Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Teacher Cho and Teacher Lu

That's what our names sounded like from the kids at first. Ha!

I bet you thought I was abducted by red agents. No, actually I've just been busy. Luke and I graduated training (yay!) and were tossed out of the proverbial frying pan (or wok, whichever) and into the fire.

Last Wednesday, our branch's head English teacher, Christina, picked us up in Taipei and droove us to our branch here in Linkou, Taipei County. I wouldn't call the city beautiful, exactly. It's a developing satellite town about 30 minutes into the mountains South of Taipei. Being that it's still developing, there are apartment buildings going up all over and constant construction noises. Of the city's seven numbered Streets (Wen Hua 1st, 2nd, 3rd...) only two or three have anything of interest yet. The rest are still being built up. Also, there are a lot of stray dogs, which makes me a bit nervous, but it's not so bad.

Upon arriving here, Christina showed us around our branch school. Luke and I are two of the five NSTs (Native Speaking Teachers) at the Linko branch of Hess. The school is three floors of classrooms, with an open floor space in the middle of each floor. Kindergarten is on the bottom floor, and Luke and I both teach kindy every morning for two hours, with another two two-hour classes in the afternoons on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

I didn't know we would be in for such a rough start. I love my kids, but we have been working very hard the past few days to try to keep up with our lesson planning and homework grading. We have been putting in twelve hour days today and yesterday, and we're looking forward to the weekend (and our first payday next month.)

Also on Wednesday we shopped for, signed a lease for, and moved into our apartment. Real estate works fast like that in Taiwan. We have a two bedroom flat on the ninth floor of a building that looks way too nice for the likes of us. Secrity guards, marble lobby, underground garage, billiards, karaoke, and workout rooms, and a view of Taipei 101, all for a fraction of what we were paying for a dirty ranch style house in Oxford with a view of the feed store.

Pictures will come soon, as we don't yet have the internet installed in our apartment (because we can't speak Chinese. 'Internetto' is apparently not Chinese for the Internet.) I'm typing this from work, and I'm pretty busy, so I gotta go.

If anyone wants to write us or send us a care package (check postage first though, please) Our address is:

Luke McClung/ Joe Wyszynski
9th floor, No. 29, Gong Yuan Road, Lin Ko County, Taipei County, TAIWAN

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