My Class Field Trip By: Jonah

I started this post in Kaohsiung, but I was so busy and was having so much fun I didn’t have time to finish it.

My class went on a field trip in May. We went to two places.

1) Recycle paper-brick buildings    2) Chocolate factory

Here is a photo of a building (behind us with bottles in wall) and me and my class making bricks at the place with the paper buildings.

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The mush that is molded into bricks is made out of paper, water, and cement.

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These photos are of the small chocolate factory.

This is a cocoa tree.

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This is a fresh pod with non-dried seeds.IMG_3461These are dried seeds.

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May/June in Kaohsiung

Although we’ve been in the Western Hemisphere for the past two weeks, this post is about our last month and a half in Kaohsiung.

One dramatic event that happened a week before we left was being evacuated from our apartment. They needed to spray for mosquitos because a student in our building had Denge Fever. Luckily, our quarantine included a two night stay at the lovely beach hotel next to campus. The images below are of us at the hotel and then images of the CDC ready to spray and our apartment empty and covered with plastic:

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Both boys had end of the year concerts. Jonah’s class sang “Let’s Go Fly A Kite”: IMG_3233 IMG_3226

And Reuben’s class sang songs in Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese: Windows Phone_20150606_105 Windows Phone_20150606_038 IMG_3645 IMG_3735

Marc and I spent our anniversary getting foot massages and eating a nice lunch: IMG_3690 IMG_3684 IMG_3682

Both Jonah and Reuben’s classes made going away parties. Jonah’s class gave him a very cute t-shirt signed by everyone: Jonah's tshirt

And Reuben’s class sang songs and gave him cards: IMG_3734 IMG_3730

Here are a few pictures of things we want to remember like the mopeds and the many things that people can carry while riding them (families of four, dogs, packages, poles, etc.): IMG_3341 IMG_3348 IMG_3363

The kids actually got to ride on a friend’s moped (albeit on an empty side walk): Windows Phone_20150531_004 Windows Phone_20150531_003

We will also remember loose dogs (I don’t think any dogs in Kaohsiung are on leashes): IMG_3375

We’ll remember the boys’ “stores” in our apartment: IMG_3354IMG_3394

Eating banana ice cream at the organic farmer’s market: IMG_3675

Reuben buying the newspaper by himself at Family Mart: IMG_3694

We’ll miss these wacky construction dolls that are supposed to warn you of upcoming construction: IMG_3477

We’ll miss the view of our apartment on Monkey Mountain: IMG_3355

And, of course, the monkeys!

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My artwork in Taiwan (by Karey)

This post is about the artwork I’ve been making while living in Taiwan.

Here’s my studio desk (with Chinese landscape painting homework on it – more about that later):

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When we first got to Kaohsiung, I made a series of colorful gouache paintings.

The painting below, Gushan, captures an image in my mind of a drive along Gushan Road at the base of Mt. Shoushan (otherwise known as Monkey Mountain) in Kaohsiung where the mountain meets the city. It is a place where spirits (perhaps) meet temples and mystical mountains.

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Harbor, is about the depth of the sea, the distance across the ocean, the ports that are on both sides of the world.

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Floating moon, evokes a cacophony of fireworks, city colors, smells, sounds and tastes; a green trance and smog. Immense Time.

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The second half of our time in Taiwan,  I’ve been working on a series called, There Are No Words. Each work is on traditional rice paper that is approximately three feet long, one foot high. They are composed of meandering lines and dots – no grid, no words – only a map of my experience of living in a country where I can’t speak the language.

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There Are No Words 2 There Are No Words 3

Because There Are No Words is so large, I had a professional photographer take pictures of them. He wanted to take a picture with me, because, although he works with many talented artists, he works with very few foreign artists. Then I went ahead and took of picture of him with his assistant and also a picture of him photographing my work:

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Marc and I have also been taking a private Chinese landscape painting class with Shi Wang Chen (pronounced Shir). He is well known in Taiwan for his calligraphy, traditional Chinese landscape paintings, and contemporary paintings. Here is a link to an image of one of his paintings (click on the small image to see a close up of his catalogue):

http://www.aaa.org.hk/Collection/Details/5008.

Basically, Shi paints (trees, rocks, clouds), we watch, we’re amazed, and then we go home and attempt to paint something remotely similar to what he drew.

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We took a “field trip” with him a few days ago to Moon World – an area outside of Kaohsiung that is one of the main sources of inspiration for his paintings.

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This photo is of Shi next to a gnarled tree. He would be able to paint this with ease:

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He then he took us to his friend’s studio – a ceramic artist who occasionally uses Shi’s calligraphy on his ceramics.

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I look forward to sharing my paintings when I get back to Seattle.

Reuben’s First Blog Post

O.K. So, this ↓

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is me with my stuffies and let me tell you their names. So, the first one is Bob, and then the second one is Snowman and the third one is Carrot (he’s the baby of the family).

So, now, this picture I’m going to tell you about ↓

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In this picture, a humongous tree fell down. Can you see it in the background? It’s near my house.

Now I’m going to tell you about this one↓

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At the local farmer’s market we got balloons but they’ve already popped. But I really liked them because mine was fat first then it got skinny as the air came out.

Now I’m going to show you the next one down here ↓

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And this is the thing in Taroko Gorge. It’s like a monastery. And that’s their main statue.

Now I’m going to show you another picture ↓

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So, this is my class. It might be all of them, but I’m not sure. They’re eating lunch. But I’m not in it so you can’t see me. My teacher is on the right.

Now I’m going to show you another thing. And this is going to be the last thing ↓

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So, the one on the left is the duck because it is a duck boat. And on the right there is the duck boat. And behind it is an ad — you shouldn’t really pay attention to it. OK.

And now I’m telling you how much I like that I’m soon going to leave. Why I am so happy that I am going home is because I like it better in America. I love being here and I really like my friends and I’m also sad that I’m leaving.

Bye! Bye!

My new school By: Jonah

My new building for Kaohsiung American School (KAS) is amazing!!!!

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The library is two levels high. One (the first level of the library) is for homework and studying with friends. It has a curtain you can pull to make it dark and it has a trapdoor that opens and a projector pops down and you can watch a movie. The second level (the third level in the building) has books, books, and more books (and no trapdoor to go to the first level of the library). It also has rooms for meetings and presentations. It even has a chute for returning books.

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My specials (things like art, IT, music, and library) have new rooms that are brand new and beautiful (except PE which has the old green basketball court and the old PE basement but they are going to build another building for PE and it will have a pool). I especially like IT because we get to play educational video games.

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The new KAS campus is eco friendly because:

  • It has 100 solar panels
  • It has two 1 ton tanks to save water
  • It has automatic faucets
  • The lights turn on one row at a time
  • It has a lot of windows

The KAS building has amazing architecture. From rainbow colored stairs to metal beams in front of the windows (that overlook the courtyard), it is truly amazing. It has two buildings that connect, each has its own courtyard. The high school building’s courtyard is like a deck, covered with wood. The elementary school building’s courtyard has grass and trees. Most of the hallways are open-walled because it is rarely cold. The principal and superintendent’s offices look like hotels because of the fancy furniture and carpeted indoor hallway.

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The auditorium is amazing (I should stop saying this word, so lets say ‘beautiful’). The seats are all different colors and are from Japan. The wood for the stage is from the U.S.A. and I think it it is birch wood. The back stage is huge and has a separate big room that connects to the back stage and that room also connects to three other rooms. Two are dressing rooms and one is a green room. I did one performance in the auditorium. It was the Winter Concert. It was so fun!!!!!

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My classroom is on the first level of the building. It has four tables that are in the shape of a square. Each table is made of two rectangular tables. There are two desks. One for my teacher, Ms. Carnahan and one for my TA, Ms. Joyce. We have a patio that connects to other classrooms (another hall, just in the back of the classroom and with a glass fence). The white board has lights over it to light it up so everyone can see what the teacher is writing on the board. Every room has a projector connected to AirPlay that projects onto the white board.

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I go to Chinese class right next to my classroom. Only 3 kids (including me) go to that one. The rest of my class goes to the second level. 5 kids from first grade go to. It is only for non-native speakers. My Chinese teacher is Ms. Stacy. We have Chinese class every day. I bet I know about 90 Chinese characters. Chinese is a tricky language, yet good to know. I am starting to like learning it. I can’t wait to get back to Seattle so I can teach my friends.

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⇓ For more information, this link will bring you to the KAS web page.⇓ http://www.kas.tw/kaohsiung-american-school/campus/

Spring Break. Week 3. In Kaohsiung with Grandma Etta. (by Karey)

The first two weeks of Jonah’s spring break were described beautifully by Jonah (week one in Taipei and week two in Toroko Gorge). So, I thought I’d fill in about week three of spring break with Grandma in Kaohsiung. Reuben and Marc had school in the mornings most days. One morning, Etta, Jonah and I went to the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts and saw the Kusama Yayoi exhibit – which was fun and inspiring — she is amazingly productive! IMG_2896 We had fun looking at art at Pier 2.

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We all tried some famous shaved mango ice at Chacha Mango: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2011/07/15/2003508255

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Another day we walked around the art museum neighborhood – Etta thought it looked like California. IMG_2946_2 IMG_2944We found some of the signage very funny: IMG_2941We had more mustache ice-cream:

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We rode a four person bike!

IMG_2978 IMG_2981We took Grandma to Fo Guan Shan:

IMG_2987 IMG_2990 IMG_2989Etta and I celebrated Mother’s Day early with a foot massage and a pedicure (at two different places, back to back). Total bliss.

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