Allie and I are back to the normal schedual of teaching. There are some new things going on for this new year. Allie and I started chinese classes which are twice a week, and I know that it will help us out since we know almost nothing. Plus we picked up another class, which it is teaching at one of the local public junior high schools. The school looks like a small college because it is so big, and the kids are really smart. So our week is getting alittle busier but we still have plenty of time to go to the gym and enjoy life overseas.
We went to our weekly retreat with our fellow hashers. The run was up in the mountains of Fungua (about 35 minutes northeast of Taichung). It started in a orchard of orange trees, this is where Allie took a hard fall on some sharp broken bricks and rocks. She is OK now but she has a nice bruise on her knee and a cool blood drip down her leg. Then went straight down all the way to the valley. We ran along a river at times crossing it and running on the submurged rock bed. At about three fourths of the way done we had to go back up. That consisted of walking (no running) straight up the mountain for a good 30 to 40 minutes. We went through another orchard while the famers where wearing oxygen masks because they were spraying pesticides.... makes you wonder. After a good run not to hard but just hard enough we circled up for a round of dobbing. This was our fifth run and Allie has already been named. The naming process includes Allie bending over like she is about to me knighted and flour, dirt, and beer is poured and dumped over her. (A little degraded but entertaining) We had some towls and some other hashers gave her some dry and clean clothes to wear for the rest of the day.
Allie's mom is coming in a week, so we have been trying to buy the normal amenities so that her stay will be comfortable, so Sunday we bought a coffee press. It is really nice to wake up and have hot coffee right then. It makes those tired mornings a little easier.
Lately Allie and I have been trying small local stands on the side of the street, with a small sitting area the resturants that are around our house. We have been amazed at the quality of food and how cheap it is. More importantly we have been shocked about the hospitality of the people that work and own these stores. Just tonight we tried a little place right down the road. No one could speak English which is something that we have just grown accustomed to but we ordered their noodle dish (every stand has a basic dish that is a little different than the stand a few blocks down). The people were very nice saying all of their English and Allie and I were saying all of our Chinese just to see if the other person would be impressed. Right before we left a man that was working in the resturant came up with some tea from a local tea shop a few stores down. He would not let us leave until we took the tea that he bought for us. I know the tea was more than what we paid for the food. It was just a normal red tea, which red tea tastes like Lipton tea just with a kick. Everyday Allie and I are impressed with people here. I can't tell you how friendly people are and how much they love to help out. When we go back to the states I know that is something that I will miss. Pictures will be coming soon.