Taiwan is great so far. People are treating us like rockstars. Everywhere we go theres a welcome-committee and we are showered with gifts of different kinds. I really enjoy Taiwan and the time goes by so fast. The food is really good, the people are very nice, the nature here is amazing (so green compared to deserty Arizon we left behind) and everywhere you go there’s people driving mopeds. Even the humidity doesn’t bother me that much anymore. Being sticky of sweat is something I’m starting to get used to (still don’t like it though).
We are seven girls living at a Buddhist monastery. The fact that we have internet surprised us all because this temple is simple. I’m now sitting on the concrete in one of the hallways. I’m literally outside and the balcony is just a few meters from me. That is something I love about this building, there are no walls. You are inside and outside at the same time. Makes me think of middle eastern palaces. The crickets are loudly reminding me of that I’m very close to nature.
I love it here. We live in rooms that doesn’t have beds. Very simple wooden, 30 cm high, structures with thin madrasses on them is what we’re sleeping on. It’s not that bad. I actually like it. Ofcourse you can’t really avoid waking up once in a while with your hip bone hurt but that is just something you have to endure.
Except of us six nuns live here in this huge temple. They are the most adorable little women I’ve ever met. They are all bald and short – my length – and dressed in their special simple outfits, some linen pants and a over sized shirt. Whenever they see you they greet you with the biggest smile (and mostly often some giggeling and chinese sentenses you dont’t understand at all but gladly respond to in english or swedish). Tomrrow we’re getting up early (4 am) to participate in their daily ceremony. We actually woke up early this morning and sneaked down the stairs (I felt like a kid early on christmas morning) to watch them. I cant really describe it. It has to be seen. Hopefully I can, after being a part of the ceremony tomorrow morning, write something about it.
I have a lot more things to tell, but I don’t have time or patiense. I would want to share all of what we’ve done today! We’ve been doing calligraphy and crafting and we were at a house of a Bonsai master. I’ve never met anyone that loves trees so much. For an hour he showed us powerpoint slides of trees (some pictures with him in them, some with titles like ”Old huge tree” and ”Wind Style Tree” and some just incredibly beautiful) and then he showed us his garden. That man was unique, that’s for sure. I’d also love to tell about our first show, which totally went bad, and our second, which was really good. I would also love to share about my host family in our first city here in Taiwan, Miaoli. I had the sweetest family, filled with so much love. Robert, Linda, Roland and Kate were real humlbe, giving and loving people. Our first community impact day is also something I’d love to write about. We were at a hospital, interacting and helping some elderly. I helped feeding a old lady who couldn’t speak, neither english nor chinese. She was unable to speak but her smile spoke for her. I can only describe with the swedish word pillimariskt. Her smile was magical and it affected me so much. She is not going to forget that we were there. At one point that day me and Emma was holding one hand each of a sick old lady. She was lying in her bed and smiled. We were talking in swedish and english and she spoke chinese. Some words were translated by our lovely translator (who later on went to our show and ended up applying for Up with people but that’s a whole other story) and the nurse told us that the lady was getting better from her illness. We waid that we could tell, she looked both happy and healthy. When the nurse after this told us what the lady answered my eyes literly filled with tears. I had to fight to not start crying. ”She says she is getting better because of you. You bring both love and hope.” I felt it in my heart and in my hand (because she held it tighter).
Now I’m not even going to upload pictures, although I have hundreds of them, because I really need to sleep. I’ll upload pictures as soon as I can. Hope that everything is fine at home. Hugs and much love from a temple in Taiwan. Life is beautiful.