Summer in Taiwan has officially begun! Not only has it been very hot here in Taiwan, it has also been very humid. Some days the wind doesn't blow very hard and when you combine hot weather and humid air with no wind, it gets a little unbearable. Otherwise, earlier in the morning and the evenings usually are pretty nice. I enjoy warm weather, but not too warm.
My school is putting on summer camps this month and I have a sports camp next week. I talked to another teacher who is teaching a sports camp this week and he said that he has never sweat more in his life...hahah. Something to look forward to, I guess. Maybe I will set a PR for the amount of sweat I lose in one day.
All things considered, things are going pretty well in Taiwan. I will be visiting the US in August, which I am really excited about. It will have been a year since I have seen most of my friends and family (who probably reads this most often). It will be a nice break from the hot, humid weather and the 6-day a week schedule.
Please feel free to leave comments on the blog if you have questions, are curious about anything and/or you just want to say something. I enjoy reading the comments.
Also, many of you know Nolan, if not in person, from my blog. He has been traveling with me (and Jonathan during the first part of our trip) and is in Taiwan with me now.
He got sick and, to make a long story short, he went to the doctor and after many tests they found out that he has a type of cancer called Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Please keep him in your prayers, he is staying in Taiwan for the treatment and has already experienced two sessions of chemo therapy. He has chemo every two weeks and the doctors predict that he will need to endure 8 months of this grueling treatment. I'm sure most of you know someone who has or has had cancer and it's not fun, so I would just ask you to lift up your prayers for him.
Sandra and my trip to Fulung was pretty fun. The weather wasn't too bad...but it was really humid and pretty hot and it rained no us, hahha....but for the most part it was tolerable. When we were on the train, we had to put Yuan Yuan in a bag...she didn't like that much, hahah. When we got to Fulung, we rented bikes and took a short bike tour, which was about 1 mile each way through an old railroad tunnel and ended up at a beach look out area. We then took our bikes back and explored a little bit and saw these amazing and huge sandcastles...most people paid to get in, but thanks to our exploring, we were able to find a secret passage. However, we didn't go close to the sand castles because we left our bikes at the "secret passage" and didn't want them to get stolen (I guess it wasn't all that secret if we were worried about them getting stolen).
Yuan Yuan looks so sad here.
The part of the beach where they made the huge sandcastles.
Sandra between two funny characters made of metal.
Yuan Yuan finally figured out that she didn't have to be cramped in a ball when she was in the basket. She has pretty good balance, I have to admit. This was pretty funny too, when I would ride the bike fast or down a hill her ears would fill up with air and stick out to the sides...I had some good laughs and YY loved it.
Myself, Sandra and YY.
This is a long railroad tunnel that has now been retired, people can walk or ride bikes through it. I found it pleasantly pleasing as the air inside kept cool while it was hot, humid and sticky outside...it was a nice break from the sweltering heat for a short time.
Me doing the Asian handsome face.
Yep, Yuan Yuan was pretty tired, she actually stayed on her back while I heald her, haha.
Over the Dragon Boat Festival Sandra and I went to Fulung to ride bikes and visit the coast...it was really fun, but is was so hot and muggy out. The air was so clean and fresh to breath though...it was like being back in Oregon.
At first Yuan Yuan had a tough time getting situated in the basket, which I thought was hilarious. Being so long and skinny can be a little awkward sometimes when you are trying to fit into a basket that is half as long as you, haha.
She finally got somewhat comfortable and just rested her head on the edge of the basket.
It was a beautiful ride, the vegetation was very plush and the scenery was very mountainous.
This is Emil, he hurt his neck after working out...but it was bugging him a lot and he decided to go to the doctor. The doctor proceeded to tell him that he needed to have a disk or a vertebrae replaced (I can't remember which). Either way, it was going to be a costly ordeal, not the operation because most of that is paid for, but the part was going to be quite expensive.
Anyway, after agonizing about this for a little while he decided to check out some information on Wikipedia, call a doctor back in his hometown in Canada and get a second opinion in Taiwan. What he found out is astonishing! Both doctors (Canada and his second opinion) said that these disk things usually correct themselves in time, so he began to try out a neck brace as the first line of defense.
After going back to the original doctor, he asked him if he should wear a neck brace and the doctor told him it was a waste of time and that he just needed to have surgery.
To say the least, now, Emil is doing pretty well after wearing the neck brace. He feels much better and things are starting to correct themselves...I'm glad he decided to get a second opinion.
We celebrated my birthday at TGIFridays. Nolan, his wife Erica and Emil.
One of my students' moms got me this cake, so nice...it tasted really good too, I believe it had raspberry filling. It cracked me up when I saw this little panda. It was about 6" in diameter. Sandra made me this bouquet of flowers out of playdoh for my birthday, hahahh. She also got me a nice backpack because mine was breaking, that has been really nice.
Sandra and I met her sister (and her friend) for tea and snacks in Tapei. It was pretty fun, the tea was awesome and the little snacks were pretty tasty also. We met up with her brother a little later and went to a very popular restaurant. Once we got into the restaurant, the waiting line to get into the restaurant got really long and extended about 50 yards back. We had something called eel rice. It was basically just how it sounds, a slab of eel over rice, but it tasted awesome. I'm really bummed that I didn't get any pictures. I'm starting to get hungry just thinking about eel rice. This is Sandra's "mad/I can't believe you just did that" face...haha, I'm not sure what I did, maybe it was just because I took a surprise picture. Sandra, me, Jill (Sandra's sister)