Two schools took the Pony Bus to Yichang JHS, two schools went by school bus to Tzu Chang JHS
And Quegs and Cockermouth took the Pony Bus to Ji-An JHS
We all received very warm and spectacular welcomes from the schools. At Ji-An it seemed the whole school came out to welcome us and gave us bright lei's to wear around our necks. We went into their school sports hall and were shown a wonderful display of five different types of dancing from traditional aboriginal dancing to street modern street dancing and the spectacular big costumed character dancers.
We then went to a classroom where we were taught calligraphy by a master, students learned the symbol for spring and how to write their name in traditional symbols, working in pairs with their Taiwanese friends.
They then went to different classrooms in pairs to discuss the differences and similarities in their lives and education. Some students sang songs to each other – Kim and Claire did a very impressive version of an Adele song.
The students then met up for lunch and were given traditional steamed rice in Bamboo together with their lunch box – the bamboo had to be bashed together to split it to open it to get the rice out. All are now very adept with their chop sticks – Alex had seconds. After Lunch Luke led group singing with the Taiwanese students whilst they worked out what pop songs they all knew.
Our students had really bonded with these students and were sad to leave their school.
The other schools had also had an interesting morning trying archery at one school and craft work at another.
At 13.30 we made an early transfer to the station apparently Taiwan has two days in the year when they practice military manoeuvres and everyone has to be off the street by 2pm.
So at 14.30 we took the TRA to Taipei and the MRT to Jiantan.
We are all now seasoned users of the trains and metro in Taipei and have travelling groups with one student from each school– so even when carrying suitcases and rucksacks a safe transfer was made back to the Chientan youth hostel – our home from home.
That evening we had another celebration dinner with the British council and staff from schools in Taipei. All schools did a presentation on aspects of the visit – Ryans presentation was very entertaining! I will say no more. We were all shattered by the end of the evening so had an early night with a view to packing for the return to the UK in the morning.