Happy New Year!

In Taiwan, dogs don’t say, “Ruff Ruff!” they say, “Wang! Wang!” The year of the dog started at midnight today, so dogs barking, people saying, “Wang! Wang!” and an amazing amount of firecrackers all night long (are we under attack?!) were all part of the celebrations.

We had dinner last night with a family that is investing in Pacific Educational Institute: Charles and Angel, and Charles’ parents and brother. They were great hosts and we had a wonderful time. They knew some English but not much so it encouraged us to try with our little bits of Mandarin. We had a huge delicious dinner (in which we recognized almost nothing), learned how to toast with real strong wine (Baba – ‘grandpa’ – got a little tipsy for a bit!), and I learned how to play Mahjong (but not very well!). I also discreetly included the offering to the ancestors in the edge of one picture.

It’s interesting for us to be on the receiving end of the “taking care of the poor immigrants” routine. We’ve had foreigners in our house or church in Canada, where they had hardly any language and hardly understood the customs or holidays or traditions. It’s such a great blessing for us to have people take care of us like this, especially when they aren’t confident with their English and are having their holiday meal invaded by strangers.

See pictures from tonight here, and pictures from PEI’s first week of Winter Camp will be coming soon.

7 thoughts on “Happy New Year!”

  1. Humility and grace right. It sounds as if you are growing ever more graceful by the day. Ya both look HOT in Taiwan. peace.

  2. Hey Bonnie…
    Great to hear from you…glad you checked out our little online place here. You would have a blast over here, I’m quite sure.
    Miss you!

  3. Debbie…

    Gong xi, gong xi! We are having so much fun..I just wish I could read a few of these traditional characters. We had some delicious duck for dinner, and lots of other dishes I hadn’t tried, along with a nice “hot pot”. Did you and Josue get to celebrate Chinese New Year? Hope you guys are doing well!!!


  4. By the way, guys — our friend Derek tells me to be sure to pronounce the dog “wang, wang!” in the 4th tone — lest we be accused of mocking his last name (2nd tone). Just in case you didn’t figure it out already ;-)

    Gan bei

  5. Hi Joel/Jessica-talked to your dad Joel and he reminded me this is how to communicate with you. I am not to tech smart, but will see if you rec. this. I am sure the culture change keeps you on your toes most days, should send your dad over Joel as he is right into that food.[actullay any food-don’t tell him I said that!!]. As always, think about you both every, morning on my walk-wishing you both great health and happiness-Jim

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