My time in Taiwan has been so non-stop that I’ve barely had time to write any updates! The trip is two days away from ending, and while sleeping in my own bed sounds marvelous, I know that I will miss this as soon as I’m gone. Taiwan is filled with so much beauty and I am so grateful to be here.
Our first few days in Taiwan were spent hosting an English camp at a school in Taipei with students from Fu Jen Catholic University. It was so much fun to spend time with the students, and not just because they taught us how to use a Chinese yo-yo! Both the Fu Jen and grade school students were excited to be with us. They all have such good senses of humor that it is impossible not to smile with them.
After our time in Taipei, we spent one day at a middle school where we mostly played with the students. One group of girls let me braid their hair, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and then they sang for me. The experience at the middle school was wonderful as well.
Now, we are in a mountain village with a native tribe of Taiwan. The community here is so welcoming and good to one another. Everybody looks out for each other in the village (it is really like one giant family) and they were very kind to let us join in. Last night a few young girls were playing with me. They were very excited to teach me to count in Chinese, and they came up with a secret handshake for us.
Connecting with the people here is one of the greatest experiences I could ever ask for. The villagers are as beautiful as the mountains that surround them, and their singing surpasses any I have ever heard. I didn’t understand a word of this morning’s Mass, but the singing that took place was so beautiful. The tribe is famous for their musical talent, and rightfully so. Their harmonies were breathtaking as their voices vibrated through the church. Never have I experienced such a beautiful and genuine worship of the Lord; I imagine what I heard at Mass is close to what the heavenly choirs sound like.
Being surrounded by such beauty in Taiwan has filled me with a deeper love of life, God and others than I’ve ever had before. It is so good to have life; it is so good to be a person. If there is one lesson that the Taiwanese mountain village has been screaming to me it is that no matter what happens, living is worth it.