these here are the tales of...

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HOME - an amazingly beautiful wake up wall to what our planet is facing

HOME - an amazingly beautiful wake up wall to what our planet is facing

Friday, May 1, 2009

The One-Year Milestone

Lately time's been moving with the speed of a thief who's been surprised ransacking your family's jewels and is diving for the nearest windows before you can say: "That's my aunt Hettie's pearls, you son of a ...!"

Amazingly, a year has passed since we left Canada for adventures beyond the horizon! We managed to touch down on three continents before settling on this small island nation. It was all a bit spontaneous but now we've found ourselves building a life here as the intended half-year stopover is turning into... well, we're not sure really. Indefinite time-frames and various possibilities are about all that seems guaranteed.

But I must say I'm enjoying the ride. In fact, this is one of my happiest times and scenarios (and there have been many!) Taipei is bustling and spilling over with fun in many-varied incarnations - there is modern theatre, music and film festivals, traditional street markets, temples and meditation, shopping, tea culture, plants plants plants everywhere, abundant yummy flavors, afternoon drum circles, and a vast amount of exploring to do beyond the capital's borders, filled with promises of mountains and hot springs.

I'm happy to be learning - Chinese Mandarin, Buddhist practices and on-the-job training for how to teach children, where everyday it's uncertain who's teaching who. ; ) I certainly have frequent moments when it feels über-frustrating to be a struggling combination of entertainer/baby-sitter/group leader/instructor in front of a mixed-temperament gaggle of pre-teens, but it's true that anything truly fulfilling is challenging in equal proportion and when something really works, it comes with the heady joy of a small miracle. I humbly and gratefully bow low before the thousands of kind strangers who've posted lesson plans, classroom games and grammar worksheets online, as well as all the teachers I've had in the past who must've felt the same mix of elation and disappointment in their knowledge-imparting efforts. In short, I may have found at least part of my calling on this earth and it's a sublime feeling after over a decade of feeling so very directionless. I'm especially loving bringing art into the classroom and during the summer break I'm booked for art and cooking with the little ones!

In the future our sights are still set on roaming around Asia and we've got a long list of countries we'd like to see... India, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Japan... But right now we are biding our time, fixing up our bodies at a Chinese medicine clinic, observing the mysteries of the mind through Buddhist teachings and hope to see a lot more of Taiwan in the coming months.

I want to thank everyone we've encountered on our year's journey who's welcomed us into our homes, suggested places to see and shared a great conversation. Thank you so much to our families and friends whose continuing curiousity about our comings and goings makes us feel tingly-warm and loved!

I hope to regale you with more adventures abroad and maybe you can even be part of them - please do come and visit!

Here we are on a trip with our Chinese language school - April 25, 2009

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