Sunday, March 26, 2006

I Scream, You Scream.....

Here's the latest in contention for our family photo in Taiwan. Okay, so we all look a little...well...not our best. But this was a cool trip! We were at the Indigenous People's Park with Erika. It is actually not a little park, it is more like a national park....lots of hiking and beautiful scenery....and ice cream! It was cool for me because it had a museum with all kinds of cultural artifacts and information...and it was cool for Madi because she could run to her heart's content. And I guess it was cool for Brian because he got to hang out with us.....hehe.

Brian Doing His Thing

I guess I realized that we've never really posted pictures of Brian doing his here you go! The top picture is Brian teaching his Junior High students to bake. It was pretty cool, actually....he was working on a unit for following directions in English, so he did this for them for a little stress break. The second is him teaching them some new English words...and the third is his adult class. He is so funny with the adult class, and we love them. We got invited to go do kareoke with the whole class a few months ago (a pretty common pastime) and it was awesome.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The BBQ Shrimp

This is a BBQ at my school. This is a real Taiwan shrimp.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Look At The Market, And Other Stories.....

I thought I'd give you a better look at the open market. I know we've talked about it, but I didn't think you could really visualize it based on what could possibly imagine. Travis will recognize these scenes...although I think that some of these images he's probably tried to burn from his memory. This first one is just what it first looks like when you walk into the market. These pictures are from our favorite market, and we are actually there about once a week to get vegetables. That is actually something I'm going to really miss back in the US....really fresh fruits and vegetables year round, and pretty cheap. I figured out that the last time I was there I spent about $3.00 US on enough veggies to make three huge stirfry dinners with. In other words.....a bag of pea pods (staple...I'm telling you!), bean sprouts, greens (kinda like spinach...they go in everything here), three green bell peppers and a red one, a huge head of broccoli, a big bunch of green onions (well, they look like green onions anyway), a big yellow onion, some fresh tofu, and some fresh herbs like cilantro. I probably bought other things, but I don't really know what they are, because we don't have them in the US (if we do, I've never bought them!) Pretty cool to be able to just go crazy with the vegetables here...we've tried lots of new stuff because it is so inexpensive. Anyway.........
Here is some fresh chicken. Or should I say live chickens? These guys are waiting to be picked so that they can become your dinner.....mmmmmmm!!! Doesn't this just make your mouth water?! And if you aren't expecting company, and would rather eat can always pick from a wide selection of chicken parts already cut up and prepared for your wok! Our friend Erika thinks that maybe the trick to selecting a good chicken has something to do with how long their toenails are......(by the way...I borrowed most of these pictures from Erika, she's the fabulous photographer this time!)
Of course, sometimes you just don't feel like chicken.....but that's okay here! You can also chose from various cuts of fine pork products. Really though, in the US they are pork products...mainly because you don't really get a sense of what they used to be. Here they are definately witnessed by the fact that you can identify the source pretty easily. Anyone care to speculate on which parts look really authentic? (Too bad I couldn't get a picture of the ears hanging there. Oh well, there's always next time!)Oh, and keep in mind that this is an "open air" market. No need for pesky refridgeration here! And don't worry, they have streamers tied to their little fans about the meat to keep the flies off.......This is just kind of cool, because you see this kind of thing driving around Kaohsiung all the time. People have converted their bikes and scooters into all kinds of vehicles to haul stuff with. Hopefully I'll get some more pictures of that kind of stuff to show you, because it is really amazing to see a truck body placed onto a motorcyle.

This is a dumpling stall. The lady is making yummy dumplings. That big bowl is the filling, it looks like leek, and you can see the little dumpling wrappers on the table to the right of the bowl. She stands here making fresh dumplings for you to cook at home. Taiwan's version of "Take and Bake!"
Okay, so this isn't at the market...but these next pictures are just kind of cool. This is a rice field. Where we live in Niaosong, they are everywhere...along with pineapple fields (I really need to take a picture of that!) and it is really pretty to look at, I think. I'm guessing that there are probably big industrial rice farms somewhere, but around here they do it the old-fashioned way.
Erika and I were on our way home from the market when we passed this guy. He just looks funny driving along with his legs crossed. I slowed down so Erika could get a picture of him, and he looked right at her, so the picture turned out pretty good. Hehehe.Okay, someone tell me if they see something wrong with this picture............ No truck? No problem!!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Mischievous Munchkin

Hey everyone! We haven't been really exciting here lately....hence the lack of blog postings lately. But we have had a good laugh over some of the things Maddi has said lately. Here are just a few examples:

"Hey Mom, let's sell Daddy to the gypsies!"
(To Brian, when he offered to make her a bagel pizza)..."no thanks, I'm all pizza-ed out."
"If we have a baby, we should name it Peacock. I really like that name Mom, 'hello little Peacock!'"
She has been fascinated with peacocks ever since we saw some at an aviary here.
(When Brian asked her what she wanted to be when she grows up) "I think I want to be a peacock."
(When I asked her what she wanted to be when she grows up) "A doctor. A kid doctor."

Needless to say, we are hoping she settles for being a doctor, as I've heard that being a professional peacock is really not very lucrative. Anyway, that's all for us! We'll have some new news once Brian gets back from the USA!!!!