Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Nuclear Medicine Conference

Yes, you read it right Conference on Nuclear Medicine.
What do we have to do with that?
Well ... it so happened that Zosia was invited to give a presentation at this conference.
But why? What has she got to do with medicine and nuclear medicine? What is nuclear medicine?
Well ... let's start from the beginning. In December my childhood friend wrote me that he will be coming with a brief visit to Taiwan to attend a conference. I offered to show him around if he stayed a few days longer. Later it turned out that he mentioned our family to the conference organizers and they contacted us. They watched some interviews with Zosia and were really impressed with what she has achieved at such a young age. And so they contacted us and asked Zosia to give a short, 30 min., motivational talk to the conference attendees. The organizers wanted her so badly that they even paid for her ticket to/from Taiwan (she flew from Japan to attend the conference).
Too bad Tim was not in Taiwan at that time, he would have enjoyed meeting all the medical scientists and scholars and would probably understand much more about what they were talking about than me, Jaś and Zosia.

Zosia had two short presentations. For the first one we drove to Lugang where we met my friend. All of us were put up in the hospital's luxurious guest rooms.

In the afternoon we visited the research center of the Show Chwan Memorial Hospital 秀傳紀念醫院 as well as the old town of Lugang. More about Lugang and it's historical sites HERE).
In the evening we had dinner with some Very Important People. Imagine - the Very Important People + me + Zosia + Jaś - interesting combination.

Next morning, 7:30 was time for my friend, Peter and Zosia's presentations. It was broadcasted to another hospital as well.

We also got a chance to go around the hospital and visit the hospital's museum.

Piotr was the hospital's special guest on that day:

Next on the list was lunch in the mountains and a hike in Xitou Nature Education Area 溪頭自然教育園區. The weather was horrible, it was cold and rainy and driving for almost two hours to get to the mountains was not a very good idea. And hiking was even less appealing.
The lunch was quite nice, but the restaurant was freezing, I wish the weather would have been better then all of us would have enjoyed the day much better.

When we got to Xitou Park, Jas and I decided to stay in the car, the rain was pouring and our shoes were not the hiking type. Zosia went for the walk and got back completely soaked and cold.

The next day Zosia had another presentation, this time in Taipei. She made her presentation bilingual (Chinese, English) as there were few foreigners in the audience.

Many people had questions for Zosia and even more wanted to take pictures with her.

In the evening Zosia and I were invited for a banquet style dinner. Soooo much food!

These few days were an interesting experience for Zosia. Quite a few people have invited her to speak at other conferences and universities. Looks like my daughter is becoming a popular speaker to have.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mazu Temple in Lugang 鹿港天后宮

Lugang 鹿港 is one of our favourite places to visit. Whenever guests from abroad come and they have more than just a few days in Taiwan, we take them to Lugang. It's an old city in the central Taiwan, near Changhua 彰化.
In the old area of the city there are many temples, shops and narrow streets with vendors selling yummy food.

This time our visit was quite quick, just 2 hours or so, so we didn't visit all the places we usually go to. We did stop by Mazu Temple (Tianhou 天后宮) . This temple was build in the late Ming-early Qing dynasty in order to worship the Taoist Goddess of the Sea, Mazu 媽祖.
In the late 17th century one of the generals took the statue of Mazu from Meizhou 湄洲 in China to protect his ships in the voyage across the Taiwan Strait and relocated it to Taiwan where a temple to house the statue was build.
The temple has three main buildings - front, main and rear halls - there are two courtyards. It is considered as one of Taiwan's finest architectural works because of it's beautiful stone and wood carvings.

In the next posts I will show you how the rest of Lugang looks like and what you can eat there.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Jiantan Mountain 劍潭山

This time nature class walk has taken us to another mountain in Taipei. Before the class the teacher warned us that there will be many stairs to climb and ... there really were MANY STAIRS.

Jiantan Mountain 劍潭山 is located behind the famous Grand Hotel in the northern part of Taipei. There are a few places to start the hike, one is right next to the bowling alley opposite the Jiantan MRT Station and the other a bit further up the road from the MRT. We started our hike from the bowling alley (where I could conveniently park my car). 

The beginning of the walk was not exciting as they have covered most of the slope with cement and metal nets so as to prevent land slides.

Stairs, stairs and even ...

... more stairs,

that was the theme of the day. 

On the way up we passed a few kinda of run down volleyball (?) courts,

two forgotten cuddly toys,

a few old bunkers and military posts,

a nice area to exercise or rest,

a big tree to climb,

and of course a temple.

We also observed plants,

A leaf that a snail slithered on.

Abutilion pictum - Chinese lantern - Flowering maple
and animals:

Many praying mantises will emerge from this.

Ants' nest.
And finally we got to our destination, a place called 老地方 - The Old Place.

Usually from the top one can see far and wide the city of Taipei, but on the day we went there the air was not clear and this was all we could see:

All kids were in good spirits: