My name is Reyna Gloria Fonseca Tovar, I am from Honduras, I am 22 years old and I am studying my master degree in Taiwan, Hsin-shu in Tsing Hua University this is my last semester here in Taiwan.
I certainly do not have words to express how my life has changed during this time living in Taiwan. Food… teas….night markets …. Chinese….everything has blended into a special kind of life.

The journey and shock began on August 2006, when I realized in the Tegucigalpa’s airport (Honduras) that I was actually leaving all I am and my culture behind. Then, I got to understand that I was not ready for such thing.

Arriving to Los Angeles still made me feel almost like home; the western stylish environment. But it lasted a few hours, until I took the plane to Taipei. Chinese air flight attendants with such gentle attitudes and high quality service treatments, made me feel somewhere else. The flight would have being a nightmare without those lovely girls who brought me the first taste of the Oriental style; friendly attitude, smiley faces and that extravagant cuisine; a mix of vegetables and rice I have never tried before. Strange at first sight, definitely not like home, but good enough to keep on eating.

Then, the arrival to the airport… realizing that I was in Taiwan!!!!!!!!!! What a shock!!! First, my head was willing to sleep…and it was morning already!!!! Then, humidity was so strong…like never before... I was not able to support it. But with all these happening at once I was very happy to be there.

Then, everything happened pretty fast… but adjustment advanced slowly. At first, being used to be not understood almost everywhere and at the same time the solution; learning Chinese. Not everyone has the chance to learn how to speak Chinese!!! Even though, it has been hard for me to pronounce those tones and words, I can now speak some phrases that help me out when buying stuff.

The second big shock: food. Taiwanese cuisine. My tongue, until these days has not accepted it yet. I was used to have back home fried beans, eggs and bananas with a big piece of steak, everything salty and spicy. What did I find here? Wow!! Beans… but inside cakes!! and sweet!!! , eggs…but black ones!!! Boiled with tea!!!, bananas…but not like home. I was and I am very surprised on the way cooking is made here, compared to my country

Third thing….people. Here, I have found out that Chinese are too friendly and too trustable and polite. I never imagined that a human being could be that kind. I was fascinated by these behaviors!! But, on the other hand it has been difficult for me to deal with shyness and conservative manners. For example, I love to hug my friends, but here I definitely cannot hug Taiwanese.

How about education? Another shock!! Back home, I was used to have classes where every student participated interactively and where tests where about knowledge application. Here, I have classes where only foreigners participate and tests have a lot to do with memorizing huge quantities of information,

Finally, well, to be sincere, there is no end. Living in Taiwan is an everyday discovery and shock. A lifetime experience…amazing …

All these new flavors have changed my way of thinking and my way of perceiving others. I have made lots of friends, and what’s more I am learning not only the issues related to my master’s program, but also life lessons.
What else can I say? As I said at the beginning… I am not able to describe the shock and the lessons of such incredible livings. I can just tell that I love Taiwan and I will never forget my life here.

Thanks for everything…Taiwan