Public transportation in Taiwan

It's been about four months since I have arrived here and
still haven't really been anywhere. The reason is not that
I am lazy or that I don't have the time it really is because
the public transportation in Taiwan really stinks. Not to
be negative about Taiwan but it really is true.
Obviously, when people talk about Taiwan they think
about Taipei as being "Taiwan". Well I do agree that
Taipei's public transportation system is very good - even
excellent but that is Taipei and only Taipei.
Any place outside of Taipei public transportation is next
to non-existant.

I spent a half day looking for a well known fish market
out by Taizhong port only to find that the bus going
there has gone out of business! After speaking with various
people on the street I managed to find another bus company
but soon realized I needed to transfer buses! The trip would
have taken nearly TWO hours with 2 transfers (three buses)
from where I live in Taiping. I gave up. definately not worth
the trip by myself - perhaps if friends from Japan come to
visit will go but until then it's not worth it.

In Taiwan, it seems that vehical ownership is encouraged,
even owning a house/appartment is encouraged over renting.
It is more of an elitist place to live - by far not a very interesting
place to live. With rising oil prices world wide I wonder why
are they encouraging vechical ownership, as gasoline prices are
outrageously cheap. Capitalism has most certainly destroyed
Taiwan and is rapidly eroding away the Mainland as China
catches up.


This time in Japanese


Teaching English in Asia

I've found myself once again half-way around the world teaching English as a Second Language. Where? Taiwan. In a smaller city, Taiping, Taizhong province in central Taiwan. Yes, I have always liked and still love teaching -- especially children but as a Japanese-American I am realizing more and more how Asian foriegn language teachers, especially those teaching English are not are not wanted here in Asia.

Last year, I spent a year in mainland China where I encountered a rather unfortunate experience of being told to leave later I learned it was discrimination. Perhaps being fired was the greatest thing that ever happeneed to me - if it wasn't so I would never have seen more of China. Most people will say - that's China, but that isn't true. It happens anywhere and everywhere, even Taiwan, Japan, or Canada. The world image of a "typical" English instructor seems to be defined in the minds of many and further propagated through the media, radio, TV, and the internet. I really do dislike the term but for the lack of a better word it really is a "WHITE" world out there. The sad thing is, the majority of those English teachers -- "White, blonde, blue eyed" either brag about how easy it is to get a job here and/or accept this discrimination openly.

For more information on teaching in Asia, lesson plans or cross-cultural curriculum please visit: www.projecth2o.org

Human Rights Curriculum as International Relations

International relations occur when people and cultures interact. In the best case, one develops a greater understanding of oneself and an appreciation of others.

This curriculum has three principal objectives:

(i) To realize differences:
To move from the realization of one's own differences to the
realization that we are all different.
(ii) To appreciate diversity:
To encourage curiosity rather than prejudice in viewing differences.
 (iii) To take responsibility:
To realize their relationship to the world so as to realize that
the problems once viewed as "outside" one's own parameters
are "inside" as well.

About the Curriculum:
Obviously the best way to study foreign cultures is to actually go to the country and live there. But, not everyone has this option open to them. Therefore, we can use “mock experience” curriculum to simulate the feeling of the foreign atmosphere so that children will be able to understand the feeling of the other person (the foreigner).

For more information about this curriculum please visit: www.projecth2o.org


Colloidal Silver Ceramic Water Filters

As the world's human population increases, the earth's limited supply of clean freshwater resources becomes increasingly stressed either by limited quantity and/or contamination from industrial pollution or human overpopulation. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to develop strategies to protect the limited clean freshwater available as well as to have the capability to clean contaminated water for drinking purposes.

The colloidal silver ceramic water filter is not a new concept and is being manufactured by several organizations like: Ceramiques d'Afrique and Potters For Peace.

The filter is simply a porous earthenware flowerpot that is only bisqued and then coated with silver colloid to act as an anti bacterial agent. The porous earthenware pot is made from carefully screened (for uniformity) sawdust or other organic material mixed with clay and formed into an earthenware pot. The filters are bisqued at 500 degrees - a sufficient temperature to prevent them from breaking down in water ever again but suitable for allowing water to penetrate the pores and not the harmful bacteria.

Himeshima, Oita English Website launched

Located on the far western side of the inland sea national park, in the northeastern part of the island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan is an island included as part of Oita prefecture. Have you ever wondered that such a place that is less than seven square kilometers and has a population of less than 3000 people existed in Japan known for its' big cities? A place with a history of more than 2000 years; a place that appears in two of Japan's greatest literary publications; that place is Himeshima. Read more about Himeshima's most famous traditional dances, with a history of more than 500 years, the people of Himeshima manage to hold onto their traditions in a quickly changing and fast paced modern Japan.

To read more about Himeshima please go to: www.projecth2o.org/himeshima/

Welcome to Project H2O Blog!

Not a blog entirely about foriegn language education but includes anything that goes on in the world feel free to post in Japanese, French or English.