Thursday, October 21, 2010

Typhoon Megi

It has been raining everyday this month, but up until Satruday there was always a reprive at some point in the day. Apparently this is normal October weather here. So I hadn't thought to much of the rain until it started pouring the last few days, and this time its been non-stop. Since Saturday we have gotten 28 inches of rain, 10+ of which has fallen in the past 12 hours and its beginning to show. The lake just down the road has risen anywhere from 4-7 feet and roads all over the county are closed due to flooding. We're getting another typhoon . . . Typhoon Megi is only the 2nd typhoon to hit Taiwan this year. Its a slow moving storm off the west coast of the island, its only moving 7 kms an hour and it hasn't even reached the southern tip of Taiwan yet. They are estimating that at this rate it will take over a week to swing past and continue on its way to China where its expected to make landfall. The bulk of the storm is still to come, which is going to be very interesting to see as already the country as slowed to an almost standstill. School ended early today so the parents could come get their kids before all the roads closed down.

Yilan County is expected to be hit the worst of all Taiwan, which just happens to be the area that the Home is situated. Its kind of exciting. But I am sure it won't be after the power and internet go out which is usually a matter of course when typhoons hit. We're just hoping that it doesn't flood bad enough that we need to move all the babies upstairs or something. So far there hasn't been any flooding near the Home, but who knows?

Some pictures for you. Keep in mind this is really only the first day of torrential rains. Theres a lot more rains to come!

This is usually a dry riverbed.

The water is usually 3 feet below this dock.
and this is the view from our roof. Its pretty wet everywhere!

and I just found out . . . about 30 minutes away there is some flooding that is 2 stories high! If you could keep us in your prayers that that sort of flooding doesn't happen here, it would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, October 18, 2010

1 month to go!

I am growing more and more excited about the fact that I will be home in a month and its only 2 weeks now until David gets here. Yet, I am also growing more and more decided of the fact that I don't really want to leave this place. Its become much more a home than I thought it ever could be and all these strangers that I live with, I realized recently that they've become more like family than anything else.

I thought when this time came that I would so anxious to leave, but I find that while I am counting down the days until I am back with the family, I wish that I had a little more time here.

I'm going to miss my babies!

The next week is going to be an exciting week as :
  • We have a new baby girl coming in the next few days.
  • Two court dates which means two babies could go home in a month or so.
  • A birth family will be coming. Its always interesting to see the resemblances between baby and parents and see how they respond the the little person they have given up. Some parents cry, others would rather not even be here. 
  • Bev and Ted get back from China where they've been for a week.
  • Ava's adoptive parents come and before David gets here, they will be back in the States with their new baby girl.
The remainder of my two weeks is going to fly by. Excited, yet not at the same time. 

Some highlights of the past few weeks would be:

We had a group of 12 musicians come to the Home and give the kids a little concert. They were all brass and sounded super cool! Bev sent us over to watch as well and we had a great time with the kids! The played "Do-Re-Me" and the kids all sang along in Chinese while we of course, sang in English. So neat to hear that familiar song in another language. When the show was over the players let the little kids try the instruments! 

One of the other highlights for me was that Ava started smiling. She is 2 1/2 months old and up until recently, despite my best efforts I was only ever rewarded with a yawn or two. But the other day she decided that smiling wasn't all that hard and since then has been grinning away. The best part of this little story is that I was the first person she smiled at. There is something so incredibly special about getting a babies first smile!

There were other highlights too, but this will have to do for now. We're being informed by the noise in the nursery that nap time is over and there are babies to hold and love.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Taiwan 10.07 Highlights

  • Staying up late with the girls (ie: 2am!) discussing everything under the sun.
  • Visiting the Cultural Center, again and discovering that it just gets better.
  • Ritz crackers with brown sugar candy in between.
  • Overcast skies for 3 days and much cooler weather. So cool in fact that we all donned jeans and some of the girls are even wearing jackets.
  • Meeting Timothy's parents and watching them fall in love with his big grin.
  • Having the Georke Gang here for 10 days from the States. Yeah for clean windows and all the help they have been!
  • Introducing the family to Elijah and finding that they think he's as cute as I do.
  • Finding my camera again after 24 hours of not knowing where it was.
  • Watching the watershow at night down by the lake.
  • Finding that I really do miss Ted, Bev, and Anna who are gone for a few days. What am I going to do when they are gone for over a week?
  • Discovering that being sick abroad is twice as un-fun as it is at home.
  • Building deeper and much more meaningful relationships with people on so many more levels than I thought could/would happen.
  • Riding in a taxi twice within a week! 
  • David comes in less than a month. There is so much here that I am excited for him to see.
  • Finding out that Ava's parents are coming soon, and Kwen has his courtdate soon too!
  • Meeting a family of giant snails and finding that I'm not the only one who thinks snails are kind of cute.
  • While sitting on a wall, the four of us girls counted that we had our picture taken at least a dozen times within a half-hour by people who were pretending to be watching the other scenery. Hurrah for being the circus side-show!
  • Loving the babies more and more . . . 
  • Thrilled that I only have a month left, yet sad for the very same reason.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

To Tainan and Back again.

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to go visit Juanita ( a friend of Gramma Ardron) in Tainan for a few days. Juanita is the director of the Ray of Hope, a crisis pregnancy centre. I didn't know Juanita before I went down, but I was so blessed to be able to meet her and spend some time watching as she shared with the people around. I only stayed for 3 days, but I had a great time!

I arrived in Tainan by rail, my first time spending any length of time on a train (unless of course you count the train at Heritage Park...) so it was certainly an adventure! Especially since the train system isn't set up as well as I thought it should be for the very small number of passengers who could not read Chinese. But I managed!

I spent a little time going through the ROH thriftshop but didn't buy anything (aren't you proud Sarah :-) because I didn't have room in my suitcase. These ladies are some of the woman who work there, it was fun to get to know them a little bit. The girl in the middle is the Mama to one of the babies that has been here so it was neat to meet her!

Juanita had a friend who had a scooter accident so we went and visited her in the hospital. Taiwan hospitals aren't anything like what we have at home! Here, the families have to take care of the patients themselves (keeping clean, feeding . . . ), the nurses only help with the medical neccessities. It was a little shocking to my North American upbringing, but so have a lot of things here! This lady was riding her scooter and got hit by a car and when she got up to complain to the driver her drove over her foot and drove off.

I have to admit that of all the food I've been crazing Subway was my #1. I was so happy that there was one ing Tainan. Juanita was a little surprised that of all the resteraunt choices I had, I would pick something like that, but it made me very happy. And it tasted just like home!

Juanita spoke at Morrison Academy, a boarding school for American kids and ABC's (American born Chinese) so I tagged along for that. It was neat to hear her share her testimoney with so many kids and how they responded to her. I was so grateful that she allowed me to be her little assistant for the day and tag along from classroom to classroom.

When we got back, instead of relaxing in her apartment after a very long day on her feet, Juanita suggested we go to the night market! So of course we did. Its a neat place to wander around but after 9 it got so busy we could not even walk anymore! But thats ok, because by that time we were both ready to go home :-)