I am Raphael Munthali, second year candidate pursuing International Civil Engineering Management (ICEM) at National Cheng Kung University (N.C.K.U) in Tainan.
It was one bright afternoon in the month of August, 2007 that fears of the unknown filled the mind of a certain multi-cellular organism. Numerous questions kept on whizzing from positive extreme to negative one, just like the swinging of a pendulum. Behold a dummy of stay and friendship was getting hatched but in disguise since it couldn’t get dressed in the befitting garment. This multi-cellular bundle is none other than me the time I had to leave my country (Malawi) for here, the then imaginary place. The reason behind was none other than both positive and negative expectations from the place and people I were to meet for the first time, let alone proving to be hasty generalizations.
Upon my arrival in Taiwan, I wondered whether life would be appealing especially with language barrier. The forecasted wonderland proved to be no wonderland by virtue of a warm welcome and orientation in Taipei. Despite that only 3 out of the entire 2007 ICDF intake were to be at N.C.K.U., the climate setting during the orientation played a major role in actualizing as to what it means by “life in Taiwan.” The pattern of friendly atmosphere got traced up to the institution am based, N.C.K.U.
While at N.C.K.U., I noticed that most of the natives encountered were zealous to talk to me but could not gather enough courage to speak some English. This encouraged me to find ways of triggering a conversation at each and every encounter, regardless of poor Chinese accent. This has attributed to having numerous friends across N.C.K.U. colleges thus extra-curricular organizations’ members (family groups, culture exchange groups), course mates, programme members and others.
There are a number of activities that I partake with these friends like biking, funny games, language exchange, sightseeing especially historical sights and places of scenic beauty, picnics, culture talks, folktales, dances and many more.
This multifaceted friendship has led to improvement in my mindset orientation; putting an end to imaginary views; exposure to different sights like Green Island, better understanding and appreciation of Taiwan and her amazing people to mention but a few.
Raphael.doc7.9 MB