Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Night Market, a Taiwanese Church, and an Earthquake

Last night, we went to the Shilin Night Market with some friends.

Nearby, we sampled some of the local cuisine: oyster and shrimp pancakes, quail eggs on a stick, fermented "stinky" tofu, squid and bamboo soup. Congealed pig's blood on a stick was another option, but I decided I need to give my stomach some time to adjust before sampling that one!

This morning, we attended our first service at a local Taiwanese church. Two things stood out to me. The first is the strong sense of community. After one girl introduced me to her sister, I asked how many other siblings she had. She just laughed and said, "No, Kaytlin--you are my sister too! We are all brothers and sisters!"

The second thing I noticed right away is the way these people prayed. They pray a LOT, and with great sincerity. After the church service, the members split up into smaller groups which meet for a couple more hours of prayer around the church building. After removing our shoes, we entered a small room and sat on cushions in a circle on the floor.

At one point as I was praying with my eyes closed, I began to feel like I was moving and getting dizzy. "Wow," I thought, "maybe those quail eggs last night weren't such a good idea." But when I opened my eyes, I was still swaying back and forth as I sat on the ground. "It's an earthquake!" someone whispered next to me. Wow! My first earthquake! Later I found out that earthquakes are a daily occurence here; we just don't feel most of them because they are so small.

In other news...we are still looking for an apartment, and we both have more job interviews tomorrow. Erich and Kelley and several Taiwanese friends from church have been extremely helpful, going with us to translate with the landlords. We are so thankful for their hospitality.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hello from the other side of the world!

We arrived safely in Taipei Thursday evening. On our first day here, we...

went out for breakfast at the "Yummy Kitchen" and ordered from a completely-Chinese menu,
walked around the local market,
navigated the bus system,
had a job interview and taught two demo classes,
ate dried guava for lunch,
navigated the metro system,
looked online for apartments to visit,
bought cell phones,
visited a church,
and went out for dinner with friends.

So far we love this city. We are especially thankful for the friends we are staying with-- they have been so gracious and hospitable towards us. We will write more and post some pictures soon!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Moving Day!

Tomorrow morning we leave for Taiwan! We will drive to Denver, fly to L.A., then fly directly to Taipei. Our friends, Ben and Beth, will pick us up at the airport. Our bags are packed and we're ready to go! Thanks for all your prayers.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Colorado Adventures

I love visiting Colorado because it is a lot like going to summer camp. So far this week we have ridden horses, shot guns, caught fish, hiked to natural waterslides, climbed Greenhorn Mountain, and ascended the Great Sand Dunes. I have loved every minute of it. Kalan's family makes me feel right at home.

The countdown is on...only 4 days until Taiwan!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kalan Bears All

I can confirm the Facebook rumors. I shot a bear.

My parents have wildlife meander through their yard on a regular basis. Bears included. Recently, however, a rogue bear hoped for a sample of my mother’s cooking. He left claw marks on the window screens and paw prints on the back door.

The Department of Wildlife forbids the killing of wild animals without a permit and wounding a bear would endanger the people around us. Such circumstances lead to the stockpiling of M-80’s and rubber-pellet shot gun shells. My dad gave me a tutorial for the ammunition when I got home last week and left the keys to the gun case easily accessible.

Kaytlin and my dad have ridden the horses almost nightly this week and during one evening ride, the bear paid my mother and I a visit. He spent his time in the apple tree, but I thought the horses would hold it against me if I let the bear loiter until they returned. One shot took him out of the tree and another sent him into the forest. Bear-horse rendezvous averted and epic tale acquired.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Best of the West

Spending time in Colorado makes our impending move increasingly painful. Until I arrived at my parents’, I maintained a nomadic attitude, eager to roam the world. Returning home brings a sense of rest and enjoyment that I forget until each time I experience it anew.

Unique experiences couple with familiar sights granting a peace of mind that I have yet to experience elsewhere. Freedom to seize life and enjoy it flows from my family and community. Each day offers new and exciting adventures. Yesterday, for example, included brilliant Biblical teaching, a rock show by my brother’s band in the local park, a rock cave expedition, and a movie with my dad. I anticipate my departure but remember the difficulty that comes with leaving this place.

Take a peek into my world at home; listen to my brother’s band:


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

North for the Fourth

This past week we spent at my parent’s “shanty” on Lake Mohawksin in Tomahawk, WI. Boating, wakeboarding, reading, good food, biking, fishing, and the “Kaiser Fireworks extravaganza” made our last week very memorable. We were glad to spend time with my grandparents and aunt and uncle there, too.

Saying goodbye is so hard for me. Recently Kalan reminded me that without endings there would be no beginnings. For example…the old covenant had to end in order for the new one to take effect…Jesus had to leave in order for the Holy Spirit to come…We must leave our families in order to cleave to our spouses. Endings provide opportunity for beginnings, and we need both as we continue on our journey. As we end this Green Bay chapter, I feel sad, but I also realize that our time here must end in order to continue on with the rest of our story.

Green Bay

Two weeks ago, we arrived in Wisconsin to visit my (Kayt’s) family. Here are some highlights from our week in Green Bay:

-Strawberry-picking with my mom at a local farm

-Enjoying lunch with Liz and Leah, two friends I grew up with in Green Bay.

-Babysitting for Dan and Tricia Jackson, our friends who are planting a church in Green Bay. We love Dan, Tricia, and their three kids because they are a gospel-centered family on a mission.

-Painting a house for a needy family in Green Bay as part of a church service project.

-Spending an afternoon at Kelly Lake with our friends Caty and Dillon, who are getting married next December. Caty is one my life-long best friends.

-Taking a day trip to Door County to have dinner with my grandparents. My nana made a delicious gluten-free dinner, and we enjoyed catching up with them and sitting on their deck.

-Celebrating my sisters’ birthdays early, since we will be in Taiwan when they turn 16 at the end of July. I took Grace to get her first pedicure, and took Natalie out for sushi. I was thankful to get to spend this time with them.