iEARN International Conference 2011
Pre-conference Homestay

My stay with my host family by Molly

On the 15th of July, Tameeka, Ms. Kercher, Seirian, Bethany, Zoe and I went to Alichih School, where we watched a picture slideshow showing us some parts of the school. After that the Taiwanese students and teachers helped us to paint paper fans with watercolour paints and ink. Next we went on a tour of the huge building and I was very surprised that they went to school from 7.30 in the morning to 8.00 at night and the students slept at their desks during 'Nap Time'!

We travelled by bus to our next host school, Affiliated Senior High School of Kaohsiung Normal University. There we watched a very interesting slide show about the school. One of the teachers gave all of us a yummy and very different egg pudding that was served in a real eggshell. This school also had unicycles! Most of us had a go, even Ms. Kercher!

Then it was time for us to be split up and go to our host family's house. I was starting to get a bit nervous but then I found out that Beth and I were going to share the same host family, which made me feel a lot better.

The first night staying with our host family, Tina, the girl we were staying with, took us to a huge shopping centre, where we met up with her friend Amy. Tina didn't speak much English but Amy spoke it very well, making it really easy to communicate with them. We went shopping for ages at a night market and loads of different shops before we finally caught the train back to where Tina's Mum picked us up. When we got to the house, Tina's Mum led us inside. Taking off my shoes, I slipped my feet into some funny looking sandals, which Tina's Mum had offered to us.

Beth and I walked behind Tina and Amy as they showed us to the room we were going to sleep in. We were sleeping on the fourth floor of the house and I worked out that there was five story's in the house. "Wow, the houses here are really narrow and tall" I thought. It was all very different to Australia. After playing the iPad I had borrowed from the school, I drifted off to sleep.

I woke up at what I c an estimate was around 8.00. Amy had gone to school, (ON A SATURDAY) Tina was still in bed and Beth was too. I waited for about half an hour before Beth woke up, then we lay in the dark for another half hour before Tina finally woke up. We followed her downstairs, and she gave me a grape juice drink which tasted like the grape lollies that we can buy in Australia.

Waiting until 12.00 until Amy got back from school, Tina helped us to find some English speaking TV shows for us to watch. Finally, Amy got back and we all jumped into the car to go to the subway. Once we got there we caught the train to a haunted house. We paid $200 Taiwanese dollars to get in. That is equivalent to about $6.50 Australian. We waited in a long, long, line until we finally entered the haunted house. It was really dark and we were all holding onto each other, taking small steps. Walking, walking, until BANG this thing jumped out at us, making a loud noise, I nearly jumped out of my skin and we all screamed, except for Beth. We went through the rest of the house like this, screaming at every little noise, hands coming out of the walls, and getting sprayed by water. None of us wanted to go first and we were all hiding behind each other, except for Beth, who once again, wasn't scared a bit.

Coming out of the exit, we had a look around. There were little rooms that we could go in to put our hand out of walls and grab people. It was so fun! Walking back to the subway, I saw a confused looking Australian lady. She saw me and it was funny to see her face light up. "Hello" She said happily. "Hi" I replied. After we had passed her Amy asked me, "Do you know her?" "No" I said "So why is she so friendly to you?" Asked a very surprised Amy. "I think it's because I'm Aussie" I replied proudly.

The next day we had Macca's for lunch. After that it was shop, shop, shop 'till you drop and the time just flew by. When Bethany and I were on the computers, Tina came to us and presented us with a beautiful Jade necklace each. We exchanged gifts and it was time to back our bags and go meet up with the rest of the group. In the car, Tina said to me, "Can you keep kangaroo as pet in your house?" "No way" I replied, laughing. "What about.... uh... koala?" She asked. "Nope" I said, laughing again. "But they are small" She insisted. "Yes, they are, but they live in the trees, nobody has a koala as a pet, they are wild animals." I explained to her. "Oh" she said and her face fell. Arriving at the hotel, I ran and hugged Seirian and Zoe. I thanked Tina's Mum for everything and Beth and I hugged Amy and Tina, saying our goodbyes. I still keep in touch with Amy on face book and I really enjoyed my stay in Taiwan.