Thanks for praying for my Grandma. She did have a heart-attack. This is her third heart-attack, but she is the most amazing lady I know, so she is a trooper and from what I hear is resting and is well-taken care of. Praise God! It's hard being away from family when things like this happen because I want so badly to stay in the loop!
This year I have set quite a few goals for myself. They are mainly physical goals that I have set in order to use my free time effectively. Since I don't have to work until 4pm most days of the week (the exception is Wednesday when we leave around 1pm) I have quite a bit of time on my hands and I want to use it wisely. We have decided not to have a TV this year, however, I will admit that we were addicted to LOST online and do plan on watching it once the new season comes out in January, however, that will be 40 minutes once a week. So, in the scheme of things, we will not have much "television" time this year and I want to make good use of that time.
Here are my goals.
I want to enjoy running. Right now I have a 10 week plan set that moves me from run/walking to running 2 miles straight. For some people, this goal might be laughable, but I really do want to be able to go for runs and enjoy them. I want to be healthy when I am old. I want to be like the elderly here that do stretches in the park for hours and walk and shake their hips as they stretch - and oh, did I mention, they also hike mountains and play tennis. Talk about a wake up call.
I want to speak Basic Mandarin. At least. I figure, you can't move to a place like Taiwan, live in the culture, and not learn to speak it. I enjoy languages. I think that getting basic Mandarin under my belt would better me as an individual and it will certainly keep my brain active. It will also help me to navigate this land and I will feel better in attempting to communicate; at least I will be making an effort to speak their language rather than expecting and hoping that they can speak mine!
I want to learn more about photography. This will be more of a free-time reading and practicing hobby. I have been to some pretty amazing places in the past few months, I know that I will be to more in the months to come, and I want to be able to have great pictures to look back on!
So those are my "free-time" goals for this year. Of course, there are the deeper, more important goals of growing in my faith and relationship with Christ, learning to be a better friend and helper to my husband and of blessing and ministering in a local church. Those were always set. These are new goals that I have recently decided upon.
Here are more fun tid-bits about life in Taiwan.
*Random people like to ask you personal questions. The ladies at the tea shop by my job (where I buy my Passion Fruit Green Tea, almost daily,) have a new question for me each time they see me. How old are you? How long have you been here? Where are you from? I have never felt like such a fascinating person before. They make me smile. Oh, and then there's the random people at red lights who try to ask you questions in Chinese until they realize you don't speak it. Sad.
*A "yummy" snack was offered to me yesterday at work. Shrimp flavored "cookies" - it was more like pork rinds... but didn't taste bad. I'm trying to broaden my horizons in the gastronomical area, slowly but surely.
*Strangers will tell you that you're "beautiful." It's encouraging.
*People on scooters wear their jackets backwards. I don't know why - we hear it's to stop the wind, but I'm not 100% sure that's the answer.
*If you're trying to buy fruit or something at a little market, the seller really tries hard to get you to buy other stuff too. Right now the fact that we don't speak Chinese helps to ward off this problem.
*Sometimes people want to take pictures with you - just because you're a foreigner. Sometimes it's fun - sometimes it's just awkward.
*In the 7-11s, that are on every street corner, they have eggs boiling in tea. They are a snack here. They smell awful and make me dread walking into the 7-11, although, I think I'm becoming accustomed to the smell now as it doesn't bother me like it used to. 7-11 also offers bill-paying services, faxing, photo-copying and printing services. You can also pay your speeding tickets there (so we hear... don't panic. :)
And that's all I can think of for now. My brain is shutting down so I'm going to go get some sweet sleep.