Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our First Month

Things have been crazy her in Taiwan over out first month! It's been one wild ride of trying to get in and settled, make friends, and find jobs. Still I don't think there is much I would consider changing.

One of the most interesting cultural things we have encountered so far is Ghost Month. Typically no one moves in or out of their place  but we did (silly Westerners). So there are no doubt neighbors around us who believe e moved the ghosts in with us. If that wasn't enough, I often forget to bring the laundry in off the line on our balcony before dark so once again I am bringing ghosts in who have gotten into our clothes. We have also seen many people burning paper money to support the needs of their loved ones in the after life. I know there have also been parades and fireworks because I have heard them but haven't seen them myself.

Also, Jimmy and I have both been successful in finding jobs this month. We start classes on Sept. 2nd.  We are both excited and nervous. Jimmy is working in a cram school (buxiban) and I am working in a private elementary school. We are both still in the process of getting our paperwork processed so pray that goes through smoothly.

We have also been blessed to start making some pretty amazing friends here too. Some of them are expats like us but many of them are Taiwanese. We have enjoyed spending time with Jamie, Lily, Simon Lewis, and Jamie's mom at L.A.X Burger (Jamie's Restaurant). We have also gotten to know Jessie, a sweet server at one of our other favorite restaurants. Keep Jessie's family in your prayers as her father is very ill. One of our new friends was an unexpected house guest. We always want our house to be open and used for God's glory so when Kyle asked if Jed could come and stay with us while he looked for a job we said of course! I think it was probably harder for him than it was for us since Kyle and Jimmy were always ready with some brotherly ribbing. Still he survived and has just started his school year in Taipei.

Well, I guess that's really all for now. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to seek out a church where we feel we can worship and ministries we can partner in. We also want to get a routine schedule hammered out so we can start adding in some language learning activities. So many things to do! Thank you for all the prayers and support which have already been offered up on our behalf. We couldn't have made it through without your support!

Grace and Peace,


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Welcome to Taiwan

The last few days have been a crazy fun adventure in our new home--Taiwan. 

We landed safely in Taipei on July 30th. There were so many times on our trip that we were truly blessed. When we arrived at the airport, the airline charged us much less in baggage fees than we anticipated. They also needed more carry-on room on the plane so we were able to voluntarily gate check one of our bags for free. This meant less baggage to drag through all the airports.

On our flights we had at least 1-2 empty seats beside us at all times (including the 13.5 hr Atlanta to Tokyo flight). So we were able to spread out and not be cramped. We had excellent flight attendants and the in flight entertainment was good too.

When we arrived in Taipei, we made it through customs quickly and without issue. We each received a 90 day visa for free. When we picked up our bags in baggage claim, they were all there. PTL! We were a little worried about our gate checked bag but it turned out it was the very last bag on the belt so there was nothing to fear.

After departing customs, we found our driver waiting for us as planned. He didn't speak English but he was very nice and we had directions prepared in Chinese to give him. He found our hotel without issue and we were able to check in with the owner, Sam. Sam spoke English well, and made sure we were all settled and had everything we needed.

Our stay in Taipei (2 days) was fun. We went around and did some tourist-y things. We had fun and were able to make it back to our hotel each night.

On Friday morning, the same driver who picked us up at the airport came back to drive us and our bags to Taichung. The drive was beautiful and took a little over two hours. Upon arrival we were able to check into our temporary housing. This was a little challenging as they didn't speak much English but we managed.

The last two days we have been busy running around Taichung with our new found friends Kyle and Jenny Mulaney who have been invaluable in setting up our new apartment. I don't know how we could have done all this without them!

Now as we sitting here waiting for the phone/Internet guy to come, I am writing to you. Thank you, God for our new friends. Thank you for everything we have been able to get accomplished in the past two days and the chance to relax in Taipei. PTL for our save travel and for all our baggage arriving in one piece. Hopefully I will be able to upload pictures soon so you can see what we have been doing.

Grace and peace,