From left, the family of my host mom's colleague (whose son also happens to be my student!), me, co-teacher Chia-Ling, and my host family
After we played with the swing, all of the ETAs, LETs, and host families went to make clay pottery. Last time I went to Meinung, I made a cup, remember? This time, I made a wall decoration (see picture below). I had my host family and co-teachers sign it. The top two holes are for stringing ribbon through so it will hang. The bottom hole is for me to hang a picture of my host family and co-teachers.
There are lots and lots of pictures of this trip here. Be sure to check it out!
Above: The Pearl of Eternal Love (August)
There is a pearl for every single month. When we were at the Dragonfly Beads Art Studio, I decided to make the pearls pictured below for my family. I did not choose the pearls based on my family members' birth month, but instead chose the pearls based on aesthetics and meaning.
One of the artists helped me make the beads. She was part of the tribe, Paiwan, that specializes in making these glass beads. The population of the Paiwan is somewhat above 82,000. According to a brochure from the Bureau of Cultural, Park, Council of Indigenous Peoples, the Paiwan are the best at handicrafts. Apparently their expertise in handicrafts is a result of their heirarchical social structure; the nobles have a lot of time to refine their artistic skills because they do not participate in the daily-life productions. The Paiwan make a variety of objects, ranging from tools to architectural parts (i.e. wooden beams, pillars, etc.).
After making our beads, which took about 8 minutes to make and 40 minutes to cool, we headed to the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Culture Park. There, we saw the tribe members of Paiwan dance and light firecrackers. The costumes they wore were very beautiful and brightly colored. We took a bus to the indoor Naluwan Theater within the park and on the way, saw many beautiful scenic spots.
For more pictures of this cultural experience, please see this album: Taiwan Photo Set 19: Sandimen Village.