Tuesday, August 26

So far, so good!

(Please excuse all typos - I feel like I can hardly keep my eyes open!!)

So we have made it through two FULL days of training with Hess. Both days have been very long, especially as we are still trying to recover from jet-lag! We have been at the Hess Headquarters by 8:45 am and let out after 5…. The training has been very comprehensive. Yesterday we learned about the various stages of culture shock and we’ve also covered a ton of teaching stuff. We are SO thankful to have each other so that when we are going through the culture shock we can help each other. We are also blessed to have each other in that we meet twice as many people – and it’s cool because Nic is so gifted in befriending people – we try to encourage and bless those who are out here on their own.

Interesting things we’ve noted about Taiwan:

*Smells – our senses have been assulted by all of the street vendors - the flavors are also completely different.
*It’s suprisingly easy to get around and understand things (most signs are translated into English)
*The locals are very friendly to foreigners and if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone they will too.
*A moped – you can fit a whole family of four on one.
* Mopeds, buses, taxis, all love to run through the pedistrian crossings, while we are crossing.
* Green tea is everywhere and in everything (including birthday cake, so we hear)
*Toilet paper doesn’t go in the toilet – it goes in a basket in the stall.

I am sure we are forgetting a lot – but that’s what we have noticed and what I can currently think of. We’re still exhausted from long days in training (and jet-lag, we both woke up at 4am both yesterday and today!), but are trying to get out and try local food.

We are enjoying this period of training; the sights and sounds of the big city, but we are also looking forward to discovering our new city, starting our jobs, setting up our apartment, building relationships, joining a church and getting into a routine!

Answers to Prayer:
*A Christian in our training team! An encouragement to us and we try to encourage him.
*We are surviving training and jetlag!
*We are learning the names of some food we enjoy and people have been very helpful!

*That God would provide an apartment that is close to work for Nic and I. We will be searching this Sunday (Saturday in Bermuda/US)
*That next Sunday we would be able to attend a church service – that God would lead us to a body of believers where we can be blessed and be a blessing! (This Sunday we are leaving Taipei, travelling to Taichung and have a meeting with the school to find our housing)
*That we will continue to reflect Christ in training – that our coworkers will see the difference in our lives.
*Continual adjustment to jet-lag!
*Successful end to training.

We love you all!

Saturday, August 23

Taipei, Taiwan

So we arrived in Taipei! So far, so good! We've had some breakfast, and some blended carmel coffee and met two other Hess employees in the lounge of the hotel. The people here seem really friendly and English is a lot more common, spoken and on signs and such that I expected. So that's all for now - we arrived... and we're battling jet-lag. Hoping to overcome it before training which begins at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

Thanks for praying!

Anchorage, Alaska

Well, we made it to Anchorage, Alaska! We're sitting here in the "transfer terminal" waiting to reboard on our flight to Taipei. We're both tired- a little confused regarding the time - but know it will be worse once we arrive in Taiwan. In 12 hours our world is going to be upside down....

And a note if you ever come to visit.... turns out that the flight from JFK to Taipei is an older plane - i.e.... no personal tvs - only one big one at the front of the plane - which is hard to see. LA to Taipei has the flight with the personal tvs.... definitely make the trip via LA.

We'll let you know how we adjust.

Monday, August 18

We're Married and We're Moving....

God has truly taken us both on a wonderful adventure.  We were married on July 5th, 2008 in Bermuda.  We then had a wonderful honeymoon.  We travelled to the Azores, Lisbon, Venice, Paris and then to Ireland.  We came back to Ohio on July 26th and celebrated our wedding with a reception in Springfield, Ohio on August 2nd.

Since that time, we have been enjoying family and friends and getting ready for our next big adventure.  On Friday, August 22nd, we will leave from Columbus, Ohio and fly to JFK.  From JFK we will fly to Anchorage, Alaska in order to refuel, an then we will head to our destination of Taipei, Taiwan.  

Of course we both have mixed emotions about this new venture.  We are sad to be leaving family, friends, our countries, cultures and everything that is comfortable.  However, we are truly excited to begin the journey that we believe God has planned for us.  We will have one week of training with Hess Educational Organization so that we can be "prepared" English teachers to Mandarin and Taiwanese speakers.   After that week of training, we will begin our jobs as English teachers in Taichung, Taiwan.  

On this island of mountains, industry, rice, night markets and noodles, we hope to share Christ and His love with those we come into contact with.  We hope that through relationships in teaching, and community activity that we will have the opportunity to share the gospel.  

We don't know what to expect upon our arrival, but we are thankful to our Lord who is always with us, no matter where we go.  And we are thankful to have each other as partners on the journey.