Thursday, 10 December 2009

A Brief Summary of the Last 3 Weeks

Greetings from sunny Taipei where the weather is finally more or less what I would have expected for this time of year!

First and most importantly, Emily and Jenny have arrived safely in Taiwan. We won’t see them until next Friday, but Rose texted me first thing this morning to let me know.

Second thing: we’re still short of the November English Study Edition and would very much like one. Can someone PLEASE send us one?? For those who may hesitate in case we get more than one, it doesn’t matter if we get two or more copies as we both normally have one and there are folk here who would probably like one in the unlikely event of us being inundated with them.

I had yet another nasty bug over the school hols so, basically, lost the entire time to recovering slowly at home. We did get out once for a brief trip to the Taipei Story House. It was a well timed visit as it’s closing for a year whilst the 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition grounds are being built and developed in the area, so they gave visitors free entrance. This is an English style villa in, what would then have been the north of the city. The only remaining part of the internal fixtures is a washbasin unit with pretty art deco style tiling around it. There was this nice display of bonsais outside though.

We’re now back at school in classes that start at 10:20 instead of 08:10, so that makes for a much more relaxed start to the day. We’re still in the same class and still have Minoko with us and another Japanese chap we had last time who often brings cakes and goodies in. We were trying to explain to him today that we didn’t want even a little bit of Christmas cake or pudding when the time comes, but I’m still not sure he quite got it, bless him! The speed of study has increased enormously, as the new teacher covers the same amount of material in less than half the time! The amount of new vocab that we’ll have to shove into our brains over the next couple of months is a little startling, and I fear much of it will turn out to be short-term memory only, i.e. learn for the next dictation test, then forget again! Still, it’s nice to have something to focus on again. I joined Martin in the basic Taiwanese class this term as well. It’s very hard and not thoroughly taught as the teacher is over-scared of boring people, so I daresay I won’t absorb much. I think I need to talk to her…..

We got our grades for last term recently and here’s the relevant bit of mine.

Martin’s looks very similar. I also managed to pass the official proficiency exam that I had to take as part of the regulations for my scholarship. It’s only level 2 which is the highest you can get on the basic level, but that’s equal to level 5 on the mainland’s testing system and about AS Level as far as Brits are concerned. Here’s my pretty certificate. We both hope to add level 4 to our CVs before we leave the country, whenever that may be!

We had our circuit visit 3 weeks ago and I must made a real impact on the CO as I saw him in the street on the way home from school today and he had absolutely no idea who I was or which cong I was from!!! We’re the only Westerners in Wenshan as well!! Oh well…… If they’d been to us for dinner, I might have been miffed, although that doesn’t really happen here. The lunch/dinner appointment is at a restaurant, not usually at a person’s home. Given how cheap meals out are here, it doesn’t break the bank for the bro or sis concerned.

We did have one lunch guest recently though, look: Yes, Yufang was up in Taipei giving a presentation and she came to us for a few hours on Sunday afternoon. We were able to answer some questions that had been bothering her a bit and also encourage her to get going again spiritually as far as we could and we hope to catch up with her when we go to Taichung next month for the English circuit assembly.

This week’s trip out on Monday afternoon was a quick visit to the Dahu Park in the north east of the city. Here are a couple of photos.

Some of the bros in our cong have been to the International Convention in Hawaii recently and one pair of sisters, (mother and daughter) brought us back a cute souvenir.

There was a rather large spider waiting for us when we got home from the min yesterday evening, but that didn’t live long enough to be photographed….

Next time we should have photos from our Bethel trip with Rose, Jenny and Emily!


  1. Congratulations on your results!

  2. great results, and congratulations for the certificate. enjoy the good weather, here we have snow!...

  3. in the news have said that there was an earthquake in Taiwan, I hope you were not damaged.