Paula, Outbound to Taiwan

Hello, this journal is a month late.. sorry. but a lot has happened. I went to Chien hu Shan fancy world with my classmates and the exchange students from my school for 2 days. It was pretty fun because it was like Universal Studios but the rides in Taiwan are very wild and long so I almost vomited the first day. We also when to the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and the National Taichung Theater. Unfortunately we were not given an abundance of time so I could not appreciate the buildings in a more attentive way. Something that was a first in Taiwan was me feeling an earthquake on the 17th floor. In Ecuador there are earthquakes of different levels and in America there are hurricanes but I never felt an earthquake so devastating. Thankfully for me the earthquake was far enough that I only felt a strong waving sensation but sadly for Hualien it was a different story. For them it was almost a direct hit and many lives here lost. If you are planning to come to Taiwan be aware that things like this could happen and know the safety procedures for your own good.

After that my family decided to make a trip to Beitou with me, Lucie and Willie (We rotate families so it is very common for us to spend time together). This place is very common for its hot springs and one of Its famous spots is called Hell Valley. We visited there and it's a lake with boiling water that could cook a person if one entered the water, so its not really recommended to do so. After that we went to enjoy some hot springs, and realized that it was a no swimsuit area. I don't mind being naked with other people but my friend Lucie was a little uncomfortable. I see it as part of adapting into the new culture so I didn't complain. The water was hotter that what I expected so I had to leave and cool down almost five times because I would have fainted on the water and turned into some boiled chicken.

I don't really enjoy hiking but if someone invites me to go I won't say no. My first host mom invited me and Lucie to go hiking in Pingxi and I actually had a good time. Most of the hikes I have done had involved an enormous amount of endless stairs, however; this one was so steep that you had to pull yourself up with a rope to get to the top. the view was beautiful and I don't regret a single stair it took to get there.

Rotary took all of the District 3480 to the "Beehive Festival of fireworks" in Yanshuei. Basically it's a festival where you carry statues of goods in this carts while being shot with fireworks. I was kind of surprised they would let us join this activity mainly because they are very protective about a lot of things. I had a blast pushing this cart with my friends until a Taiwanese guy told me that I was highly flammable because my protection gear (literally a sweater, scarf, gloves and thick pants) were all made of cotton. Funny enough in my cart I was the one in charge of extinguishing fires that could be on my friends clothing. I decided to stand a little in the back to lower my possibilities of getting engulfed in flames. Weirdly one of the fireworks strikes my back and pierces trough my "protecting gear". It hurt really bad but the good thing was that I wasn't on fire. After this I go to the bathroom to check on my back and I see a bruise the size of my fist. It was black and purple and a little burned on the sides. If I would do this again I would probably wear a thicker jacket. The funny part of all of this was that it was so hot outside and all of us had a bunch of thick clothes so everyone was sweating under their helmet.

I went to Juifen to see the place where an animator got inspired to do a movie called "Spirited Away." It was beautiful and very full of tourist. I spent most of my money there and now I am eating air. On the same day I went to Cat Village and I love cats so I felt like I was at home. Unfortunately the cats are feral and it's kind of sad that they don't have houses but the people that visit give food and love to them.

That has been all that has happened and I am happy that the exchange is coming to an end and sad at the same time. kind of scared for the big Chinese test but thankful of being here.

Click HERE to read more about Paula and all her blogs