Well, here I am, folks – I’m home! After 3 years of life in Asia, I’m finally back in America for a return visit.
I’ve been home (in Marysville, Washington) for almost two weeks now, and it’s been wonderful. My life has slowed down. I have time to read books. I have time to stare at the sky for as long as I like. It’s really not necessary to stay up late and sleep in, because I’m not cramming a million things in to 24 hours. I am timezones away from a life (that I love!) that has been propelled forward by people, new experiences, travel, language study, ministry and teaching English for the last three years.
It feels nice to be at a stand still, BECAUSE THE LAST THREE MONTHS WERE CRAZY.
You might remember from my last post that the months of April, May and June were originally supposed to be spent in Shanghai. This did not happen. So instead, I spent the last three months in Taipei and, in short, became the Aroma event coordinator, joined a dragon boat team, and turned 25. I guess I would have turned 25 regardless, but it turned out to be very meaningful spending my twenty-fifth birthday with friends of the last three years.
EVENT COORDINATING FOR THE AROMA
Pastor Chris’s goal was 6 events between that point in time and the summer to help develop a customer-base for the coffee shop, as well as introduce people in the neighborhood and beyond to what the Aroma is. Hosting actual events would give people who might not even think twice about checking the place out a unique reason to come check us out! We were going to draw people in. This meant two events in April, two events in May, and two events in June. And this is where I came in. I was going to make these events happen.
Every event was so incredibly different and only pulled off because of the incredible team I work with. Planning them was super fun; I’ve always entertained going in to event-planning as a career path. I got to pull in a couple Taiwanese people as well, as the events in June were completely planned by other people. A lot of social networking and connection-making were accomplished as well, not to mention what it did for the community. I told Chris that this was the reason I wasn’t in Shanghai: God wanted me to be the event coordinator for the Aroma for three months instead.
DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL 2012: TEAM MAX FOR THE WIN!
Ever since the my first Dragon Boat Festival experience in Taiwan, I wanted to join a team. This year I thought I might do it, but going to Shanghai would have taken me away during Dragon Boat Festival. (Dragon boat teams train up until the day of the festival that takes place sometime in June, the day that marks the beginning of summer in Taiwan.) But then I didn’t go to Shanghai, so I joined a dragon boat team!
I was a part of the Team Max female team. What did this mean? This meant 3 months of waking up at 5:23AM Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings and at 7:00AM on the weekends to get to dragon boat practice. On the weekdays, we did stamina and strength training, and the weekends were rowing practice.
(Click on images below to view full size.)
All of the training paid off, because in the Taipei City Races, we took first place in the women’s open competition!
(Photo credit for the picture below goes to my teammate Simon Eisenbach who takes awesome pictures.)
I actually wrote a separate blog about the feelings that were stirred up inside of me as I turned a quarter of a century old. And so I think providing you with the link to that blog will be adequate: click here to read “primetime.”
Well, folks, there you have it. My last 3 months in Taiwan. And then, on the morning of July 1, I hopped on a plane and flew to America. More about that coming soon.