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July 10, 2012 / windlessly

Taiwan Travels: Day 8

It’s 7:30 am and we’re already dead tired. Why? Because we got up at 4:30 to climb Keelung Mountain at 4:30 in the morning, of course. But man, it was soo worth it!! 900 meters up, 1,538 steps total. Yeah, I counted. It was quite the feat, actually, hiking up there in close to 25 minutes, especially after what happened yesterday. Our kill count total for cockroaches in and around our room is now up to 9. We cleaned out all our stuff and moved to the Dean’s office at like 1am, where we spent the remainder of the night until 4:00. It was a bit awkward, but I eventually fell asleep on two chairs, I was that tired.

Didn’t get to finish my blog post for yesterday, unfortunately, but I have no regrets. We had a good time skyping Alice and Amanda and Justin and Alex (though CERTAIN people were being meanies and ignoringg me =/) and, of course, killing cockroaches. It was intense man, I was sweating by the end of it and all hyped up from the adrenaline.

Awwwwwww

So we all only got a few hours of sleep, and then it was off to the base of Keelung mountain. Our kind teacher and her boyfriend (we presume, no other guy would agree to help out at like 4:30 in the morning) drove us there and we began our hike. The view was beautiful. Every step along the way was gorgeous, but we always knew that it would look even better from the top. The hike was pretty steep, and the stones were rough and uneven. Still, it was easier to climb than just hill. We were all out of shape, I could tell. My heart started pounding about halfway up, and I really started panting about three quarters of the way through. Your quads burn the whole way up too! The path was windy and always false- you’d expect to be almost done and then see another turn in sight.

The hike up:

 

Anyways, Ryan, Kevin and I wanted to hurry up the hike so we could catch the rising sun. We were a bit behind, but we managed to catch more than two thirds of the sun rising from the clouds in a fiery red blaze. Soo cool.

It wasn’t a bad hike, but it felt pretty long. But oh man, it was worth it when we got to the top. Everywhere we looked was a good view, and we basically could overlook everything around us to the sea. We had a bunch of fun taking some group photos (almost too much fun), but they came out pretty awesome. First Taiwanese sunset! Same sun everywhere in the world, but you still get the distinct feeling that it’s special everywhere you watch it. =]

 

We all hiked the mountain to take pictures of the sunrise, so I took one of the moon cuz I’m a rebel.

Having fun… anything you do is twice as cool when you have a sunrise in the background…

 

Even the ladybugs here are ginormous…

Our group of awesome people!!

 

 

The hike back down:

 

A fork in the trail up the mountain- apparently we did NOT take the road less traveled by.

**********************************************************************

A shower feels soo nice. It’s almost like a luxury, and with the breeze I feel clean for the first time in a while. Well we did sneak into the girl’s room in order to use the shower, but now I can kick back a little and plan out the day. With the humidity here, taking a shower doesn’t do much because you just start sweating again, but at the moment in our room we have two ceiling fans cranking and I can just pretend there are no bugs around.

I’ve gotta admit though, I’m pretttty nervous right now for tomorrow. Not only for the opening ceremony that we have not rehearsed anything for, but just the dealing with kids part in general. It helps a lot that we have a small class, but still- I didn’t put much heart into it when we made the lesson plans…. maybe cuz I was sleep deprived to the max then, but regardless, I wish I had a better plan now. It’s been crazy fun up to this point, but I gotta man up and actually do some work. Teaching plans and lesson journals… awesome. At least I can skype with all the other volunteers and still hang out with our tight little Jiufen group here. After that hike and shower, I feel so rejuvenated. Breakfast right now would be nice, and then we have to start filming and rehearsing. I’ll spare you the details so it can be a surprise later. xD

**********

Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator. We basically did nothing yesterday and since we hiked up Keelung mountain this morning, we slept in until lunch today. Which meant that we had to finish all our lesson planning and opening performance planning/practicing this afternoon and night. It was a hectic day to say the least. We got together all the songs that we were singing and rehearsed them- Call Me Maybe (obligatory), I Want It That Way, Pokemon Theme Song, Somebody to Love, Ting Mama de Hua. Then we did some light choreographing, and then we spent a great deal of time on our video. Things were hard to sync on iMovie, and because our audio and visual was so hard to match, we just ditched it for a slideshow. But our parody song was genius. We turned the Pokemon theme song into Gotta Teach ‘Em All, which I thought was pretty clever. We filmed and stuff for all of the afternoon and worked full force up until the end, including a couple of run-throughs on the stage. Flora and Lester, the two teacher aids graduate students who are staying with us, are actually really nice and super fun to hang out with. They even gave us advice for our opening performance and helped us rehearse.

Our midnight dress rehearsal for which I was only half awake…

 

It’s been a great day, I have to say. The hike up the mountain was so worth it. We got a TON of good/creative pictures on that mountain peak. But really, it was a ton of fun, even if I did get tired and grumpy throughout the day because we had so much to finish. I was also super nervous about our opening ceremony tomorrow and welcoming all the kids. But now it’s time to sleep and just see what happens! =]

  

 

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