Foreign Exchange Program

Hannah Nordby - IFYE Participant - Taiwan/Thailand Part 2

 

This is Part 2 of Hannah Nordby's IFYE Experience detailing her travels in Taiwan during the month of July.

July 18, 2018

Walking through the streets of Budai you will see crates overflowing with oyster shells. Men slip out to harvest early morning and late evening, bringing in bountiful baskets full. Women line the streets extracting fresh oysters to be sold at the morning market. Used in everything from a morning omelet to evening soup, oysters are more versatile then most assume! Once the "goods" are removed, the shells are re-used and placed in the ocean as the bedding for the baby oysters to attach and grow. Oyster farmers dry the larger oyster shells in the sun and late drill a small hole to slip a nylon string through, safety securing 10(ish) shells in place.

July 19, 2018

I’m currently staying with a group of young adults with the mission to support and promote area businesses as well as build a sense of community in the rural area.

Today we held the weekly potluck where individuals brought dishes, laughs and smiles to share! Anyone and everyone is welcome, while bringing a dish is encouraged it is not required.

I even got in on some of the cooking! One thing I’ve learned is that while at home we have dad’s specialty leftover stew or Aunt Liz has her Tatertot hotdish goulash, here you throw leftovers together with noodles or rice and call it good!

July 20, 2018

All week everyone has been working hard preparing for a presentation. Today was the judgement day! The group summarized the organization’s (12Leo) growth and improvements over the past two years. I personally thought they did a great job highlighting all the work they have done. Through a PowerPoint, video and demo table I noticed area attractions, food and businesses. I truly was at awe realizing how much they put into their community!

Later listening to the questioning the critics, while important, were nit-picky (in my opinion). This is important because the judges score determines 12Leo’s government funding for the next two years! While busy I also had the chance to learn a new card game and go on some nature walks. I am continually reminded how beautiful and welcoming this place and the people who call it home are!

July 25, 2018

All week everyone has been working hard preparing for a presentation. Today was the judgement day!

The group summarized the organization’s (12Leo) growth and improvements over the past two years. I personally thought they did a great job highlighting all the work they have done. Through a PowerPoint, video and demo table I noticed area attractions, food and businesses. I truly was at awe realizing how much they put into their community!

Later listening to the questioning the critics, while important, were nit-picky (in my opinion). This is important because the judges score determines 12Leo’s government funding for the next two years!

While busy I also had the chance to learn a new card game and go on some nature walks. I am continually reminded how beautiful and welcoming this place and the people who call it home are!

July 21, 2018

Well I put on my working boots for a morning and helped pressure wash a side walk. With campers coming next week and the tourist season fast approaching everyone is working to get the area in tip top shape!

If you notice the slight smile it’s definitely because I’m thinking about pressure washing the baler and Annette’s cattle handling setup...and again yes to smiling at these memories! What can I say you can literally take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl!

July 22, 2018

“Who you are is what you have been. Who you will be is what you do now.”
-Budda

Had a free day and went for a walk in the rain! You know what the best part about it being rainy out? NO MOSQUITOES!!! Greatest thing ever!

July 23, 2018

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

The Free Shop at 12Liao is similar to a second hand store. People can donate items they no longer use and in return can take 2 free items/day. It is a great way to encourage the reuse of items and build a close community!

I spent the day helping organize and shoot a commercial to encourage others to visit and contribute...my days acting at the Slope County Fair and Dinner Theatre definitely paid off! The day was filled with laughter and smiles and it was almost like I was at home shopping the second hand stores with momma Sarah!

July 27, 2018

Today I experienced a small taste of the “traditional” way of planting rice in a paddy field! We used a bamboo grid to help keep the rows straight...not exactly the precision farming we have in today’s world, but hey you have to start somewhere!

Before machines planted and harvested rice crops everything was planted by hand and with the help of water buffalo!

The water buffalo played a huge role in Taiwan’s production of rice. Many farmers view the buffalo as a “friend” and a vital partner in everyday farm work. Even after the invention of machinery and the phasing out of buffalo usage many old farmers will not eat beef as a sign of respect and appreciation of the past relationship.

Read Part 1 of Hannah's Experience

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