Thursday, June 23, 2011


48 hours after morphine, anesthesia, 8 stitches near the eye and 48 to the leg... ready to take on Taipei

I helped 36 kids, aged 8-11, storm the plane... upon takeoff, 72 hands went into the air with excited "wheeeees" as if rollercoasting for the very first time, though many are gold mileage members

101 Tower... now, second tallest in world

World's fastest elevator... hardly felt we were moving

Textured Taipei... it is the capital of Taiwan, or Republic of China, not to be confused with the People's Republic of China (commonly known as China). After WWII, separtist Chinese Nationalists located in Taiwan during the communist rise of mainland China. Taiwan was occupied by Japan prior to WWII, and that influence is still felt today with many Japanese shops & restaurants, I am overjoyed to report. 

First day of competition... to the pool. Taipei was a wonderful host, opening its national aquatics center and stadium for our young competitors

Lane 1, Ry's 25 Backstroke

Silver... her first of several medals, but this one most proud. She made it to Taipei and earned it herself.

Fun races too... 12 person tyre relay

Gold with the team

Afternoon T-ball... she hit all 4 games (used a runner), fielded 2 games, and sat the last 2.

Her team took T-ball Gold, 3-0-1

Zippity Do Da... an area girls school put on a sweet show for opening ceremonies

5 schools from Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Hong Kong... each team with 36 students representing over 20 different countries. Such interesting vibes with loud, bronzed Western moms fueling kids with sandwiches and cookies while quiet, skin-covered Thai moms stuff their own children with seaweed wrapped rice, peeled eggs, tea. Indians who eat with their hands, East Asians who prefer hands not touch food, Thai moms later making noise with their drums & tambourines... I love it all!

Push Pass

No soccer, or football as the rest of the world calls it, for Riley... she tried to contribute by toting water bottles

And cheering... amazingly, we kept her wounds infection free

Football Silver, 1-0-3

Team Regents

Cutting loose at final night's dance & dinner gala I helped plan for the kids... over past training months, Riley has gotten to know students from another Thai school in attendance, here dancing with a buddy from Italy

She let her hair down and had a blast this eve

On our final day we planned for the team to go ice skating, but Ry & I explored Taipei on our own to preserve her leg. I was looking for OJ as we left hotel, stopped into Starbucks where line was long and decided instead to move on. Minutes later we stumbled across amazing, fresh squeezed on the street. Riley as we walked away, "I'm glad we bought from him instead of Starbucks. He only had a few coins in his box." Back home I try hard to support small business, but when travelling as much as we do, we can easily get sucked into comforts of brand recognition. Glad for this reminder, for this is what it's all about!

Taipei is intrigued with blondies

Kind of cool, strap on wheelies

Riley Mei blossomed during her week in Taipei, and I am so grateful.