Sunday, July 31, 2011

Taiwan Food

A few weeks ago, I thought it would be interesting to make a list of all the food I've eaten in Taiwan that American's would think is "gross". Most of it was good, some was ok, and some was "I've eaten this once in my life, and never again!" In no particular order, here it is:

shark fin
Pig blood cake
Duck blood
Stinky tofu
Pig intestine
Chicken feet
Chicken bottom
Duck head
Sea cucumber
Clam lip
Pig tendon
Black chicken
Fish eye

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Major Changes

I can't believe it's been almost two months since I last posted on this blog. I started out by trying to post once a week....hasn't gone as I planned :(. I've just been lazy and busy! So...this will be a compendium of all the news of the last two months.

Major Events:

  1. Passing thesis oral defense & finishing thesis
  2. Graduating & "official" graduation procedure
  3. Living with (future) in-laws
  4. Getting ready to go back to the US
  5. Fun times with Whitney. 
The thesis oral defense went well...I missed some stuff in the presentation, but I later added it to the presentation. Getting the final approval from my professor, however, was a lesson in patience. The school had some unique format requirements that Microsoft Word DEFINITELY didn't like!'s all good now. God is good.

Graduation was a very special day. Whitney, her mom, and her grandma all came to the graduation. There were several different events - the GMBA graduation in the morning, official graduation in the afternoon, and a really nice celebration dinner in the evening. It felt kind of weird to not have my family there, but I was still VERY happy to have my dear there to share the day with me :). The official graduation process made me VERY thankful for Whitney, as several of the instruction papers were only available in Chinese. Getting everything right took a few days, and I'm glad I gave myself some extra time. 

Living with Whitney's mom has been another lesson in patience. However, it has helped us understand each other a little more. As the grandparents (and aunts and uncles) live next door, I have gotten an education in traditional Chinese ways of living, and some of the ideas and ways of doing things that Whitney grew up with. Some of those things we'll adopt in our own life - other things we won't - but at least I'm more aware of her environment. I'm sure the same thing will happen in the next few months, as we go the US together...

It's amazing to think that I'll be going back to the US in less than a week! After being in Taiwan for almost two years, life in Long Pond, PA seems almost like a dream....a dream that will become reality very soon. Both my family members and I have changed...a LOT, and it will be strange to land in the middle of their already-busy lives. So many things are different. I really feel like I haven't stayed connected enough with my family, but talking on the phone every few weeks doesn't really do much! I haven't seen any pictures of my dad's house. I can't wait to introduce Whitney to my family, and show her where I live, and what I like to do.

However, the last month has seen us do a lot of fun stuff together. We went to Leofoo Village, an amusement park here in Taiwan. We've also gone to Yilan, to visit Frieda (a former student). We also went to Whitney's middle school reunion. Mostly, however, we've just relaxed. Life has seemed to move at a slower pace than it did during the school year. It's a very weird feeling for me, who is very task-oriented, and who often measures the success of a day by how much "stuff" I can get done.

I haven't started to look for jobs very much, as I can't start work for two more months anyway... Also, my dad wants me to come back to the States, and there are some people he wants me to talk to. All I can do is pray, and knock on doors. I'm just doing my best :)

God is definitely teaching me patience. As

I haven't started to look for jobs very much, as I can't start work for two more months anyway... Also, my dad wants me to come back to the States, and there are some people he wants me to talk to. All I can do is pray, and knock on doors. I'm just doing my best :)

God is definitely teaching me patience. As Whitney and I learn more about each other, we're learning about more things that we'll have to discuss and compromise on in the future, once we live in our own place, and have our own life. Even more opportunities for patience coming up!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Counting down the time...

2 more weeks of  thesis oral defense is on Friday...counting down the days. Whitney is graduating on June 11; I'm graduating on June 25. Other than that, not much is happening. I'm still looking for work, still praying and thinking about what's going to happen after graduation, after the trip to the US. I know God will make the way clear...He's done it many times before, but I'm still thinking about it, worrying about it, and wondering what I can do to force the next step. I have so much still to learn...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Yet another week (closer to graduation)

Time is going faster....May is already half done, which means that I'll be home soon! I can't believe that 21 months in Taiwan has past. It's (almost) over. Done. Finished. Never to be recovered. It has been a great time... a time of learning and growing. I have also met the most amazing person in the world! (who actually agreed to marry me!)

I know I'm waxing philosophical, but this past week wasn't too eventful. On Monday, I went to a class in which they discussed one of those personality tests. I didn't learn too many new things, but it was good to get confirmation, as well as a written evaluation on where I am, and an action plan for the future. I hope to be able to use this in the future as I work with others, and am aware of my strengths and weaknesses - to focus on helping in areas that I'm strong at, and delegate the other things to other people.This afternoon I met with my pastor for lunch, and it was good to relax, and talk about a bunch of stuff, from Chinese to God.

I'm now thinking and praying about the possibility of starting a business here in Taiwan. It's kind of a weird place to be, as my plans for the next year are in limbo. However, it's definitely been a time of faith (although I'm not sure if my faith is actually growing) and waiting on God to make things clear. I've seen God work in so many ways before, and show me what He wants me to do, that I KNOW He will continue to show me what His will is. I just pray that I'll have the eyes to see it. With both Whitney and I praying and thinking, I know God will show His will. God's promised that He will lead us, so He will...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

More and More

Yet another two weeks have passed. A lot has happened, and the pieces are starting to come together. First of all, my professor ok'd my thesis, which means it's now in the hands of the thesis reviewers. I just pray I don't have to change TOO much. It's definitely more like a market report than an actual thesis, but I think it's (somewhat) professionally done ;)

Whitney went to the AIT last week, and was approved for her American visa, which means that she can go with me in July! It's going to be good...and strange to be back. I can't wait to see my family, though! I miss them a LOT! Since I left the US, my one home has become two; two years of school have been completed, as well as an MBA; and I've met my life partner.

God has definitely been in it all, though. Even though there have been  difficult times throughout, there have also been good times. Many of them. I'm so thankful for all that He's given me (especially Whitney), all that He's done, all that He's taught me.

Now I'm thinking about what's next. There are SO many opportunities, plans, and ideas floating around in my head. I'm just praying that God would make the way clear, that He would show Whitney and I WHAT He wants us to do, WHEN he wants us to do it, and HOW it should be done.

First of all, though, is finishing school, and visiting the family....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ups and Downs

God definitely puts us through things, and in places that we don't want to be, and all we can do is ask Him to teach us whatever it is He has in mind.

First of all, I finished the rough draft of my thesis, which is a huge deal. I just pray that I don't have to change too much when it comes to revising and editing once professors start looking at it critically. SO...I kind of took it easy on Friday and Saturday - did a little research for a possible business idea, but nothing too much.

Today, however, was a day I don't want to repeat. Ever. I never thought I would go to a funeral on Easter. I especially never thought that I would go to a funeral for a two year-old. Even though her family is Christian, and are confident that they will see her again, it's still just so painful that a girl so young should be taken from her family. The only thing left to do is to give God all of the grief, all of the questions, and all of the pain.

This brings up the question that humans have asked over and over, and for which we have never quite found a completely satisfactory answer. How can a good and loving God allow pain and sorrow to His children. While good things do come out it, and although He DOES sustain His children, it's just so darn HARD.

Here's a thought: If God the Father didn't save Himself from incredible sorrow, and His Son from incredible pain, should we, as His children, expect any different?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Life passes quickly

I know...I'm terrible...For some reason, I thought about my blog yesterday, and realized that I haven't blogged for almost two months! These last two months have been crazy...and extremely good! Last Sunday, of of the most important things of all of life occurred, when Whitney agreed to become my wife. Even though we've only been together for 8 months, I know that she is the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.

I am so blessed to have Whitney in my life. She's sweet, thoughtful, kind. patient...she loves learning, and is always ready for a new adventure. She puts up with my crazy ideas, and is ok

Other than that, not too much is happening. The most important and time-consuming project this semester is definitely my thesis! I've been spending hours and hours on research and analysis, and Whitney and I can't wait for my divorce from my  "little wife". Thankfully, I'm actually enjoying this project, and haven't dreaded doing more research every day.

Two other classes that I've been taking is "" and "Business Ethics" and "Competitiveness of Asian Economies" More than just blah about Ethics, the teacher is trying to teach us decision making processes, as well as the "MISI" method of describing a problem() If I can make this a part of my life, I think it will help me. In the Asian Economies class, we discuss a case study each week, focusing on Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China.

Case studies are probably the single biggest thing that have helped me learn the most in this MBA...a different way of looking at a problem. Some of my case studies are conducted by professors that really want us to dig deep in the story...what is the real answer? Most of the time I don't understand the real ideas, but when I do, it's such a great feeling!

The biggest thing that God has been teaching me is about pride. I heard from a couple different people that I often insist on being right, and don't quit until others agree with me. FiancĂ©es are wonderful for that sort of thing ;). Other than that, I've been learning about patience - I'm finishing school in 2 months, and have no idea what's after that, other than a 2-month trip to America. If I talk to a company now, and tell them I'm not available until the middle of September (5 months from now), I'm not sure how likely it is that they'll want me :P.

I have a rough idea of what I want to do, but have no idea of what GOD wants me to do. Ideally, I'd work in Taiwan for a year, then go to Australia, where Whitney would start school, and I'd change jobs. I don't want to work in Taiwan long term - the work culture here is not how I want to live my life. I want my family to be more important than my work - not the other way around!

I have no idea how God will work this out...I just know that He will - He's led me so far, and I believe that He will keep on showing me what He wants me to do!