November 16, 2009
I can’t say I was really happy about leaving Kaohsiung, and travel all the way up to Taipei, but I was expecting an exciting new beginning and valuable experience from the internship that was waiting for me in Yilan.
When I arrived in Taipei I felt the change from the moment I stepped out of the bus, because the weather and the whole environment were quite unusual to what I’ve been seeing for the last few months. Maybe it had a lot to do with the end of summer and the beginning of winter.
Yule met me at the bus station and from there we went to the nearby hostel where we were supposed to pick the other trainees and leave to Yilan. After around 15 in minutes there and the unfortunate encounter with the owner’s kid 🙂 we left and took the bus to Yulan.
The bus ride wasn’t too exciting because I already had that 5 hour trip from Kaohsiung behind me, but after around 1 hour we finally arrived and were picked by our hosts and brought to the orphanage. It seemed like a whole new beginning and I was really looking forward to go and see school. That night was really exhausting and it was nice to meet new friends and all the kids in the orphanage. I was going to stay alone in my part whereas the other 4 girls were staying in the other part.
Next morning we woke up at 6 for breakfast which was the hardest part of all. I think that was my first breakfast in a few months actually, because in Kaohsiung I wasn’t used to waking up so early in the morning. We left to school around 8AM and the driver dropped each of us at our designated workplaces. Only I and Shereen were supposed to teach in a Junior-High School in Yilan. It took us around 30 minutes from our place to get to school. We met the staff and also the English teacher working there. Kyle showed us around and gave us some more details of the program and our responsibilities. It seems we’re mostly going to be helping at the moment and we have some things to prepare for next week.
When our first day finished and we came back to the orphanage, we found some wireless connection and spent most of the evening in that area near the library.
November 17, 2009
Today was the second day and we had to wake up at 6 for breakfast again. I guess I have to get used to vegetarian food, but it’s still very good. The weather wasn’t as nice as yesterday but since winter is coming we have to accept it the way it is. I don’t have a winter jacket but I don’t want to think about the cold right now. After breakfast we left for school again and since Kyle was away in the morning we spent most of our time in the library during classes.
After that we had to scan some books for the storytelling part and had fun time with some of the book titles and the illustrations inside. In the afternoon, we had one more English class about zombies and werewolves and came back safely home. It keeps getting colder so it feels strange and I just hope I don’t get sick. Getting up at 6 also requires some time to get adjusted to, but that’s going to be much easier in the future(I hope so)
November 18, 2009
This morning when I woke up I got a cake and a birthday wish. I also heard about the funny story from the previous night.
We went to work a little bit early that day because Su Ying had to be there before 8AM. Since we wake up at 6AM every day it wasn’t anything unusual or too complicated. That day we scanned the books with Shereen and got some update on the situation with the presentations and school work. It seems like it is getting better and more challenging. Later on, around 2PM there was an expectations meeting with Susan, but my turn about it is today. After work we went back home and “enjoyed” the nice rainy weather. Everyone had work to do but in the end we were still able to try the birthday cake. We also practiced the Taiwanese song that we are going to sing. That pretty much concluded my birthday. It was nice 🙂
Today we had breakfast later and went to school at the usual time. I was waiting for the others downstairs and then took a picture before we left. We arrived at work and started preparing our presentations. We had class later and I was curious to see the 8th graders. All went smooth and after lunch we had two more classes where we were introduced to all the students. I and Shereen helped them as much as we could during class and in the end around 4PM we had to answer some questions and sign their papers. I like helping them when they have questions and after all it’s our job is to teach them English.
November 23, 2009
It’s a cold day today and after that weekend it’s good to be back at school with all the students and all the noise. We were working on our county presentation until now and we have class with grade 9 soon.
Our class with the 9 graders went smooth and they asked us a lot of questions. We had to introduce our interests and I talked about football which is the thing I enjoy and I tried to make it as interesting as possible. I think they liked football and maybe they’ll want to learn how to play later.
It was the day of the press conference for which we were preparing for so long. After that rehearsal and the time spent learning the songs, we were finally ready to go on stage and perform. Five students from our school were picked to sing that traditional song.
All of us gathered together early in the morning at the meeting point. The guys from AIESEC were there ready with their cameras as usual. We took plenty of pictures while we performed but we also sang the songs one more time. There we were, ready to impress everyone who came to see us that morning. We had Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia and Indonesia ready for presentation to our audience. Everything was going according to schedule, and our singing went smooth with some minor mistakes. After that it was the time for the press and we got many pictures and we even managed to find our place in the newspapers. The whole environment was really exceptional because we’ve done something that probably doesn’t happen very often.
After this we went back to school where we had a couple of presentations for our countries. We did pretty well there and managed to finish our work day successfully.