Friday, February 18, 2011

Update

I have taken a break from blogging and I will be back to edit this and add some thoughts on my updated prospective. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

David's post and update

So to some of you, David's post may seem rather sudden. I know many of you thought it was all fun in the sun with rotary. But actually this has been an ongoing problem.

Basically their are exchange students here doing drugs*, having sex all over the place, getting drunk every night and not speaking a word of Chinese. But rotary, for some bizarre reason, is threatening to send me home and has a strange opinion that my heart is not in this exchange.

I spend all day working really hard on a rotary party, and then I come home and I get these completely bizarre emails from rotary telling me they hope I can turn it around and make something of my exchange year. And start to be a good exchange student. I really have no clue what they're going on about. But it gets depressing to hear people always telling you you're failing at something you're actually doing better than 95% of the others.

Rotary doesn't like that I have a blog. That is my big sin. And they don't like when I don't write all 100% happy things. That's not real life though.

I would like to better my relationship with them, but I just don't even think they grasp how hard I work or what I good exchange student I am. It's insulting and tiring to have to try to prove myself to them when in fact, I am a very good exchange student. I don't know what they're thinking or where their info is coming from. It shouldn't be coming from people who have never met me or from people who see me once a month, or people who were, in fact, very abusive when I lived with them.

Being a good student and being polite just gets you taken advantage of.

But anyway, most of the rotary members are not bad people at all. They're the reason I'm here after all. But I have to say, they've been the biggest problem since getting here. Why? I'm not sure. I don't know what their problem is.

Anyway, this isn't a real post explaining how I feel and the problem, it's just a follow up as to why my boyfriend is so angry.

This is a process. Yes this post is a little negative, but, things are always changing. So we will see.

*Not technically illegal, that I know of, with the current exchange students. Although the past ones... 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rotary

So lately Rotary has been giving my girlfriend a very hard time and I am not the least bit pleased. I think there are a few things Rotary needs to understand, facts that I think should be obvious but apparently need explaining.

Now Rotary thinks it is necessary to explain to Michelle how the internet works. They are upset that she posts what she really thinks on this blog, and doesn't paint the truth with rainbows or coat it with sugar. What they fail to comprehend is that a dishonest blog may as well not exist. Readers do not come to blogs to read about happy lies; they come to read about other's lives. And despite what rotary may believe, we do not live in a fairy tale world where nothing bad ever happens. Life is full of the good and the bad. If someone comes here to learn what an exchange trip is honestly like, they want to know the pros and cons so they can make an educated decision. Honeyed lies may look nice, but they could mislead someone into making a life changing decision. Michelle is not going to bullshit her readers like Rotary expects her to. It is the responsibility of the reader, including Rotary, to understand that this blog is a glimpse into Michelle's most private thoughts.  To use this blog against her is cruel and a violation of trust.  Rotary needs to understand this, and to realize that they have no right to tell Michelle what she can and can't post on her blog.

Michelle should be able to rely on Rotary for support. Rotary claims to understand how exchange students feel, but they really don't. Instead of lending a helping hand when a student needs it, they respond with anger, threats, and insults. Oh and here's a tip Rotary; to take the word of people Michelle has hardly ever seen, or in some cases has never even met, over Michelle's own word isn't just disrespectful, it's down right disgraceful. Michelle is a damn good exchange student and I am disgusted by the way the Rotary program is treating her. Any problem she has ever had with Taiwan has never been with the people or the culture; it has always been Rotary.  You cannot possibly pretend to understand how Michelle feels day-to-day through the infrequent contact between you.  As soon as Rotary's spies see anything that they don't like, they get pissed and go on the attack. The correct response for any person of maturity is to address problems and try to ensure they do not happen again, not to punish to victimized party.

And how can they say she's not accepting Taiwanese culture? Have you been reading the same blog as everyone else? Do a little homework before you pass judgement based on the crooked tongues of people who don't even know who they are talking about.  Michelle eats the Taiwanese food, is trying hard to speak the language, and is learning the culture is many ways.  She spends time with Taiwanese people and works hard to communicate and learn from them.  She doesn't spend every night getting drunk and abusing the privileges of being in Taiwan.  In short she is trying very hard to be a good exchange student and Rotary needs to see past their veiled view and realize that.

I also don't appreciate how much time Rotary spends COA (covering one's ass), especially the part when they go into length to explain how any failed trip is the fault of the student, not the program. B.S. If the Rotary program feels it is necessary to send Michelle home early, then it should logically come only after they have done everything reasonably possible to help her trip be a success. But is that what they've done? HELL NO!! Rotary's "attempts to help" have consisted of threats and angry emails. Seriously people? I mean what is wrong with you? Get a sense of reality and stop abusing the woman I love.

And if any of you Rotarians that are spying on this account have a problem with what I've written here, please feel free to comment. I would just love to hear from you.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chinese New Years (part four) Trip to TaiChung

I went on a trip to Taichung with my host family.

On the way their my host mother bought this lunch for me. It's so perfectly Taiwanese.



This was my favorite. Fried Chicken, egg, ham, cheese, Taiwanese mayo, small bean sprouts. Soooo good.
"zha ji zan min zhi"

Milk tea.
"nai cha"


Scallion pancake wrapped around egg.
"Dan bing"

Three hour car drive.

We went to their friend's house. Their house was really beautiful and they kept giving me food. I really felt welcomed. At one point, I decided I wanted to get my camera from the car. My host mother also wanted to get hers. We are rather joint by our love of taking pictures. But we got really distracted by their neighbor's yard. You see, they had a garden and looked just so picture perfect Taiwanese. So even though we said we'd only be gone for a minute, we ended up disappearing for over an hour. XD My host mother is so funny like that. I really enjoyed it. So we went into the neighbor's yard and took a bunch of pictures. And then the person who lived there came and my host mother befriended her and we took pictures sitting on their bench. Which was beautiful. After that we went on a walk and found more picture perfect spots.  

Christmas Tree like flower pot. 
This was the friend's house.

Taichung isn't city, it's the countryside.

The first time I ever saw things growing other than tomatoes and corn. 

Cabbage. 


I love this. It's so hard to believe it's a real place.

Wow.



Lettuce. 


A Taipei girl in the country. 


Again, the family's home. So beautiful.

It seems like every Taiwanese family has one of these super cool tea sets. When I get married it's also my goal to have.  


After talking and eating lunch with the family, we went with the daughters to their University, which is so beautiful, married couples take pictures there. 

BUT, I cannot upload photos because the wifi isn't working on my phone lately, for some weird reason. So please wait until I find I way to solve the problem.










Chinese New Years! (Part three) 台中!Taichung!


So I did I a lot calligraphy during Chinese New Year Vacation. It was cool because my host grandfather came and practiced with me.  I will put more pictures up for this later.

Anyway, this character: Fu meaning fortune. Was my calligraphy goal. Because around this time of year, people hang this upside down on their doors to invite fortune into their homes. I want to give it to my host family.


These are my brushes. 



The next day we went to a Thai restaurant. I asked my host mother why we were eating Thai food on Chinese New Years and she said it was because we eat Chinese food all year and today is a special day. XD

But it was cool because I had never eaten Thai food before. 



It's a famous restaurant.


ANYWAY, that same day we went to a temple. Those of you who have talked to me off the computer will know, I LOVE going to temples. 


I told my host father I had never burned paper money and wanted to try. He seemed really happy that I took interest. He's very knowledgeable about Buddhism. So we donated some money, took some paper money and took some incense. We went around the temple praying at every alter and then I asked a question to the gods, and then I burned paper money. I love doing stuff like this. It's so cool. And it makes me feel so peaceful. 

You burn paper money for your relatives that are no longer with you. So that they will have money and be able to be happy where they are. And you burn money to thank the gods you prayed to. 

It just such a beautiful, healthy place to spend time at. 






You burn the money in here


This is the paper money




To light the incense.

I turned it on for you!



I love this picture.

People give food to their departed relatives and the gods.







ceiling

My host father found these things on a table and gave them to me. More about that later.