Let’s Try This Again

So clearly – as I very well knew – it’s impossible for me to keep a diary or write everyday about all my adventures here in Taiwan. Especially when I’m writing for no one.

So while talking on the phone with my father, I told him about some of the things I’d seen and learned (and my opinions) and he thought it would be a good idea to put those on here. So that’s what I’ll do eventually.


The Week’s Recap

I know, you haven’t heard from me for awhile. Well it’s hard to write posts when wifi is so limited!!

TongHua night market was fun… eventually my friends grew tired and took a taxi home while I went on (with a group of locals, yes I knew them beforehand) to a night market in Guting. I bought way too much stuff but I had a lot of fun!

Until this Friday (6/10) my week was pretty dry… actually no it was humid…. haha I know bad joke. But my internship started but we only had a three day week due to a holiday here in Taiwan. The holiday is the Dragon Boat Festival.

Next week in my lab they will be getting a pig corpse and we (Becca & I) will be observing what kind of insects are attracted. Yay for pig corpses.

On Saturday (6/11) the same group of locals that took us to the night market last week decided to take my friends & I up to the mountains outside Taipei. We visited a butterfly habitat there and went on a huge tour with the former major of Taipei named Alex. We even got a little media coverage and a blog post about the trip written by his wife Hana. I will post a link if I can find it. After that I we traveled to a large pond termed “Dream Lake” and had a coffee break there.

Next we went to a hot spring and night market to wrap up the night. (More details later)


Finally moved to NTU dorm

Now it’s June 4th and I have finally made it to my final resting place. My new home for the summer is in the Shiu-Yuan Prince dorms at National Taiwan University.

So when I arrived on June 3rd I was told that my lab would be very far from my dorm. They weren’t kidding!! Wowza, it’s about a 25-35 minute walk and in this heat…. I can’t… but I must!

I’m very pleased about my internship – the professor I will work under is very “chill” about what I want to research while I’m here. He says on Monday (6/6) or Tuesday (6/7) I can listen to the graduate students talk about their projects and pick the one I like best. Of course I have a general idea of what I’d like to research while I’m here but I am curious to listen to all the proposals. You will have to wait to hear which one I pick!

Since today (6/4) is a Saturday we (including two other girls from Purdue) decided to orientate ourselves better with ntu. All three of us actually ended up walking to the building where Becca & I will be working. We are still wondering about the best ways to get there.

(Here are some photos of the campus.)


The other girl studying here who went with us is named Cat. Early before we explored the campus (8-10am) we went out to find some kind of grocery store. We found ‘Wellcome’ and purchased a few items there. We decided to share a lot of items to make it cheaper.

Tonight we will head to TongHua night market to shop it up. I’ll keep you posted!

First 2 Days in Taipei

Hello again! On a bright Saturday afternoon (28th) I flew from Chicago to Hong Kong. Once at Hong Kong, we (my friend who is in the same program, Becca) and I had to wait out a 10 hour layover. Basically I hadn’t slept my whole flight and still couldn’t sleep. We arrived in Taipei at 8:30am on May 30th.

We were picked up by my family’s friend (We will call him Mr. T) and he took us to his apartment where we will stay until our program starts on June 3rd. After we were settled into our rooms and each took a shower Mr. T took us to a super market to pick up a few things. The supermarket’s name was Carrefour, it had everything imaginable and multiple floors with a parking garage as the basement.

Here is a  picture of some dragonfruit. It looked so awesome!


After leaving we returned to Mr. T’s apartment (3pm) to “take a rest” which turned into sleeping for the rest of the night. We were so tired… actually I woke up many times during the night but I was always able to fall back asleep until I woke up at 5:15am and sun was shining through my room’s window.

At about 8:00am (5/31) Mr. T took us to get breakfast. I decided I would buy food at 7-11 because I already knew what I wanted. So this is what I purchased at a total of 92 ntd ($2.83 usd):


So I bought (from left to write) a milk-flavored yogurt drink, a super yummy black milk tea, and a chicken & pork (pork not shown because I ate it)¬†onigiri-type filled rice thing. Everything was super yummy and I can’t wait for lunch. And now we are caught up with the present basically. Becca & I have chosen to spend our time before the program relaxing. I’ll keep you posted!

Packing Prep

In 12 days I will be leaving my home in Indiana to go on a 2 month study abroad in Taiwan. The program is offering an agriculture internship along with classes and projects at National Taiwan University, the program is through Purdue University.

Of course being an entomology major I was ecstatic to find an actual entomology internship in a foreign country that I wanted to visit (Taiwan was my 1st choice, mainland China was 2nd). Believe me when I say insects aren’t a particularly popular subject to study anymore.

So now I have been *trying* to prepare and pack light for my trip. I will be checking 1 bag that will be primarily empty, or have items I’m certain I will use up while I’m there. I will also have a carry-on suitcase and a small backpack.

I haven’t actually packed anything yet but I’ve been setting out my clothes and other items so I’ll be ready to pack. I thought I’d share what I plan on packing. I’ll bring enough tops & bottoms to last approximately a week (if I only wore everything once), 1 thicker sweatshirt & 2 thin sweaters/over-shirts, a rain jacket, swimsuit, sleepwear, underwear (at least enough to last me for 2 weeks without doing laundry), at least 2 pairs of shoes if not 3, a hat, among other things like toiletries and electronics.

I still have items I need to go out and buy but I still have almost 2 weeks to gather supplies. Wish me luck, I’ll update soon. XOXO foleyfocus