So I water-colored with the water from a waterfall on Sunday…
Sorry to brag, but it was something that made me feel okay about being here. I mean, I cannot do that in Minnesota!
It all started when I and Rachel decided to take a day off of everything and just get out. We both desperately needed time away from the Aroma, away from the city, and away from the busyness of Ximen, Taipei City. We decided to take a train for about an hour north and east of Taipei City to the place near Pingxi, called Sandiaoling. Check out the pictures of the waterfall from “Off the Beaten Track” for a fantastic look at the beautiful place we hiked to.
The adventure part was in the getting there. After breakfast on Sunday, we took the MRT (subway) about ten minutes to Taipei Main Station and tried to get tickets for a train. But we couldn’t figure out how to get tickets for about 20 minutes, and when we finally did, we rushed through the ticket booth to get to our train. Apparently, when you put your tickets into the little machine, they pop out the other side and you are supposed to take them with you…
We ran up the escalator to the platforms and there was one guy in front of us who was also late. We arrived just as he was putting his arms into a fast-closing door and someone opened the doors again. It was just in time, because if that guy had not been there, the train would have been closed off to us and we wouldn’t have been able to go. We had a moment of hesitation though, because we did not even know if it was the right train! (This is where tickets come in handy.)
The ride was fun, and we got to talk about life and traveling and look out the windows at all the other buildings and cities. Taiwan is pretty much a giant city from the windows of a train. It never ends.
When we got to the station around 1pm, they asked us for something, and then said it was $59 New Taiwan Dollars (NT). We looked at each other and tried hastily to explain that we had already paid for our ticket. Why were they asking us to pay again? I finally found a translation of “it has already been paid” on an app on my phone, and they waved us through with a look of okay, foreigner, just go already. Later we would find out why.
The hike up into the Sandiaoling Falls was fun, and not too exhausting. It took us about an hour, climbing some stairs, walking a great deal of winding, slightly inclined paths, and climbing over rocks and up a short cliff face with a rope to help you up. There are three waterfalls, and when we reached the last one, we “set up camp” and took out our books and art supplies. Rachel is a fun, gentle person who likes adventure, and we had a great time just sitting on the rocks, listening to the water pour over the lip of the crags above us, and singing. We ate pumpkin seeds that my mom sent (world traveling pumpkin seeds, mom!) and water-colored using the water from the falls. It was a once in a lifetime thing. But maybe not! I want to go back there again in the summer when it is hot enough to take a dip in the pool.
It started to rain while we were painting, so we packed up and started back down the mountain. On the train ride back to Taipei Main, Rachel and I read The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis aloud to each other and grabbed some sushi before going to the 7 pm service at the Aroma Church. We were pretty tired!
Yesterday Rachel messaged me and said…
“Guess what? It turns out that when you put the ticket in at Taipei Main… it pops out the other side haha. We just totally didn’t see that and get it 😀 So that is what the ticket guys were asking us for in Sandiaoling!”
Well, now we know.
Also, in other news, I got asked to play piano for a wedding on December 5th.
- Please pray for me to learn how to give good examples in class of the grammar rules, especially in 6th grade. I am really bad at this right now.
- Please pray for me to practice well for the various musical things I have going on now. I am playing for a Thanksgiving Worship Night this upcoming Saturday, church on Sunday, and then the wedding a couple weeks after that.
- Please pray for Kaiti Chen, my former co-teacher! I invited her to come to the Thanksgiving dinner and worship night, and she said she would come. I am praying that she feels the pull of eternity and makes a decision about Christ soon!
- Praise God!! I have multiple things to play piano for!
- Please pray for my friend Howard and ask God to bless him in a special way right now. He just heard some hard news and he needs encouragement.
- Please pray for me to get out of the city more. I need that. Pray for me on Dec. 5th because I will be going to a place that is about 3 hours from Ximen by train and I don’t want to get lost.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement. It means so much to me that you are praying for me!
At home, Brittany’s friend Ashley is visiting so Justin is sleeping on the couch cushions on the floor, I’ve been watching Micheal play Fallout 4, which is pretty cool, and Andrea is getting over a cold. Kennedy is cute and always makes me smile, even when she’s mad. I’m going to bed now…
Caught on candid camera: Bonding time at the Neijiang Flat
Keep the Faith!