Two days before the competition, we went to Anping to practice and we practiced for around two hours. There were 19 people on each boat, and the boat was in middle size. I was told that the dragon boat competition is originated in China after a poet killed himself in the river. Apparently many people loved him and so they threw rice into the river so the fish could eat the rice instead of eating the body of the poet.

The dragon boat festival took place in Anping on Wednesday, 8:00pm on May 27th. We took the bus at 6:30pm at the main gate of Kun Shan University. We didn’t leave until 7:00pm because we were waiting for someone. On the bus, the staffs of international office gave us some bread and juice so some of us ate them on the way. We got to Anping about one and a half hour later. At there, it was like a night market on the street. We practiced for a little while before the competition. We warmed up, stretched out and practiced to be coordinated on the floor.

We first competed against a team which was made up of North American girls. We won the competition easily. Our record was 1.57 minutes and we did 40 fast rows, and then we rowed until the end. The final competition was on Thursday, May 28th at the same place around 5:00pm. We got on the bus around 3:30pm and we arrived to Anping around 4:00pm. We did the same stretching, warming up, and practicing. This day there were many more people and I think because it was a holiday. The night market around the competition area was bigger that yesterday.

The first race we had on that day was competing against another North Americans, and another team from our own university. We won this race as well. After the competition, we walked around the night market. Some of us bought something to eat or drink. We met one of our classmate, Eissa and his family, we chatted for a little while with them. During the walking, we tried to avoid the stinky tofu.

The last race took place around 8:00pm and we competed against two more teams: one was made up of Americans and another one was made up of Jamaicans (I think), and they were all male players. We got into the boat, rowed slowly to the starting line, and we waited for 5 minutes for the signal to start. There were many Taiwanese people around us. This time we did 35 fast rows and then we were all tired and disorganized. Someone behind me even splashed water on me, so we lost the race. We only ranked as the second place.

After the race, we went to watch the fireworks and award ceremony. We waited for about two hours of recognitions and rewards until finally our boat leader was there holding the trophy. After that we got in the bus and the staffs of international office told us how much money we have won and we discussed how to split it up. We decided to split the money among all of us equally; part of this money was given in US dollar so the international office staff needs to exchange that to Taiwan dollars. We got back to the university around 10:30 pm. Some people stayed up to celebrate but I went back home because I was too tired.

A couple of days later, a person from international office notifies me that the money was ready for us to pick it up, so I went there. It was exactly NT $1,540.

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