Sorry its been a while since my last email. Been kept pretty busy here from sun up to sun down working on my project. The life here is very communal with 23 of us constantly together having meals, working, going on trips and hanging out at night. I tend to me the earliest to bed, and first to rise, which seems to be the only private time I have to write. I just can’t seem to write when everyone else is around talking, but I have managed to fall asleep. wearing earplugs helps
The Tea House and oyster shells are coming along. I have started working on the walls, which for me is the most creative part. So I have asked my assistants to work on the roof back at the red house, while I work alone piecing together the bamboo lattice work for the walls. Last evening at sunset it was so peaceful to be out on the wetlands doing what I love best, making my art to the glow of the setting sun, the sweep and swallow of the local birds through whispering grasses and lapping waters.
Friday night was Taiwanese night. And to celebrate and introduce us foreigners to the culture they set up a band to have a kind of Karaoke night to sing old and new Taiwanese songs. We also had our fare share of Taiwan Beer, various snack foods like fried noodles, chips, red bean ice cream and a sweet sweet milk like drink that has the same stimulating power as Red Bull.
There was this one woman who had an incredible voice, belting out the more traditional Taiwanese songs. They music sounded almost Indian to me. When I went to tell her how beautiful her voice was she smiled back in thank you. But when I saw her open her mouth I could see the red stains left on her teeth from the chewing of a popular local drug called betel nut.
so to continue our country nights, last night was the US. Originally Jane the curator suggested I make an apple pie, but when I thought about what I would like to cook for everyone to get a taste of my life in the US, I decided to make Latkes with homemade apple sauce instead. Everyone loved them. It is my favorite food to cook for friends. I just made the simple ones with potato and onion. The volunteers had fun watching. I even learned to flip them with chopsticks. We had planned a few games like hopscotch and ate watermelon, but I was not prepared to be requested by Georgio the artist from Italy to do a Michael Jackson imitation. I said why not and jumped right into Beat it with a hat worn sidewise, one gloved hand, rolled up pants and doing the moonwalk. It was fun, and everyone was quite impressed with my dancing. Hoping to get pictures and maybe some video to send.
The only problem was was that I could not even finish dancing the song. I was very quickly out of breath with my heart beat racing. Not a good sign. I need to do more aerobic exercise. Also I keep waking up to my right hand falling asleep. And feeling cramped all day long from having to grip all the tools for so long and so hard. Thank goodness I have Shue and Jai to help me.
Maaan, are they loud here in Taiwan. It is only 7:45am and our neighbor decided to shoot off a bunch of fire crackers after yelling at his wife from the bathroom window near where I was hanging my clothes to dry.
Here are links to follow the whole project’s facebook page and blog