• One month today after leaving Taiwan.... people still tagging me on photos that I took somewhere in the Formosa, and still smell the streets of Taipei... I miss my host family, I miss my friends and I miss everyone I met in Taiwan...

    Time is foolish... runs and leave us holding on memories that will never come back. All what I experienced there would make from me someone better... someone with more believe and trust in human integrity.... we were 250 people sharing moments on a different land from ours. But we felt home... yes we felt home. Cause they say "home is wherever your heart finds peace"...

    I miss Taiwan...


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  • It's the 10th day in Taiwan, tomorrow I will have to leave to Kinmen so it's gonna be the last day with my host family... They already prepared for me a super surprise that I wouldn't forget ever.

     

    9 Am in the morning, Mr kevin told me that he wants me to join him and his family to a cycling day in Dong Fong green way near to Taichung county. It was kind of improvising schedule for me but I said to myself "why not?! let's just do it...". To be honest I haven't ride a bicycle since I was 7 years old so it has been 21 years since that time, but cycling never required talent or knowledge; just stay on the road and move your legs...

     

    We arrived at the start station where we picked our bicycles and bought some water for the 12,4 km piste. We were 5 persons Mr kevin, his wife, his son Endy and the Grand Mom mother of Mrs Yang. When we started we took the short way to the tunnel and it was kind of amazing to ride sometimes in the green and some others in a tunnel or on a bridge... the way was crowded of people of all ages and all of them were enjoying cycling in the middle of natural paintings and fresh air. After the tunnel Mr. Kevin suggested that we ride on the long way of Dong Fong and in the same time stop by some interesting stations that might serve as a material of my diaries...

     

    To all my friends, don't believe that men grow up... we are still kids even under our charming smokings; I was on the bicycle like a crazy child riding the wind, enjoying the beauty of the green trees on the two sides of the road.

     

    The first station that was really a piece of art I saw on the bridge of Da Jia Shi river; a beautiful stratified rocks in the middle of the river and the water flows in small falls made by the cracks between stones... an amazing natural design made by God that relaxes your eyes once you admire it for a while. After a small break and about 7 km far from the Dong Fong way ending we stopped by the stamp of the natural anger 10 years ago in Taiwan; the Si Zi Kan dam, a structure that has been damaged clearly by the famous earthquake in Taiwan few years ago. This dam is now providing all the county of Taichung in water needs and still needs to be repaired again to perform as supposed to be... something that the Taiwanese government never omitted. In the end of the    way we reached our final point and there we got the chance to make a brief walk in the museum of Hakka cultural park and know some dimensions of their life.

     

    Going back to the start point wasn't hard, since it was in a lower level  all the way back was a free fall on bicycle. I loved it and even with all the water I lost in sweating I still want to do that ride again along the Dong Fong green way.

     

    When going back home Mr. Kevin told me that since we still have time before the dinner, why not visit the Sani Wood carving area and see the Sani Sculpture Museum... I was glad to hear that. There, I was impressed by the talents of the artists who exhausted their passion on those pieces of wood.  I know about wood but I haven't thought that we could do such kind of art with wood materials. A very beautiful statutes made basically on local woods and some unique stones. We bought some beautifull articles from the wood market which was so close from the area and took the car back home.

     

    By the way, all the day was scheduled by Mr. kevin as an initiative for my last day with the host family and by night he invited us for a dinner in the luxurious restaurant "Lanna Thai" famous by the name of "Elephant restaurant"; a delicious menu basing on the sea food... it was extremly delicious in a way we didn't left nothing in the dish... 

     

    Great day that wouldn't happen often in my life if i didn't come to Taiwan....

    Special Sunday in Dong Fong cycling green way


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  • What could a man ask more from a land that gives him inspiration in each step he makes on it... Three days hooking in the huge streets of Taipei city... heart of the Formosa... 

    After that magical day in Nantu and the miracle of Sunmoon Lake... we decided the day after to take the road in direction of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. I took the bus with the Dominican girl Laura Gomez, Ethan and Easter her host family members. Three hours on the road to Taipei and it was like a whole life time... uff.. finaly we reached destination and we went directly to Mc Donalds to eat something for dinner.

     

    Easter and her brother managed for us a free homestay in the house of their Aunt in Shen shuè Wan community (the VIP city). yes it was a VIP city since entrance and exit were only allowed with special card owned only by those who live there. A beautiful, calm and luxurious department in Taipei near the beach... and the picture of the houses from outside reminds me the American  city "Connecticut"... Thursday was for walking group schedule; we met some other guests in the center and we went together to the famous Taiwanese achievement "Taipei 101"... it's magical how did they combined the traditional chinese techique of building with the new trend of international constractors... a huge building of 101 floors shines on all the buildings around it and gives a special view to the image from the mountain sight. We were in company of Salim Riyani from oman and we joined him to the Oman Taiwanese Trade Bureau since he was invited by the consulate to talk about his trip to taiwan and assist him somehow... there we found TV stations waiting for us... and as usual the show guy or the "Huging guy" as known in SayTaiwan dlegation, took all the lights and started to interact with the journalists like he was a Hollywood star... and it ended up with putting all the group in a TV show called "guests talk on TV"... it was funny since the reporter was so cool and the camera men were not kind of bothering us... we just told the truth about what we felt in taiwan... "People are so nice and the country keeps inspiring us as much as we get involved in its secrets"... at lunch time we went to 7-11 shop and bought some drinks... later in noon we went to the mountain of the Elephant in Taipei which has a view on all the city... and what a mervallous view... climbing that mountain was worthwile since we found many professional photographers taking shuts of the city from the Chang "Elephant summit"... inspiring in a way you can loose time and space sense to enter on a new dimension of atmosphere. Taipei 101 and many high buildings were under our feets like we 'd have a hand in designing this city. Incredible even it was real how could a point in a mountain gives you this global feature of Taipei city...

     

    Later in the night after getting completly exhausted by that mountain. We walked in the neighberhood looking for a traditional restaurant, in case we will spend the night outside our hooking far from our houses. We found a small restaurant near by than we reserved a table and ordered some sea food, some spicy food with omelette and of course rise.... We were 9 persons including Taiwanese company... and the food was extremly tasty. A while after sunset we turned back to Taipei 101 building to take some pictures... waonderful as never seen something like before!

     

    The day next I and laura Gomez in company of her host family brothers decided to go to swim in Shen shuè Wan beach since it would be really nice to experience the pacific water anyway... just 3 minutes by car from the VIP city and we are on the sand wearing the swimming sutes. Water was nice; warm and calm... but since it was the Ghost month we were almost the only ones in the water... we went back home at lunch time, we eat some light food and we took the bus to Taipei center again... we went to the night market were I changed some US dollars to buy some gifts for the family and we walked around the city for a while till the dark felt on the streets and the movement of the streets get reanimated with absence of sun hit. We went by MRT to the area of Langshen Temple and bought some chocolate boxes from a very beautifull local brand seller "SOPHisca" and we went back home in the VIP city.

     

    Saturday was the last day in Taipei for the four of us, the Aunt of Easter "an officer in Mackay Medical College", wanted to make it special for us... she decided to show us the place where she works and she took us later to the "Sanjhih museum of Taiwanese history", and there we saw the transmission of life from the first ancestors the Ketagaln to the Taiwanese citizens of today... we saw greatness of taiwan leaders; those who were fighting for independance and honor of the nation... Lee teng Hui, Chiang Wen Ye, Tu Tsung Ming etc... names that will remain alive in every Taiwanese heart due to the achievements they did to the amazing Taiwan...

     

    On the image of Taiwan's first president house we left Taipei dream to go back to Taichung... our beloved city....


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  • Nantu... welcome to heaven

    It was the morning of August 16, 2011... an unforgettable day was about to happen and I wouldn't expect that even it was a dejà-vu... The night before, Laura Gomez's host family suggested to me to join them in a trip to "Sunmoon lake"... the name of the place sounded good for me at that time so I told to my self why not!... we made an appointment for 10 AM and we took the direction of Nantu (the only county without ocean borders in Taiwan)... In the entry of Nantu we picked up the two cousins of Esther , the youngest member in Laura's host family, and we proceeded in the way to the lake. Not so far from our destination we were driving on a mountain road and suddenly a mythic view showed up from the green... it was the "Sunmoon Lake". I cannot even describe the way I felt when I put my first step in the "Sunmoon Lake area". Taiwanese government has managed the space to make it like a VIP hotel without affecting the natural features of the lake. In the entry we found a huge restaurant with quiet tasty menus... we choose a table in the balcony to admire the charming view of the lake border under the restaurant... after eating we bought tickets for the Rope-way and took a lot of pictures of the water surrounded by green mountains from the sky... it was like a ferry tale image... thousands of tourists came to the lake each day and it makes sense; since that was really unique as a natural gift from God... later in the noon we took a walk in the traditional market of Nantu and that was also interesting cause they sell local handmade items that tells too much about people customs and habits in Nantu county... The thing I liked the much, is that whenever you go you will find yourself in the quay, watching the amazing view of water surrounded by the green. We took many pictures everywhere we went... And by the way, Taiwanese people are so nice with foreigners and so friendly; whenever you go people smile and welcome you, you buy or not, they will treat you so kindly in a way you will fall in love with them... After this walk we went to Starbucks coffee to take rest and enjoy the balcony view... to be honest there was too much to see in "Sunmoon lake area" (like the Wen Wu temple, the Ci En Pagoda, etc...), but the charming view of the lake made us crazy and we spent the whole day walking around... In our way back home, the oldest sister of Esther suggested to meet at night and go to the disco. I found it a great idea since it's gonna be an entertainment place and discovery one in the same time... so we made a deal for that. By 9 PM, we met and went together to "AMAN KING" night club. From outside it was like a hotel in the middle of an Oasis... waaaaw!!! and the night started; Taiwanese singers are the best... on stage there were a boy and a very shaggy girl singing with a back ram music some amazing English and Chinese songs. The audience choose and they perform... and what an amazing performance... two couples of singers made the atmosphere so cool... I was so loud so the singers reacted well with me which allowed us, me and Laura to make pictures with them after the show. The night reached it's end and we left all of us the club back home, but as I said; it's gonna be an unforgettable day ;)


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  • SayTaiwan... we say it in the streets this time ;)

     It's my forth day in the beautiful Taiwanese city, Taichung... To be honest today I didn't plan for something special... my schedule was only to meet the other guests in Taichung Train station and then improvise.

     

    More then 10 delegates, from Latin America, Slavic Europe, Australia and Africa and some locals who are basically some members of the hosting families, decided to walk through the Taichung streets and discover a new places to see... We went to a big park in the north of the city which was an amazing space for relaxing and catching new breath; we were so loud in the beginning but the beauty of the lake surrounded by green plants and trees made us silent for a while to admire the extravagant colors. Jose from Ecuador and Laura from Colombia decided to leave the team to catch the train going to Taipei, so we walked ahead in a very warm atmosphere of goodbyes... Not too far from there we found our self next to the Kung-Fu old temple which was by luck closed... we figured out that entertainment spaces close on Mondays cause of the excessive work in Sunday. We took some pictures of the temple from a bridge facing  it, which was the idea of the "blond" Lucia from Czechoslovakia, and we went to big underground restaurant to get lunch... since I was fasting Ramadan   , I watched them eating without sharing anything. Food was delicious according to what it smells but I couldn't touch nothing :'( 

     

    Anyway, after lunch we took the bus in direction of the campus of sciences, the university in which Avy-the host girl of Laura Gomez- studies Green Spaces Architecture... You will not believe this, there was a catholic church inside the campus and it was designed in a freak way but very artistic... We met a lot of locals taking rest there and since our team mate from Africa was claiming free hugs for Taiwan, he probably hugged all the boys and the girls there after those crossing him in the street (even the police officer!)... After making photos together in the campus we went to the night market close to the campus and we bought some hot food in a popular restaurant, and again I was watching them eating cause at that time I still have to wait more 45 minutes to stop fasting... At the end of the day I bought some juice and cake to eat them since the sunset time arrived and we left together the market to get the buss and go back home... very hard day but we enjoyed the company of each other... Taichung crew are like a big family and inspiring places in Taiwan still wait for us... 


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