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Showing posts from June, 2016

A Weekend in Beijing

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Labor Day weekend saw myself and a gang of buddies tearing up Beijing for 3 nights. In the end, there were 9 of us who went! I was a bit concerned about traveling with such a large group, but everyone was flexible and open-minded, and we had no problem breaking up into smaller groups to do the stuff we really wanted to do.

The whole weekend gang at a Peking duck joint
Rooftop drinks our first day in the city
Confession: I'm not really interested in traveling in China. Or India for that matter, but that's another story for another day. BUT when you get a couple of friends who used to live in Beijing who say they are going to show you around all their favorite spots, how can you possibly say no?!

My friend Billy used to live around the corner, how fitting
So our trip was more a drinking and eating tour of the city rather than cultural. I didn't go to Tiananmen Square or the Great Wall. Yikes! Because we were in a little bubble in the Sanlitun neighborhood, I had few encounters wi…

Taiwan With Teens

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The students at my school go camping once a year, and I’ve always had a blast chaperoning these trips. This year, I got to supervise an outdoor experience in the mountains of northern Taiwan. Normally on these trips we stay in tents, but I got lucky and was assigned the one trip where the students stay in a mountain lodge.

Orientation activities with the kids
The view from our mountain lodge
5.5k Mountain Lodge is set on Lalashan Mountain near Fuxing, Taiwan. It overlooks a massive valley, and I was reminded of my view in Quito, although at a much lower altitude in Taiwan, the vegetation is much more dense. Each morning the adults would wake up a half hour before the kids to sit on the patio with a view and drink our coffee in silence.
Cherry blossoms in full bloom
Nearby waterfalls we hiked to
Because we use an outdoor education company to arrange all the activities and meals, I pretty much got to tag along and experience the trip with the kids. It was a serious challenge for me! We did a…