Monday, February 25, 2008

Over A Hump...

Well just had a super intense demo today, which we all spent hours and hours working on into the weeee hours of the night. Mine went pretty well, but I am anxious to get into the class room and starting picking up all the practical skills you can only really get from real teaching. HESS has a very set out curriculum, which is nice as it will make lesson planning very straight forward but comes with a lot more preparation.

OK on other news Taiwan is quite an odd place to say the least. There is a 7-11 like every second block (I'm not exaggerating!!!). Food is so cheap and for the most part tastey but there is lots of odd foods, often with fishy tastes that aren't suppose to be there. The people are super friendly though, and I think this will make life much easier.

I am off to Kaohsiung on Thursday to meet my head teacher, go to my school and meet other teachers. It is only 1.5 hours by super train from Taipei, so it should be a quick zip down there. I will have a roomate, and we are going to look for places to live. Rent is pretty cheap too. I will be working a lot, which is good in terms of money for my loan payments, but will limit my ability to pick up a language class. We'll see when there.

OK off for beers with fellow teachers!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Intense Training Week

Well I am into my second full day of training and it has been draining with long hours, but I am learning plenty. After quickly trying to get caught up on the first day, having to stay up quite late to work on a presentation for today, getting to class today at 8am and finishing at 6pm I am pretty exhausted. We have reviewed teaching kindergarten, which surprisingly seems super fun, and some higher level classes. There is more of the same tomorrow and thankfully we have Saturday off to check out some of the city. The food is ok and the beer is cheap ($1 for a can of good beer).

My fellow teachers for the most part are super friendly and have made friends. I am always initially shy but by the second day I was talking to people about music, politics and all sorts of other things.

I am really looking forward to Kaohsiung and the beautiful weather, beaches etc., there. Not to metion teaching and such. Travel plans to Hong Kong and Australia are also being put together.

Hope everyone is having fun. Hopefully I will have some photos up soon :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

In Taipei Safe and Sound

OK...looks like the long ordeal is finally over and I am here in Taiwan, with passport/visa/health in hand (knock on wood).

After the 14 hour flight, where they made me check in a third bag (which meant rescuing PomPom and Carlito-my beloved stuffed toys- so they wouldn't get checked) I arrived in Taipei at 6AM there time (I am 17 hours ahead of Torontonians). The flight was uneventful but saw some good movies, slept and had noodles for breakfast.

I am a little behind the training for my job as I was suppose to arrive Saturday but was delayed due to the passport fiasco. But today I rest.

I also met my hotel roomate who is from New Zealand and will also be teaching in Kaoshiung. All is well otherwise. I will go sleep for a bit and get refreshed for what is sure to be a long two weeks.

On a positive note people here seem to be really friendly. Even the customs agent had a chuckle when i told him about my ordeal in LA!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rough Start

Well what a way to start off my adventure. After a long flight to LA and a long drive to my gramma's i realize that I had left my passport behind at the airport parking lot. Despite desperate attempts to find it, calling everyone, looking everywhere, it has gone. I have spent the last 24 hours starting the complex process of getting a replacement, getting a new Taiwanese VISA, informing my employer in Taiwan that I will be running a few days later than expected, and rescheduling my flight to Sunday (I was originally leaving Thursday). It looks like things are moving in a positive direction but all will not be completed until Friday. This has been such a stressful couple of days and I am sure in the future I'll have a good laugh about it all but wow...a roller coaster week for sure.

Wish me well.

UPDATE: It is Friday night, I have my passport, visa, and new flight itinerary . I am lucky to have my grandmother, aunt and uncle here to help me out. Wow what a ride :p