I am so excited! FIVE more days until I board my flight to Taiwan on June 27, 2013!!!
Since May 11, my summer has definitely been busy. I’ve spent most of it trying to put together my post-undergraduate plans, working out to keep my stress levels low, and trying to push my listening skills in Mandarin! I’ve been drafting personal statements for graduate school so that I do not have to suffer my senior year of undergraduate doing that. Also, I’ve been planning for abroad study after I graduate.
Lately, I’ve been trying to get everything together for Taiwan. I have a bad habit of bringing my entire life with me when it comes to packing. My time in undergraduate has helped me to get better and better with this over time. The price tag on luggage over 50 lbs is definitely helping me to be mindful of how I pack.
I went to the store and bought some clothing and comfortable shoes. I’ve been reading my Lonely Planet on Taiwan regarding what other things I should bring with me. Also, those who have already been to Taiwan and lived there for a time have been providing me great advice as to what I should be bringing. The one thing that haunts me are the mosquitoes. 🙁 Heck…even more than that…the HEAT and HUMIDITY. I’ve been behaving like a crazy person and adding jogging outside in high heat to my usual fitness routines to get past my intolerance for Virginia humidity!
The entire summer, I have been getting to know the other ambassadors through Facebook! (Good ole social media!) Everyone is so receptive! I am very excited to meet them all in person. It has been fun connecting with everyone! I know that I will have a blast! Since, I will be leaving several days before I need to report to National Cheng Kung University on June 30th, I decided that I will do some sight seeing in Taipei! Several of ambassadors and mysel have already made group reservations at the Flip Flop Hostel. I have never stayed in a hostel, never even heard of one before, so I immediately decided to toss my plans to make a reservation at a hotel. I really want to explore as many first time experiences as I can while I am abroad.
Apparently, I will be living with 6 other ambassadors in a dorm style room. Thankfully, I am no stranger to having roommates!
Even more exciting is that today, the TUSA program started to connect us with our individual volunteer language partners! Regina e-mailed me today and she sounds very warm. I am sure that we will get along very well. I am very excited to meet her. From viewing her Facebook, she has definitely had travels in the United States so it will be great to speak to her about her experiences. She also offered to answer any questions that I may have on Taiwanese life so I am sure that I will have some questions for her soon.
Right now, I am trying to figure out what gifts to bring my host families and for Regina. Something that represents Virginia well…and something made in Virginia. I was thinking shirts from DC… a Taiwanese soldier that my friend knows recommended that I not bring anything wrapped in dark paper because there are superstitions associated with dark colors like that. I will be sure to keep this in mind.
The TUSA program has the ambassadors engaging in a Countdown game… The program officially begins on July 1st. Our language partners and some of the ambassadors have been submitting their photos to be a part of the game. I need to quickly submit my Day 7 and join in on the fun. 🙂
Goodness…there is so much to tell. For right now, that’s all! I am glad to finally have something to put into this blog. These next couple of days are going to be hectic so I might as well blog about that process, right?
My next mission…finding the best sunscreen and mosquito repellent on the market… O_o
I will say this though…I am going to enjoy riding a high speed rail.
Till next time!