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Since we got here, there was one thing Kristen wanted to do. She wanted to go to Kenting National Park. a huge national park that encompasses the southern tip of this island. It’s all tropical beach and everyone says it’s the place to see. In fact, we chose to live in this county expecting be be down there in Kenting. With Kris leaving in two weeks, we realize there is a lot that she just isn’t going to get to see. We made it to Tainan, missed an opportunity to get to Taichung, have plans to get to Taroko Gorge and will celebrate the holiday back in Taipei. She was OK about not getting to Kenting…but I guess Mr. Hseih (pron: Shay) wasn’t. Now, understand Mr. Hseih is a busy man. Both he and his wonderful wife work full time and they have small children. He works at the school as a teacher and has administrative duties. On top of that, he’s been charged with taking care of me and Kristen: he’s busy!!! Yet and still, he had heard Kristen mention Kenting enough to know she really wanted to get there. So, he and his family took us last weekend. We drove along the coast about two hours Saturday morning on a beautiful sunny day. We stopped at the beach the Hseih’s usually visit, but it was pretty empty. This particular beach is marked by a monstrosity that sits in the ocean and is called “Nixon’s Head”. Yeah, it’s just that ugly. We spent some time walking on one beach that is covered with sand formed from coral, then went to another clean, bright vibrant beach where groups of kids and families were busy having fun in the sand; people were playing on jet skis and parasails and there were banana boats.

Somehow, being the wonderful mother that I am, I let this crazy daughter of mine talk me into going out on the OCEAN on this inflatable device called a banana boat. Um, I can’t swim. I had NO BUSINESS doing that!!! Yet and still, it was so much fun!! No photos to document this event, but believe me it really did happen!

Then, we drive up into to mountains to visit Sending National Park. We traveling upon this great little brick path through minor gorges, down AND UP AND UP AND UP mountains, twisting and turning through the landscape as the sun was about to set. We saw and heard bamboo glens, a purple spider and wonderful vistas. I was too busy huffing and puffing to see the wild pigs. It was pretty incredible, nonetheless!

We spent the evening eating shrimp fried rice, bubble tea and fried chicken. We did a little shopping in the night market, saw foods we’ll never see elsewhere (like a patty make from rice and duck blood) and came on home!

Just delightful! Kristen got to do her thing!

In August, 2007 I will be leaving Indianapolis with my daughter, Kristen, to live and work in the Republic of China (Taiwan). This will be my fiftieth year on this planet and my first year living in another country. This blog will let you join us on the adventure!
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Taipei

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