Monday, February 4, 2013

Travel Day

The day began with hurried last-minute packing before we all headed to the train station to travel from Taipei to Hualien. Throughout the 3 and a half hour train ride, I watched as the cities began to shrink. Tall buildings morphed into foggy mountains, and streets melted into rice fields. A very happy sight to see!

Once arriving in the city of Hualien, we took a bus to the Catholic retreat center in which we will be spending our nights. After some quiet time, during which several of us went to the beach, the delicious dinner of your choice of rice or pasta dishes was eagerly consumed by all. The Verity girls then struck out on our own to explore the city and celebrate Stephanie’s birthday. We went to a little cake shop called “Café 85”, where we enjoyed delicious cakes and bubble tea. After singing to Stephanie in Chinese and English, we set out for the night market!

And thus began the adventures of Hannah and Christine… After eating some pig ears, we decided to split off from the rest of the group to check out a few other streets. We experienced some sort of Chinese New Year preparation section of the night market, complete with several stands with Chinese food and an auction. We then moseyed down a couple other streets and got free samples of sweet potato (I think :P). Christine spotted a store with firecrackers, which we could not pass up, so bought some sort of balls that you throw on the ground so they will explode and make noise. We’re not sure what they’re called, but they are very fun!

We then realized that had taken one wrong turn and were going the wrong direction. We stopped at a gas station, where we met a young man who told Christine the general direction of the beach, which we arrived at nearly half an hour later. We were still quite a distance from our lodging, but once we found the beach, it was easy to find the lighthouse, which was located close to the Catholic retreat center. Christine and I finally arrived back. It was a very fun hour of being lost, and we can now navigate quite a bit of the city! The day ended with a time of prayer with the ’13 class girls.

Please be praying for the children and youth that the team will be ministering to this week. The number of children attending the CI is quite small, so there will be a large focus on the youth program. Please pray for smooth communication as well, as there will be two different sets of people working on different ministry opportunities throughout the week. Praising God for the gorgeous weather and the opportunity to spend Stephanie’s birthday with her in Hualien!

Hannah Lanier

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