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Photo by Ching Hsieh

Final Day in Yilan and Arrival in Zhen Xi Bao

We started our day off pretty slow today. We had time to sleep in and pack before our dumpling workshop with our homestay parents. Mrs. Zhang set out some fruit and buns with hibiscus jam for breakfast. After we ate we began our first activity of the day and last activity with Mr. & Mrs. Z, making dumplings. Mrs. Z showed us how to fill and fold the dumplings and then boiled them for us to eat for lunch.

 

After lunch we filled our bottles and said our goodbyes to the Zhang’s before heading to our final destination in Taiwan, Zhen Xi Bao. The bus ride to our second homestay was breathtaking, the second half of the 5 hour journey followed winding roads up the side of a huge mountains. Fortunately, no one got sick!

 

We were warmly greeted by the chief of the tribe, Dali, when we arrived in Zhen Xi Bao. The chief and Yapit, a local guide, led us to a beautiful art gallery featuring works by elementary school students in the woods lit by Christmas lights; there, they performed the first part of our welcoming ceremony. After our brief tour of the village, we hopped in a military bus and drove to our homestay area. We all ate dinner together and sat around a fire as our homestay families performed a traditional song to conclude the welcoming ceremony. We were then divided into smaller groups and introduced to our homestay families. We traveled back to our houses to get rest for our days of working with our families.