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!!!