An amazing trip.

Over the last few weeks, I have had the chance to experience some of the best moments of my life. 

After struggling to (literally) get back on my feet, I finally had time to go out and explore Tainan. 

My amazing language partner and friend Eva, took me out on more than one occasion to go around town and visit local places. Every moment spent with her has been an amazing chance to discover the city through the lens of a local Taiwanese. These moments have allowed me to immerse myself into a world that I could’ve never entered if I had stayed in my comfort zone as a tourist. 

If I hadn’t let myself be guided by Eva, I would’ve missed out on eating the best Taiwanese food I have ever had! I also wouldn’t have learned about the local norms and traditions and some common local idioms such as 爽啦 ~ which translates to great/awesome! Most of all, I wouldn’t have had the chance to build a wonderful new friendship 💗 a special bond that shaped itself by transcending the barrier of cultural differences. 

Eva and I <3

On Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th, our NZ group and NCKU classmates all went Dewen School, a primary school for the local indigenous community. After preparing for this trip for weeks by collaborating with local NCKU students and teachers to plan for our classes, we finally headed there on a (very) early Tuesday morning. We were welcomed by the school director and the few students who attend this beautiful institution hidden in the mountains. The same afternoon I had the opportunity to give a 45 min class to a group of 6 young boys in grade 5 and 6. Having worked as a ‘French as a foreign language’ teacher for 3 years, I had an idea of how to conduct the class but I didn’t expect to face 6 students full of enthusiasm, eager and energy! Fellow teachers, students and I bonded during class hours and lunch. I was extremely surprised to see how independent and self-reliant these students are. Come lunch time, the older boys went to the school kitchen to pick up a trolly full of food for everyone. Everyone had their own cutlery and was expected to clean after themselves. On Wednesday morning before the first period started, I joined the kids who were tidying up the playing area and bathroom. 

NCKU and NZ students
Me giving class 🙂

Later that day we had an amazing tour through a local village before heading to dinner with our teachers and the head of the Chinese Language Centre Director, during which we were each given our certificate of completion for our schooners course. I made it!! 

I am very very (very) sad to leave Tainan. 

The biggest lesson I have learned on this trip is that getting out of your comfort zone takes you on the best adventures. 

Taiwan has been the best adventure of my life. I was given the amazing opportunity to travel to Taiwan to improve my Mandarin but I got so much more out of it. Not only have I developed my Mandarin language skills, but I have also learned a lot about human relations, friendships and myself. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to come back!!

See you soon Taiwan 🥰

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