(9/30) Butterflies

The week following our adventure in Taitung was rather anti-climatic. I had had such a great time at Green Island and adventuring outside of Hualien that I couldn’t help but to be in a slump for the remainder of the week. To make matters worse, back home in the States it was time for Bates alumni weekend, and the Bates Sailing Team’s alumni regatta. I’d been looking forward to both of these events since I was a freshman in college. I couldn’t wait to have the opportunity to come back after graduation and wreak havoc on campus with my closest friends. However, I knew it would be impossible to leave Taiwan for just one weekend so I settled with a few skype calls. This was the first time I’ve felt homesick since leaving the US. This came as somewhat of a surprise because while I was abroad in China I often found myself missing wishing I could enjoy a home cooked meal with my family or hit the ski slopes with my friends back home. I tried to console myself with this fact while I worked my way through the week.

The main highlight of the week was a complete surprise. It was Thursday and I had just finished teaching my fourth grade English class. I was preparing  to dive into the fourth grade music class when suddenly all the teachers in the staff room began to vacate the building. Confused, I asked “What’s going on?” The answer was “Butterflies!” I was quickly whisked away on a bus with all of the students and teachers. We traveled just a few miles down the road to the Asia Cement Company. I was definitely not expecting to arrive here but climbed out of the car with all of the students. What I discovered was a whole park and garden behind a giant cement wall, across the street from the massive factory that spewed pollutants into the air. Although I biked by this place every morning and afternoon on my way to school from the train station and I had never known this place existed.

As soon as they exited the bus, my students were so excited and immediately sprinted in every direction. I was assigned to chaperone the third and fourth grade groups and tried my best to keep up with them. There were so many beautiful flowers and a few large greenhouses full of butterflies and bugs. Although I understood next to nothing of what our tour guide was saying, my students excitedly dragged me around showing me this and that shouting words in Chinese. One kid decided to take one of the giant stick bugs out of the cage and chase all of the third grade girls, which resulted in shrill screams that could probably be heard back in Hualien City. It was quite the adventure. I was very conflicted because even though I had a great time, the entire park was managed by a cement company, and we even got giant pins at the end to wear that stated “Asia Cement Company Ecological Park” which to me felt like an oxymoron. Although we didn’t have music class because of the field trip, I was very happy to have to opportunity to get to know my students outside of class.

A cool butterfly with heart-shaped wings

Admiring some flowers


The massive stick bug pre-chase


My students enjoying some freedom 

The day after our butterfly field trip was my observation day. I was the first Fulbright grantee from Hualien to have my observation and was very nervous. I had to prepare a lesson plan, submit it for my adviser and Gill to read and work with my co-teacher Demi to plan a lesson and practice. In addition to this, the whole class was going to be recorded so I could re-watch the observation over and over again. I was told the Dean and Principle of the school also might come which was terrifying. The day of the observation came and I arrived at the school sweaty (as usual) from my bike ride up the hill. Demi was dressed so nicely and I worried that I was under dressed!

My observation was during the first period so at least it went by quickly. Our lesson was to review vocab words “angry, happy, sad, excited, great, terrible, lonely, and tired” and teach the sentence structure “You look sad!” Overall the lesson went smoothly and after a while I forgot about my observers (and the principle didn’t come so that was less stressful!) The meeting went quickly, with the main critique being that Demi and I should try to use less Chinese in the classroom and figure out a way to explain directions mostly in English. It was pretty chill and I was relieve to find I had adequately prepared and dressed for the occasion. And after that, it was the weekend!

Photos from the observation

Still feeling homesick I tried to make the best of the weekend with some adventures to a cafe called Ngchus that has AMAZING cake but more importantly, two cats! I also decided to go for a trail run along Zuocang trail for some views and exercise, and found a very cute puppy at the top that I had to use all of my strength and willpower not to bring back home and feed at my apartment.

But really, what’s better than a cozy cat and some coffee?

Apparently something quite tasty in the bag!

Little puppy I nearly brought home

Overall, I did my best to stay positive and keep myself distracted to avoid feeling homesick. For now, looking upwards towards October which is rapidly approaching!

(9/23) 台东, 綠島 and 中秋节


This past Monday (9/24/18) was 中秋节, the mid-Autumn festival and a very important holiday in Taiwan which meant that we had Monday off from school and a long weekend!

There are several variations of the legend behind the mid-Autumn festival. The story I learned for 中秋节 is that at one point in Taiwanese history, there was a very hot and dry spell because there were ten suns in the sky. There was widespread starvation and death, and one brave man named Hou Yi who was a hunter decided he would help end the drought and hot spell by shooting the extra suns out of the sky with is bow and arrow. When only one sun remained, the land began to cool and the people were saved. Everyone was happy except the emperor because the suns that Hou Yi had shot down were his children. In anger, he banished Hou Yi and his wife Chang E underground where they would be forced to leave. The brave man’s wife prayed and prayed for a way to return to the land, and one day the earth goddess heard her prayers and granted her a 月餅 or a mooncake that had the power to bring her and her husband back to the earth. Unfortunately and evil man heard of the 月餅 and tried to take it from the brave man’s wife when he was out hunting for food. She refused to share it with him and was forced to eat the whole cake instead of returning it to her husband. She safety escaped the underworld and became a moon in the sky. However, she will spend the rest of her life separated from her husband. Every day on 中秋节, the Taiwanese people make, offer, and eat many 月餅 or a mooncakes  in an effort to reunite Chang E to her husband Hou Yi. (Disclaimer, I was told this story in Chinese so I may have some of the information and details incorrect…). People also have BBQs and get together with friends and family on this special day and also give gifts of 文旦 or pomelos. At my school, I was given two 文旦 and several月餅 in honor of the holiday.


several 月餅 (mooncakes) at a night market in Taitung

Because we had a long weekend, 7 other Hualien ETA’s and I all decided to travel to 台东(Taitung) for the weekend. Something we learned quickly while trying to plan this trip is that it is very important to book train tickets in advance. We were lucky to have gotten seats on the train we did even though we got them two weeks in advance. Everyone travels during the moon festival

The first day in Taitung, Jenna, Karina and I rented bikes for the day and traveled along the coast to a place called 小野柳 (Xiaoyeliu). The rocks that make up this fascinating tourist destination are made of sedimentary sandstone and shale. The different formations have been named after their appearance. For example, there are 豆腐 岩 (tofu) rocks, mushroom rocks, and honeycomb rocks. We luckily hit the formations at low tide so we could see all the different rocks.



You can just barely see Green Island off in the distance, about 30 miles away


cuesta rock formations

me romping around on some rocks

After we biked back from 小野柳 (Xiaoyeliu), we stopped at a park with a large outdoor swimming area. It was so hot we had already sweat through our clothes and we very much needed to cool down. We met up with the others shortly after at the bike rental shop and decided to check out a place called The Railway Art Village.

The Railway Art Village is the location of the original train station that had recently been renovated and relocated. In order to preserve the area people from Taitung decided to install a permanent craft fair. There were art vendors selling jewelry and postcards, and many musicians were busking in the street. I purchased a necklace and some postcards to send back home and a delicious pesto chicken sandwich!

Because we were heading to Green Island on the 7:30 am ferry, we went to bed not too late to prepare for our early departure. We left in a taxi the next morning at 6:30 am and arrived at the harbor bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The ride was 1 hour although I don’t remember any of it because I was fast asleep. When we arrived, our first stop was to rent scooters. There is an 18 km road that surrounds Green Island and it is most convenient travel by scooter. The first several places that we asked assured us that they were out of scooters for the day. Panicking, we kept asking and getting a similar answer. Finally, while we were trying one last place Emma pulled out her Taiwan scooter licence. It was like magic. Suddenly, the woman was eager to rent us scooters and happily set us up with four scooters for the day.

Once we had our scooters in hand, we grabbed breakfast and headed off for our first adventure, snorkeling! We stopped at one of the first places we saw on the side of the road. As we approached the building, I suddenly realized that I had no idea how to say snorkeling in Chinese. And neither did any of the rest of us. So we went up and using some body language, conveyed that we wanted to to swimming but with the fish. Thankfully the guy quickly understood our meaning and told us we could go snorkeling, 浮潛, fú qiǎn. He set us up with all the gear we needed and helped us get ready. We still had not payed for snorkeling so I asked him if we could pay separately. (分開付錢 fēn kāi fù qián). However, because I struggle with tones and similarities in pronunciation between different words in Chinese, the guy thought that I had requested to 放開浮潛 fàng kāi fú qiǎn, which means to go free snorkeling, or let go of the flotation and separate from the group. He quickly responded that this was far to dangerous and he could not allow it. Baffled I tried to explain that it would be more convenient to split up payment, which he then replied, it is too dangerous and more inconvenient for us. After a few minutes of complete confusion I realized we were not on the same page and with some gestures was able to convey our message. However, for future reference, 分開付錢 fēn kāi fù qián and 放開浮潛 fàng kāi fú qiǎn have very different meanings .

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After snorkeling, we began our trip around Green Island. The first stop was a beautiful lighthouse that was actually gifted to Green Island from the American Red Cross as a thank you for helping rescue US passengers aboard an ocean vessel that had run aground on the coral reefs just off the island. IMG-7879

After stopping at the lighthouse, we continued on to one of the most important stops on the island. Green Island is a historical location because during the White Terror (1940’s-1980’s) it was used to house political prisoners. There is a large human rights memorial that has the names of all of the prisoners and their sentence time while at the prison. There is also a large museum inside the old prison that is now empty with information panels and photos. If you want to learn more about the history I recommend reading a book called “Green Island” by Shawna Yang Ryan.

After a speedy lunch, the next stop was a cave that is also used as a place of worship on the island. There are many interesting caves and crevasses on the island.

We were running out of time because we needed to return our scooters at 4 pm and catch a 4:30 ferry back to the mainland but we had enough time for just 2 more stops. The first stop was what many people claim is the most beautiful vista from the island. It is called the Little Great Wall and is a walking path that extends up along the coast.

The Little Great Wall traverses along a knobby length of the island.



The last stop of the day was a beach right before we reached the harbor. Gina and I quickly pulled off on the side of the road and ran down to check it out. The “sand” was made almost entirely of coral pieces. It was incredible!

We made the ferry in time and even got a job offer from the scooter rental lady (she clearly had a big turn of heart after she realized we were competent scooter drivers). She told us if we ever wanted to come back and teach English on Green Island she would be willing to help us out. On the ferry ride back, this time I managed to stay awake the whole ride and took some great farewell pictures.

The next morning we returned to Hualien but don’t worry Taitung, I will be back! There are plenty more hiking trails and beaches to explore both in Taitung and on Green Island.


(9/16) Teacher Becca 老師 I love you

As of today, I have completed two full weeks of teaching at Fu Shi School. Every week I teach 13 classes: eight English classes and five music classes. In addition to this, every Wednesday all of the ETAs in Hualien travel to remote schools outside of the city in groups of three or four and set up English camp. This 2-4 hour program takes place in the afternoon during the weekly teachers’ meeting at every elementary school in Hualien. Students at these remote Fulbright-affiliated schools have the option to return home at the early release time or stay for our English program. We rotate between different schools every Wednesday so I see students at Feng Bin school and Zhe Xue school biweekly.

One of the biggest challenges I’ve encountered since starting to teach at Fu Shi and at my English camp schools is finding ways to connect with my students both inside and outside the classroom. This can be attributed in part to the language barrier between myself and my students, but also because I am clearly an outsider in their community and I think they feel intimidated approaching me. They are especially hesitant to speak to me in English because I am a native speaker. However, I can tell the students are very excited to have me as a teacher at their school by the way they peek through the windows of the teachers room or follow me down the hallway at a distance of at least 10 feet and wave. Within the first five minutes of being at Fu Shi school I lost count of the number of times I would hear a loud “helloooo!” from down the hall. The majority of the time when I replied with a quick hi or hello, the students that were speaking to me would immediately shriek and sprint away. Sometimes in class when I ask them a question in English they will climb underneath the desk so they don’t have to answer me. They call me “Teacher Becca 老師” (lao shi) because in Chinese sentence structure states a person’s name first and then 老師 (teacher) after. It’s quite funny to be called a double teacher but I try not to laugh and gently correct them when I get the chance.

I’ve decided that the best way to try to overcome the communication and relationship barrier is to work to befriend my students outside the classroom. Starting this past week, I have been eating lunch with a different grade every day to try to learn more about my students. The first day was somewhat of a disaster. I started eating with the 6th grade class. When I first came in, they all immediately started laughing. I looked around thinking I must have been missing some funny joke but quickly realized the source of the laughter was me. I asked them what was so funny and after about five minutes of whispers, one girl informed me that the bowl I had purchased to bring to school everyday for lunch was actually a cup and it was very strange to be eating rice and chicken out of a cup. For the rest of lunch they couldn’t stop giggling about my cup/bowl. The next day, I ate lunch with the 5th grade class. This went a little bit more smoothly because the teacher helped facilitate and played Adele for the duration of lunch so we mostly talked about music. But they also found my cup/bowl quite amusing.

I had the most fun with my 3rd grade class. The homeroom teacher left when I came in and the students immediately crowded around the teacher’s desk. They were asking me questions rapid fire in Chinese and although I understood only about one question out of every ten, they were quite patient with me. After we discussed my strange cup/bowl, we moved onto different questions like “Why are you so tall?” “Why is your hair blonde?” “What happened to your eyebrows?” “Why aren’t you eating a hamburger like other Americans?” “Do all people in America have blue eyes?” A person favorite of mine was, “How do you get back to America at the end of the school day?” Although I hardly had time to eat a bite of food and they laughed every time I mispronounced something, I could tell they were starting to open up to me. They taught me a dance to the Drake song “In My Feelings” which is very popular in Taiwan.

The next day I ate lunch again with the third graders because they begged me to come to their class. In both music class and and English class, my co-teacher Demi and I had taught them a chant where they would clap and say on the beat, “My name is               what’s your name?” I had helped them choose English names so they always asked me to help them pronounce their name. Besides “Teacher Becca, Teacher Demi, hello, good morning, and goodbye,” this was pretty much the only thing they knew how to say in English after only a few days of English class. At lunch, they wanted to sing the chant over and over again. To my surprise, one girl who had been too shy to speak a word of English before opened up and started to sing the chant! My plan to connect with my students seemed to be working. After the chant the third graders showed me the dance they had learned to “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” After eating, all the third graders went outside to brush their teeth, something all students do in Taiwan. I quickly chowwed down my food and took a few seconds to breathe in the spare time. After about five minutes they came sprinting back in. They ran up to me and dragged me out from behind the teacher’s desk. Then, all eight of my third grade students surrounded me in a giant hug and shouted, “Teacher Becca 老師, I love you!”

I was very surprised that they knew how to say these words in English. I was so touched that I started to tear up and quickly replied, “I love you too!” I found out later that while brushing their teeth, they had asked the fourth grade homeroom teacher how to say I love you in English. I would have understood these words in Chinese and my students knew this. By telling me in English, my students were showing me that they were not only excited to learn English but also that they wanted to connect with me using my native language, that is share their feelings with me in a way that proved I was more than just a strange and interesting foreigner in their classroom. As time goes on, I look forward to building more personal relationships with my students and learning to love each and every one of them for their own unique personalities.


(9/9) 鯉魚潭 Liyu Lake

September in Taiwan is much much hotter then September in Maine or Massachusetts for that matter. After a long week of 80-90 degree weather and high humidity with no AC at schol,  several of the other Hualien ETAs and I had decided that our one weekend plan was to find a place to swim. Gill suggested checking out 鯉魚潭 (Liyu lake) just outside of Hualien city, a popular tourist destination with many outdoor recreation activities including kayaking, canoeing, paddle-boating, hiking, and biking. “And swimming?” I asked Gill. “Hmmm you can swim but people usually only do in the mornings,” she said.

So on Saturday morning, determined to go swimming, I set out to find Liyu lake. It was only about 8 miles away from Hualien so I decided to bike there and meet my friends who were riding their scooters. Even though it was only 8 am, it was already sooo hot. By the time I got there I was absolutely covered in sweat. And very dehydrated. I bought some postcards and some iced tea and settled down to write next to a little old lady renting kayaks while simultaneously scoping out potential swimming spots along the lake. To my dismay, a big sign read, “NO SWIMMING.” How could this be, Gill had said people often swim here! I quickly scanned the water and realized there was not a soul swimming. I didn’t understand how such a beautifully clear lake was empty of swimmers on such a hot day. I began to hatch a plan. I would rent a kayak and then stage a capsize. The lady selling kayaks must have caught wind of my plan and quickly asked if I wanted to rent a kayak. I told her no, I would be okay. I decided causing a scene at the lake was probably not a good idea.


The view of Liyu Lake from my bench

While I sat writing my postcards, I noticed a slew of no-see-ums circling my legs. I would write a couple of words and then shoo them all away in distress. It went on like this for a while until the little old lady noticed my silent battle and came over fretting. She said something I didn’t quite understand but I gathered she was talking about little black somethings. Then she pointed at my legs and exclaimed “red!” in Chinese. I tried to assure her that I was okay but she was very concerned. Finally she went back into her tent. I wrote a bit more when she suddenly reappeared and tapped on my leg. She handed me a small bottle of ointment and told me to put it on the red spots. It was very minty and the bugs left me alone after I applied it. I thanked her profusely and she went back to her tent smiling and shaking her head muttering something about foreigners.

This was definitely not the first act if kindness I’ve witnessed in Taiwan so far and I frequently find myself in situations where I marvel at the generosity and thoughtfulness of Taiwanese people. For example, one day my friend Emma and I were walking out of school and a lady in a white van pulled over. She asked us what we are doing here and we told her we are teaching English in various Elementary schools throughout Hualien. She excitedly thanked us for coming to teach the children in Hualien, and pulled two waffles filled with red bean pastry from a little bag in the car. Now, when offered sweets from strangers in white vans in the US, it is probably a good idea to politely decline or try to ignore the stranger completely. However, in Hualien this was a completely different situation and we took the sweets and thanked her. Another time I was trying to figure out how to get to my first Chinese class and I was hopelessly lost on campus. I approached a group of guys and asked them where the language building was. They not only told me where, but walked me to the building and showed me the most convenient staircase. A different time I was getting ready to bike home from school and it was pouring rain. My co-teacher Demi begged me to be careful and then a few moments later decided it was far too dangerous for me to ride to the train station in the rain. She insisted that she would drive me home and pick me up the next morning at the train station. These are just a few examples of the many times I have been taken care of by complete strangers.

Back at Liyu lake, I decided to go for a short hike and then grab some lunch. Biked to the other side of the lake and began hiking the “exercise trail” according to the sign. It was intimidating to be alone in the woods with so many signs that warned of snakes and attack monkeys but I reminded myself I was just psyching myself out and I often hike or run alone in the US. The short hike turned out to be much longer than I expected and far steeper as well. The trail appeared to be infrequently hiked and I only saw one other person the whole time. The route was entirely made of rotten wooden stairs so it was a two hour stair stepping exercise. But the view was nice!


Views from the top of the “exercise trail”



Summit signpost


Summit selfie of course

When I made it back down I finally met up with a few of my friends. We grabbed a bite to eat and decided to go for a kayaking adventure. We returned to my favorite little old lady who rented us several kayaks for a fairly cheap price. We kayaked for about an hour and explored the whole lake. This time I was more careful with the sun and brought excess sunscreen and a hat too so don’t worry mom no sunburn here!


Picking up our kayaks from the raft


Lake views


Sarah (my roomate) and Gina out on the lake

The bike ride back was much smoother and before too long I was back home. Overall it was a wonderful adventure, minus the fact that we didn’t get to swim and the mysterious rash that appeared all over my whole body the next day that I have been unable to identify…

(9/2) First Day Fiasco

The last week of August marked the end of orientation and the long awaited announcement of school placements, and the start of teaching! Throughout the second half of August we had toured all ten elementary schools in Hualien that would be receiving a Fulbright ETA. Each school was characterized by distinct features including student body size, sports teams, proximity to downtown Hualien, and resources just to name a few. At each school we were given a 10 minute presentation by the Local English Teacher (LET) and the opportunity to ask a variety of questions. At the end of our tours we were asked to rank the schools based on our preferences and submit a form that helped our coordinator Gill and the government representative to determine the best placement.

After touring the schools I was certain that my top choice was Fu Shi. Although this school was the farthest away from the city and required a train ride and a 6 km commute from the train station, I felt as if I was a perfect fit for this school. Fu Shi is located 20 km outside of Hualien city and about 2 km away from Toroko (太魯閣) Gorge a place that got its name from the Indigenous peoples that live in this area. The school is tiny in comparison to all the the other elementary schools; it only has 70 students in the entire student body. The most defining feature of this school in my opinion is that the student body is comprised of 100% aboriginal students from the (太魯閣族) Toroko Indigenous group. Unlike some of the other elementary schools near Hualien city where Fulbright ETAs are placed, this school is under-resourced. In addition to teaching English, the LET, Demi, also teaches music and art classes and every year the student body gets smaller as more children commute to schools closer to Hualien city. We were told that the ETA placed at this school would be teaching music in addition to English.

My interest in Indigenous rights drew me to this school and the opportunity to teach music was an added bonus. I also was excited about the commute because it meant I would have a 3 mile bike ride every day and I would be right beside one of the most beautiful sites in Hualien: Toroko Gorge! The day of announcements finally came and we all sat anxiously, sweating through our nice clothes. I was placed at Fu Shi! My enthusiasm was not nearly as evident as the principle’s who jumped up with a gushing smile and shook my hand so many times I thought my arm would fall off.

All of the ETA’s standing beside their new LETs and Principles after the school announcement ceremony (My principle is on the far left beside me)

We started our first day of school on Wednesday 8/29. It technically wasn’t the first day of school because the students still had not arrived but Fulbright wanted us to have a chance to meet our co-workers and find our way to our various locations. I definitely had first day butterflies on Tuesday night. I hadn’t been on a train or even at the train station in Taiwan yet and to top it off, I also needed to transport my bike. My train left at 7:29 am so I set my alarm for 6:20 just to be sure I had some wiggle room in case I got lost or was unable to communicate in my subpar Chinese language skills.

I awoke the next morning to my roommate (Bless her soul) gently shaking my shoulder and saying, “umm… Becca I think it’s time for you to get up?” I jolted out of bed in shock and realized it was already 7:04!!! My alarm hadn’t gone off and I had exactly 25 minutes before my train was leaving. Panicking, I tumbled through the apartment trying to gather my belongings and shove them into my backpack. At about 7:13 I sprinted down the stairs and roared onto the street on my bicycle. Suddenly remembering I had no idea how to get to the train station, I screeched to a stop on the side of the road and pulled up directions. Thank goodness the train station is so close. The ticket seller was definitely taken aback by the frazzled foreigner desperately trying to communicate…

“我要一个票。。。到” (crap wait I forgot where I was going) … “oh yea Xian Sheng!” By the look on the ticket seller’s face I could tell I was naming a non-existent place, so I tried again “Sheng Xian?” still no recognition and then … “Xin Xiang?” hmmm still a no go. Finally… “Xin Cheng?” Thankfully a flicker of recognition came across her face. She nodded her head and I had 1 ticket to Xin Cheng (新城). I was about to leave when suddenly she started shouting something so I turned around and discovered I needed to buy a separate ticket for my bike. By this time I was cutting it very close so once I got the ticket I sprinted across the train station to find my platform. I had to carry my bike down the escalator and then back up another one. I quickly discovered that my ticket didn’t say a platform so I started to panic, realizing it was already 7:24. I tried to ask the man cleaning the station where my train was and he stared at me as if I had 5 heads. He beckoned to another guy who came over who listened to me and then just took my ticket, read it, and directed me to the correct train. I started to get on but the conductor ran after me saying “no no no!” I once again panicked, maybe I forgot to buy the ticket for my bike helmet too? But he took my bike and kindly directed me to another train car. He told me to lock my bike to a pole and as soon as I finished the train took off. It was probably the most stressful morning of my entire life and I vowed to set at least 4 alarms for the next morning. Unfortunately, my journey was not even over.

I arrived in Xin Cheng (新城) at 7:49 and had 11 minutes to carry my bike down a flight of stairs, up another flight of stairs, through the train station, and then bike 3 km to school. The anxiety of the morning had caused me to sweat through my shirt and shorts entirely and I hadn’t even gotten on my bike yet. And to make matters worse I had forgotten to put on deodorant and hadn’t had time to take a shower in my frantic morning rush. Miraculously, I made it to school only 2 minutes after 8 and before my co-teacher. When she came in she looked at me and smiled saying, “Wow you actually made it! You are sweaty.” Then she said, “We have a teachers meeting from 9-3 today so you can go back home!” REALLY?! I suppose at least I had the chance to figure out how to get to school and got my books for my English classes. I have my own desk which is also very nice! But the fact that I didn’t actually need to endure the anxiety filled morning… at least the mountains were pretty.


The inner courtyard of Fu Shi School


The classrooms at Fu Shi and the front entrance


A closer view of the mountains in the background at Fu Shi

At 9:00 I trudged back to the train station and waited until the 11:09 train which was my next option to get home. I felt entirely drained so as soon as I got back to Hualien city, I climbed into my bed for a nap. But before I fell asleep, I made sure to set 4 alarms; 6:30, 6:35, 6:40 and 6:45 just in case I didn’t wake up before the morning!