the everyday stuff

Cultural differences come in all shapes and sizes.  And, one of my favorite cultural differences is keys (I've blogged about them before).  They are so different here.  My first apartment had a "treasure chest" key that I thought was awesome, now our new apartment has a "retractable key" that also has a "treasure chest" key  feel to it and it's super long.  The round gray disk attached to the key allows me to enter our apartment complex's main door, our building's door within the complex  and access the elevator.  Without that gray disk, the elevator will not budge.

KH Keys

The two cards in this photo are also apart of my daily life now.  The bottom one is an subway card--we add money to it, and then zap it when entering and leaving the subway stations, and the cost of the fare for the ride is taken off our card's value.  The top one is a magnetic pre-paid card that I can use to buy train tickets with without having to use coins at a ticket vending machine (pictured below).  If you use one of these pre-paid cards, just remember to always take it from the machine when you leave--sadly, I can give this piece of advice from personal experience to the contrary. :(

Buying a Train Ticket

room with a view (part 2)

After showing you what I can see from our home, I thought I'd show you what I can see from one of the rooms where I have class twice a week.  We meet in the 9th floor of the "E building. Buildings here in Taiwan are often "lettered."

Tall building to the far right is Dorm #6, while the other building, considerable shorter, on the far left is another dorm. The "track and field" is between these two dorms.  The "street" down the middle of the photo is one of the main walkways through the campus.
STUT--View from my classroom

In this photo you can see the N building (short), the T building (tall), and the school's gym/auditorium.  My office and some of the language labs I teach in are in the N building.  I also have class twice a week over in the T building.
STUT--View from my classroom

And, here is part of the soccer field, one of the campus buildings, and the city beyond the campus.
STUT--View from my classroom

room with a view

In 2007, I shared the views from my windows:
And, I thought I'd do it again from our new apartment--we now live on the 10th floor, so the view is pretty good from up here.

First of all we have an entry way (which I totally LOVE--a place to store things and to take off our shoes before entering our home).
Entry Way Area

From this entry way we can this:
View from the Front Door

and this:
View from the Entry Way

Our bedroom has the worst view of all.  We can see this:
View from Our Bedroom

and this from our bedroom windows:
View from the Master Bedroom

Our master bathroom's shower actually has a better view that our bedroom:
View from the Shower

And, perhaps our study and guest room have the best views of all.  We can see the park right in front of us:

View from the Guest Room

We can also see a department store within walking distance:
View from the Guest Room

And, we can also see down the street in the other direction too: 
View from the Guest Room


A friend of ours introduced us to Micheal Thompson and Oneway.  We love the two beautiful worship CDs we got on itunes--Shine and a Brand New Day--that clearly worship the God of all nations.

Here is the title song from Shine; it's based on Psalm 67.  Enjoy!!

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 
The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
-Psalm 67

reflections on coming and going

Meinong with the Wilkins'Lawrance and I recently took a young couple to Meinong for a last outing before they left to go back to Canada.  They were here for a year, and now they have returned to North America to pursue seminary and to follow the Lord where He will lead them next.

Later today, I'm meeting with young lady from the UK whose been here for three years for our last heart-to-heart before she leaves Taiwan to prepare for what God has in store for her next.

Meanwhile, we've also recently had other new young couples and single ladies arrive in the last few months, each planning on coming and serving for about a year.

Seeing these guys and gals come and go causes me to reflect, and it stirs up mixed emotions.  So, here are some of the things I'm thinking and feeling these days.

img057One, I'm old.  Let's just be blunt about it.  I used to be the 19 or 20 year old adventuring in Taiwan and trying to make sense of this foreign place, struggling with the language and trying exotic foods.  The place is longer foreign, language no longer quite the struggle, and the foods no longer exotic.  (This photo of me in the Hakka outfit was taken in 1997 at the exact same place as the above photo of Lawrance and our friend.)

I'm no longer the newcomer.  There will always be missionaries who've lived her longer than I have, so I still feel like I'm new here.  But, I guess after nine years, I'm not really that new, huh?  Which then makes me question why haven't I learned MORE Chinese?  Why haven't I shared the gospel MORE?  Why haven't I paid off MORE of my school loans?  Why haven't I [fill in the blank] MORE?

I'm not sure I could leave Taiwan and not know if I'd ever be back. Ok, so part of this tie to Taiwan is obviously the fact that I now have family here and this is my husband's homeland, but it is more than that.  I've spent my entire adult life living and working in Taiwan.  Quite frankly, I don't know how to be a "grown up" in America.  I would be willing to live in America for a few years to either pursue further education or allow Lawrance to pursue further education (and give our possible future children the chance to be close to family), but I'm not sure I'd be able to pack my bags and say farewell ilha formosa.  Of course, if my Lord asked me to, I would, but it would be emotional.

I love Taiwan.  I love living here, teaching here, serving here.  But, I am reminded that, even here, I sojourn.

This world is not my home.   No matter where I reside physically, may the Father graciously allow and enable me to "proclaim the excellencies of Him who called me out of darkness into His marvelous light" because there was a time when I had "had not received mercy, but now I have received mercy" (1 Peter 2).

catching up: september

This week we're sharing some of our facebook statuses from the past few months to help "catch up" on what's been going on in our lives this past year.  

This post covers September.  In September, the Texas wildfires hit close to home, and I twisted my ankle during the first week of school.  Plus, we celebrated Gilby's 5th year with me and Teacher's Day.

catching up: july and august

This week we're sharing some of our facebook statuses from the past few months to help "catch up" on what's been going on in our lives this past year.  This post covers July and August.  We enjoyed spending all of July in Texas with family, and August was full of changes--packing, moving, and Law starting seminary. 

catching up: may and june

For the next few days, we're sharing some of our facebook statuses from the past few months to help "catch up" on what's been going in our lives.  Next up is May and June, which included a lot of the normal "end of the year" goodbyes and ended with some life-changing news (no, no not expecting--Lawrance got accepted to seminary), and we headed to America.

catching up: march and april

So, since it's been seven months since we last posted, I thought we could share some of our facebook statuses from the past few months to help "catch up" on what's going in the Wus' lives.  We'll start with March and April.

If you happen to also be our friends on facebook, there won't be anything new here. :)

it's been awhile


About seven months ago, our blog was hacked.  It was the middle of the semester, and I didn't have the time to figure it out and restore everything, so I just let it go.  And, even though facebook allows me to keep up with friends and family, on occasion I still missed blogging .

So, I decided to relocate our blog once again--away from a platform that requires constant attention to keep hackers at bay and free.  Hopefully, this will be it's final final home.  I'm not sure how frequently we'll blog, but I do imagine it will be somewhere between less than once a day and more than once every six months. :D

I had all the posts and comments up to 2009 backed up, but I had to copy and paste all the posts from 2010 from my google reader's stored memory of the old blog, which means we lost all comments for 2010.

And, while all the posts have migrated over to this new blog's URL, I've not messed with pages or the sidebars yet.  That will come in due time.

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