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.
When I was a little girl, I would often play in my backyard and go down the slide over and over again. In my four- or five-year-old mind, this wasn’t just any slide, it was a magic slide that could transport me to any place in the world … even China! Now, some 14 years later, my magic slide has become an airplane, but the destination remains the same. This time, it will take closer to 15 hours than 15 seconds to travel to China. And this time, it’s real.
In several hours, I will be heading to the airport. I finally finished packing but I am still a bundle of nervous energy. I doubt I will get any sleep tonight…
Gardening played a rather large role in our time in Taiwan. When we first met with the students from Cardinal Tien Nursing College- a group of enthusiastic teenage girls- we visited an organic farming community. There we learned about the importance of organic farming as well as a general overview of the methods. We also got some hands-on experience. We tilled, planted, weeded, and fertilized, as well as created compost.
Continuing our service in Taiwan, my fellow students and I journeyed to the mountains to do work for the people living in the villages there. We were accompanied by students from the Cardinal Tien Nursing College as well as our translators from Fu Jen University. We split into groups there to do different service activities, and one of these groups taught the villagers several new recipes. April Smith was part of one of these groups, and related her experience:
While visiting the people living in villages in the mountains of Taiwan, the Saint Vincent students, accompanied by students from Cardinal Tien Nursing College and translators from Fu Jen University, split into groups to perform different services. One group was sent to teach and play with the children there. Zack Zuck was a member of this group and shared his thoughts regarding the experience:
Every summer a group from St. Vincent travels to Taiwan and China on a Campus Ministry service trip. I and eleven others were lucky enough to participate in the trip this year.