January 16th 2022 10:02 AM
The last few weeks have been exciting and busy. Tomorrow, we leave to go to our elementary school service project. This will be our last activity for the trip. Before I move on, I would like to thank 360 international, Education New Zealand, the NCKU Chinese language centre, and everyone else who made this trip possible. It has been a fantastic experience, regardless of the difficulties of studying abroad. I will now talk to you a little bit about what’s happened in the last couple of days.
I would like to give you some context for this next portion of the blog. A few years ago I was lucky enough to be able to visit one of my best friends in Minnesota in the United States. As a very outdoorsy person who was decent enough at gymnastics at the time, I thought it would be fun to do a front flip into a river. Many people have done this in this river over the years and is even one of the things that comes up when you look at touristy things to do in Minnesota. However, I did not consider that jumping into a river was very different from doing a front flip on a trampoline and, unfortunately, broke two of my front teeth. This was a very humbling experience, and luckily nothing terrible happened and I was able to get it fixed. Something I failed to keep in mind, however, is that sometimes the resin they use can fall off within 5 to 10 years. So what happens next is really something I should have been expecting.
One of the activities we have had on this trip is the Community Service portion. This is when we go and spend some time with some elderly people, do activities with them, and just keep them company in general. It is truly very lovely, and it is interesting hearing about their lives, and what they enjoy doing. In this situation, we were on our last community service trip. We had spent a lovely two hours with the 奶奶 (grandmothers), and were looking to have dinner before walking home. We went to this lovely restaurant that served a large assortment of things, and as I wasn’t that hungry, I got scallion pancakes. I was having the time of my life eating my scallion pancakes, as it is one of my favourite foods here in Taiwan when I realised something wasn’t quite right.
If you are unfortunate enough to have broken your teeth at some point, you can know that it feels different when you don’t have your entire mouth of teeth. So, of course, I realised what had happened and immediately wrote to one of the people helping us in the Chinese language centre. After a while, I got an appointment in the hospital, where they referred me to another dentist. We spent to quite a bit of time in the hospital, and I am so grateful to Tessa and Zara for coming with me. Thankfully I was able to get an appointment the next day, and within less than 72 hours, everything was fixed.
I would like to say that it has been a learning experience being in a country where you don’t really know enough of the language to be able to speak in medical terms and must get help for something that can’t be put off. It has made me really admire people who move overseas for long periods and still have to go to a doctor who might not speak English or might not speak their language. But it has also made me realise, as much of this trip has, that we are capable of a lot more than we think we are.
That being said, with new tooth in tow, I was able to make it in time to my second to last报告， where my Chinese language skills were put even more to the test. I was reading some of my blogs from previous weeks and would like to reflect a little bit more on what I wrote before as well before signing off. I have come to see the value of different forms of education. Although I still dislike public speaking to a certain extent, there is something quite rewarding about showing up to a class and being able to fluently say something and just see how much you’ve improved. It really makes all the difference if you relax and live in the moment.
That is all I have for now, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this little retelling of a stressful yet funny situation. I would also like to thank everyone once again for all their help and all of their support throughout this trip, and I can’t wait to tell you all about the Elementary School Service Activity.