My name is Jose Elias Barahona Diaz. I was born in June 17 of 1992 in the city of Tegucigalpa, which is the capital of Honduras, a very beautiful country located in Central America.  I am currently a second year master student in construction management at the National Cheng Kung University, which is located in Tainan, Taiwan.  When I just arrived to the city I did not have many Taiwanese friends, due mainly to the language barrier. However, almost one year and a half later I have made a lot Taiwanese friends, mostly from my classes, volleyball team, and research laboratory.

The Taiwanese friends I have met during my dwell here in Taiwan have been very friendly, patient, kind and have taught me many useful information. The first thing they were helping with was showing me the city, the places where to buy groceries, places to have fun and when the semester was starting they were showing me the university campus.  

Once I started to receive Chinese classes at the Chinese Language Center, my friends have always been supportive in teaching me more Chinese words, helping me with my pronunciation or just simply chatting and texting with me with the purpose of improving my speaking and writing skills.  To improve our language skills, my Taiwanese friends and I also like to have language exchange sessions, where they help me with my Chinese and I get to help them with their English.

Months later after my arrival I decided to join the volleyball team of my department, where I met more of my Taiwanese friends.  We have shared a lot of practices, games and tournaments together, but besides merely playing volleyball we also spend bonding time as a group of friends, where they teach me about Taiwan's culture, such as the traditions, music and food.  I have learned plenty of teachings just by the fact of being a member of the volleyball team.  The teachings I mention before are not directly taught by my Taiwanese friends but from watching the way they behave.  My volleyball teammates show a lot of commitment, love and desire to improve, not only as an athlete but as a student and a professional.

This last semester, since I have become a second year student, I have started my research on Environmental Management Systems.  Starting my research means many hours of reading, summarizing and having meetings every two weeks with my advisor to present my research progress.  Most of the time I work on my research at the laboratory, where I also get to spend time with my Taiwanese friends.  

During the time we spend in the laboratory my friends have taught me vast amount of information of the construction industry, working environment and interesting facts about Taiwan. In addition, we also discuss about each other's thesis, assignments and classes in order to share our opinions and suggestions.

My classmates from the laboratory and I have become close friends from the many hours we spend together.  We share bonding time like having a dinner, playing sports, video games or board games, which they always are very enthusiastic of teaching me how to play, since back in Honduras we usually do not play board games as much as in Taiwan.  In general, my Taiwanese classmates have been teaching me many aspects during this past year and half, such as academics, sports and regular life experiences.

The following semester we will continue with our research and even spend more time at the laboratory, which I look forward, to continue increasing our knowledge and sharing experiences with my friends.

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