Wednesday, September 22, 2010

formosa

to all those who read my last entry i want to apologize. My host family is absolutely amazing. Chesten takes me out on his scooter, my host mom tries to teach me English, my host sister in law is always asking if I'm okay, an my host dad always asks if i'm Bord. they are wonderful people who work hard and as a result produces bags for the grand hotel in Taipei one of nicest hotels in the world. Schools not to bad either, at first i was very frustrating but once you just go with the flow its okay. i have 4 really good exchange friends who understand what I'm going through and are so funny. my rotary clubs nice and have taken me on a tour of northern Taipei. i have it really good here and in wouldn't change it for the world. why I am calling this entry Formosa is that when the Portuguese sailors first came to Taiwan they said Formosa and it means " beautiful island " in English

Taiwan really is Formosa

Saturday, August 28, 2010

a week in taiwan

hey everyone. at last a week has almost past in my new life as an exchange student. man, what to say. i have done so many activities, eaten so many new and almost always delicious food, and talked to so many new people. its amazing. that all i can say. its weird to think that insted of doing grade 12 and prom, I'm scootering around the city on my host brother and visiting night markets. I've done so many things that its hard to keep track of them all. today i made a Chinese drum at an elementary school DIY thing, ate shark meat, mastered chopsticks, visited Taipei 101, and ended it with walking around J mart. Shark tastes really good. I'll update you more on what I'm doing but I'm tired and I'm just going to chill right now. see ya

Thursday, August 26, 2010

day 4 in taiwan

WOW. three simple letters can describe Taiwan. they say new york is the city that never sleeps. there wrong. Taipei never sleeps i mean there are 24 hrs store everywhere and there all with in waking distance. its absolutely amazing and there so much food. everywhere from high class restaurants to places where you sit on buckets and eat. its absolutely amazing. man, to all who are thinking of doing exchange DO IT. don't think about. maybe Taiwan and i are in the honeymoon part of our relationship but I'm lovin it. Now where we last left off i was at my host family company. and know i still am. basically my host family owns there own company and they make the bags you sell pencils and gifts in but its pretty cool. everyone works in it and because andy has two kids the other people and there mom look after them. its really nice. so after work my brothers had dinner with the family. before that chesten showed me the roof of the house and it was beyond words but i'll try. the sky was a blue purple colour and the moon was full and there was a wind and it was pointed to the banana trees and the mountains. i wish i had taken a picture because it was so beautiful. it was a moment that you dint forget. Back to dinner, the food was great, alot of seafood! chesten couldn't stay so i hung out with the family and it was pretty cool. my sisters into video games and graphic novels and my host brother is into the french horn. pretty cool. after watching toy story 2 with the baby, Andy drove us home and i unpacked everything. my shampoo bottle opened so there was red stuff all over my bag but overall not to bad put everything away and Chestern helped reroute my Ip address so i could us e Internet. also my host family gave me a cell phone. SWEET! the next day me and my friend Nicole hung out all day. first Andy dropped me off at her house. then she told me that her mom works at this hair salon and they offered to cut it for free. because there is no photo of me heres what my hair looked liked before. chestnut brown, long with wave in it, and 3 inches of split ends when they were done with me, 3 inches cut of, straitened, and thinner ( my hairs very thick). it actually looks okay now. after that was done she and i meet up with her friends in Taipei and went to this haunted house. its apparently really popular and they were so scared. now it was pretty scary, dark, body parts everywhere, and zombies chasing you but i didn't scream once. it was actually pretty scary actually, its was dark, had body parts everywhere, people baning on doors, and zombies chasing you but i didn't scream once. anyways it was still really fun. so afterwards her friends jenny and, so and so parted. then Nichole and i went to this chocolate exhibit and it had everything made of chocolate. there was the great wall, purses, Chinese artifacts, ect. after that was done, we then went to doushung. its at the end of the mrt (train) and its amazing. its a boardwalk right infront of the ocean and theres freak shows, food, places to buy clothes, everything. it was awesome. now i have to owe it to Nichole. shes awesome because half way through our day i was broke. i had nothing and she paid for me. i totally owe fer a care package for the plane. back to my day, after the boardwalk, we took the bus back to Taipei main station and then took a bus and walked all the way to this movie theater where her sister friends friends got us free movie tickets. here where things get crazy, so we go in and apparently this really famous is coming to see the premiere and i have no idea who he is. so then we get to the waiting area and there all these cameras and stuff so she gives me hers and ask es if i can take a picture. of course i say yes so the this lady comes and says, " come on in so every ones running so i start and now I'm in the movie theater and every ones setting up there cameras, i decided that this is where this guy is coming so i take my position. 20 min. latter everyone starts coming in and taking there sits and 10 min after that the guy comes, i try and take a couple of photos of him to give to her. the photos are really crappy and blurry so that suck but i sneaked into where the press take there photos of celebrities and toke a couple. wont be doing that anytime soon. ;) so i find Nichole and turns out where in the wrong seats so we go to the front of the theater and watch the film. its a Chinese film but it had English subtitles and it was hilarious. afterwards we catch the bus and wake back to her place. on the way he talked to her English school kindergarten teacher and she gave us sesame street pencil cases. finally we got back to her place, chesten picked me up on his scooter and got home. i LOVE tAIWAN

talk to ya soon :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

My first days in taiwan.

Okay. the past that everyone has been waiting for. the posts before it were basically be telling myself to calm done and do it so i wouldn't completely freak out. Alright i should probably start at the beginning. after waking up at about 8 ish by my mom i knew the day has come. i got all my things ready and me and my parents took one final picture together taking by my moms friend auntie sherry. then it off to the airport. the day was pretty bleak actually. it was still smokey from the forest fires coming from BC and it could have been better. anyways i get to the airport and my moms gets me french toast. very tasty :) and then we talked about my trip. what to do, what not to do. then we meet Larry my outbound consular and his very nice wife ( i cant remember her name) so after that's done its time i go to the security gate. its was actually kind of weird because i didn't cry at all. basically i hugged my mom, dad, Larry and his wife and i was off. i really happy my mom didn't cry as well because i don't think i could have left if she did. anyways i walk through security and then to my gate and then i meet Devi. his carry on was twice as big and he was carrying his sax as well (yikes). so after we get tons of food and magazines we wait and talk about everything. I'm really lucky me and Devin traveled together because with him the flight was great. basically we talked for the beginning and watched movies in the middle and then talked again in the end. basically what i did was read seventeen, intouch, watched a documentary about crazy cat ladies, red more of my magazine, watched hotube time machine, then tyred to watch the Joneses, then watched Bridget Joneses diary and then up in the air. after all that we finally land in Tokyo airport but then this is when things go south. when we were in the plane Devin and i were talking about how aswome japan airport would be cause we would eat Japanese food and go shopping and then we would have tones of fun. this was not the case. when we got there it was hot and we had to wait in line for a good couple of minuets. then we went through security and meet this family who traveled a lot and had kids that went to international schools. pretty cool, so after that's done we then try and find all of gates i found mine right away but it was delayed by 50 min. then i tried looking for Devin's and we both tried like 4 times but it didn't work so he had to walk around for like 40 min. trying to find it. we finally went on this shuttle bus that took us to the second terminal and we had to say good bye. now it was my turn and i had to ask about 3 people until i was finally able to find the terminal. then i wanted to phone my host family to tell them i would be late. i wasn't able to figure out the pay phone so i was finally able to use this Lady's phone and i was able to call him but then my host Dad couldn't understand what i was saying so he gave me another number but i wasn't able to call it, now was thinking that because my plane was 50 min late that they might leave the air port wondering where i am so i was kind of freaking out and crying. so when i got on the plane going to Taipei i was in a really bad mood. i was also pretty tired so i tried to sleep but that hard on one hand. so the flight i was very unhappy one . then the plane landed and i had to go through security and then immigrations. now there like these little cards that i had to fill out and i keeped messing them up so i was really upset and when i finally got through i had to find my bags and luckily i did because they were about to be taking away. so after all that i meet my club and they were so nice. it was great because finally i knew people. i lost my flight ticket but i was luckely the police were able to find it again and after meeting all the people in the club and taking pictures we were driving home. now everyone told me Taiwan would be hot but i honestly had no idea. when i got outside i honestly though some one had turned up the heater or something. i couldn't believe that it could be this hot. but luckily me Andy, chest en, Tammy, and i be live her sister drove all the way back home. Taiwan looks amazing. there tones of trees everywhere and the signs are really pretty. not to mention that there are a Lot of scooters. there tones everywhere. so after we drooped Tammy and her friend off we all went back to my new home. its was hot again as we got out side and then hotter in the elevator and then we finally got into the apartment. it actually very nice its really tall and open with tiles. i was shown my room which was also very nice. they bought me something to eat but by this point i was so tired that i had to go to bed. i said good night and i crashed. now the beds in Taiwan are actually quite hard but at the same time very comfy (?). now i have a really big host family so it includes grandma, mom, dad, two older host brothers, two younger host siblings, and the older host brothers kids, (2 each) so this is a really big family family. I'm living with the two older host brothers ( Andy and chest en), Andy's wife, and Andy's 2 kids. so Any's waked me up and when he drops me of at this girls house and asks to call him if i need a pickup. so i go up to her apartment and i meet a German exchange student and we all start hanging out. afterwards her moms drives ups over to this amazing water park. we bye tickets and then we meet her friend Julie and two other former exchange students. the belguiam that went to finland and the american that went to italy. now i forgot to bring an swim sute so i had to browwow julies top and buy swim shorts. it was still very fun and i had a great time. we did everythig and we really had a great view of taiwan. after a very long and happy day we deciced to to the shilian night market. it took a bus, and train to get there but it was amazing its 20 blocks of food and shopping and there were people everwhere and it was cool. after awhile i relized that i had to go back so this girls i meet penny and amber helped me get to the stations and this is when i was the only white person in taiwan. Like it soinds werid but because i'm so use to seeing everyone in calgary, its weird being the only white person. anyways afterwards i got off and walked out i saw my host bro chesten and his scooter. OMG its was so much fun. it was my first time and it was aswome. scottering is like the best way to see taiwan. he had to stop at one grocery store and two 7 11 to find milk but we did and finally we were home. basically he showed me around the house, told me the rules and i asked him the first night questions. afterwards i asked him about taiwan and he asked me about calgary and it was really cool. so after all that it was finally time to go to bed. I typing all this at there company computer. its been a crazy two days and i'm loving it. i would not have picked a better host family. i also have planes with my family for dinner on friday and with nicole my 2nd host family sister, sees going off to mosurri, USA, to go of to yulin. :)

i love taiwan i dont know when i'll write next but soon

see ya latter ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

the day before i leave

finally, after 9 months of waiting i am finally going to Taiwan. through all the interviews, rotary meeting, visa applications, doctors appointments, buss rides across the city, and more it finally here. its so weird when something you've been dreaming about for so long and has spent countless hours working to get it is so close that its only 12 hrs away. i cant really sleep right know so instead I'm going to write. packing for me was surprisingly easy. basically i have 2 of everything and 2 medium sized gym bad style suet cases. they really nice because they have lots of compartments. It so weird that by Monday I'll be in Taiwan. I mean think about, if i wasn't going to Taiwan Monday would most likely include sitting at home, watering plants, and eating fruit loops. Instead I'll be doing something so amazing wonderful that my brain cant even contemplate doing it. today was pretty uneventful, basically i got at 4:45 with my dad to drive my brother Sean to the airport so he could go fly off to Montreal. hes doing this skate boarding competition that includes all the best skaters form all over Canada. Sean representing Alberta :)
after that i went on facebook and told them my good byes. it sucks because i have to give em up for a year and i reallied how much I'm truly going to miss them. then i went back to bed and woke up at 11:40 because one of my good Friends, brooks came to visit, basically he wanted to know if i would donate money for a missions trip to Uganda, pretty cool right. didn't have anything on me so i had to say no but we talked more and i practiced my Chinese on him because just as we were talking i book arrived for me from my dad that had 2000 phrases in Chinese that i needed to know. After brooks left, i went and watched a vampire documentary, ( last TV show i watched) and then i asked my moms friends sherry if she could drive me to London drugs so that i could photo copy somethings as well as get pictures. afterwards it was on to Starbucks and then we went back home. Mom can back and we ordered pizza ( last time I'll be having pizza in Calgary) and then we rented DATE NIGHT and GUNLESS ( very funny movies) and then we said good night. that's how my last day in Calgary went. Not very exciting but was a good day for wrapping up loose ends. I don't know what tomorrow will bring but the whole exchange is like jumping of a Cliff. you spent all this effort into going up higher and higher and there plenty of times that you've gotten scared and could have turned back but you don't. then you finally reach the top and it the final moment. You can run back down and wonder what would have been or you can just say, "what have i got to loose?" jump off the cleft and find out. I'm choosing to Jump.


in a couple of days the real fun begins ;)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

6 days before i go

I really don't know what to say. 6 days before i leave my home and go to Taiwan. I've been talking to my 2nd host family and there really nice. its so weird. 2 weeks ago i was really nervous but know I'm so calm. kind of like the the calm before the storm. don't get me wrong, I'm truly happy that I'm going but its not like jumping of the couch happy. its weird. maybe it hasn't hit me yet or something. anyways i have to get all my cloths in order and do the final details on what i pack.

talk to ya soon

Friday, August 6, 2010

2 weeks before i go

okay all my lovely followers time to talk. So I'm 2 weeks away from leaving for Taiwan and i am SO EXCITED. I guess i was really freaked out because i kind of forgot why i wanted to go. I've realized that this crazy thing I'm doing is a once in a life time experience. I mean think about it, when we grow up and have carers and families, we wont be able to go for a year to live in a different country. it would be almost impossible. Although its going to be tough leaving everything behind, I know that looking back on this, I will not regret it. anyways, get:ting all that out of the way I am hoping that I'll be getting my visa/ passport/tickets soon. I just finished talking to vishesh and I've just realized that all the exchange students have gone home. its so weired thinking that they've all gone home. I really wished i had hung out with them more but there's always 2014 Brazil. :) i wonder hows Devin doing?

anyways i have nothing to talk about know so see you latter

have fun ;)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

3 weeks before i go

Okay, I'm freaked out because I'm 3 weeks away from leaving for Taiwan because it has hit me. I am leaving in three weeks, flying all across the pacific ocean and going to live in a strange country. its crazy but I've just realized that I'm going to leave my family for a year. its scary. luckily though i read Andrea Barr blog and i realized that she was feeling the same thing. it was cool and its has put things in perspective for me. i have wanted to do this since grade 10 and I'm not going to back down. sure I'm going to miss my parents probably for a month when i get there but this is the chance of a life time and if i don't do it then it will become one of those things that i would look back and wonder " what if ?". its so cool because now i feel a lot better about it then when i started writing this. blogs are actually really cool :)

PS. think about it, if we always ran away when were scared then nothing would get done.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

one month before i leave for taiwan

its hard to believe that now i only have a month before i go. its weird because I'm excited and cant wait to go but now its dawned on me that in a month i wont have my parents or friends where I'm going. I'll be diving head first in to a culture that's completely different from my own. like for a while I've been thinking of my exchange as something in the future but now that future is a month away. its scary. But i bet every exchange student has felt this way before so its nothing uncommon. luckily for me that Devin, a boy from red deer is going to the same place and because we have to arrive there at the same time that hopefully that we'll catch the same plane together. it'll be nice talking to each other for 18 hrs. Man, sometimes i wonder what the hell I'm doing. I'm crazy for doing this but at lest there's 35 other kids from around the world that are as loopy as I am. no word on any visa/plane ticket stuff but hopefully it will be coming in soon. its nice hearing about all the other outbounds and how there doing. like some people are only a week away and are having difficulties packing there suite cases. it really is insane that were all doing this but every exchange student I've talked to even the one with not so pleasant exchanges have never regretted doing is so here i go.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hi again. WOW i read the blog i just wrote and my spelling sucks. to all those who are reading this, my spelling Sucks thy to ignore it . anyways just wanted to clear that up and I'm done for tonight because i really have nothing else to tell you about.

ttfn

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My first entry july 18, 2010

well Hi. I've never ever done a blog before so this is really cool. Man, where to begin. okay my name is Robyn heather, the coolest person you'll ever meet ( kidding) and this blog is about my exchange year in Taiwan. Now, I'm not in Taiwan yet but I'll be leaving in about a month,(Aug 21-22). Anyways, the reason I'm telling you all about this is that i want to tell the people that are most closest to me as well as anyone else who is interested about mt experience over there. I guess i should start with the basics. My name is once again Robyn Heather and I'm 16 soon to be 17 and live in Calgary Alberta. Now that all the boring stuff is taken care of, lets start at why I doing this. What would drive me to travel to the other side of the world, live with complete strangers and go to a school that little to know one speaks my language. To answer this lets go back to the beginning of high school, grade 10. I go to Diefenbaker High school, Population 1572 students. Its small, very crowded, and you Petty much blend in to everyone else. Now the school itself isn't a bad school, average drug problems, little to know violence, no bullying ( there so many people that we really don't care what other people are doing). In fact we have an IB program and that why so Any people wan to come here. I had friends that i would hang out with and i did try and get involved with the drama production in grade 11 as well as leadership in grade 10 but they didn't work out. By the middle of grade 10 i was frustrated about school and my life in general. this was because i was so painfully average, i was just one mid less zombie among thousands in high school all over Calgary. We all get up at the same time, we would all take the same buses to get to school, we would all take about the same thing, we would all do the same courses more or less, we would all have something similar to eat for lunch, we would all get of school at the same time, get home about the same time, do home work at the same time, and we all go to bed and start the same pattern over, and over again. As i was walking home one day it thought, " was this it? was i just going to graduate high school with average marks and do the same thing in University or could i do something different?, " This got me thinking and then it came to me. Exchange Student. It was the perfect solution, i would go to another country, learn a new language and meet cool people. Now I didn't know where to go so i decided to go google it but i didn't really find anything. so I went to the student office and the lady told me about Rotary. Now if anyone doesn't know about the Rotary club its a service club that supports local and global causes. its been around for a while and there clubs all over Canada. Anyways, i just missed the meeting that they had to get all the forms so i decided i would do it next year. the months came and went and i started to get cold feet but after a year i still wanted to go and in October of Grade 11 i went to the meeting and realized that i totally wanted to go. i got my forms done last minutes and my interview and when they phoned me and tolled me that i was there first candidate, it was the happiest I've been for a really long time. so after that i meet the other inbounds, ( the kids that came to Canada) as well as the other outbounds (kids that are leaving Canada). its really cool meeting others that are and were as crazy as i am. unfortunately because I've been busy with school as well as Chinese classes that I've not been going to the Monday rotary meeting so that sucks. so that's why i decided to do this. this has bin really long entry so I'm done writing for now. TTFN