hi dear ypg members,
i'm one of those unlucky people who can't go on this trip although i really want to. just reading about the itinerary and all the events and places and people you will be meeting makes me turn green (no pun intended) with envy. if only i wasn't one of those taiwanese wannabe doctors going through med school i'd be there in a second.
i was at dinner with family friends today and all we talked about was taiwan. i realize that we all have some connection there, but i have to admit, even the daily quick takes of taipei times, listening to taiwanese radio, or reading the ypg listserv and talking to congressional aides about taiwan makes the whole issue seem kind of foreign to me. but it's times like these family dinners, arguing over why no one eats turkey in taiwan (besides me, apparently, there's a great place in tainan that you should all check out if you had the time to go :)), arguing about the best place to buy fish (my family is full of farmers), or wondering why almost half the taiwanese youth can't even speak taiwanese, that make me realize that what we're fighting for, what we lobby for, what we talk to our friends about a little each day, and what this trip is all about, is real. I know that there is so much division in taiwan now, and i try my best to maintain a neutral ground when i think about things, although i do have my personal biases. but this is democracy, no matter how much we hate one party or adore one. it's real, and it's working. we are the only successful democracy in east asia. we are for real yalls. This ugly, yam-shaped island we have a connection to is real. My little personal smile to myself when i hear Taiwan in the news is real. My horribly incomprehensible, taiwanese chinese is real.
anyway, i tried my best to set up a reasonably useful packet for you, although eva and zoe really did all the work. i supplied the ghetto taiwanese adobe software we worked with. i know you will all appreciate all the work various people have put into this trip, and i wish you all the best on your flight and observations in taiwan. i really really really wish i could go, but instead, i'll sit back here and wait to hear the word from you all. know that you really do make a difference. my relatives never believe the things i do in the US all for taiwan. no matter what people say, our job is important. haha, so enjoy the trip, learn a lot, and teach us!! jiaaaa yo :)