Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Night Market & Learning Chinese

Tonight Connie and I went to the night market closest to our school. It was a pretty small night market, which Connie and I have decided we like better. There is just more time to look at things talk to people and take our time.

Tonight we talked to vendors. There is this one vendor who I like to buy shirts from; it was wonderful to talk to him and he even knows a bit of English. It was fun practicing Chinese and he even complimented us on our Taiwanese. LOL. I love i! It is just so encouraging! He and his wife are wonderfully nice. Also, there was another vendor, an older woman who we talked to and she gave us both discounts on shirts. I have the cutest shirt now! It was cool to listen to the numbers and try to figure it out. It really does help to have physical prompts i.e. the lady held up her hand and spoke the numbers as well.

I think I am going to like learning more Chinese. And with Gloria teaching us Chinese every Monday, I feel like my language will explode. Not a huge explosion, but the kind that still gets you excited.

Going to the night market is a really good way to learn language because you have to use the language to get what you want. I need to get out more and immerse myself in the language. Get-er-done!

I have my Chinese name!!!

A week ago, my Beginning Reading Student Jojo gave me my Chinese name. It consisted of three characters. I was so very excited and I had her write it on a piece of paper. I asked Jojo what it meant; she could not tell me in English.

Then, I asked Lish what it meant, and she told me the "characters" were really bup-a-ma-fa, the baby Chinese that kids use when they are still learning. The middle character she did tell me was the word for love: 'ai 4'. Lish told me to take it to someone I trust to translate it. So I took it to Gloria.

Gloria told me that she take the paper and come up with my Chinese name, meaning the characters themselves. Today, she paged me on the intercom and told me that she has finished my Chinese name. I ran down to the teacher's room all excited! It is an awesome feeling to see your name in Chinese characters. We practiced (or rather I) practiced my new name up on the board. I think I could really get into this! I love the characters and being an artist, I feel I could learn the characters pretty well.

My name means:

1) li 3, meaning plum, which Gloria says is a common last name
2) ai 4, meaning love
3) wen 2, meaning the coloring on the clouds.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Torrential Taiwan

Photo: Off the northeastern coast of Taiwan. Huge waves. The small building is a lighthouse. So you just image that those waves are huge! (not my photo)

Typhoon Sinlaku hits Taiwan, 13 injured and 782 affected...

This typhoon is really fierce this weekend. It has rained it seems since Saturday morning. It is truly amazing. I haven't been in a storm this bad since Christmas 3 years ago (or was it 2 years). We have already had two typhoon this year and this one by far is the worst. The amazing thing is that the eye of the storm hit land not one, not two, but three times which meteorologists are calling unprecedented, which it is! Quite amazing actually.

Last night, some of us teachers were up late talking and what-not and we heard a large crash that included what sounded like crushing glass! At first, I thought it was the school windows from downstairs. Thankfully it wasn't. Today, Dustin mentioned it and said it was probably a metal shed with tons of garbage on top that had collapsed. Indeed, it was! It was unmistakable.

School was canceled on Saturday, but we haven't received word for tomorrow, or rather we haven't heard word that school is canceled. School is on track for tomorrow. I am honestly hoping for school closure, but we probably will have school tomorrow. Dustin was saying that school will probably be on track because the winds are not bad right now, even though it is still raining pretty hard right now.

It is pretty incredible!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thoughts of Direction

Haven't written a blog here in what seems like forever. It is pretty crazy. I am living in Taiwan teaching English. I have been here since the end of June and it is already September...I cannot believe it sometimes. I am thinking of going back to the States at the end of the year, but I could stay until June of next year.

That would be crazy cool and plus I might want to go teach English in Russia or something like that through ILP, it would be volunteer of course, but it would still be really cool. I have grand ideas of traveling the world, but I don't know. I would like to do that, but I don't know if that is what I should do. As a matter of fact, I don't know what I want to do with my life. Not that I HAVE to figure it out right now, but I should get an idea about the next year of my life and plan accordingly.

I have been trying to do some soul-searching: to find myself or whatever. Whatever happens, this is a turning point. A big part of me wants to find someone, get married and start a family, but another part of me wants to fully understand/figure out who I am before I go anywhere serious with anyone, but myself. But who knows?? I think I need to wait a few more years before that happens. I need to find somewhat of a career and become financially stable (which is a big time goal). Just having finished school, I need to start paying it off. And after not getting paid for 4 months, I need some money.

I will all figure it out in time.