Today was a wiiiiiiiiiild day, to put it simply. The morning started our like every other Sunday, with me rolling out of bed at 7:40ish to make it to church on time. Everything went without a hitch in the morning, and I made it to church with a little bit of time to spare!
I ended up leading the music again at church, which was pretty fun and very interesting! Over these past 5ish weeks, I’ve seen my Chinese improve so much in so many different ways. One way that I’ve noticed my Mandarin improving is in my ability to read more of the hymns in Mandarin! Because they don’t come with pinyin, it can be hard for me sometimes to know how to say characters when they randomly appear in a song. But as I’ve come to understand with various characters mean, I’ve been able to sing with more confidence and strength!
After church, my host family picked me up so we could all make it to Pingtung before it got too late. As I munched on a piece of Taiwanese cake (that my host family gave me for lunch), I couldn’t help but think a about the long and difficult journey that led up to me being here in Taiwan. From first hearing about the NSLI-Y scholarship in early summer 2016 to getting rejected last March, to meeting some of my best friends ever through the group chats this application style, to finally fulfilling my dream of getting a NSLI-Y scholarship, I’ve been able to see so much of how NSLI-Y has helped shape me into the person that I am today.
We finally arrived in Pingtung around 2:15 PM, and immediately stopped into this shop to grab a bowl of Bluefin Tuna Soup with Sausage and various vegetables. The soup was really delicious, and it was fun to get to try something that is such an important part of culture in Pingtung.
After lunch, we headed to a chocolate factory/garden/resort place. It was very interesting and definitely overpriced, but very cool to get to visit. I got to try some very tasty, expensive chocolate samples, which were absolutely to die for. Nothing compares to sweet, smooth chocolate!
Once we’d finished up at the chocolate place, we headed to a waterfront to look out over a beautiful bay. It was absolutely breathtaking and gorgeous… until it started pouring rain. Although my host family and I attempted to wait out the rain, we ended up losing patience and running to the car. Although we all got soaked, it was still fun to get to be with my family in such a crazy environment.
Instead of heading to any other activities, my host family and I made the decision to head back to Kaohsiung before the weather got bad. And after dodging the worst of the rain, we all took a collective breath of relief in order to be temporarily done with the weather. But right as we mentioned about how glad we all were to be done with delays… we got stuck in some crazy traffic. Like 3-hours-on-the-freeway crazy. I ended up falling asleep halfway through the long drive back, and waking up in Kaohsiung again. All in all it was very great to experience so much of a different culture and lifestyle in a different place.
For dinner, we had spaghetti and paninis at a random local spaghetti place. I ended up getting a hearty bowl of seafood spaghetti that I ate with abandon, because it tasted (somehow) quite a bit like America’s spaghetti. Go figure. After we all ate, my host family and I played a really fun fun monkey board game with them.
That’s all for now, kids stay in school.