Saturday, March 5, 2011

Up in the Mountains

The winter has been a whirlwind. It seems keeping up with classes, culture, and our family has been about all we could do. So we're sorry we haven't been better about sharing it all with you. Last week Chris finally got our pictures off the camera and onto the computer... so tonight, I'll try to share a piece of what we've been up to the last few months.

Taiwan, a newly developed country, has such a contrast... a paradox if you will... of rich and poor, high-end mega-malls and shanties. A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to leave our private, Christian international school and spend an afternoon in the mountain village of Lai Yi.  Our friend, Jim, took us along with his family for their bi-monthly English classes at a small village church. We spent the first half with the young children, and the next with the youth.

The village of Lai Yi is the home of an indigenous people group, who much like native Americans, have been moved by the government from their original high mountain lands and 'compensated'. This village has had th benefit of a relationship with faithful missionaries for many years and many have the hope of Jesus. However, they still deal with many of the same issues as North American natives... alcohol, lack of education opportunities, and a loss of heritage, language and culture.
The "brown" sides of the hill are where the mountain fell into the river.

On top of these "normal" challenges, Lai Yi was also hit extremely hard by typhoon Marokot in 2009, and another big typhoon in 2010. The sides of the mountain literally came down, wiping out bridges, homes, and closing their school for months. A new river sprang up right through the school. Our students at MAK had the opportunity to put together shoe boxes of gifts and school supplies for the children there. It was a privilege to be invited in and to meet the sweet people who continue striving for a better future, in spite of the challenges.

The youth we met were wonderful! They are smart, witty, and fun-loving. We look forward to going back again and taking our basketball shoes. :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kindergarten Chapel Performance Starring... Caden Cooper

Caden's Kindergarten class led chapel this past Friday at school. We thought you all might enjoy seeing highlights of the performance. His teacher teaching did an amazing job of getting 15 wiggly kids to cooperate together on stage. They sang songs, listened to the story of 10 Men who were healed by Jesus, and shared what they've been learning.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kindergarten Pumpkin Carving!

Thanks to an adventurous and creative teacher, even in Taiwan Caden got to carve a pumpkin! With a class of 11 boys and 4 girls, that's quite the adventure!With the help of their 4th Grade Reading Buddies and a few moms, they had a great time.

Teamwork! - Caden drew the face and his reading buddy cut the shapes.

Scooping out the guts!! Oh, yeah... 

A little help from Mrs. Ulstrom (his teacher)

 There goes the top!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Our school

Okay, so the last two months have been an absolute whirlwind of getting used to school, driving, shopping, unpacking, typhoons, critters and more. So I've been really bad about updating you all and I am sorry. I feel so disconnected when we are starting to really feel the distance. Plus... my mom just can't stand seeing that awful chicken head first thing on our page any longer :) So with that... here's a link to our school's website!

Morrison Academy Kaohsiung

And  a look at more of our everyday.

We love you and miss you!!

Pineapples at the field across the street.

"It tastes like candy!" - Caden

Our favorite popsicles.... "Mango, Cranberry, Mellon and Yogurt". Except we can't get them now. It's still 88 degrees out... but it's not summer, don't you know? So we've resorted to making our own sorbet to beat the heat. Just the fall treat you were thinking of, isn't it? :)

Hugs... Coopers

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Costco... US vs Taiwan

So the first weeks of school have been absolutely crazy. Class time. Planning. Adjusting to new schedules. Getting time with our own kiddos. Needless to say, we haven't been on email or blogs or facebook at all. But I did want to take this quick moment (I'll try to post more soon... we have a retreat next weekend and maybe some downtime.)

But we went to Costco today. And I brought home a lovely rotisserie chicken. Yes!!! We can get them. But here's a little surprise I found as I was cutting it up for dinner....

Yes... it is what you think it might be... the head. I thought I was pulling apart the wing when something went "squish"... the eye. and I noticed the beak.

So let's review.... Costco US vs Taiwan:

Same: Skippy Peanut butter, Testers (samples), even salmon burgers!! (the same brand!)
Rotisserie chicken

Different: 64 people lined up for 1 sample, all the rice you could eat in your lifetime, chicken head... free! with the rotisserie bird :)

A little look at a day in our life. :) Even with something as familiar as Costco.

Dinner anyone?

Friday, August 6, 2010

When things go bump

Small blessings are around us everyday. Today one of those blessings has come as a new neighbor, Mrs. Kathy, who is also a Nurse Practitioner. Somehow God knew when he was placing 21 kids in a staff housing building (and most of them under age 10) we would need someone to offer a little TLC. And this week the kids have been putting her to work.

This afternoon Caden had his turn after a little run in on the playground where the end of a stick met his head. I had just gotten home with another mom. And our helper was upstairs, unruffled by the tears and cut, calmly and gently cleaned it up and put on the steri strips. Without her, I would have been scrambling, probably freaking out. Blood is not my thing... and knowing how to find help in a foreign land is a lot more work. So thanks God for giving us Mrs. Kathy to help us get all bandaged up. And for hugs, juice and a Veggietale movie to make the afternoon bumps all better.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hide n' Seek

Sharing about our adventures in a tropical country wouldn't be complete without a few critter stories. In our first few hours in our new home we found a snail (outside), 2 small roaches, and 2 friendly geckos! The roaches we would happily do without, and thankfully they haven't been around much. But we do like spotting our friendly, bug eating lizards. They are a welcome part of the Cooper household.

The kids have named our geckos "Hide" and "Seek". We think this is Seek. :)