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We left Indianapolis Friday 31 August shortly after 9 am.  From there, we flew through Chicago and Los Angeles airports before arriving in Taipei at 7:15 pm Saturday evening.  Except for seeing Sinbad and another actor who appeared in “Girlfriends” and “Prison Break”, our flights were uneventful to us.  We met the mysterious Sean O’Gara while waiting for our luggage. 

During our meeting in Indianapolis, Sean was in Malawi.  We also met Rose, a teacher from Michigan who is part of our program.  She, like Sean spent part of the previous year student teaching in China.

Early Sunday morning, three teachers came in from Arkansas, two of who brought spouses as well.  We’re staying at a research center for educators which is sponsored by the Taiwanese government.  Dorms!  Bugs!  Yep, those big long roaches like we used to give names to in my classroom at AHS! 

We’re in Sansai, a suburb of Taipei.  There is a small shopping district nearby.  This morning, we walked out for breakfast.  Many of us had traditional foods from street vendors and we walked a little further up the street to have coffee from the “85 Coffee Shop”.  We’ve seen and tasted fruits and vegetables the likes of which I’ve never seen before.

Yesterday, while the newcomers grew land legs, us Hoosiers ventured into Taipei.  We were able to get our very energetic consultant, Amanda, to take us to her English language class where we met and spoke with her students.  They taught us phrases in Chinese and spoke with us about food, money and places to visit.  As we left thd building together for a field trip, what had begun as a hot, humid, sunny day had swiftly change into gray skies and rain!  We borrowed umbrellas from the university (we foreigners didn’t have the sense to have umbrellas!) and we walked through the streets of Taipei to a local restaurant for lunch.  We shared Taiwanese dishes of fried noodles, noodle soup with beef and tomatoes and dumplings with our new friends. 

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After lunch, we were able to see the Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, the capital building, president’s residence, a few other government buildings as well as Taipei 101.  We spent some time in the Taipei 101 mall before heading to another part of the city for a Chinese dinner. 

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Amanda wanted to be sure we could get back to Taipei on our own, so we road the MRT (subway) to the busline, then transferred to the bus and rode it back to campus.  We got back shortly after curfew (yes, curfew!) but thanks to modern technology, we were able to contact our man on the inside and have him waiting near the door for us!

Today, we begin our meetings. We will be meeting two more teachers from the US and one from Canada. 

I’ll add more photos later today.

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