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.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Climatic End of Something or Other

The past weekend was pretty meaningful and exhausting and brought together a culmination of work, friends and fellowship. It was full of saying farewells, like a closing of a chapter. The climatic end of the academic year in any Taiwanese ESL kindy is the “graduation” show. It’s a pretty big deal for the parents. My class (like last year’s) was the ‘graduating’ class. Next month they will start elementary school.

My former co-worker and housemate Megan (also from Denver) came Thursday night with her 9 month old son Cyprus to crash at our place. She came to see my class’ play (she used to be their teacher for 2 years prior) and her fiancé works for the airlines and they fly everywhere (so jealous). They slept on Z’s bed. I was shocked how heavy her backpack was, being partially guilty as my Dad passed onto her some books and bags of pinto beans from my mom. You’d think I’d be better prepared for a baby but I wasn’t. My floors are tile and Cyprus hit his head pretty hard a few times. He was fast and got into everything, I wish I had a playpen. Its so much easier to soothe a baby when its your own, in my case I’d just pop a boob in his mouth and strap him to my back, like Z. Speaking of Z, she was in total love. Prior to Cyprus she was saying how she hated babies because they drool and dribble and stink, but she couldn’t get enough of him. She wanted to feed him and be near him, sometimes to the dismay of Megan and Cyprus. It was encouraging to see Z empathetic and not focused on herself. Now she is talking about having a baby brother names Zander and a baby sister names Zoe (yikes).

Z feeding Cyprus
Since March, we have been learning and rehearsing our play “The seeds that grew to be a 100” based on the book of the same name, a kid’s rendition of the parable of the sower. At the end we sang my old time favorite “Let it Grow” by Eric Clapton. We were told the theme was “grow” so my coworkers did a play based on growing up in Africa and the “Very Hungry Caterpillar.” My kids did well, better than the rehearsals, they got their lines straight and didn’t mumble.

Friday night was the commencement ceremony, the play, the kids gave their parents tea and received their “diplomas.” I had to give a short teacher’s speech and when I felt the emotion starting to gush upwards and eyes swell, I quickly passed the mic to my co-Teacher Sandy. I’m not a crier by nature but when I get into a state of thankfulness and realize the simple things I’m grateful for, Grace around me is made manifest, I get choked up.

Cyprus, Megan, Z, Binh at dinner
Saturday lunch was my language exchange with Vicky, Saturday night was the parents of Megan and I’s student took us out to a Cantonese restaurant. Sunday lunch was a farewell to my Indonesian friend Nadia as she is returning home after finishing her MA at NCKU. She had danced a traditional dance that was closed to the public (I was disappointed), so we met at the second hand bookstore and walked around the corner for a cheap lunch and said goodbye. She kindly gave us a T-shirt from her city (Indonesian Borneo) and some yummy desserts. I thanked her for her kindness when she and some others came to my house to celebrate my 35th b-day 2 years ago (and I ate some of her yummy Indonesian cooking) and all the other times she was a friendly face.  So I hoped we could meet again, take a boat from Java or Lombok and see her hometown. That Sunday night Erica treated us all to some nice Taiwanese food near NCKU, great company.

Plans, plans, people, time passes and we find each other through the fog and mess of life. My two good co-workers from my Kid Castle days in Chu Wei just contacted me and one has been living in Tainan. It will be good to see her and her baby and catch up.

Megan and Cyprus left early Monday morning I heard him cry around 530am and fell back to sleep, totally missed seeing them off. And now there are 2 days left of the semester, tomorrow night is a staff dinner, one chapter is closing and ‘Im chilling in a proverbial hammock, expecting a better year.

Nadia and Z

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