Friday, August 28, 2009

Welcome to Taiwan.

Who says you can't move half way around the world and start a new job within 36 hours? Well, that's exactly what we did. We arrived at 7am Thursday and taught our first class by 2pm Friday. It's been intense and overwhelming to say the least.

Upon arrival to Taipei, we were greeted by a taxi driver who brought us to David's English School. He, unfortunately, did not speak English, so it was a pretty quiet ride to the school; about a hour. We met Jesse, one of the Kids classes directors, who showed us our room and gave us a small tour of the surrounding community - shops and restaurants. She offered to take us to get some food, but we declined because we were so exhausted.

Back in our room, we struggled to nap. Our bed is nothing more than a stiff box spring and we have no sheets! Also, we needed to be up and ready by 11 to begin our orientation. We decided to venture out get some water (not able to drink tap water here) and something to eat. Who knew this would be such a difficult task!! Water was easy, just grab one! However, food was a whole different story. Menu's do NOT have pictures, so we were left to either guess or point to something another customer had ordered. Being so exhausted, we aimlessly walked past a number of shops before finally choosing one out of desperation. Fortunately, one of the cooks was able to speak a few words in English...we ordered bagel sandwiches with cheese, egg, and ham. Not bad for a first meal in Taiwan!! Because they were so helpful, we wanted to say thank you. Dan found a phrase in our phrase book and we practiced a few times before attempting to say this to the cooks. Of course they laughed because we didn't say it correctly and they had no idea what we were saying...luckily we had the book to show them what we meant. All in all not a bad first experience!

The afternoon was filled with training and tea. We had our first Bubble Tea, as well as Milk Tea...both very popular drinks in Taiwan. The training consisted of classroom lecture type orientation as well as observation of current teachers. When we finished at 9pm, we went straight back to the room and crashed! What a long day!

Day 2 was also very busy. Both Daniel and I were literally "thrown" into the classroom to teach our first classes - 2 hours each as substitutes for teachers who were ill. While it was definitely not the best experience, it will hopefully help prepare us for our own classes which begin on Monday. It was another long day, leaving us tired and overwhelmed.

As we enter into our first weekend, we are hoping to spend some time exploring our new city and catching up on rest. Although, we will need to spend some time preparing for our classes, as they begin on Monday!

Thanks for all your emails and messages, it's great to hear from all and know that we have such great support. More to come later!!

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