KMU is officially in summer. This past week students were busy moving out of the dorms. I met other international students, mostly graduate students in the dorm now that it is emptying out. Three are from all over Africa, specifically Malawi, Rwanda, and Uganda. We spent a lot of time trading questions about each other’s countries’ politics, culture, food, and research.
Saturday consisted of a long windy adventure to Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum. It was highly recommended and did not disappoint. Campus is a better term for it than a museum, there was a monastery and multiple pagodas leading to an enormous Buddha statue. The importance placed on preserving the history of buddhism, while also sharing the ideas and artifacts of the past was really well done. Monasteries around the world have donated artifacts and Fo Guang Shan has multiple underground crypts storing these artifacts. Every 100 years, the museum opens a crypt to share the items while also closing another crypt that is stored with current artifacts intended to share with future generations and preserve the buddhist religion.
I met a local KMU nursing undergraduate student by the name of Jacky in my first week here, while trying to get a metro card. With finals over, he took us to a small retired sugar refinery repurposed into a pedestrian walking path on Sunday. Along the path were small fields growing watermelon and pineapple. Until I saw the pineapple tops sticking out from the ground, I always thought pineapples grew from trees. Afterward, he took us to a batting cage facility in the city. One of the facility workers asked me what we called the building in English, I told her in English, we would call it ‘a batting cage.’ For some reason certain terms or words don’t translate well from English to Taiwanese. This makes translating a hassle sometimes.
The rainy season is ramping up, I think July will have more thunderstorms than this past month.