Taichung, Taiwan Exchange (October 23 – 30, 2012)
The exchange to Taichung, Taiwan started October 23, 2012 after a week-long tour around Taiwan. The visiting group consisted of many FF clubs, with the majority of us coming from FF of Northern Illinois (FFNI) of the United States. Many of us have even traveled together before. But some of us were also new to Friendship Force and were traveling for the first time in the FF way! We were a merry bunch taking the high-speed train to Taichung!
The first morning of the exchange, we got true local flavor with a visit to a Da Jia high school. We were welcomed with a demonstration of the dragon lion dancers, followed by a music performance of traditional string instruments from the music students. Our travel weariness was diminished with a shoulder massage from the cosmetology students. In addition, we watched the performance of a tea ceremony from the hospitality students, and with the art students, we tried to make reed weavings into animals and to write ink calligraphy on red envelopes. One of our Ambassadors, Pat Meyer, could not help herself from dropping into a classroom and starting to teach English! Once a teacher, always a teacher!
After a boxed lunch, a number of students continued their personal ambassadorial mission and accompanied us to visit the Da Jia Zhen Lan Temple, a temple that was built in 1770 for the worship of the sea goddess, Mazu. The second day was a focus on what made the Taichung region distinctive: Sun Moon Lake. A famed place for honeymooners, the romantic name applied to the lake formation is actually more imaginary as the lake does not resemble a “sun” or “moon” at all. After an introductory video at the visitor’s center, we had lunch.
Click here for an illustrated report on the exchange, by Exchange Director Karen Li.
Photos by Dave Meyer.