Summertime: July. The Month of Mangoes!

Another rambling with Megan moment…

That’s right. Mangoes. Mango slush. Mango ice-cream. Mango ice. Mango cheesecake. Mango. Fresh or Frozen. Melt-in-your-mouth.

Happy Friday July 10th. I woke up bright and early…just in time for this stunning sunrise at 5:20. I had to photograph the sun’s progression upward…capturing the awestruck moment helps me realize how much bigger God is than us. How He creates this sight every morning…and though some of us aren’t morning people and miss light’s entrance to day…I thought I would share these images.

Went to the gym. Had a good workout even though I’m still sore from Monday’s lifting session. How did I think that 250 lunges, adding weights to squats, and deciding to start one-leg dead lifting would be a good idea? Owww! After, I went to one of my favorite cafes to talk to a couple friends and had mango cheesecake.

This past Tuesday I went to a Malaysian restaurant for lunch and had the most delicious Hainanese chicken and coconut rice. For dessert, I had an Indian banana pancake, a light flaky tortilla with creamy warm banana in the center, and Hainanese coffee. What an afternoon delight! I realized that the rice was just 35NT extra (about $1) so fast forward to Friday…I went to the restaurant and just had take-out rice! A treat with veggies and chicken. Why didn’t I think of this sooner! (I don’t own a rice cooker.)
Facetimed a dear friend who is backpacking around a few countries in Europe…currently in Portugal and I so wish I was there! Look how gorgeous this is…must add it to my bucket list.

But let me also tell you that I spent my Fourth of July weekend making 4 weeks of powerpoints for summer camp. The theme is “Travel the World…” Too perfect, right? I added UAE and Russia to my bucket list. The first month of summer camp we are “traveling” to Japan, UAE, Russia, and Germany. I taught them basic travel words like suitcase and passport and about the continents on the first day. We also make passports for them so at the end of each week after exploring each country they get a “stamp” in their passport. Just a simple icon of that specific country. For example, for Japan I used a koi fish. We listened to Sadako and 1000 Paper Cranes, and folded our own cranes. The kids learned to say “Hello” in Japanese, along with a few other phrases, and how to count to ten.

my perch on Saturday afternoon

Sunday morning outside

Week One down. Twenty 7 year olds. In a classroom the size of a dormroom (maybe), speaking Chinese all at once…with no Taiwanese monitor. Just me. Just imagine your 7 year old with their whining, bathroom obsessions, tattling, and coloring randomly on the desks. Times 20. And mine pretend they don’t understand me…or maybe they actually don’t… Here we go!

Zoe’s engagement party was Saturday the 10th…Took a train via the Coastline…The Engagement is quite different from American customs…the bride invites her family (and the groom’s parents) and friends to a nice dinner and they perform a ceremony. They will officially marry in January. The groom will invite his family and friends to that ceremony.

Wedding Cookies…another custom
The Bride gives each guest a box of cookies 

We popped firecrackers when the couple made their entrance

sprinkles on a seafood platter…

Toast!

Take me to the sea…

That’s soo Rita!

crazy hair

Week Two of Summer Camp=UAE. They loved the pictures and…watching Aladdin! So much laughter.

On Friday the 18th I had coffee with my past Chinese tutor and now friend…She posted this on the FB:

Casual Talk

My ex-student and now friend Megan is leaving Taiwan soon.

This independent and cheerful American girl left her hometown for university study at the age of 18 and later on started her adventure of exploring world. As an English teacher she enjoys the journey of learning different cultures and making friends.

Her next station is Shanghai China; I hope her Mr. Right is right there waiting for her, a brave and beautiful girl. I miss the time we spent together and her contagious laughter too…

Best wishes Megan!

 — with Megan Fuehrer at MERRY CAFE.

Stacy is such a dear friend and one of the sweetest Taiwanese ladies I know!

The 19th, I hung out with my friend Ringo in her hometown. We went for a hike and wandered the small town streets. She is so funny! I just love swapping travel stories and life happenings with her! That night her boyfriend was so nice and drove us to this restaurant called: 龍潭七分醉, which means 70% Tipsy. It was situated on top of the mountain overlooking Taipei. In the distance we could see the flickering lights of the Taipei 101. It was a beautiful clear night and twinkling stars above with a cool breeze. Good food, beer, and talks.

R: It’s famous in Taiwan…

M: Look at the MOUNTAINS with the sun shining!

R: It’s kinda like we are in the back alleys of Italy.

Dragonfly…

TEAL Dragonfly
small town girls fascinated by city lights…

龍潭七分醉= the name means 70% Tipsy

Can you find the Taipei 101???

my little world travelers…

On the 20th I went to Taipei with Nikki and Zoe. We had a fun time eating at a famous dumpling restaurant called: 鼎泰豐本店 Din Tai Fung Restaurant and shopping for Nikki’s list of fancy things like Pandora, Chanel, and Tiffany’s. Lovely afternoon tea time too at:
Erna Coffee-Erna Knutsen娥娜.肯努森的精品咖啡豆 They feature Specialty Coffee from all over the world. Indulged in Tiramisu and an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe cup of coffee. Nikki was so kind to treat us. Later Zoe and I went market shopping.

鼎泰豐本店 Din Tai Fung Restaurant

Erna Coffee-Erna Knutsen娥娜.肯努森的精品咖啡豆

we love tea time!

subway selfie- mastered!

Long weekend brought drowsiness on Monday (Week 3 of Summer Camp!)…25 kids showed up today…pure craziness…but I kept the kids entertained with construction paper, scissors, and glue to make Russian cityscapes! It was a great activity and they seemed to enjoy it.

5 a.m. Worth it.

Wednesday the 23rd brought a Typhoon Day! No SCHOOL!!! AC started acting up during the night so I turned it off until the repairman can fix it. Spent the day at Starbucks and the gym. Read, wrote, and zenned out. Rather stressed and anxious about going home and figuring out what to do before school.

Friday the 25th brought a thunderstorm and the perfect opportunity to teach the vocabulary “thunder,” “lightning,” and “stormy.” At the end of great class with no red points, a rainbow appeared. A true miracle indeed. Can’t believe I only have 5 weeks left with these kiddos. How much they have improved even in the past month with their speaking and behavior. So incredible to see and be a part of their learning and development.

July 26th-27th

Spent the weekend at two of my favorite cafes, Merry Cafe and Island Cafe making the last four weeks’ powerpoints for summer camp. America, Brazil, Egypt, and Australia.

On Saturday, I had a smoked chicken croissant and a margarita. It was Sida’s (the owner) birthday open house that evening, but I needed to get work done and go to spin class that night, so I came in that afternoon to chat and wish him a Happy Birthday.

On Sunday, I woke up and went to Island Cafe to see my friend Sherry. I Facetimed both Grandmas which is always a delight. I know I am truly blessed to be able to see and talk to them while I am overseas. Then the work started. I have about 7 windows open, go from latte to salad, and then I have to stretch. And heaven forbid the pictures aren’t lined up on each slide. Aiyaya! I really don’t mind doing powerpoints, but sometimes I can’t sit still!!! For lunch today I ordered a pumpkin salad on leafy greens with a light dressing, almond slivers and chopped walnuts…my latte had espresso ice cubes and was so refreshing. Sherry comes over about one o’clock (I had been here since 7:30, facetiming and powerpointing) and brings me a plate of fresh mango slices. She says to me, ‘my mother sent me a box of famous Tainan mangoes and I know you love mangoes so I thought I’d bring you some.” How thoughtful is she?? Love it! Current playlist: Lounge Beats by Paulo Arruda. Smooth.

Tuesday July 29th…

Sunrises and a run, coffee, cookies, and facetime with a friend who I haven’t seen in almost 2 years and yoga. My kind of morning…

July 21st

July 23rd

July 24th

July 24th

July 29th 

July 29th

July 29th

July 29th

July 29th 

July 29th

This song today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0a5WyAjL1MM

And then it was the end of July!!! Woah!!! Time flies. 6 more hours added to the teaching day. Not including all the prep time to make the new two hour kindergarten class fabulous. Think the topics will be “Making Cereal,” “Animals,” “Shapes,” and “Going to the Park…” Just thinking this is great practice for curriculum development and a resume builder…no books, no materials, just me! Ready Go! August will be the busiest month yet! 21 teaching days. Can’t believe it…getting sad, nervous, anxious, excited…so many emotions…I may be slightly scatterbrained and crazy this month! 🙂

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