: Nature, Taiwan, The Beach, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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