Sunday, 28 June 2015

Taiwan OELP Individual Reflection

Day 1
It was finally the day to go to Taiwan. I was really feeling excited as one of my seniors who went there before, told me that the classes going to Taiwan were really lucky and would have lots of fun. We reached Changi Airport in the afternoon and after all the buzzling about, we were off! Soon, we reached Kaoshiung International Airport and it was already very late around midnight. 刘秘书 and some teachers from 正心中学 came all the way down specially to welcome us.  Soon, we took the bus back to our hotel and ate the supper the teachers got for us and we were off to bed. 

Day 2
We visited a lot of places to visit today. After we had our breakfast at Ten drums cultural village, we set off for our first location, the Meinong Hakka Culture Meseum. Before going to the Meinong Hakka culture Mesuem, I didn't know anything about the Hakka Culture.  After the trip, one thing I learnt is that the Meinong used to be a tobacco plantation place. Tobacco plantation was a very profiting business at that time. We had lunch at the Mei Nong Folk Village. After that we moved on to Kaohsiung Hakka Culture Mesuem. Next, Kaohsiung Meseum is a so different from the other museums. It was built by the Japanese when Japanese was in control of Taiwan. The structure was built by the Japanese and even survived the 911 earthquake as Japan itself experienced earthquakes and the architect purposely built it to withstand earthquake. Next we went to a local supermarket, Carrfour. The supermarket was huge and had multiple levels to it. It sold a lot of things, really different from our NTUC. we did our group task, which was to find brands that also appear in Singapore supermarket. We splited ourselves into 3groups and I partnered with Jan and it was really fun exploring the supermarket as it had many items singapore did not sell.
After that, we had our dinner. At first it was drizzling and we thought that the night market might not be opened and everyone was feeling very sad. However, after our dinner, the rain stopped and we were on our way to the Liu He night market. It was buzzing with people. There were a wide variety of food sold there but not a lot of souvenirs. Really wanted to try the bubble tea and papaya juice but the queue was so long and we only had a limited time at the night market so I couldn't buy. However, I bought the pineapple tarts as it tasted very good for my family members.That day, I saw how the Taiwanese really put in effort to preserve their culture. Museums were all over Taiwan to encourage people to visit them. I thinn that Singapore should build more museums nearby our homes to allow more people to visit them to preserve our culture as well.

Day 3
After that,we weretoured around the Ten Drum Cutural Meseum. We were told that our staying place was actually once a sugar cane factory and most of us were really shocked.
After that, we watched a performance by theirvery own Ten drums percussion group. The performance was exciting and full of energy.  It was really awesome and an great performance! Next, we proceeded to the Anping Fort. Anping fort was once a administrative centre of the Dutch regime, and the hub for trading. We hadlunch at Anping Old street and it showcased Anping local delicasies and it was really delicious. We moved on to the Eternal Golden Castle. The castle was built in 1874 by the famous Qing official Shen BaoZhen in order to safeguard the coast from attacks. Next we moved one of my favourite, the Chihkan Tower. It was designed and built in a Classical Chinese style with red tiles and cornices. Really beautiful Tower. We had XiaoLong bao for our dinner and headed to our new hotel, Metro Hotel located near Douliu Station. It was a day with new knowledge learnt! 

Day 4
Today was the most anticipated day. We could finally get to meet our buddies and visit the school! Everyone was so welcoming I was really touched. I met my buddy along with Yijie and she turned out to be really nice and fun. We had some awkward small talks before we were brought to the classes to take a look at their lessons. I attended a geography class and we were put into groups to discuss some of the places of interest with them. They were really kind and even wanted to translate what we don't understand into English for us. They were also proactive and kind in helping us with the questions we were supposed to answer. We went to a soya sauce factory after that and also visited a red bridge which looked really nice from far. It was called the Siluo bridge. We had some watermelons which tasted really so good. It was a treat from 刘秘书.

Day 5
It was the second day in Sacred Hearts High School. We went to different classes again. I went ipto a robotics class with my CID group members where we create and play with the robots we build. We were tasked to build a baseball robot using different parts of some stuff.  The robot that can shoot the "ball" furthest wins.  There was 2 boys helping me and Jan and they seemed really nice. Wanted to know them better but it was really awkward though. They helped us to build most of the robot as we werent quite sure how to. Appreciated their help. After the robotics class, i went into a ballon sculpting class. We were supposed to create a swan balloon. The instructor gave some of us the ballots after that though and we were delighted as the balloons he made were really pretty. After that, we went to visit the Yulin Cake Tower cafe. The cakes that are either real or made by towels! We made ourselves a very own cat made of towel and everyone seemed very excited. It was so cute and the DIY session was fun! After that it was shopping time. Everyone bought their own towels and pillow. Really fascinating experience to see towels bring made into animals and cakes. I feel that this shop is really creative and appealed to the younger generation a lot and most of us loved it!  Then, we went to the Yulin puppet theatre, where we watch a traditional puppet performance. The storyline was supposed to be complicated and hard to understand however they manipulated it until it was really hilarious and easy to understand. We had a great time.

Day 6
It was finally the day we were both not looking forward yet looking forward to. It was our last day here and our buddies were going to bring us out! My buddy brought Yijie and I to the amusement park nearby and some of our guy classmates went as well. The rides were so thrilling and it was my first fun sitting on a 360 degrees ride. However probably I ate something before one of the rides, I felt very nauseous and felt like vomiting. My buddy's mother was really nice and she was very concerned about me, she even massaged me to make me feel better. I had a great day, ending off with going to the haunted house. All of us coincidentally met at the haunted house and we decided to go in as a bunch so we won't feel so scared. I had lots of fun and it was a day to be remembered. I really relived all my stress in Taiwan and would not hesitate to be back there. We went for dinner at a high class restaurant after that. It was a buffet-like place and we were free to take whatever we wanted! The food was delicious and I enjoyed every bit of it. Lastly, we exchanged gifts with our buddies and they fetched us back home. I enjoyed that day thoroughly.

Day 7
This was the last day of being in Taiwan. I didn't want to leave Taiwan since it was really fun there and the people from Sacred Hearts were very hospitable. We were assembled at the ground floor of the hotel when we saw 丁校长,刘秘书, some teachers and the seniors that brought us around Taiwan for the three days. The senior that I was really comfortable with even gave our groups gifts and I was thankful for it. We then went for a long bus ride to the 九二一地震教育园区 where we were taught the formation of earthquakes. I was told that the earthquake happened during the midnight so no school children was killed in this earthquake, which was a blessing. But, the school was destroyed unfortunately. I was thankful that I was born in Singapore, one of the few places on Earth where there aren't any natural disasters. I was also impressed by the lengths the Taiwanese went to preserve this ruins. They had covered the whole ruins with tarp and strong pillars so that those who did not experience the earthquake could at least see and understand how it happened, while knowing the ways to protect yourself and loved ones if one really happens. It was an impactful day and I learnt to treasure what I have.


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