Well, we've been living in Taichung, Taiwan for 5 weeks now! We are all settled into our jobs and our apartment and we've made some friends! So here's what we've been up to in more detail:
We are working at Cornel School and we are enjoying it. Teaching here is so much different than it is at home. Jenn is teaching grades 1 and 6 for the summer and then she will teach grades 1 and 3 for the rest of the year. Craig is teaching grade 5 and he is subbing in a kindergarten class for the summer. In the fall he will be teaching grades 2 and 5. The kids are adorable and the other teachers and staff are great. We eat lunch at the school and it is so delicious... that's one of the perks!
Our apartment is about a 15 minute scooter ride to work or a 25 minute bike ride. That's right we have bikes and we have a scooter. When we moved into our apartment the walls were red and yellow so we spent the first week painting. We're really happy with how it turned out. The walls are a light brown with white trim. The bedrooms are just plain white (boring we know). We bought some paintings while we were traveling and they are now framed and hanging. We are really happy with the souvenirs we bought in Southeast Asia. They really make the place look like our own!
Since we've been here we've met tons of new people and are starting to get a group of friends. It was funny because when we first got our cell phones it seemed kind of silly because we only really knew each other but we're getting calls now so it's worth it!
We are adjusting well to life here. It took a little bit of getting used to it because the majority of the people in stores and restaurants don't speak English and menus are usually only in Chinese. Driving is the strangest because only the major roads have names written in English letters all the rest are in Chinese so we don't even recognize the name at all. We have been driving around on the major roads and avoiding the smaller roads because we couldn't figure out where they went, but we're slowly figuring it out. The Chinese staff at the school have been really helpful. It was even the simplest things that we couldn't do by ourselves.... like call to get our internet set up and finding a frame shop. Our sign language is really getting good!!! Jenn got her hair cut and it was actually hilarious. She tried showing the girl with her hands how to cut her hair. The lady kept asking her questions but Jenn didn't understand any of them so she mostly just smiled and nodded. It turned out okay so I guess it was successful! We start Mandarin classes tomorrow night and we will have class twice a week so hopefully we can learn to speak. So far we've been trying to learn on our own and it has not been very successful! So we hope we get a good teacher.
The weather here is so incredibly hot! We have fallen in love with a/c! So, the majority of our adventures and trying to figure out the city is done in the evenings when it's cooler. We went to a really cool restaurant on Friday night. In the middle of the restaurant there's a big pool of water and you pay per hour to rent a fishing rod. Then you bait your rod with liver and catch as many shrimp as you can. They cook the shrimp you catch. It was really cool.
There are also some incredible night markets here. We've been to a few and have enjoyed the oh-so delicious food! Japanese food is also popular here so Jenn's actually in food heaven! The clothes are a little small but who knows maybe in a few months they'll fit (lol)!
Anyway, we hope everyone is enjoying the heat in Alberta! Send us on update on your lives!! We miss you all!