Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Kiwi is home!

Hi everyone, I have arrived home safe and sound and was greeted at the door by
an old friend.
I have had such a fantastic time and all my host mums looked after me so well.
Here I am showing Emily all my little treasures which some of the host mums
gave to me on my journey.

My news is that on Easter Sunday I will be flying off overseas once again. This time inside of someone's luggage instead of a parcel.
Clare is going to Italy on a studen exchange for 3 weeks. We will go to Rome first and then to the island of Sardinia. Fantastic!!!
When I return Mum says she will organise the NZ leg of my journey before once again sending me off overseas to do another round of different countries.
I am going to enjoy being back home and kicking back for a while before I head off once again.

Friday, October 17, 2008

October 4th

Today we've been to Mujha Zoo, a beautiful and big zoo in Taipei. It's so big that it's hard to see everything in one day
Here we can see the aborigional people from Taiwan ;) :P :D:

On these pictures you can see clear that this zoo is very big. Most of the animals have a lot of space to walk around. At the end of the day we couldn't feel our feet anymore, because we walked so much..

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

September 30th

Today I went to school with Amber.

I joined her all day long and it was very interesting to learn some Chinese. Amber's classmates loved me, too, and I felt like a real moviestar. They kept on touching me and they loved the sound I make.
In the evening I felt very hungry and we went out for dinner. The owners of the noodles shop we went to know Andrea and Amber well. They often have dinner here, because the noodles taste delicious and there is free ice cream for dessert.
It was difficult to make a choice, but I ordered "lemon chicken noodles" with clams

I loved it and finished it all. This day at school made me hungry and sleepy... It was already dark when we walked back home and this is a picture of Nankan by night


The next day I joined Andrea on a sightseeing tour through Nankan. Our first stop was the traditional market. It was very crowded and the smell wasn't very nice. Andrea told me that it smelled like "stinky tofu". Most of the Taiwanese people love this snack, but the smell is very bad, like rotten fish or even worse
I saw so many motorcycles. People don't like to ride a bike in Taiwan, they prefer to ride a motorcycle. People drive pretty dangerous on these motorcycles, so you have to keep your eyes wide open all the time.

Here are some pictures of the old part of Nankan. The street is narrow and there is always a lot of traffic.. Image all the motorcyclists on this road, the fact that there are no sidewalks, and the fact that people in cars drive like maniacs, too, and you get a good idea of this part of Nankan...LOL

We also passed a small temple. Temples can be found everywhere in Taiwan and some of them are beautiful.

We kept on walking and crossed this river. There wasn't that much water in it now, but that changes fast on rainy days. You can see the community where Andrea lived before on the right and the place where she lives now in the background. The blue "castle" in the background is the Tai Mall, the local shopping mall.

It was such a nice day for a walk...

We also went to another local market where Andrea usually buys fruit. The owner of the shop was surprise to see another kind of Kiwi :). The fruit in Taiwan is delicious and many kind of fruits are cultivated in Taiwan. Here I am sitting on top of some dragon fruit, a local fruit.

This picture shows a bit more of the market, but it was still early and most of the shops won't open until late in the afternoon

That's it for now. I'll send you another message soon.
A big hug from Kiwi :D :D

Monday, September 22, 2008

September 13th -14th

What is a visit to Taiwan without experiencing a real typhoon? Well....this weekend I had a chance to see how bad a typhoon can be.

Typhoon "Sinlaku" slammed into Taiwan on the weekend and the weather was bad, really bad. I have never seen that much rain in such a short time and it was so windy.....WOW!!! We couldn't leave the house for 2 days, because it was too dangerous outside.

You can read more about the typhoon here: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/09/16/asia/AS-Taiwan-Typhoon.php

The view on Saturday evening. It was raining so hard and the wind made such a bad noise. Following the news on the internet
Checking the news on TV. Everything was in Chinese, so it was hard to understand something : Doesn't this typhoon look big? This was the view on Saturday morning This was the view on Saturday afternoon

Friday, September 12, 2008

August 4th

Today I went to Taipei. We had to drive for 30 minutes to get there. This pictures was made while we were driving on the highway Here we are still on the highway, but already in Taipei We parked the car and took the MRT (underground) to the Presidential Office Building. The building was completed in 1919 and heavily damaged by Allied forces in 1945. Restoration took several years and became the presidential office in 1950. Nowadays the president still lives here. It's not a bad place to live, is it? We walked a bit further and pasted this building We also passed an old city gate The tall building in the background is the Taipei Main Station building. It was the tallest building in Taipei until the Taipei 101 was completed. Our last stop was the CKS Memorial Hall. It's a place that Andrea visits often . It's a monument erected in memory of Chiang Kai-Shek, former President of the Republic of China. The monument is surrounded by a park and stands at the east end of Liberty Square. The structure is framed on the north and south by the National Theater and National Concert Hall. The area is located within sight of the Presidential Building OfficeThis is the Memorial Hall The main building is white with four sides. The octagonal roof rises 70 meters above the ground and is covered with blue glazed glass tiles. The blue and white colors of the building and the red colour of the flowerbeds echo the colours in the flag of the Republic of China. The octagonal shape picks up the symbolism of the number 8, a number traditionally associated in Asia with abundance and good fortune.Two sets of white stairs, each with 89 steps to represent Chiang's age at the time of his death, ead to the main entrance. The main entrance features a pair of double doors, A large bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek dominates the main hall. Representatives of Taiwan's armed forces used to guard the main hall during its open hours, but not anymore.It was nice to walk around in the surrounding park. There are also 2 large ponds with Koi fish My last stop was the National Theater. They are restorating the building at the moment, but this pictures gives a good impression of its beauty. Opposite the Theater is the Concert Hall. It's exactly the same as the Theater

August 3rd

Back in Taiwan I wanted to see some more scenery places and today we went to Guangyin. This area is famous for its lotus ponds. The lotus seasons starts in July and lasts until the middle of August is the lotus season.

First we have visited this teahouse/restaurant/antique shop. The building was origionally located in China, but the have shipped everything to Taiwan and rebuilt. The building is already very old.
Do you see the big Buddha? This wooden Buddha is from Andrea and her husband, but it's too big to be displayed in their house. Now it's in this shop, waiting for somebody to buy it. It's beautiful......

There were also some lotus ponds around the house. Lotus leaves are very big

July 12 - July 31st

I was so lucky to go on a trip to the Netherlands with Andrea. She was happy to see her family and friends again, but so was I. I've been to The Netherlands twice before and I had some old friends to visit, too :D. We arrive on on July 13th and the weather was so nice. The sun was shining, the high humidity was gone and I enjoyed having some fresh air. One of the first things we did was going to the beach. The weather can change easily in Holland, so we had to take advantage of the sunny weather right away The way of living is also different from Taiwan. Most of the people live in houses with gardens.Andrea grew up in the province of Zeeland and her mom still lives in the same house where she grew up. This is the place where I stayed. Did you see all the sunflowers.....lovely! (pict 1) This is the garden. Mom, do you remember that I can make noise? I tried to get in contact with some local birds and guess what..... they were all curious to find out who I was. I told them all about my adventures and my hometown in New Zealand.'That was so much fun! (pict. 3) We've also been to "Miniature Walcheren". It shows the beauty of an area in Zeeland, Walcheren on a scale of 1:20. It was nice to see more of the area this way (pict. 006/0001(2) Furthermore whe have visited many friends, relaxed in the garden, walked around and enjoyed our time....lovely time!!!!!

June 16th

JUNE 16th:

"Ni hao" from Taiwan. I have arrived here a couple of weeks ago. I really had to get used to the temperature when I arrived, because it's hot, sunny, and humid in Taiwan. I needed a couple of days to adjust myself to this humid weather.

I'm having a great time here, together with my host Andrea and her daughter Amber. They are showing me around all the time, but often forget to bring their camera....so silly! At night I usually sleep in Amber's bed, far away from the 2 cats which are also walking around in the house.

So far we have been on 1 big trip. We took the highspeed train from Taoyuan to Taichung. Taichung is a city in central Taiwan. Usually it takes 2-3 hours to get there, but it only took 25 minutes by HST, unbelievable!!!
Here were are at the station in Taoyuan

It was time to get on the train

After 25 minutes we arrived in Taichung

Unfortunately it was raining all day long, so we didn't get a change to go sight-seeing. Instead we spent a lot of time in department stores and restaurants

This is the first update from Taiwan. Mommy…I miss you, but don't worry too much about me. I am having a great time here J

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kiwi's Aussie Stay

Well, at last I found the photo cd so can add Kiwi's last leg of his aussie stay.
I think I am missing some story lines though as there are alot more photos here that dont match up with the diary entry. Bear with me and I will update when possible :)

April and May were very busy times here but I still had fun. One morning when I woke up, Crizle told me we were going to take the train into Brisbane. We had such a fun day together. we vistied the War Memorial , the Old Brisbane GPO and caught a ferry across to Southbank. At Southbank I sat on the beach for a while. I met a couple from Christchurch who told Crizle that Kiwi's dont swim. It was hot and I wanted to show her I could swim, but sadly she agreed with those human Kiwis.
We sat and watched all the boats on the river, and we went to the Temple built there for Expo 88. It is so beautiful with carved wood.
Stanthorpe is a small town up on the Darling Downs where the main thing is apple growing. I went on the Model T Weekend with my hosts and the first thing I saw was the beautiful yellow trees. It is a real AUtumn up there with night temps of 2c. I am now used to the nice heat of Ipswich, so I froze for a while. One morning I went bush walking and that was fun.
Another day the nice towns people who look after the museum cooked us all a special breakfast.

I sat on the warming plate. First time I had felt warm the entire weekend.I rode in a couple of old Model T's too. Now that was bumpy?
There was a sign on the road that said .... NO RABBITS! They are not allowed to have them in Queensland. Lucky me that they dont ban Kiwis too!
I have had a wondeful time and my hosts have loved having me with them.