Getting Settled

Trip Start Jun 18, 2009
Trip End Aug 01, 2011

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Flag of Taiwan  ,
Monday, June 29, 2009

It has been a full week now in Taiwan and I am becoming more settled. I am beginning to learn street names and sort of know where I am when people take me places! The last few days have been busy doing thing around town. My "super buddy", a teacher from the school that shows me around, is leaving for the states for the month of July so she has been trying to show me as much as she can before she leaves.

I was able to go to a night market, which is basically a carnival that is open all the time. There are street vendors and every kind of strange food you could ever image available. They have different games to play and at times they will be packed with people. We have only gone on weeknights so the crowds haven't been to bad.

This past Friday night the Cornel staff went out to celebrate Brent's birthday, a fellow teacher, and the end of the school year for them. It was fun to get to go out with all the staff and get to know them all better. We first went to Fubar, an outside bar that many foreigners go to and then we went to Pig Pen, a dance club. There was a cover band there called the Hot Shots. They played all popular pop/hip-hop music from the states but with an Asian accent. It was really funny! It was a lot of fun to get a glimpse into what the night life is like here.

I also was able to go to the opening night of Transformers here. It opened a couple days later here than in the states. Many of the shows were sold out here. There is just as much buzz about the movie here as in the states. I didn't really like the movie- too long and I had to watch it from the 3rd row.

This past weekend I also had the chance to learn how to drive a scooter. My super buddy took me to an open area and I was able to practice driving it around before taking it around the block. It was a little scary at first. Learning how to turn is the hardest part. I then drove myself to lunch! I will be using my roommates scooter while she goes home for the month. Then I will look for my own scooter to buy! I can't wait to get to go and explore the city on my own and really get to know where things are!

I also ate my first full meal with chopsticks! I was very proud of myself because I had tried at another meal and just gave up! My hand was a little cramped up by the end but I have started to get the hang of it!

On Sunday it was super hot and sunny here so I went with a couple other teachers to an outdoor pool. It was so relaxing to just be able to sit back and enjoy the sun and nice weather. I went with one teacher who has been here for 3 years. It was fun getting to talk to her and have her give me advice about living here.

Today I had my first day decorating my classroom. I have now found out that I will no longer be teaching kindergarten, as of now anyways. I will start next Monday with my 3rd grade class, The Zebras, and I will have them through the regular school year. I have 11 student and that are mixed ability students. It will be a challenge but I am excited to see what the year brings. Today was a little overwhelming needing to decorate a blank classroom and get all the curriculum in order but all the staff has been very helpful so that has been nice. We also went to a teacher store tonight where I was able to buy some posters that will help in decorating my classroom. I will post some pictures once I finish the decorating.

Thats all for now....miss ya and love ya!
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