Now that a new year has begun, I’ve decided to recap some my favorite memories of 2012. Here goes:
I was asked to be a guest speaker for an English class at Tunghai University here in Taichung. They had been reading my book, Prince of Alasia, so I came as a visiting author. It was really fun to interact with the students and watch the readers’ theaters they had prepared based on some of the chapters. I felt like a celebrity autographing their books at the end!
Floyd and I took a brief vacation to Penghu, an archipelago just off the coast of Taiwan. Our boarders Natasha and Isabel (who had lived with us for the last year) and their parents own a bed and breakfast there, and we were able to stay with them and reconnect with “our” girls. They showed us around and we had a great time together!
My grandparents, Frank and Carolyn Jordan, brought the extended family to Solvang for a night to celebrate their 60th anniversary. Since Floyd and I were spending the summer in California, we were able to be there too. We watched the musical Little Women, enjoyed some tasty meals together, and had fun walking around and seeing the sights.
Floyd and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. In honor of our first decade together, we decided to have some professional “couple pictures” taken. (Missy Sparrow did a great job – check out her photography at http://melissasparrowphotography.blogspot.tw/.)
I had the opportunity to attend a teachers’ conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I presented a workshop about self-publishing. I really enjoyed the experience and hope to do it again sometime. After the conference, I had time for a brief tour involving such unforgettable memories as riding an elephant and petting tigers!
With just a couple of days’ notice, my sister Julie was able to fly to Taiwan for a visit! Adding to our full house, my brother Jimmy, sister-in-law Erin, and adorable 14-month-old niece Sienna (who previously we’d only met over Skype) arrived a few days later. (Their visit had been in the works for months, so Julie was the only surprise.) Floyd and I had a blast celebrating Christmas with them and showing them a little of our life in Taiwan.
Thank you, Lord, for so many blessings in 2012! I can’t wait to see what 2013 will hold!
I had some free time on my last afternoon in Thailand, so I signed up for a half-day tour package that gave me some lifelong memories.
First our tour group went to Mae Sa Elephant Camp, a little ways outside of Chiang Mai.
Above you can see the pictures that were painted that day – yes, I can vouch for the fact that this artwork really was created entirely by elephants!