Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thoughts and Reflections

Now that I'm sitting at my desk back in Maryland, it is hard to imagine all that we have went through just this past week. I would first like to say to everyone on this trip how much I have enjoyed getting knowing every single one of you. Never have I ever met a group of people who cared so much about Taiwan. I had so much fun with all of you and I was able to learn so much from you too.

I would like to share some of my favorite events for me on this trip.
Tuesday, March 18th was an exciting day because we got to do a lot of sightseeing in Kaohsiung. This was the first time that I've been there since Frank Hsiesh had made it so great. We 'swept the street' in the morning, we were screaming waving flags, etc. It was comforting to see so many people give us the thumbs up on the street. And of course there were those who rolled their eyes at us. Kaohsiung is a city with great potential and many things to offer, no wonder the citizens there are so proud of their city.

At night we went to Tainan to chat with students of NCKU. It was so interesting to be able to talk to people our age and compare our ideas and experiences. I remember at first we were all a little shy at our table but once the conversation got going, it was hard to stop.
Visiting the Legislative Yuan was another one of my favorite events. To actually be inside where all the action happens was so exciting. Dr. Twu was a very personable and knowledgeable person, it's nice to know that at least we have someone like him in the LY.

For me, Friday was probably the highlight of this trip. Visiting the Human Rights Park was emotional for many of us. For me it really hit home deep down because these were my people who were tortured, jailed, and killed for what they believed in. I believe in the phrase, "Forgive but not forget." But it is hard to forgive when the KMT still doesn't recognize many of the events that happen. It is hard to forgive when students aren't taught the true history of Taiwan. Every citizen of Taiwan should visit this memorial Park, because without those people who had suffered so much, we would not be where we are right now. It also made me realize how important this Presidential Election was because we have to keep moving forward.

The Election rally that night was a great follow-up to what we saw that morning. It gave me hope to see so many people rally around a candidate who can best serve the interest of all Taiwanese people. I can't explain in words the excitement, the mood that was there. Even after Frank Hsiesh gave his speech, many young people went up to the stage and started shouting 逆轉勝逆轉勝 Needless to say my hope and spirit was at an all time high, I seriously thought that we would win this. I even went to bed that night with the chant in my head.

Reality quickly hit the next day when we visited a polling station. I don't think I can ever get the phrase "2 號馬英九一票" out of my head. Every time it got shouted, it was like a knife stabbing my heart. After that many people went to the CEC, while 4 of us went over to Frank's headquarters. I didn't even had to look at the TV to see the vote count, all I had to do was see the faces of the people that were there to know that we had lost... badly. Hearing Frank's speech that night was absolutely disheartening. Everyone was crying, young, old, male, female, everyone had tears in their eyes. After that we sat inside the HQ, faces and minds blank, hardly believing and accepting the results.

That night we were fortunate enough to go to the Residence of a first generation DPP member 姚嘉文 to chat. To hear him speak rubbed off some of my pessimism. It was probably the best possible way to end such a horrendous night.
So that about sums up the highlights for me.

Thanks to everyone who helped plan this trip, you guys are great. And to everyone who were on the trip, this past week wouldn't have been the same without any one of you!
Even this guy supports Frank!

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