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Published: December 8th 2013
Work seems to progress rapidly!
The weeks fly by, up early, exercise, breakfast, school, homework, and with Maurice helping, the routine is becoming easier. Now that we are into November, a few more teachers are calling in sick, or are attending various workshops, and so the school has called Maurice to sub a few times. The first was to cover Linda's class for the afternoon while she attended an at school in-service. This is a whole new experience for Maurice, and he quickly realized how you must have structured activities for these Grade 4's, or they quickly become rambunctious. Things went well, despite a last minute scheduling change which created an extra half hour of class time that Maurice had to fill. We were pleased to have him sub, as now we know he has a work visa and health coverage here in Taiwan.
The construction is in the initial stages at school, and the students feel constrained as they have lost over half of their play area in the school yard. The construction crew try to keep the noise at a minimum during school hours, and create as little dust as possible. The progress they are making is amazing, and we are told that
Ahead of Schedule!
So they say, we are told that we will be moving into the new building in 14 months.
they are ahead of schedule. The plan is to move into the new school at the end of January, 2015, a little over a year from now.
Since our Taroko gorge weekend, we have stayed in and around Kaohsiung. One Saturday morning, Pon, Linda's EA, met us at the apartment and off we went to Bada Forest Park situated in Chaozhou, about an hour or so southeast of the city. Bada Forest Paradise is a most versatile six-nature discovery park featuring insects, birds, animals, flowers, grasses and trees and is set in an educational environment ideal for school field trips. Linda was told by one of her parents that it would be an excellent destination a grade 4 school excursion.
We managed to keep up to Pon as she wove her way through the traffic on her scooter. Pon had called ahead on Friday so upon arriving, we were greeted at the park office around 11. We were given a guide and led through the park, trying out some of the many interactive and educational games. What a fantastic venue, filled with trees, plants, a small zoo, an insect and reptile park, a butterfly aviary, a games park,
Over 50 K's of Overhead Highway
Road trip to Bada Forest Paradise. Scooters must travel under the superhighway along with the local traffic, only cars are allowed above.
many picnic areas and much more. We tried out a bunch of them and then attended the Magic Show, followed by an Acrobatic Show before it was time to leave, around 3 in the afternoon. Situated on 27 hectares, they are specifically set up to handle multiple school groups at the same time. There was even a group from North of Taipei in attendance while we were there.
Lena, a KAS Taiwanese school computer technician, met us when we were done at Bada and insisted on taking us to a world famous cheesecake restaurant located in the area. Wow! Fabulous cheesecakes of all varieties were offered, and we shared 4 different flavors in a lovely quiet garden setting before heading back to the city. What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday! We have such a blast driving our scooters, and Linda finds it particularly exhilarating and relaxing to be out motoring in the country.
A week later, we thought we would head out once again, this time straight south an hour or so to the Dapeng Scenic Area. Dapeng Bay is the largest inner bay in Taiwan and the only single entry lagoon in the country. Because
Bada Forest Paradise
Set on 27 hectares, Bada is a park devoted to educational and recreational activities for children and adults alike.
of this, the Dapeng Military Camp was founded here in 1937 by the Japanese, who intended to use it as a hydroplane training center and a base for their further southern invasion of Southeast Asia. Following the departure of the Japanese at the end of the Second World War, the Taiwanese maintained a military base here until the area was transformed into a conservation and tourist area in 2003. The area is still experiencing construction and growth and is destined to become one of Taiwan's main aquatic tourist attractions. Now designated as a Conservation Park, the area has displays and protected areas and provides a sanctuary for about 95 different species of birds, including migratory birds as well as mollusks,groupers and many other varieties of fish. It was about 4 in the afternoon before we were done touring the sites. Again. this is an area that Linda could take her students on a field trip.
On Friday November 22nd, we were invited by Pon and her/our friend Grace, another Taiwanese TA, to join them for the weekend at Kenting Beach. We were delighted and told them to reserve us a room at the Afie Surfing Hotel that they were
Many Many Activities
Linda has never seen a facility such as this, it is an ideal place to bring students on a field trip.
staying at as well. Grace and her Canadian husband, Darron, actually from Regina, decided to camp, and so we made plans to join them for a BBQ on Saturday night. As soon as school was out Friday, Junior and Jenni took a cab with us to the Kenting Express Bus Station. We were 2 hours on the Kenting Express Bus and arrived shortly after 6PM, settled in, called Pon and met for a drink. Afterwards,Linda was too tired and decided to rest, but the rest of us headed to the Kenting Night Market for food and shopping and sights. Night Markets are varied and always fun, and this one was no different.
Saturday morning, Pon and Grace were ready to go at 9AM for their 3 hour surfing lesson. This was Grace's second time, and Pon's first attempt at mastering the waves. The rest of us rented an umbrella and chairs, and sat in the shade shouting encouragement to the girls, though we were sure they couldn't hear us. We enjoyed a few cold Budweiser's from the 7/11 nearby and made sure to save a few for when the girls were done their surfing. They each managed to catch
Huge replicas of a variety of insects are carved out of wood, and a plaque describes each one's characteristics.
3 or 4 waves each, and we were very proud of them.
We, along with Junior and Jenni, decided to rent scooters for a day ($400NT or under $15 CAD) so that we could tour the area and enjoy more of the sights at the southern tip of Taiwan. We headed to the Marina for a seafood dinner, then back into South Bay for a quick stop, but seems like a nap was more important for all of us. We had made arrangements for Darron, Grace's husband, to meet us in Kenting and after our afternoon sleep, he led us to the campsite where they were camping. We fired up the BBQ and shared snacks, vegetables, chicken, pork and steak in a feast that lasted several hours. Wow, we felt spoiled to be able to enjoy such a gourmet BBQ feast at this time of the year in such nice warm evening weather.
Sunday, after breakfast, we headed south on the scooters, and toured the southern most tip of Taiwan where we stopped to take pictures and shop in the local bazaar. They had unique stuff and Linda was able to do a bit more Christmas shopping. We
Under the mahogany trees, they had a games area with many different types of games including hop-toss, golf putting, huge wooden top spinning, balance stick walking and many many more, sure to excite the school children.
circled round the tip on the scooters, and climbed up the road on the East side to admire the view. The Pacific was very pretty, the waves rolling in on a beach below us, and we managed to get a few pictures despite the many Chinese tourists who have a habit of taking at least 50 pictures of each other. We returned to South Bay around 11:30, turned the scooters back in, packed up, checked out and caught the 1PM Express back to Kaohsiung.
We had to hurry back, go to the market, buy our fruits and vegetables, and cook up some broccoli to take to Chris and Anni's Thanksgiving Dinner Bash. We managed to get there by 5PM and joined over 30 other teachers and spouses to celebrate and give thanks. Chris and Anni had decided to host American Thanksgiving a week early as many teachers are leaving on the actual holiday next week. We have Thursday and Friday off at school, so many of us are leaving Taiwan to visit other countries.
And so, our next blog will be about our trip to Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia! We are excited, and will leave Wednesday, overnight in
Park Full of Attractions
This is just one of many little fun spots found throughout the park.
Hong Kong along with 6 other teachers, and arrive early on Thursday at the resort.
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