Sunday July 30th, 2006

I have just finished packing everything I think I'll need. It's hard to know what to pack for one month away ... it does make me realize that you really don't need much for every day living. I do believe Levi thinks she's coming ... as you can see, she is squishing her way into the 'coming with' stuff. I wish more than anything I could bring the two of them with me. It's just not practical, otherwise I would.

I have a limo coming to get me at 830pm. Yes, luxury living here in Taiwan ... actually, it's about the same price as a taxi. My flight leaves this evening at 1155pm. I have a 3 hour stopover in Vancouver and I'm scheduled to arrive in Toronto on Monday morning at 605am.

After a very busy month, I am very much looking forward to the 15+ hours that will be spent in the air. Nothing to do but sit ... relax ... eat ... maybe watch a movie or two or three.

Brother J tells me that Dad's internet connection is very slow, so this may be the last blog for awhile. I have a list of places I want to photograph and I'm sure there will be stories galore to come. I'm looking forward to removing myself from the place I know as home to visit the two places I hold closest to my heart.

Hamilton ... here I come ...

颱風凱米 (Typhoon ke3 mi3)

It seems another is on the way ... it is scheduled to arrive early am. I've just arrived home from a 13 hour day ... the wind is whipping like crazy. The cats seem a bit freaked from the clanging and banging. Sand bags have been placed, once again, at the doors of my building.

11:08pm ... it's just been confirmed that tomorrow is NOT a typhoon day ... that means it's going to be wet. Datsun and Levi are on my desk staring at me with these big eyes ... as the house rattles, I realize it's going to be another almost sleepless night ... clatter, clatter, bang, bang ...

Monday July 24th, 2006 ...

Another album has been added ... you'll have to scroll down towards the bottom (see more links) to access it. I haven't been able to get many great shots over the past three weeks. As there is only one more week left for me ... the kids have another four ... I don't know how many more photos I'll be able to get my hands on. It's a start!

Another typhoon is on the way ... it looks to be rather small but it is heading right through Taiwan ... probably means another week of rain for us, I'm sure. As my timer ticks away, it's shows that I have six more sleeps. I went out yesterday to pick me up a new suitcase as I seem to be without one these days. It's bright yellow and won't be missed at the airport.

I will be out of the house for about 13 hours today so I best go play around with the cats for a little while. Gosh, I am going to miss them!

Click This ...

I'm not too sure which direction I'll be taking this ... it's another work in progress. Check it out:

Click This ...

Drop me a line if you want a link.

Friday July 21st, 2006

Week three of summer camp is down ... one more to go ... it's been great fun! My days are busy from early am to late pm. Knowing that I have nine days until my holidays doesn't help the feeling of exhaustion that overwhelms me most days.

We took the kids for a two-day camping trip to 桃園 (Tao Yuan). There were about 60 kids in total ... maybe 20 adults. The days were hot and busy but great times were had by all!

The afternoon activities on our first day there consisted of some adventurous things ... keep in mind these kids range in age from 6 - 13, most of them being on the younger side of that range. There was a 5 story tower which we got to got to rappel from ... twice. We then were able to try a zip line, as well as rope walking. Half of the kids tried it with only a few ending in tears from being scared. I was right beside them with their feelings of fear. I do have to say ... it was awesome!

So ... it seems that I've been featured as 'blog of the week' ... Taiwan Blogs
I am going to spend the weekend cruising around to see what others in Taiwan get up to ... this blog has given me some ideas as to a new weekend project ... eyes posted ...

Sunday July 16th, 2006

You never know what you're going to come across in this country. That's what makes being here so interesting. I have added some new photos to the following albums:

Another Taste of Asia
Messing Around

Keep your eyes open ... there's always so much to see!

Cat of the Day ...

Photo: Adam Bradway

My little Levi ... who's not so little anymore ... has been posted as cat of the day on the following link:

Kat's Cat of the Day

I came across the website one day ... being a cat lover myself, I had to stop in for awhile to take a look. Please take a moment to check it out!

Levi ... in her moment of fame ... would like to thank everyone, I'm sure. I can't say it enough times ... a true angel.

As I type she is lying beside me on the floor ... she is on her back and her legs are sprawled wide open ... now, is that any way for a lady to lie? Levi ...

Thursday July 13th, 2006

If you look really close, I'm sure you can still see us on the map ... It's been a wet, wet day. My private cancelled this evening due to the typhoon. After my last class, I left telling everyone I'd see them on Monday. A decision will be made by 11pm ... I wonder what tomorrow holds. My hopes ...a three day weekend.

Yesterday was hot and wet ... Sheets of rain for 5 - 20 minutes, then hot, hot sun ... rain, then sun. If you got caught in one of the storm clouds, you just had to scoot around for an extra 10 minutes following the sun ... you'd then be dry.

Today was the typical 'severe tropical storm is on the way' kinda day. In the morning, men were working around Shui Lien roping the trees to things more concrete. Sand bags placed at the doors of buildings. Wet leaves and garbage scattered here and there ... clothes from balconies crumpled on the grounds from the whipping wind that kept me awake most of the night.

It took me a half hour to get to work today due to the traffic ... It was backed up for what seemed like miles. As there were three lines of cars for two lane roads, it made it tough for the scooters to get around. Cops were everywhere trying to control the madness ... they seemed frustrated, nevermind being soaking wet.

Ahh ... typhoons ... can it really be that season again already?

Wednesday July 12th, 2006

Eeewwww ... Teacher Morgan ... gross!

I wonder if these will be on the menu at the local Swiss Chalet?!
Chicken feet? Neck, perhaps?

Tuesday July 11th, 2006

Typhoon Bilis

It is scheduled to go directly over Taiwan in about 2 days time. I don't know if it'll be big enough to warrant a day off work, but that would be nice. I've been out of the house from about 10 - 14 hours a day. We are week two into summer camp. It has been fun so far ... I really think the kids are enjoying themselves. I have a small collection of pictures in the works and I hope to post an album within the month.

As the bottom of my blog counts away, it seems that I'm looking at the 19 day mark. It is going to be well earned after these 40+ hour work weeks. In writing that ... I suppose that might not sound like a lot .... however, it is double my regular teaching hours.

These days, I find myself thinking about the things I haven't been able to have in the past two years like sour keys and Swiss Chalet and Lay's ketchup potato chips and East Side Mario's salad and tiger stripe ice cream ... mmmm mmmm good. I suppose it's a good thing I have me some new joggers ... with a list like that, one is going to need them!

The countdown begins ...

Sunday July 9th, 2006

New photos have been posted in the following albums:

Another Taste of Asia
Messing Around

If you have the time, check them out!

Homeless ...

How could something as darling as this be homeless? I am very tempted to take her in myself, but three cats would be more than a handful. I am desperately trying to find her a home ... no takers as of yet.

She isn't in my care, luckily, as I wouldn't have the heart to take her to the animal shelter. They will allow her 7 days for adoption ... if no one takes her, she'll be put down.

It hardly seems fair.

Monday July 3rd, 2006

I found myself at 文化大學 (Wen Hua University) the other day. It seems I have one of two options. One, I can go back to the start of the first book, chapter one ... yawn ... or two, I can enroll in the second semester which starts at chapter ten. I do believe practice from somewhere around the middle of the book would be a good thing, so option two seems to be the way to go. The thing is ... writing, reading, speaking and listening are in the curriculum. I am thankful now for having taken the time to learn to read ... but writing?

So ... this is the start. My two language exchange partners and I have stopped studying the second book. We are still reading, according to the library, preschool level books ... some of them are absolutely hilarious. As you can see from the above pic, my writing also looks like that of a preschooler. You gotta start somewhere, right?

I have three months to learn about 200+ characters. It's going to be time consuming with lots of eraser shavings but I think it can be done.

In saying that, I am looking for some help. Friends, family, any eyes out there ... who knows of someone that can speak and write traditional Chinese living in the Hamilton, ON or Vancouver/Victoria, BC areas? Someone that might be willing to give me a few hours a week for the month of August to help me with my writing. I'll buy the coffee ... anyone? ... Bueller?

Another taste of Asia ....

If you find yourself doing a bit of this at home ... please note the new album on the right. Enjoy!

Saturday July 1st, 2006

Living on the other side of the globe, it is easy for one to forget about their own country's holidays. I have been reminded that, today, Canada celebrates its birthday. Happy Canada Day!