Saturday, November 6, 2010

Taiwan Update 3

My only excuse for not updating this blog in a more frequent manner is that internet has not been as easily accessible recently. To follow up on the previous post, our hike in Kaohsiung with David Ullstrom and the students was very enjoyable. Only two students and an English teacher showed so we had a small group, which was nice. We attended David's church that Sunday. The service was in Taiwanese and Mandarin, but Kenny translated for us. They had a guest speaker who was visiting with his family from China. He shared about the medical work he's been doing for AIDS patients in China. People with AIDS there are outcasts. They receive no love and acceptance from anyone, so it is great that this man and his family are working to fix that. What a great ministry. We wrapped up our time in Kaohsiung by hanging out with Sara and her sisters. They live in an apartment building with all the teachers and their families, and they threw a "Fall Festival" for the kids, so we helped pass out candy and play games.

Monday night was our last night in Tainan, so we went out for a hot pot dinner with our friends Li, Louis and Joan. Louis let me drive him there on his scooter, which is technically illegal since I don't have a license here, but he said the cops wouldn't really care in Tainan. I almost hit a parked car within the first 2 minutes, but after that I got the hang of it. Scooters are great! Elijah drove it back and about got in a wreck. Poor Louis almost died multiple times. Aside from that, we had a blast. Tuesday, we took the train north to Chai Yi where we stayed with an OMF affiliated youth mission. They needed a few Westerners to pass out flyers to the students who pass by on their way to the cram schools where they learn English (with normal school and cram school, students spend somewhere around 10 hours every day in school -- insane!). We didn't have to pass out flyers until 5pm so we had the entire day to do whatever we pleased. We rented scooters for 100NT (roughly $3 US), and drove them out into the countryside. It was the most fun I've had on the entire trip. I enjoyed every minute of it. Eventually we passed out flyers, and did our best to make it fun. I played guitar out in the street to attract attention while Kenny and Elijah kept score of who gave out the most. Elijah had the most success since he's white, blonde, and blue-eyed. We ate dinner with the head of the mission, Sean, who just happened to be from Columbus, OH. Elijah started to feel sick again so he went to bed early, and Kenny and I passed out more flyers after the kids got out of the cram school.

Now, we are in Taipei. Elijah and I are staying with the parents of Kenny's friend, Henry; and Kenny is staying with his father. Taipei has been a blast. We've had great food and met some really cool people who work with OMF here. We had a nice home-cooked dinner with Kenny's father's family. Henry and his parents have also been taking great care of us with food, and whatever else we need. They took us to a nice hot pot all-you-can-eat buffet, and we ate enough to hold us over for a couple days. I didn't feel too bad though because we went right after a 4-hour hike in Yangmingshan National Park. A couple days ago we visited the National Palace Museum which was okay, but definitely not as interesting to me as the Hong Kong Museum of History. That evening we joined up with our new OMF friends (Tim, Jennie, Miriam, Feli and Erene) and went to the Shilin Market, the largest night market in the world, and ate a ton of food that was not healthy for us at all. I felt sick.

Today we had lunch with Kenny's uncle, aunt and cousin. I had a really good time talking with them. They shared a lot about Christianity in Taiwan and China, and the work that ministries like OMF and ORTV (Overseas Radio and Television) are doing to reach people through ministry and English teaching. We spent the afternoon helping out with the Kids Club that Tim, Jennie, etc. run at a park. We ended up playing Four Square the entire time. I had a blast. The kids were hilarious. After that, we went to "snake alley" with Tim and Miriam. We went to a restaurant that served snake meat. They had massive pythons in cages at the front of the restaurant. Elijah and I shared a plate of snake meat. It was actually pretty good. Kenny and Miriam did the really weird stuff. They bought a variety of drinks that included snake blood, snake venom, snake semen (dead serious), snake gall bladder, and a couple others -- disgusting. We capped off the night with a trip to a comedy club. They had like six different comedians perform, and only two or three of them were actually decent. I don't think it was worth the price of admission but I had a good time with everybody.

Tonight was a our last night with Kenny because he is going to Taichung to visit his other uncle's church, and we are staying to go to the ORTV church and check out the ministry. I'm hoping I can make some good connections with that ministry. Anyway, it's so late here, and I'm quite tired. I just had to update while I had internet for an extended period.

I can't believe this trip is almost over. Sad day. Pray that the Lord will grant us wisdom and guide us as we go back to the States. I'll eventually write a post that explains more about what the Lord's been doing with me on this trip. But for now, goodnight.

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