Saturday, 15 February 2014

Long time no see! HIghlights from Dragon100 Forum Part 3: Taiwan

So in the interests of completeness, I am now writing (6 months late....r) about the awesome time we had in Taiwan as part of Dragon100. The organisers had initially wanted this part of the forum to be spent in China, however at the time of organising there was a lot of worry about the re-emergence of H1N1 and the possibility of an epidemic - so Taiwan it was!

Our journey to Taiwan started in the middle of the night, or rather, at 4am when we all got on the bus to the airport. It turns out, of course, that the flight (...never again, China Airlines...) was delayed for another 4 hours so we didn't even need to be at the airport that early! I suspect someone, somewhere, has some photos of me sleeping on the chairs at the airport since I distinctly remember hearing the clicking of cameras and being too tired to do anything about it.

Because of this delay, we were rushed straight to the Tzu Chi foundation where we were to spend our first session. I have to confess that despite the foundation being one of the largest humanitarian organisations in the world, I had never heard of them before, and was amazed by the organisation and scope of their work. They even run a TV channel which is named "Da Ai" (big love) to model and highlight the values they are based on.

To be honest, it's been so long since the trip I will just bring you some of the highlights in a series of photos.

Sneaky photo at the National Palace Museum, where you are Not Allowed To Take Photos. I got my brother the souvenir jade cabbage spoon, and he was confused as to why there was a vegetable on the teaspoon.

Clubbing in TW

Drinks all included for $20 NZ...

Traditional drumming...somewhere around Miaoli
Soup dumplings. I so want decent soup dumplings


And the food just kept on coming...

Actually, the best was left for last - after getting to know everyone over the course of the week and feeling like we'd known each other for a lifetime, we had an awesome discussion forum at the end where the ideas just kept flowing and there was just so much spark. I love that feeling of creative and intellectual energy - as I type this I'm totally missing everyone!

This last photo illustrates just how truly global the Dragon100 delegates are despite all being of Chinese descent. There are phrases written on the window in French and Japanese - we had someone who studied French in the UK translating that to English, someone else translating the Japanese to English, and two people translating the English into Mandarin so everyone could understand!