Another One of Those Sundays

I need a strong motivation to start writing my research proposal due on Thursday so I thought of writing here before I concentrate on the most burdensome of all things called research.

We are constantly being reminded by our parents to be good girls and boys. But it is when we grow older that we learn to appreciate the goodness of others and somehow try to be good in return. I have constantly asked myself if I have been good to people, if I treat others well, if I speak words that others want to hear. However, most of the time, I cant come up with a good answer to my question.

Afterall, what's nice is that we, as people, try to be good no matter what the circumstances are. But what is nicer is that we can always persevere to be better people, to be the best we can be.

Try doing small good deeds everyday. Smiling, exuding warmth when talking, patting one's back. It will help you feel good if not better.

Have a blessed Good Shepherd Sunday!

**The bag sitting at the back is a freebie given by the Chinese Language Center of our school. It's good to bring it anywhere because it gives the impression that you're a foreign student learning Chinese (This is a good part on my end because they often say that I kind of look like a local. So wearing that bag screams the "NOOOO-I'm-an-international-student-but-I'm-Asian" look haha!).**

Beautiful Sunday

What makes a lazy Sunday beautiful? A warm cup of latte and an insightful reflection. It was the priest's homily that made this Sunday perfect. I was holding back my tears during the homily but it was just too hard. I cried because I heard what I needed and wanted to hear. Heart warming reflection from a metaphorical story of a girl trapped in the woods with a famished wolf wanting to devour her. Yet the girl looked at the tree she's standing next to, and saw one fresh plump strawberry. She picked it up and forgot all the fear and anxiety.

At first it seemed so shallow, but if you dig deeper and interpret it the way the priest did, you'd realize that everytime you are in the woods, you fear for your life, but then the strawberry is a representation of God's constant presence. With all the thoughts flashing and popping out of nowhere, I do not even know where to begin planning for the things needed to be done. But at the middle of nowhere, in all preoccupation with the future, a strawberry is always in sight. Things are now going the way they should with this girl right here.

I must confess that I smiled a whole lot today. With the cup of perfectly made caffe latte in one of the coziest coffee shops in the city, my dampened heart has been warmed. And I guess the strawberry has something to do with it. I am definitely positive that I will be smiling all throughout the week.

And just as the song goes… Though many times I run to You in shame, I lift my hands and call upon Your name… Thank You for being my cafe latte, for being my strawberry, for making my Sunday a perfect one. Indeed, Sunday is a time for You and me.

Little Things

My week's supposed to be a bore, drowning myself in endless pages of readings and desperately trying to keep my iWork 09 working, cursing everytime my Keynote hangs up. But look at the trifles that made my week complete. A REAL bacon in a REAL diner here in Taipei (Check out the Hungry Girl's trust-worthy review of The Diner in Taipei's best district), Ghirardelli chocolates given by Ate Rina (I can eat them in one seating but I'm trying to control myself), and my new writing tools to aid me in my school work. Little things that help me get by in between my current worries and issues. I am always hoping for the best to come. Praying for things to fall into place. Have a blessed Sunday, and a good week ahead!

On the Other Side

(Pictures of my Chinese teacher 李老師 teaching us the art of drinking tea in class, and group picture with classmates in a trip to Maokong.)

In one of our video calls, my dad asked me if I'm still doing what I'm supposed to do here in Taiwan: to study. I answered "of course" with utmost conviction. My Facebook might be filled with photos taken from everywhere but rest assured that I keep myself busy by reading and studying... a lot. Have you seen anyone who can manage to stay at the library reading room for six straight hours? Well, that's me. I try my best to do all my oral presentations, papers and readings beforehand, hence the amount of time I stay in the library.

My Chinese class also keeps me busy and wide awake at night when I cant think of ways on how to construct grammatically correct sentences using the conjugations and new vocabulary words being taught to us. I think our teacher is the most patient person I've known in her profession. I know it's her job to teach us, but the way she handles our class is just admirable. Sometimes I feel so stupid for asking silly questions but she'd gladly answer it. I also love my classmates. We're only a class of six but then we make time to have dinner every after class for some chit chat session, which is good for building a good foundation for friendship (see... I'm actually applying human communication class' topic discussion here).

So despite school work, I still manage to squeeze in some fun in my daily schedule. I have always believed that all work and no play makes Jacq a dull child. A mantra made especially for me.

Spring Break

Originally, I didn't plan to go out for spring break because I wanted to just savor the tranquility of this place and do some soul searching. But then I thought I would just pity myself if I don't plan something and stay in the dorm for five days doing nothing. So I planned for Hualien trip and asked friends who wanted to join. Booked a hostel (Taroko 18 is highly recommended) and bought train tickets. It was so much fun walking around such serene places with magnificent rock formations. Every place felt so calm that all I did was to keep my mind at peace, inhale deep breaths and thank the Creator of all things. I'm indeed grateful to my travel buddies, Danielle and Anastacia, Hansol and Roberto, together with the room 9017 girls who gave us a space in the car they rented.