Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Shameless Quest

Rationality and sanity eluded
What a heart craves, it pursues
Shameless or not the game is on

Guilt and shame trapped in the bottomless pit
Forever unsurfaced
But it takes two to tango

This heart is shamelessly on the quest alone
This heart tangos alone it seems
As the other half remains unreachable

The shameless quest comes to a halt
The heart faces rejection
The best response ever to a shameless quest

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Taiwan: Beyond my imagination.

I have checked my list of characteristics of a modern and developed country and Taiwan was beyond my imagination with huge thumbs up. Taiwan rocks and I am in love! Taiwan has eased my mind, showed me so much beauty and make me feel so alive and Taiwan people are just so friendly and hospitable. Oh, they love my hair (locks of my natural hair) and am now a celebrity (the most popular attraction according to Yessuf Milburn) counting so many endlessly pictures have taken with Taiwanese and some Chinese on request. I have smiled so much that my heart is singing!!! Taiwan rocks!!!

1. Beauty – Check
2. Hospitality- Check
3. Development – check
4. Economic growth- Check
5. Respect for rule of law- Check
6. Protection of citizens- Check
7. Security- Check
8. Electricity and other amenities - Check
9. Modern infrastructures - Check
10. Neatness - Check
11. Orderliness - Check
12. Serenity - Check
13. Creativity - Check
14. Innovation - Check
15. Discipline - Check
16. Friendliness- Check
17. Environmental preservation - check
18. Sustainable peace-Check
19. Reliable government and democracy - Check
20. Health system - Check

We traveled through the beautiful park of Taroko National Park today. The incredible road stretched endlessly in the belly of endless magnificent mountain and sheer gorges standing so tall and proud with many of its peaks towering 3,000m in more than 92,000 hectares of land. I am in love and am heading to Taipe!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Basking in the ambiance of Happiness- SayTaiwan all the Way

My life was colourful today. When you feel joy and happiness when surrounded by people who make your smile shine through, you will know the meaning of 'COLOURFUL'. Ghost day (festival) in Taiwan, a fabulous Sunday that left me basking in the ambiance of happiness. It was not my fault that I woke up at 2pm, it was my fault for sleeping at 7am. Well, woke up and freshen up I did, my host family were worried about my lack of appetite because I was not hungry. It was as well since my tummy could eventually not hold all I had to eat at dinner - so much varieties for a small stomach.

Quick rewind before dinner, yeah I woke up at 2pm, got to join the family for the ghost day prayer and burnt offering. We proceeded to where the activities were taken place. I am in love with this tradition. Lots of food and drinks for the ghosts, so they can eat these well selected menu in the spirit, there was fire already burning fire containers where all the papers representing dollars would be burnt. You need to have bundles of this spiritual legal tender for the ghosts to have money to spend in their world. I picked as much as I could for my late parents as I joined my Taiwan host family in the ritual. It was a unique experience, very to know that the departed are not forgotten. What made this event unique was the fact that everyone in Taiwan seems to be reaching out to their departed families on this very day. This is an experience I will never forget in a hurry.

It was announced that we would go for dinner by 6pm, so we had to get ready. I did what I had being waiting to do since I arrived 3 days ago, share the gifts I brought for my host family members! What an enthralling moment this was! I seemed to have chosen good gifts from different countries in Africa for my host family members! Good fabric, nice African prints and clothes, beautiful beads and a host of other great items! April and her sister tried out their outfits and they were so beautiful on them. James and April chose to wear their African attire to dinner and I felt so proud. Gisele got Kenya beads (Kazuri and Masai) and a musical CD by Nneka from Nigeria. Yeah, I did not forget to bring Nigerian currency as souvenir. Oh, where was I? Good. I got gifts in returns, a bag from NEPAL, two symbolic colourful artwork that represent good charms and a pretty pendant!

I picked my new bag with my carry-about-stuff in it and off we went to dinner! I am very lucky with my host family who happens to have 3 other family friends hosting Michaela, Dagan and Yussef from Czech Republic, ISrael and USA respectively. We all met for dinner at Stone Restaurant where once again we had to cook our food! Fresh and delicious and in abundance, I ate and mingled with optimal bliss! We had good times eaten our food with many members of Shui-Sen Lin (my Host), Jen- Ching Lin ( Dagan's host), Hsueh -Chiu Liau (Michaela's host) and Ying-TsangTseng (Yussef's host)' s families. We met some enthusiastic Taiwanese youth at Stone and we took our own continental family potrait before we moved on to the special Karaoke night in a handful of Balloon made into animals for us at the Stone Restaurant!

Our Karaoke night was the icing on the cake, we sang with no care, in the world our host families were with us and some of the family members chose to play snooker, yeah we tried our hands on table tennis too. My life was colourful today as I held nothing back. I enjoyed with people who were so willing to spread happiness. I had fun with souls who believes in love as the ingredient of great radiation of the universe in its glory!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Taiwan Trip... the fun has begun

After 23 hours of journeying through one continent to another, I finally made it to Taiwan! The trip was worth it! My fun started by meeting 4 other participants from different countries in DOHA and we flew all the way to Hong Kong together in a great anticipation to meet the other 245 participants from over 100 countries. Meeting the warm and amazing Salim Alriyami, (OMAN) Hayel Adel Amin (JORDAN), Ana Calzada (SPAIN) and Khaoula Bessame (ALGERIA) pointed to the fact that being part of Taiwan International Youth Week- Centennial Homestay is the best decision of the year! Not only would I have fun in Taiwan but I will have fun with these other amazing people! Not only will I learn much more about Taiwan but I will also learn from other people and they from me. My fun had started!!!

I finally arrived at about 7pm on Friday the 12th, the airport was welcoming and so were the Homestay Organisers!!! I met Alice Lin at last! She did an incredible job of coordinating with 250 people! The other tired participants that had gone through long or longer journey were also there at the airport still very happy to mingle. The bus ride to Taoyuan from the airport was great and so was the fast train ride to Taichung were my host family members were waiting not minding the delay in my journey! I knew immediately that I was in great hands!!!

I was welcome like a queen in the fantastic mansion of the Lins my host family in Nantou County. What a superb hospitality. My bed was made, my room is beautiful, I even get a lots of drinks and other goodies neatly arranged in a corner of the room for me. WOW. The world needs more of this unconditional love from all of us!

My day one (13th of August) started well and ended well. Did I mention that I slept till 12 noon and was only awoke by my host member boyfriend to eat lunch? After lunch we moved to join other host families where I met 3 other participants Yessuf Milburn (USA), Michaela Humlova (Czech Republic) and Dagan Wald (Israel). Off we to start knowing Taiwan and its people. Part of places visited was Mazu Temple. We went bowling- we all bounded the more and had fun. We ate at a place I have decided to call 'cook your own meal' restaurant. This was lovely! I am still fumbling with the use of chop stick, this is not my first time of fumbling, I hope I will get to use it properly before the end of my stay in Taiwan. The host families with us will not let us pay for anything, they took care of our feeding. Another way to say 'we care and we welcome you unconditionally'!

There are various activities mapped out for the next 7 days and I am basking in the euphoria of the anticipated fun and all! I have met other friends of my host family and they found me beautiful and energetic! You've gotta love Taiwan and its people!!!

Justify Full

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

GHOST By Soji Cole

I do not know that when I die I will come back again. I had always thought that death is an enduring finality until I died myself. Sincerely I never feel like I am dead, even at that time when I rose from the mound of earth in which my body was buried, I felt I was just awoken from a deep slumber. So this is how it feels to be dead?

It is painful that no one can see me as I roam about the compound that has now turned into a mourning arena. I wonder why people are crying because I am dead. Yes, I died to fulfill a natural obligation, but here I am now, gallivanting in the midst of tears! I am particularly disturbed by my mother’s distraught condition. She is surrounded by six people who continually marshal her movements in a bid to prevent her from harming herself. I touch her and even try to lift her up to see me but she is insensitive to my touch. I want to tell her to stop crying because death is a good thing. Nobody can hear my voice, feel my touch or see me; maybe that is the only bad thing about death because nobody can feel what you feel. My mother will jump up suddenly and threaten to kill herself. I always feel elated at this intermittent restlessness of hers because if she dies she will come to me and people will not see the two of us. Then, she will be my mother again. I feel like going to hit those preventing her from killing herself.

Somebody mentioned that I died yesterday. Nobody has mentioned how.

I moved round the compound. I can see my father talking in hushed tones with his friends. He will not cry. Often he had told me before I died that men don’t cry in public, especially when women are about. I moved close to him and saw the tears streaming down freely from his eyes. He had lied to me while I was alive. He told me nothing will ever make him cry and so I must train myself like him. I detest him now for crying and, much more for seeing through his lie. I moved to where my brothers and my little sisters are clustered, crying profusely. This crying business is certainly becoming comical to me. I wish everyone were dead so that they can see the luxury in death.

I moved to the water barrel at the back of the house. I will attract attention now if I scoop up water from the barrel and throw them around. I took the bowl lying helplessly vacant on the ground and scoop up a generous volume. I threw it all about, waiting for the expected chain of reactions that will erupt from the people. No one seems to flinch even as the water rained down on them. I took another bowlful and splashed them torrentially about. Nothing. I took another and another and another until I got drenched myself.

At last, my mother was able to see me. She rushed to me and grabbed my hand to stop throwing the water away. I did not stop because I was already enjoying myself. I had got very soaked by now while mother shook me vigorously. I woke up to find mother starring disappointingly at me while I in turn stared at the wet pool of urine which has formed an intricate maze sliding away from under my mat.

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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