8/14/17

Well, my time is up. I’m typing this from an airport in Tokyo, on my way home. This last week has been so hectic I’m afraid I’m behind in writing, but since I have about 5 hours on this layover, I figured I could catch up easily enough.

Last weekend, I went for a three day trip with a few coworkers to southeast Taiwan. We toured the beaches and then went to the mountains to see the daylily blossoms. The way down went pretty well, with everyone not driving dozing off to keep from getting carsick. We stopped at 4 separate beaches, taking pictures at each one. The day was hot, but there was a very nice ocean breeze that helped keep it from being unbearable. That night, we drove up 60 rock mountain. We checked into a hostel at the top of the mountain and took a tour of the mountain top in the dark. We found out that the blooming of the daylilies had been delayed for about 11 days, but there were still a few here and there blooming. The next morning we slept in a bit, before walking all over the mountainside. It was a beautiful view of the valley, with lots of butterflies and dragonflies everywhere. Later, we made it to another nearby mountain top, where we got to see a hot air balloon festival. By late afternoon, we had descended and made it to our stop for the night. The last day, we attempted to go up another mountain, but the trails and roads were so narrow, we didn’t dare try to make it farther than about halfway. After that, I had to take some motion sickness pills and dozed the entire way back to worldveg.

On Tuesday we packed up and went to some of the south central mountains to see different hydropic set ups that were growing tomatoes and peppers. The scale was impressive and how they managed to protect them from the huge amounts of insects that live in the mountains. Even though they spoke pretty much exclusively in Mandarin, I still had a great time touring the facilities.

I gave a practice run of my seminar a week before I was due to present it. Dr. Hansen sat in and gave me some tips, which was incredibly helpful. Hank helped my set up some of the slides, but then he took leave to Egypt. I was really nervous about presenting, but I was ready by Friday. I think it went very well, and am glad that I was able to get help before I presented. I talked about my background and told everyone about Mackay and Idaho and my old greenhouse experience. From there I touched briefly on how I helped in the experiment and finished with what I thought of Taiwan and my time there. When I had finished, they presented me with a certificate confirming my time there, and I spent the rest of the day returning my bike and signing out.

This weekend, I spent as much time as possible with the other interns. Anytime we weren’t out exploring or eating, I was cleaning up and packing. We went to Tainan on Friday night to be a part of Taiwan’s nightlife one last time and went to the night market on Sunday to get my favorite street foods and try a few more. Saturday we all just sat around and ate ice cream and listened to music. I said goodbye to most of them on Sunday, but when I woke up at 4:00 am this morning to leave at 5:00, I found Tony waiting to see me off. I’m going to miss them very much. When we said goodbye, we joked that the next time I was in Taiwan, or they came to America, we would have to see each other, but I think most of us knew we would probably never see each other again.

I managed to scrape through security in half an hour, which was good because I arrived just in time to board. I slept for the entirety of the 3-hour 45-minute flight, and straight through breakfast. Once I found my next gate here at the Tokyo airport, I grabbed some food and coffee in an attempt to wake up. I still have quite some time before my flight leaves, so I’m sitting in an empty boarding area, listening to an audiobook, typing up my last entry, and itching dozens of midge bites all over my legs. My next flight will be nearly 9 hours long to Vancouver. From there, I’ll be going to L.A. before finally getting to Salt Lake City.

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