Friends made in Taiwan
Mark and Andrea     kristin and katrina
Mark and Andrea
Andrea came to Taiwan with Jill and Jeff about 4 months before Mark came, way back when they were dating (they're married now).  The top right is our blue jacket picture at about 2,500m in the freezing cold.  I'm wearing the rain pants I was wearing in my first motorbike accident so they're duct taped (this was before my goretex days).  Mark and I moved into the apartment together shown in the bottom right when he arrived.  I think we both loved our comfy flower couch. That's Mark and Andrea with Chuck.  Chuck loved making up songs for people.  He also knew Royce from school in Texas (see Bea and Royce under Canada).
There's Mark, Andrea and I saying goodbye at Jambalaya just before they left Taiwan.  The next pic is of Andrea picking up her stolen scooter at the police station at 12am because we finished classes at like 10pm!  I went along to help with translation and I think the police officer came in wearing his pajamas. The top right is the first occurrence of my Taiwan fever.  I've had it a few times since.  I was laying in Mark's tent because it was better vented. That was one of my first lessons in getting what you pay for (my tent was cheap).  Since then I usually spend the money for stuff.  That's also Mark's first MP3 player.  The bottom right is meeting up with Andrea, Mark, Jill, Jeff and Chris on my way to Calgary.  Chris was so fun.  It's too bad he lives so far away.
After selling ads for a local radio station, Mark has just this year settled down to an exciting firefighting career in Regina.  Why on earth did I go into teaching?  Andrea is teaching primary children at a school she really likes in Estevan.  Estevan and Regina are a little ways away so that will be a challenge for them this coming year.
kristin, katrina and Nathan
It is a small world.  kristin and his wife katrina taught ESL in Taiwan while I was there.  They also both live in Sudbury (1h from my hometown) and kristin is doing his B. Ed. in Canada at the same school I did mine at only one year later.
Nathan is two here.  I never knew how bright two year olds could be until I met him.  He was so cute.  He wanted on my motorbike from the moment he saw it.  Once he was on it, he fiddled with all of the buttons and switches and then asked for it to be turned on.
Well, I obliged and I even pulled the throttle for him.  He seemed discontent with that.  Thinking he was scared of the loud noise (I was scared of such noises as a child), I asked him if it was too loud and to my astonishment, he continued to ask me to turn it on.  Yeah, he wanted to take it for a ride and turning it on to him meant making it move so I looked like the dumb bunny to him not being able to make the bike move when he asked for it to be turned on.  Just so you know, mom, he was never on the bike when it moved! J
The other thing that surprised me was his reasoning ability.  He was playing with some old pears while kristin and I talked and he kept bringing them to kristin for him to pull off the stems.  Well, kristin finally decided to throw them in the garbage.  Nathan was about to take a fit over this act when kristin calmly explained that the pears were bad and needed to go into the garbage.  Rather than fight with his dad and cry as I expected, he accepted his dad's statement and asked for an orange.  Who knew two year olds could reason?
For more info about kristin and katrina check out their blog:   You might be interested in reading about their experience of surviving the tsunami in Thailand.