Friday, January 30, 2009

Well I'm headed back to Taipei tomorrow after spending a week in Cambodia. I came here by myself not quite knowing what to expect, but this place is a real eye opener. Traveling around a country where the average person makes 25 US dollars a month, (most of the time less than that), and has been so wrought with war really puts life in perspective. I think it's impossible to travel to a place like this and not be affected, not be moved and feel a need to improve some of these conditions.
It's deplorable how those with so much can sit by and watch those with so little live in such harsh conditions. This trip has reaffirmed what career path I need to take and solidified my reasons for wanting to work in the human rights/ development field. It's just a matter of figuring out how to go about it....the most effective way seems to be working at the community level, as donations to the governent seems to get siphered away...
A little goes along way to helping so many people's hard not to realize how privileged we all are when you see how most of the world really lives. I'm very thankful and appreciative for sure.
It's been an eyeopening....yet still fun trip with some beautiful scenery and tasty dollar beers. I'll write more when I get back to Taipei....but a great experience for sure!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Off to Cambodia!!!

Well my excursion into South East Asia is finally here...I'm nervous, excited and well mostly excited. I'm leaving on January 24th and getting back to Taipei on January 31st....I've been so busy lately this will be a good break for me.

I don't really know what to expect in Cambodia, but from talking to other people it will be an amazing and eye-opening experience. I'm flying in and out of the capital Phomn Phen and gonna try and spend most of my time in Siem Reap and Ankor Watt exploring the amazing temples in that area. I hear if I'm very cheap I can survive on 10 US dollars a day, but maybe I'll yearn for the finer comforts liek hot that might raise my cost to 20 US dollars a day, which for 7 days, really won't be that bad. I think the cab to and from the airport will be more than my hotels in Cambodia for the week. I heard internet is spotty there (among other things) So I'll be sure to update if I can find a connection....

It will be interesting to see a part of the world that maybe most people do not get to see and will be a harrowing, eye-opening experience for sure. I just hope I don't get sick ...

Happy Chinese New Year !!!!! (It's the year of the Ox here, not sure what that means but has a nicer ring to it than 2009)

See you when I get back.....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thankful for my Family!!!

Sorry for the lack of updates...its been an amazing few weeks...first my Dad visited for Christmas, then there was New Year's then my sister and brother came for a week. We went to Kenting on the southern tip of Taiwan, rented scooters, went go karting, went swimming in the ocean, for free beer from locals, you know standard stuff really. It was an incredible trip! I'm so thankful to have an amazing, supportive and loving family. Their visit around a time when I was feeling pretty homesick gave me the shot in the arm that I needed and reminded me how special they all are. My Dad, much to the surprise of my immediate family adapted well to Taiwan. We were able to head down to Taroko Gorge, managed to get lost on the train and ended up in some little town. But also got treated like celebrities. It meant a lot to be able to show my family all the things I've done here and to welcome them into my life here.
I could not make the move out here, could not take the biggest yet most rewarding risk of my life, could not have been half the person I am today were it not for my incredible, loud, outgoing, fun and really loving family. Sorry if this rant is a little too mushy but it's been a can't all be booze and marathons. I do have some emotions....

I'll write more details about the trips but I've been so busy with Chinese classes and teaching I haven't had time to do anything as of late....but I do want to say THANK YOU to Dad Caitlin and Kevin for coming out. I hope you guys all realize how much it meant to me.
Driving around the southern tip of Taiwan on rented scooters with Kev and Caitlin is by far my best memory so far of Taiwan. Christmas Eve dinner in Taiwan with my father is a very very very close second. All the shit I've seen and done here I owe to my family's support and love....but family is the most important thing....let's not forget that...

ANyway will update more ASAP...but check out picasaweb for a little taste of my life this last month I added three new albums....enjoy, I sure as hell enjoyed taking the pictures!!!!