About Me

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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week 7

We have a full apartment, as the other 2 roommates are here, Megan from Aurora, CO (very small world) and Vicki, the Chinese teacher. They are both very cool and "help" w/Zenaida, allow her to hang out in their room, etc.

At school we are beginning week 7. The Christian teachers meet every Tuesday after lunch to pray. This group consists of me, the owner Mary, her sister Vivian and brother-n-law Abraham, teacher Lilly who is a Taiwanese aboriginal, and teacher Joel who is from Mumbai but raised Christian. Joel is a talented guitar player so we had some worship last meeting. Teacher Amy (the Teacher’s Manager) was a Christian when she lived in the States, but is now a Buddhist—she came for worship as she loves to sing. The best part about it is seeing prayers answered-and fast and of course I like international aspect of it, singing and praying in Mandarin and English.

My first paycheck was half of what I am supposed to get and I still owe Amy some. I had the school loan me some, taxes were quite a bit, insurance for me and Zenaida. Each month should get better and better. I am doing private lessons between 430-5pm at the school for extra cash and it helps.

I am tired, especially now as Zenaida used me for a human pacifier 2 nights in a row (she has a fever—other than that she has been sleeping pretty darn good), I hardly have a moment to kick up my feet and relax. Between preparing for classes, teaching and housework and Zenaida its go, go, go. I enjoy taking her to the playground below our building, I collapse on the bottom of the red slide, catching a moment here or there, and then crash Zenaida is on my face, thinking its funny to slide upside down and bump into mommy’s head. She has been calling me “Mummy” instead of “Mommy” this past week, which I cant figure out why, maybe in her class they say it British style. But its ok, Id rather her be laughing than throwing a tantrum.

I dread Mondays because she seems to throw a major tantrum after school so I brace myself, usually over not wanting to eat my dinner or she wants to watch a video. Last week she threw a fit on Tuesday night also, but the rest of the week was so enjoyable. She is an angel at school so I think its just her way of letting out emotions for adjusting to the separation, but its still exhausting, especially when I am tired from working too. At those moments I do feel sorry for myself and wish that there was another authority figure around for her to listen to and respect and discipline her. Its for her own good that she not be allowed to throw such a tantrum, but its so tiring.

As for videos she seems to watch them daily. Its helpful when I am cooking or cleaning, but I wish there was some other way for her to be calm and not getting into trouble while I have to do housework. So at lunch I come home and sweep or do a load of laundry along with some exercise as that’s my only “me” time. She also likes to read to herself or do puzzles, but she definitely prefers to watch Madeline, Pingu or Teletubbies.

Zenaida and myself just got over being sick, like a 10 day cough 2 days of body aches. There a few days there were I hated having her go to school, but she survived. This weekend has been a typhoon (why is it always the weekend?) and these past 2 nights Zenaida has been nursing all night w/ a slight fever. She had a 100.1 temp this morning, but she has been in happy spirits.

My folks sent the best care package ever. Vitamins, underwear for Zenaida, her favorite books, shoes, stickers, new dresses and clothes. It was massive and thoughtful. Really well received. Thanks goodness for Skype! We can catch up and see each other across cyberspace. Zenaida shows off her yoga skills on the bed while her grand parents send her kisses via the computer camera. Her and her cousin give each other funny faces and Pingu “Nook nooks” its great.

Next weekend, the staff is taking a weekend trip to Taitung, driving around the southern tip of Taiwan to this small city on the SW coast. Should be fun. Will be interesting with Zenaida and some other of the teacher’s kiddies. It’s a 5 hour bus ride-yikes! We are sharing a room with 6 people—double yikes!

I still haven’t opened a bank account yet. Amy is in California and she is my go-between for stuff like this (Pediatrician, Immigration) so I might just have to do this alone and hope someone can speak good enough English. I want to open an account with Citibank (so I can transfer funds to my Citibank account I share w/ my Dad )so I don’t have to pay transfer fees) and be able to pay my students loans this way) so I am opening an account that doesn’t work with the school. Everything takes a bit longer here. For the most part I like the slower pace of “southern island life” as Taipei is a bit fast paced. Still, I am making plans to visit friends up north sometime soon. Kind of reminds me of when I lived in York and how everything was so slow there compared to London or the States, but back then it annoyed me.

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