End of Month Report: September ‘09

DATE OF REPORT: 9/29/2009 FOR MONTH OF: September HOST COUNTRY: Taiwan
NAME: Eric Andrew Fleck

MY HOST FAMILY INFORMATION IS:

Pu Huang
No. 12-7, Lane 159, KuoKuang Rd., Sec 1
Tali Taichung Hsien, Taiwan 412

Tel: +886-2-2406-0066 (Res.)

MY HOST CLUB COUNSELOR INFORMATION IS:

“Andy” Kuo-Hsun LIU
No. 58, Gongye 20th Rd.,
Taipin City, Taichung County 411 Taiwan

Tel: +886-4-22780462
FAX: +886-4-22715975
Email: lkh5081@ms26.hinet.net

About the Exchange:

Ni hao everyone!

Hard to believe a month has gone by already. So the day after my last monthly report, I went to meet the Mayor of the town I’m living in which is called Tali. I gave him one of my pins and he gave me some plastic chopsticks and a duffel bag as souvenirs. Also at the beginning of this month, I started high school here! I really like it. The campus is huge and very pretty from all the surrounding green hills/mountains. The kids and teachers alike are all very friendly and sometimes to the point of feeling like you’re someone really famous hahaha. I gave a speech in front of the whole school (4 thousand students) in Chinese. So did the other two girls that are exchanging here and go to my school (Ana and Paulina). My class is really great and so is my homeroom teacher; I think they like get along better than any other teacher/class – she got 3 dozen roses yesterday for Teacher Appreciation day. The boy that sits next to me, Jason, is turning out to be a really good friend. He doesn’t treat me like a movie star like most people do, so I feel more comfortable talking to him and listening to him (since I’m not the only one talking during the conversations hahaha). His English is good and he helps me learn Chinese. I have three cooking classes (you can eat what you cook at the end of each class!), a bartending/cocktail preparation class (lol the teacher wanted me to try a drink I made, and I had to explain to her that I could not :P), two P.E. classes, a drawing/painting class, Calligraphy (chinese character brush painting) class, 5 language/culture learning classes, and lots of “Self-Study” classes to finish homework/journal/rest in. Ana, Paulina and I spend a lot of time together (we have all of the same classes, except they have kind of skipped P.E. LOL) and it’s really nice having each other to relate to.

In the mornings during the week, I have to wake up at 5:45 AM (although I usually sleep until my second alarm at 6) in order to get ready to walk a few blocks with my friend/neighbor/schoolmate at 6:30. We get breakfast and then walk to the bus stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC and McDonalds are the only fast food chains here that are also big in the USA I think). At 7 we get on our bus (which is definitely not an American school bus – it’s more like a fancy around-America tour bus) and by 7:20-30 we’re at Min Tai High School walking to our classes. During my first homeroom class, two days a week, I read a list of English vocabulary words along with their Chinese translation (the teacher tells me how to say them). Calligraphy is a lot of fun, but I feel hopeless and very bad at art hahaha.. it really requires a LOT of patience.. which I sometimes lack. In P.E. I usually run faster than everyone for the two laps around the track haha, and then we play Lan Cho (basketball) and I usually am not the best there. 😛

Two weeks ago, a class from Min Tai had a graduation trip which Ana, Paulina, and I got to go along on. They went to Kaohsiung (2nd largest city), Tainan, and Kenting (the beach, Southern Taiwan). That was really fun. There are 2 albums on it (Graduation Trip Uno and Dos), so you can see what we did there. We went to an amusement park, stayed at some really nice hotels, went to two different night markets (where I tried sugar cane juice, and some really good dumplings, but still nothing too .. exotic lol), and then the beach in Kenting where it rained on us after a few hours in the Pacific. That was really cool, because I’ve never been in the ocean while it rained before hehe. During our time in Kaohsiung we also stopped at a department store and browsed the shops. It was a really big mall, with a ferris wheel and movie theater at the very top.

This past weekend I came down with a cold. It started with a sore throat, and then that passed on Monday, but in it’s place, my nose (nose is Besu in Chinese, by the way :P) started running and I sneezed a lot. Then this morning I woke up without much of a runny nose, but stuffy still and also a bad cough. I still have a little bit of a runny nose now and some coughing, but I think I’m almost over it. Thanks for the Vitamin C, Mom!! It really saved me. I went through half a bottle in 3 days LOL…

The first week of school, my arms were covered in mosquito bites (well Boss – the nickname of one of our coolest teachers – actually told us they aren’t really mosquitoes.. but some type of really tiny fly), but now I only have a few. So I guess the blood bath initiation has almost ended, thankfully.

This month, I also attended a concert with my host sister and Paulina (Rotary paid for it). It starred an extremely talented blind pianist (I think he was in his 20’s) and a 2 finger hand Korean lady who played the piano quite well. There was also a man in his 40’s (I don’t think he had any handicap) who played the violin extremely well. Speaking of which, I’m supposed to play mine in a few days in front of an elementary school. It beats singing .. haha Ana and Paulina sing very well though, so I’m sure everyone will like their songs.

Sometimes, on the bus ride home, I imagine what the conversations between classmates are about. Then I wish I could speak/understand Chinese as easily and natural as them. =[ I am learning Chinese, but it sure is a long steady process and it requires lots of practice. Lots and lots. I’m really thankful for all of the Chinese classes and the funny teachers I have who make the grueling work a lot of fun.

I’ve journalled like 200 pages of my journal.. I’m going to need a few of these before the year’s over hahaha.

I have uploaded a lot of pictures (so many more than last time lol). To the point where it’ll take you forever to look at them all 🙂 hahahaha:

First Rotary Meeting last month: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36715&id=1407385820&l=46ef27c539
KTV from last month: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36718&id=1407385820&l=19a1a3aa54
Bowling/pool: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36713&id=1407385820&l=f0e824cd9d
Taiwan Life: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36721&id=1407385820&l=093d1f6632
KTV: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36724&id=1407385820&l=8322882b3e
park/restaurant with host sister and mom: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36725&id=1407385820&l=63a8195900
concert: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36726&id=1407385820&l=50a297c98f
Rotary Exchange student Inbounds meeting: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36710&id=1407385820&l=fc8da89c9a
Recent Rotary Meeting: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36712&id=1407385820&l=2d8b677f76
School life: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36336&id=1407385820&l=a4f43601da
Graduation Trip 1: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36253&id=1407385820&l=17d058ee54
Graduation Trip 2: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36709&id=1407385820&l=60cda17952
Min Tai H.S. Tug of War: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36337&id=1407385820&l=ed579ea3a5

Yes, that’s an insane amount of pictures right there. xD

Zai jian y’all,

Eric Fleck, Rotary Exchange Student
D5490 Prescott, AZ
H: (928) 443-0943
2009-10 Outbound > Taichung, Taiwan
Skype: eaFleck

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~ by flerick on September 29, 2009.

2 Responses to “End of Month Report: September ‘09”

  1. Sounds like your exchange is going amazing! I so wish I were there!
    The movie star thing is soo true! I felt like I could handle the stress of papparazzi without any problem after Taiwan. I always had people touching my skin and hair to see if it felt the same as theirs. Oh Taiwan..
    And I do believe Kaohsiung is the 2nd largest city, unless Taizhong like boomed in the past few months. And the mall you mentioned is called Meng Shi Dai or Dream Mall in English (the pinyin might be spelled wrong).
    Aw, I miss Taiwan 😦

    Keep enjoying your exchange, it’ll be gone before you know it!

    p.s. nice link list haha.. glad to be a part of this taiwan exchanger community lol

    • Yeah it is the 2nd largest.. I just was thinking of Taichung when I wrote that hahaha. Didn’t proof read, thanks! 🙂 Fixing it now.
      Yeah Dream Mall, I was pretty sure, so thanks for confirming.
      Hopefully it’ll grow into a large network for future exchangers to Taiwan. 😀

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