This last weekend, we had orientation in Taipei. It was all of Fulbright, including English Teaching Assistants, Scholars, and Fellows. We stayed at the Green World Hotel which was really nice! Lakyn and I got assigned as roommates (yay!) We skipped school on Friday and made our way to Taipei early. We got there and had a meeting with young Taiwanese diplomats and people from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcoming us to Taiwan.
Then, it was time for a formal dinner. Lakyn and I decided to walk to the other hotel where we would have dinner when we came across a big intersection that was not on the map. We thought we were lost when a Taiwanese man came up behind us and asked if we were going to the Fulbright event. Thank goodness! He took us the hotel and on the way was chatting with us about America and Maine and lobsters! His English was really good and he was so nice! After Lakyn and I got our nametags, we walked into the room where we would eat and the same man that showed us the way to the hotel waved at us and told us to come sit with him! We found out he is from Hualien (one of the most beautiful places in Taiwan!). He is professor at a college there and told us we could come visit and stay in the dorms for free! He made a really fun dinner and we learned so much! I also discovered that Yilan is the most fun group of ETAs in Taiwan. We started a dance party after the dinner (there was live music) and had the best night. The rest of the ETAs timidly watched us and our coordinator told us the banquet is normally not that fun. So, yay for Yilan!! I’m so glad I’m surrounded by people who are so fun and outgoing!
The next day we spent our morning listening to the scholars and fellows’ research projects. It was really interesting. It was a mix of professors and PhD candidates, both of which I hope to be someday, so hearing about their projects was extremely interesting and gave me ideas for the future! Yay! Then we went to the National Museum of History where we saw an installation by Zhang da Qian. His work is absolutely stunning. He is my new favorite artist. We were not allowed to take pictures but…….I was sneaky (: His work is below: