Children’s Day

Friday was Children’s Day in Taiwan and we had the day off school.  We went for a walk in one of our favorite parks.  The park was full of families.

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This particular park has a stream that extends through the neighborhood.

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Nearby was a popup puppet theater.  These theaters are mounted on the back of a little blue truck and are usually parked at temples.  I think they do the equivalent of bible stories but we really couldn’t follow the plot.

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The music and dialogue is recorded and there are people in the back to work the puppets.

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Spring Break Exploring

Time once again for spring break exploring.  We arranged for cat care (thanks, Christine!) and took off on our favorite road to Hualien.  What a spectacular day!  Beautiful views and lovely weather.

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The cherry trees were blooming.

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We found two traditional markets just blocks from our hotel.  I tried to restrain myself to just buy apples and bananas for the drive back.

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The trip home turned out to be more of an adventure that we really wanted.  We thought we’d try a new route across the mountains this time so we stayed on Highway 8 instead of turning off on Highway 14.  This part of Highway 8 is clearly more of a working road. The guardrails are not kept as neatly painted as on the more tourist road.  It’s a little wider, but not as well repaired.  It’s also steeper.  But it is beautiful.

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There were fruit orchards along much of the road.

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And then there are the landslides.  At this point we were carefully let across once car at a time, with one man assigned to just watch the slope carefully for more slipping.

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And the construction/clean up.

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We were very thankful to get off this particular mountain road.

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AST Open House

Too exciting…AST held an open house for the first time in ten years and opened its doors to the public.  It was held in conjunction with the school carnival – food booths from different countries and games run by the middle and high school students.

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As you can imagine, the kitchen was busy. But the students cleaned up after themselves and I was left with nothing to do.

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The carnival and open house was a huge success.  Tons of visitors and lots of interest in the school.  Some of the students put together a video to introduce the school.  It’s worth a look. AST Video

 

Exploring Taichung

We’ve spent the past few days trying to get lost in Taichung.  Pick a random street, go along a ways, and there we are smack up against a street we know.  Turn the next corner and there’s another one.  We’re slowly expanding our mental model of the city.

I’ve been able to introduce Dan to a few of my favorite places here.  We found ourselves on Gongyi Street the other day and decided to visit the traditional Japanese teahouse.  You may remember the aggressive carp.

 

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We were seated upstairs across from a couple enjoying books and tea.  Lovely.

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Another day found us in Taichung Folklore Park.  We’ve tried to find this in the past but it was closed or just eluded us.  This time we forgot about it until we turned the corner and there it was.

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It has a brand new parking garage but other spaces seem to still be in process.

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Today we found ourselves at Taichung Metropolitan Park.  This park always seemed a little overbuilt to us.  It’s far away from the center of town and always seemed deserted.  But today was a beautiful day and we finally saw the park as it was meant to be used.

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