Before beginning these last two weeks, I took some time to reflect upon the last 8 weeks that I have spent here in Taiwan. I can’t believe it’s almost over! Week 9 consisted of writing and editing our paper. I am so proud of myself and Melissa for completing our first scientific paper. Sometimes, paper writing is a bit frustrating because it seems that every version of the paper that we come up with needs to be changed. However, I am happy that our mentor, Jimmy, is very thorough and helpful with his corrections.
On Monday, to say goodbye to one of our lab mates, Charlotte, we went to a local bowling alley. I usually don’t like bowling, but this time I had a lot of fun! I think it had to do with the amazing people I was with. Nothing out of the ordinary happened during the rest of the week. On the weekend, everyone did their own thing, so I decided to wander around Kaohsiung. I started my Saturday morning with some fruit from a street stand, then I headed to the MRT station with no real destination in mind.
My day included walking around the Pier 2 Arts District next to the Sizihuan harbor, riding the light rail, exploring the IKEA store, buying an extra suitcase for all of my souvenirs, and eating at my usual vegetarian buffet.
Week 10, our final week in Taiwan, consisted of many bittersweet and memorable moments. We did our final presentation on our research and turned in our final paper, which was titled “Short Exercise Intervention using Data Acquisition Air Pressure Pillow (DAQ APP): A Pilot Study for CKD Patients“. Though our results were insignificant, I cannot be more proud of our project and everything it has taught me about research, inter-cultural communication, and working with others. Working with the lab members of Dr. Guo’s sports medicine lab has given me complete satisfaction. I wonder if we did not have such generous, accommodating lab mates, how would our summer fellowship experience would be? There are not enough words to express the immense joy that I feel to have met every one of them.
To celebrate our final presentation, we revisited the Japanese ramen place for lunch. Afterwards, we played a few games and just enjoyed each other’s company. In the evening, we ate hot pot and went to the coolest rooftop bar that I’ve ever seen. Everything about this day was perfect and I could not have asked for anything better. On Wednesday, our lab mates took us on our last excursion. If weather had permitted, we would have spent the morning hiking to a waterfall 40 minutes from Kaohsiung. We spent the afternoon at Patty’s parents’ home. As we pulled up to their beautiful home, Patty’s parents welcomed us with open arms and gifts of food and Winter Melon tea. Our lunch was the fabled stinky tofu that I had been reluctant to try. Nevertheless, I tried it and all I have to say is that, at least I did it. After eating, we got back in the rental car and followed Patty’s parents to a famous glass pavilion, the Tainan salt mounds, and dinner at a fresh beef hot pot restaurant. We were so grateful to be able to spend Taiwanese Father’s day with Patty’s parents. It is so inspiring that even though her parents did not speak English, I still felt their kindness–no words were necessary. And for our very last night in Taiwan, we went to the Ruifeng Night Market to stock up on last-minute souvenirs. Taking my last steps through the night market, even though I felt sad to leave, I knew that I would be back soon.