Well, we are officially settled in here. I wasn't able to post the video of the apartment here, but was able to post it on facebook, so just add me as a friend (Melanie) and you can check it out. We now also have furniture, a big maroon sofa, a beige rug, a glass coffee table, a desk and a sweet divider.
We also have a scooter! It has been really helpful in discovering more of our area. Nic and I are also both starting to get into the routine of teaching. The kids are very funny and are all so different. They love to call you "teacher" and correct you if they see you have made an error on the board. They are very intelligent! We teach a big range - from about 6 -15 year olds. The older ones are really interested in why we left our homes to come teach in Taiwan. They are also very interested in our home countries, however, no one here understands the concept of Bermuda. It's quite funny - it's like it's on another planet. They are entertaining and fun though, most of the time :)
This past weekend we found a church here - like a 5 minute scooter ride up the rode from our apartment. It has a good mix of Taiwanese and then a bunch of South Africans, which I found to be really random. They were very welcoming though and they have home groups so we may get involved in the "foreigners" home group. We are joining them on a hike through a mountain trail this weekend on Saturday. We're so excited to be getting connected to a body of believers. Keep praying that we'll build those relationships, that we can minister and be ministered too! Nic has had some neat opportunities to share his faith with other foreigners here. Most can tell how different we are just because our lifestyle is so different from theirs.
I was reading in James the other day about how effective the prayers of the righteous are - and we have truly seen that to be true. God has been blessing us so much and we know that your prayers to our God are powerful!
Below I'll post some interesting Taiwan things we've observed... so you can have more of an idea of the culture we are living in. Also - I hope to post pictures soon.
*I have now seen a family of four on a scooter... and a woman with a baby in a babystroller.
*Here when you order fish, they tend to serve you the whole fish, pan fried. It's your job to get to the meat.
*Fish mouths are a speciality. I mean, the whole mouth and throat. It's strange.
*They love coffee and tea here. Not just hot Chinese tea but all sorts of tea and coffee - cold and hot. It's great!
*If there's a space someone here will fill it - i.e. the scooters crowd together - there's not really a sense of lines in store, etc.
*The people are so kind and really try to interact with you - they will speak Chinese continually even though you don't understand! They also really want to serve you.
*There's a huge cultural/ generation gap between the older people and the younger people - it's extremely evident here. You see old Taiwanese men on bikes with lots of bags - women with the straw pointy hats, but then the younger generation is extremely into fashion and materialism.