Thursday, September 29, 2011

Baby, baby, baby

Okay, after all the talk about disgusting things (with the lovely interlude about the wok), I really wanted to share this burst of cuteness with you:

This is one of the babies from HisHands, a ministry that I have been volunteering at and is located right down the street from me. (Btw, we are not at HisHands in this picture.) This adorable little girl is about go home to her family in America VERY soon, and I know her active, bright, curious, exuberant self will be sorely missed here. But we are so very happy she gets to go home soon!

This is "Samwise." Usually his hair is a riot and sticking straight up from his head, and I think he looks very much like a cabbage patch kid. He is a very easy-going baby and is easily contented, as long as he doesn't have to exercise. We are working on getting his muscles more fully developed :)

Here is another picture (which I didn't take) of another baby in the nursery--nicknamed "Jellybean." Her story (or as much as I know of it) was a troubled one from the beginning--born to a druggie mother and just in a bad situation--but it has been so neat to see this little tyke grow from 2 weeks old (pictured below) to just a little over one month. Whenever I see her I marvel on how big she's getting. She's oh so cute! :)

photo credit--from my friend Ashleigh's blog

I get so much joy from these precious babies, and so thankful to be a tiny, tiny part of this ministry!

snail crunching

I will admit I never thought much about snails before. But I was riding in a coworker's car one night when she mentioned their increased appearances, especially on "the shortcut road" (a dark, narrow, creepy pathway that those of us on "the hill" take every day to get to school). And then I saw them everywhere. Dotting the road, snaking silvery pathways on the pavement and sidewalks whenever I went for my evening walks. Then my coworker's car ran over one. The sound was akin to a mini explosion. I was horrified at the mental picture of the slimy, elastic thing being squished under its shell until it popped with a BANG. I started to mind the snails a little more after that.
And THEN my housemate stepped on one. That time, it sounded like glass shattering. I did not look.

I was flipping through a book of children's singing games the other day and I came across a song called "crunching snails." The book gave directions to have the children step as if they felt the crunching beneath their feet. I quickly turned the page. Either the composer had a sick mind, or I'm willing to bet that whoever wrote that song must not have ever had the experience of actually crunching snails, because I don't believe they would want to write a children's song about it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


As I said, I wanted to share about how much I love our new wok.
It is big.
It has two handles.
It came with a steamer attachment.
It is shinyyy.

I also love vegetables.
They are crunchy.
They are juicy.
They are flavorful.
They are colorful.
They are nutrition-ful :)

The best ways I know how to cook vegetables are either to stir-fry or to blanch them. And always with garlic. :) Before, I had been using our little frying pan to stir-fry my vegetables, but yesterday I overestimated its capacity and had to separate the cooking into two parts. Today, I used the new wok. I was hesitant to use it at first because it was my housemate who bought it, and I didn't want to take the happiness of using it for the first time away from her. But she suggested I use it after seeing me try to stir my overflowing pan of veggies last night. So today I brought it out and used it.

The whole time, I was marveling. So much room to stir! So shiny and smooth! So even in cooking temperature!

It was beautiful. :) <3

Unwelcome Guests

Living in Taiwan brings the term "company" to a whole new level. This morning I woke up to a pesky little mosquito having a happy feast, leaving a trail down my arm. It also bit my eyelid, which thankfully did not swell too much. Upon going to the bathroom to check on the bite, I had a good scare to find that I was not alone, yet again. A huge, hairy spider was seen on the wall above the toilet--I jumped and backed up slowly. It started crawling around so I got my camera to take a few shots of it--the thing was about 3/4 the size of my own hand (and no I did not put up my hand next to it to give the picture a scale).

Usually, when I come across unwelcome creatures that I would rather not smush, I find a way to flush them down the toilet (a couple of millipedes and cockroaches have been disposed of this way). This big guy, though, I knew I could not. Fortunately, my housemate came down and she got a broom. After some chasing and several nervous shrieks (especially when he almost squeezed into the crack in my doorjamb), he was effectively caught. I will spare you the gory details of his demise. I felt bad, but what can you do when these fellows intrude into your living space?

I do have one guest that is more welcome than other creepy crawlies. I found him when I closed my door and heard a little "fflub" sound as a gecko landed on the wall from the door hinge. I don't know where he came from, but I hear that geckos eat mosquitoes and other things. So he gets to stay. I can only hope and wish that he would eat cockroaches and spiders, too. :)

the end of the beginning

Before I got to Taiwan, someone asked if I would keep a blog while here. I said that was a good idea, but somehow when I landed on the island and was swept up into this new life, the thought of blogging was worrisome, and even if I had good content to share, I seem to have lost the ability to put words together well, so it wouldn't turn out good anyway.

Tonight, though, as I was stir-frying beansprouts and carrots in our house's new wok, I was filled with such warmth and joy over how beautifully the carrots colored the oil and how lovely the new wok was. I wanted to share the joy so much that I wanted to blog about it. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there is so much else to share. And I started to get excited because I have a camera now (although borrowed) so I can put up pictures and it can be like a legit blog, not the doubt-riddled blog-wannabes that I have previously kept.

So I started this blog.

Welcome :)


photo credit--sunrise over Taiwanese mountains

People often ask me why I came here from America. The question is put simply, but there are many hidden questions behind it--Why did you leave your perfectly good and comfortable life there? Why did you want to come back? Why did you willingly separate from your fiance and go into ultra-long distance?
The simple question deserves a simple answer. I always say, "I came here for the experience."

Now, one month+ into it, many things are definitely not what I imagined it to be. It is so much MORE than what I could have imagined! Each day brings small victories, and each day I thank God for bringing me here, for allowing me to experience Him in the realities of life in ways that I never would have experienced elsewhere.

So, simple or not, my answer is 100% true. :)