Final Thoughts

As we get ready to depart from Taiwan today we wanted to share our final thoughts from this trip…

Kenting, Taiwan.

Abbie:

I learned a lot from my time here in Taiwan not just about the country, culture, and health science but also about myself. I have always been afraid to leave home and travel without my family, I’m not a person who leaves her comfort zone very often so this trip was a giant step for me. Being here has taught me how to adjust to a different life style it taught me to worry less about what others see and just to enjoy they beauty surrounding me. We always want to post what we are doing and have our noses stuck in our phones but seeing the temples and beautiful agricultural of Taiwan tore me away from the world of social media and taught me how to live in the world around me not in my phone. I have learned a lot from this trip and I am forever grateful for the lessons it has taught. There was great food eaten, fun times had and forever fiends made and I will never forget it.

Kenting, Taiwan.

Lorraine:

What I really enjoyed during this trip was being able to see the beauty of nature in Taiwan. During my stay at Kenting, I was able to learn about the national parks and see how other tourists enjoyed the parks.

Taipei, Taiwan.

Kim:

I enjoyed getting to know my group and learning how people can just get along and appreciate one another even from different cultures. I enjoyed learning about the history and religious background of Taiwan as well. I like how respect seems to be a HUGE part of who they are in every part of the country we visited and the concern for recycling and keeping your town clean from litter. My favorite part of the trip was going to the National Sports Training Center and learning about the facility and how the athletes are selected and what they need to do to maintain a spot in the facility. I also enjoyed the beach and exploring the different parts of Taiwan. I made some local friends along the way and overall I am thankful I got to experience this trip even though I was a little homesick and sleepy for some of it.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Kayly:

My favorite experience from this trip was seeing the big Buddha and the lanterns. It’s hard to imagine something so big, and seeing it in real life was actually breathtaking. I couldn’t even bring myself to take pictures because they didn’t do it any justice. I hope I get to see it again in person some day soon!!

Let’s Talk About Taipei

The last four days in Taipei have been hectic! Unfortunately the WiFi connection has not been great so we have not been able to make that many posts, so I’ll try to recap our experiences in this post. Our first full day spent in Taipei was full of fun adventures and lots of rain, much like all of the days here in Taipei. We had an amazing tour around the old town of Taipei where we learned about the history involving Taiwan, China, and Japan. The most interesting piece of history about the tour was learning about a historical day called 2/28 which led to a rebellion of the Taiwanese people against their Chinese police force. We also got to see the presidential office (pictured below).After the tour we visited the tallest building in Taiwan, Taipei 101. Here we had some of the most amazing dumplings and even met up with a former student of GCU who now lives in Taiwan.

GCU Pride! Taipei 101.

The next day we went to a to the National Palace Museum, which is ranked one of the top three most important museums in the world, to learn more about the amazing country we are staying in. Ancient Asia artifacts are kept on this museum! After a few hours at the museum we decided it was lunch time and had some pretty awesome burgers with rice buns from our new favorite restaurant Mos Burgers.

It took us only a few minutes to finish up lunch then we were onto our new adventure, the hot springs! Hot springs are common places in Taiwan and Japan where people go to relax. Many hot springs are open to the public but we were fortunate enough to have private hot spring rooms in a beautiful hotel. We all felt so relaxed after about two hours in the warm water. After walking for as long as we have this trip the warm water helped heal the aches and pains from using our leg muscles more so than we normally do.The Gaia Hotel, the most relaxing place in Taiwan!!!

On our final full day here we decided to sleep in a little and do some more relaxed activities like shopping and eating. We visited Tamsui and Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. I can’t believe this trip is almost over!

Learning with Lorraine

For many of us on the trip we are experiencing the type of culture in Taiwan for the first time. For Lorraine she is able to relate to the culture here a bit more due to her cultural background. In this post Lorraine will explain just exactly what we are learning culture wise in Taiwan!

So far I am enjoying the Taiwanese culture. I did not find it extremely hard to adapt to because it is very similar to the Vietnamese culture. Buddhism and Taoist seems to be one of the biggest religions practiced on Taiwan. From walking miles to riding the bus, you can see temples everywhere dedicated to both religions. The temples allow visitors to go in, pray, and burn incense. When I went inside a Taoist temple with my group, we were given an opportunity to pay respects to the Gods and Godesses inside the temple. Intricate handwork can be seen throughout the temple and even the ceilings. Hard work and dedication can be clearly seen by us. We also got to step inside a Confuscious temple. Dr.Chen explained to us how students go to this temple to pray for good grades and passing of exams. When we visited the Buddhist Monastery, I was able to see beautiful paintings and statues of Buddha and Guan Yin. There was also a room filled with artifacts related to the worshiping in the Buddhist religion. There were food offering tableware, lamps, etc that date back to ancient times. It is truly amazing to see a glimpse of items that people back then used. Overall, the trip is allowing me to observe how Taiwanese people worship their Gods and Goddesses.

-Lorraine

The word of the day is art.

Monday was filled with two of the museums which make up what is called the Golden Mile here in Madrid. The Reina Sofia and The Thyssen Museum are two museums which house similar collections, but find a way to differ themselves immensely. The Reina Sofia houses the Modern Art collection of Madrid and up until the 90s, was a working hospital. The museum keeps on display one of the most important pieces of Pablo Picasso’s work, Guernica, which was his response to the bombings of Northern Spain by the state with the help of Germany and Italy. It was his submission to the World Exposition in Paris, France as he was chosen to represent Spain. The next museum, The Thyssen, houses one of the greatest collaborations of European art in Europe and possibly the world. They carry everything from medieval to modern and make an effort to guide the visitor through hundreds of years of Europe, just through their collection. Although it was a long day, we are a little bit more cultured, a little bit more educated, and just a little bit more aware.

Crash Course from Kayly

We are here in Taiwan to learn a little bit more about the topic of exercise science. In this post Kayly will go into detail about one of the most educational parts of the trip thus far regarding exercise science….

One of the most important pieces of information that we’ve learned about health and wellness in Taiwan thus far, is how significant sports are to this country. We had the opportunity to tour the National Sports Training Center in Kaohsiung, and learned that the athletes who are recruited to train in this facility, as well as the numerous departments that serve them, all want Taiwan to receive better representation for their advanced athletics. This training center is one of a kind in Taiwan, with training for several sports, advanced technology to help athletes, and even a department of psychologists to help with the stress many athletes experience. From just this one tour, we were all able to understand that even though Taiwan may be small, their athletes are extremely mighty, and they are hoping to gain better recognition for this immense health and wellness accomplishment.

Quote in the boxing training room-

“Training is tiring, progress is hard, but the dream is clear.”

-Kayly Donovan

Water we up to today?

Today we traveled to Kenting, we will be spending the next two days here. It’s a beach town so we had to have a beach day! We did some very fun extreme water activities, while doing so we learned about delayed onset muscle soreness in short bits from Dr.Chen and Dr.Wortley since we all will be feeling sore tomorrow! After a fun day in the sun we headed to a night market did some shopping and ate incredible food!

When the sun sets, the girls head out

After an eventful day at the Museo de Prado and El Parque Retiro, the girls split up and did their own thing! Kiyomi and Olivia headed to Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and watched the world famous rivalry between Real Madrid FC and CF Barcelona! Even though Real Madrid lost, it was an experience they for sure will never forget. Meanwhile, Susi and Carmen hit the town! They enjoyed dinner and watched the sports fans watching their beloved team on TV. Professor Rivera, Professor Farris and Savannah went out for a nice quiet dinner.

After the match, the girls met up and enjoyed the night life atmosphere of Madrid and how comfortable the city felt. All in all, we had an amazing time.

Tigers, Dragons, and Buddha.. Oh my!

Today we started our adventure by going to The National Sports Training Center if Taiwán. Here we saw where the elite athletes of Taiwan trained for competitions like the Olympics and The Asians Games. We learned about how these athletes get selected to stay at the center and what it takes to help athletes and be an athlete in Taiwan. We then took a trip to see some beautiful statues or dragons, tigers, and the god of warriors. Finally we took a bus to one of the worlds largest Buddha statues. It had such beautiful scenery and was truly a breath taking experience, there was a portion of the time there where we went to a temple gifted the buddha with a flower and prayed.

The first day is done…

We started our trip by hitting the ground running. It started with a train ride, dropping our things off at the hotel, and going out on the town! Bus rides, meals, walking tours, and just taking in the city.

Capturing Kaohsiung

Today we explored some beautiful parts of Kaohsiung, we saw some interesting art work, did a little bit of shopping, hiked up a very steep set of stairs and took a ferry ride. Along the way we captured all our great memories in a ton of photos. During our hike we even made up a game called “Where’s Dr.Chen”, There were statues along the hike that represented the interactions between the Taiwanese and the British, if you look close you can see Dr.Chen being one with the statues! Along our travels we stopped by a University in Kaohsiung where we ran into a few angry monkeys! Currently we are having a nice dinner with Dr.Chen’s family.