When I left Taiwan on January 3, 2011 I thought I was saying goodbye forever. It broke my heart. I bored countless friends and family members with all my little anecdotes of my life here but I just couldn't seem to stop talking about it. Eventually life went on. I continued with school. Started living a "normal" American life again. Spent an amazing summer in China. And realized that my life on the isle of Formosa was far from finished. So here I am back in Changhua, waiting for my semester at NTUA to begin. And the strangest part is how normal it is.
My first week back.
We got to go on a little trip with Barbie and Eilleen's family to Chiayi and Pintung for Chinese New Year. It was so great to see these adorably little girls who I thought I might never see again.
And we go to hold a snake.
We spent the rest of the week of Chinese New Year on a marvelous trip to Taipei. Did I mention that I get to be in Taiwan with Lauren this time? So Ideal.
Here is the whole group. The M Team. 22-22!
The Year of the Dragon! I guess it is a symbol of good things to come. It is anticipated that lots of babies will be born this year in Taiwan and China.
Meet Uncle Davey. Natalie was conversing with him as we perused his glasses selection. Out of nowhere he pulled out two Ensigns. One in English and one in Chinese. Turns out he's a member! He showed us the English one and asked us to define the word "ensign." He was impressed when I was able to answer correctly. I guess he asks any English speaker he talks with just to test their intelligence. We had a good time chatting with Uncle Davey (as he asked us to call him once he learned that we were also LDS.) In the end he wouldn't let us leave until we had taken a couple of free pairs of glasses. Too, too kind. I hope that someday I run into Uncle Davey again.
Special markets for the New Year. All beautiful and all handmade.
We were strolling in a little park when we came across a movie in the making. We stood at a distance for a while until the director and camera crew noticed us and beckoned us to get a closer look. I do love me some Taiwanese films.
Sun Yat Sen
Wufenpu market. SO many people.
Waking up to firecrackers going off in the street. Love it.
When we first got to Taipei, Ashley and Kamille were very new friends to us and I had only known Natalie for a few days. Now it feels like I've known them forever. I can't wait for the M Team to be reunited!
I love the lighting and colors in this picture. I wish I had taken more pictures here!
One of our most favorite Taiwanese foods.
Taipei Bloom Art.
Two fabulous couples walking through the flower exhibit.
This zoo was so beautiful. I think it helped that it was created in a sub-tropical climate in the middle of a jungle. Also it was the most crowded zoo I have ever been in. This picture is when traffic was light.
After the zoo we made our way to Pingxi for the lantern festival. But Pingxi gets a post of its own....
It's good to be back.