The day started with a visit to see the exchange of guard at Martyr’s Shrine. The process was very precise, and the soldiers demonstrated complete discipline in their actions from flipping their rifles equipped with sharp bayonets, to synchronized marching orders and absolutely no distraction from the outside crowd.
At Ye Liu, students were able to explore the highly unique rock erosions and the crystal clear waters of Northern Taiwan’s coastline. They took extra precautions, as instructed by the tour guide, not to further damage the rocks by walking on the formations, or touching the rock with their hands.
The Shi Fen Waterfall was a bit of a walk, but well worth it for the much cooler temperatures and spectacular views. Multiple vantage points were accessed from near the top and bottom of the falls, where students were able to watch water cascade over the 40 meter wide waterfall, until in came crashing down over 20 meters below.
Finally, at Jiu Fen Ancient Street, we made our way through the narrow, winding merchant street, that gave off an aura of life in Taiwan centuries ago.Many varieties of street food and goods merchants were found in each of the nooks and crannies along the street, or what would be more suitably named a walkway, as vehicles can not pass through due to the extreme narrowness of the passageway between buildings.
Students were given the opportunity to explore Taipei 101, allowing them sight seeing with one of the most popular landmarks in Taipei after completing the DIY pineapple tarts. Students were provided with an educational experience of Chiang Kai Shek and Sun Yet Sen Memorials afterwords, which cultivated their knowledge in both the art and history of Taiwan
On day 3, students began their itinerary with a visit to Ren Ai Old Folks home. Their visit consisted of 3 key parts:
- Hands on cleaning of the facilities
- Interaction with the residents
- Performance for the residents
Both the old folks, as well as the students gained from this experience. The old folks were provided with entertainment in the form of dancing and singing, verbal and non-verbal interaction with the residents while participating in arts and crafts, and an overall improvement in living condition cleanliness. The students found purpose in helping others that may often be neglected, and were given a new appreciation for their personal situations.
During reflections, many students found the visit to be relatable to their grandparents situations, where coming to visit them in a nursing home was the highlight to their grandparents’ week, or sometimes even their month. The personal connection added an even deeper meaning and understanding to the purpose of the visit.
Today, we went to visit the Guandu Nature Park, where students learned how both humans and nature can coexist in harmony, as long as we take the appropriate measures to preserve and protect the ecosystem around us. Students were explained that these wetlands are very unique, due to the constant mixture of fresh water and salt water, as well as how it works as a natural filtration system to filter water.
Before dinner, students were also given an opportunity to learn about the aboriginal people of Taiwan, and how important it is not to forget their existence, especially as a the hustle and bustle of modern Taiwan can over shadow the original people of this country.