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Centered on TAIPEI May 2013, Volume 13, Issue 8

English-languagE sErvicEs for autistic childrEn gEt away to Malaysia tEn tips for photographing pEoplE living in taipEi with a spEcial nEEds child hoMEschooling in taiwan iMproving your hoME’s fEng shui

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ConTenTs

May 2013 volume 13 issue 8

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letter froM the editor

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richArd recoMMends nAtionAl concert hAll MAY 2013

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culturAl corner Taiwanese Culinary speCialTies

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center GAllerY

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off the BeAten trAck DaTieliao olD Trail

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outlook auTism in Taipei

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trAvel GeT away To malaysia

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coMMunitY Tas events At the center

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chAritY orphanaGe Club

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coMMunitY DominiCan inTernaTional sChool

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coffee corner luGuo Café aT The arT yarD

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PhotoGrAPhY Ten Tips for phoToGraphinG people

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tcM corner The five elemenTs of Chinese meDiCine coMMunitY reD room raDio reDux

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environMent a seConD ChanCe for seConD love courses At the center

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BAke it Yourself iCinG

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exPAt PersPective livinG in Taipei wiTh a speCial neeDs ChilD

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educAtion homesChoolinG in Taiwan

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Ask Bin how small ThinGs affeCT The fenG shui of your home

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chinese kitchen Quinoa

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Book review EndEr’s shadow

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events ABout town csc Business clAssified

cover iMAGe: dr. Peter t. Guérin

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Centered on Taipei is a publication of the Community Services Center, 25, Lane 290, ZhongShan N. Rd., Sec. 6, Tianmu, Taipei, Taiwan Tel: 02-2836-8134, fax: 02-2835-2530, e-mail: coteditor@communitycenter.org.tw Correspondence may be sent to the editor at coteditor@communitycenter.org. tw. Freelance writers, photographers and illustrators are welcome to contact the editor to discuss editorial and graphic assignments. Your talent will find a home with us! Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner. www.communitycenter.org.tw MAY 2013

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Publisher: editor: Co-editor: Advertising Manager: tel: Fax: email:

Community Services Center, Taipei Kari Schiro Richard Saunders Kara Wall 02-2836-8134 02-2835-2530 kara@communitycenter.org.tw

Writing and Photography Contributors: Katrina Brown Natalie Köhle Cheryl Chee Shereen Lee Ivy Chen Amy Liu Tim Chen MaDonna Maurer Sarah Chen Lin John McQuade Dorota Chen-Wernik Scott Middleton Aly Cooper Lukin Murphy Mercia de Souza Laura Osborne Craig Ferguson Shaun Ramsden Ruth Giordano Richard Saunders Peter Guérin Rosemary Susa Bin Huang Alistair Willis Brandon Huang Tina Yuan Makoto Kawabe Community Services Center editorial Panel: Siew Kang, Fred Voigtmann Printed by: Farn Mei Printing Co., Ltd. 1F, No. 102, Hou Kang Street, Shilin District, Taipei Tel: 02-2882-6748 Fax: 02-2882-6749 E-mail: farn.mei@msa.hinet.net

CoMMunitY ServiCeS Center www.communitycenter.org.tw

Director: Adam McMillan office Manager: Grace Ting

Kari Schiro Editor

Richard Saunders Co-editor

Kara Wall Advertising Manager

letter FroM the eDitor As many of you know, last month we launched a fundraising campaign to keep Centered on Taipei magazine in print. We are sincerely grateful to everyone who has donated and humbled by the community’s generosity. So many of you have made it abundantly clear how much you value this magazine. Thank you. While the drive is off to a great start, we still have a significant amount to raise before we reach our fundraising goal. We are continuing the campaign into May, so there is still plenty of time to contribute! And now, thanks to a very generous anonymous donor, you can double your impact when you donate! From now until the end of the campaign, every donation will be matched 1:1 up to NT$75,000 total, so your contribution will take us not one but TWO steps closer to reaching our goal, ensuring that we can continue to publish the magazine. To donate, visit www.communitycenter.org. tw, stop by The Center, or call (02) 2836-8134. Of course, contributions to the magazine aren’t just of the financial variety; our very talented and dedicated team of volunteer writers and photographers never fails to produce an enlightening and entertaining mix of articles and images on a range of subjects…and this issue is no exception. With a trio of articles relating to the topic, May’s magazine has a focus on resources for families with special needs children. Within these pages you’ll also find a convincing case for a sojourn in Malaysia, advice to improve your home’s feng shui, an introduction to frostings, and much more! Thank you so much to everyone who contributes to Centered on Taipei. It goes without saying but it’s worth underscoring: we could not do this without you.

Counselors: Suzan Babcock, Maaike Berteele, I-Wen Chan, Fawn Chang, Katherine Chang, Jung Chin, Wendy Evans, Cerita Hsu, Eva Salazar-Liu, Ming-I Sun, Cynthia Teeters, Mark Yang newcomer orientation Consultant: Amy Liu Accountant: Monica Cheng Communications: Kari Schiro Programs Coordinator: Rosemary Susa events Coordinator: Bianca Russell it Coordinator: Shana Garcia Chinese teacher: Gloria Gwo volunteers: Nancy Achorn, Alison Bai, Shana Garcia, Lily Lau, John McQuade, Bunny Pacheco, Monica Pillizzaro, Gloria Peng, Ruth Reynolds, Anita Town Premier Sponsors: 3M Taiwan Bai Win Antiques BP Taiwan Ltd. China American Petrochemical Concordia Consulting Costco Wholesale Taiwan Crown Worldwide Movers Ltd. Four Star Int’l Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taipei HSBC ICRT Metacity Development Corp ProQC San Fu Gas Co. Ltd. Smerwick Ltd Songfu Li Standard Chartered Bank

the Community Services Center (CSC) is a non-profit foundation. CSC provides outreach and early intervention through counseling, cross-cultural education and life skills programs to meet the needs of the international community in taipei. CSC offers the opportunity to learn, volunteer, teach and meet others. Check out our website www. communitycenter.org.tw and drop by the Center to chat with us about our programs. You can also email us at csc@communitycenter.org.tw.

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www.communitycenter.org.tw MAY 2013

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RICHARD ReCommenDs riCharD saunDers

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wo magnificent Fifth Symphonies are among a ton of highlights at the CKS Cultural Center in May, and no, the Beethoven isn’t one of them. Bruckner’s Fifth is one of its composer’s loftiest conceptions: a vast, 75-minute colossus culminating in a great fugal finale. I find this last m o v e m e n t a b i t f o r m a l a n d “s t i f f,” a n d p r e f e r the warmer Romanticism of the fourth and sixth symphonies, but I seem to be firmly in the minority: B r u c k n e r F i v e i s a m o n g h i s b e s t-l oved, and the performance (by the National Symphony Orchestra) on May 10th, conducted by its principal guest conductor (and noted Bruckner interpreter) Günther Herbig, looks like it will be a memorable occasion for both its many admirers and those new to this transcendently spiritual composer. The other Big Fifth being played this month (a day earlier, on May 9th), is a very different kettle of fish. Mahler’s Fifth Symphony is an extraordinary display of opposites, plumbing the depths in the opening funeral march and the furious, despairing movement that follows, yet finishing (after the moving Adagietto, Mahler’s most famous single piece) in a blaze of exultant high spirits. Classical music lovers who find the dizzy emotional heights of Mahler and Bruckner a bit too heady also have plenty to look forward to this month. The great Mischa Maisky (who seems to be becoming a regular visitor to these shores) plays four of Bach’s Suites for solo cello on May 22nd, while on May 12th, fortepianist Ronald Brautigam plays and conducts a program of Mozart symphonies and keyboard concertos, focusing (a tad disappointingly perhaps) solely on early works. Cyprien Katsaris (in – amazingly – his first performance in Taiwan) plays the second piano concertos of Liszt and Chopin on the 23rd, and local counter tenor Peter Lee sings music by Baroque composers, together with a modern American classic, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, a couple of weeks earlier, on May 4th. In another interesting combination of new and old, the British Trumpet virtuoso Alison Balsom is the soloist in a recital combining more Baroque music (concertos by Albinoni and Vivaldi) and the contemporary, in the shape of the recent trumpet concerto, Seraph (composed in 2010), by Scottish composer James Macmillan, along with two popular suites for strings by English composers Holst and Britten. Finally the magnificent American soprano Renee Fleming is in town on May 19th for a recital with piano. In a wonderfully eclectic and unashamedly accessible program, Fleming offers something for everyone, combining chansons by Debussy and lieder by Richard Strauss with selections from the best-loved musicals (such as South Pacific and The King and I) of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Just the kind of clever, attractive programming that certain ivory tower-dwelling classical artists would do well to emulate, if only occasionally. 6

MAY 2013 www.communitycenter.org.tw

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national Concert hall MAY 2013

NATIONAL CONCERT HALL Countertenor Concert

Works by Schutz, Vivaldi, Bach, Popora, Barber and Bernstein May 4

Ning An 2013 Piano Recital

Pieces by Rachmaninov, Chopin, Messiaen and Piazzolla May 5

Gustav and Alma

Lan Shui conducts Mahler’s Fifth Symphony May 9 RR

The Magnificence: Bruckner Symphony no. 5 May 10 RR

Vincent Lucas Flute Recital

Music by Poulenc, Debussy, Bach and Gaubert May 12

Ronald Brautigam and Cologne Academy

Early concertos and symphonies by Mozart May 12

Formosan Singers Concert Works by local composers May 14

TSO Hidden Spirit

Best Regards to Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, plus works by Richard Strauss and Beethoven May 17 RR

Where the Ancient Collides with the Avant-garde Works by Saariaho and others May 18

Renee Fleming Soprano Recital Music by Debussy, Richard Strauss and Rodgers May 19 RR

Mischa Maisky and J S Bach Four Suites for solo cello May 22 RR

Cyprien Katsaris

Works by Chopin, Liszt and Schubert May 23 RR

Alison Balsom and Scottish Ensemble

Works by Albinoni, Vivaldi, Handel, Macmillan, Holst and Britten May 25 RR

Faust by Liszt – Weimar 1857 Liszt’s Faust Symphony May 31

Bartok Violin Concerto no. 2 and Sibelius Symphony no. 5 May 15

Tsarivny – the Princess: Magic Strings and Voices from the Ukraine May 16

RR: Richard Recommends

for full details, please log on to the culture express website at http://express.culture.gov.tw or take a copy of the monthly program from cks cultural center, available from Mrt stations, bookshops and ticketing offices.

TICKETING OFFICES: • NTCH: (02) 3393 9888 • ERA: (02) 2709 3788

Centered on Taipei is printed on 50% post consumer waste content stock. We have also replaced the glossy laminated cover with a softer aqueous based resin coating which makes it easier to recycle. By committing to post consumer paper stock we support the market for recycled fibers and reduce environmental impact. Recycling paper uses 60% less energy than manufacturing paper from virgin fiber. "Every ton of recycled paper saves enough electricity to power a 3 bedroom house for an entire year." (http://www.greenseal.org/index.cfm)

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台灣

Amy's ultural Corner

Taiwanese Culinary specialties

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ourmet cuisine from many countries is available in Taiwan, but I always crave local Taiwanese delicacies when away for a long period; the street food here is unique, and I couldn’t find it when I was living overseas in America or Japan. I know I am not speaking just for myself, but for many other Taiwanese too, when saying the experience of eating local food at a night market is sometimes much better than having a fancy dinner at a fine restaurant. There are endless local specialties called xiao chi (小吃, which literally means ‘little eats’ or ‘snacks’) to choose from in Taiwan. Many townships and cities in Taiwan are known for their own signature dish that is specific to that area. For example, if you want the best mochi (蔴薯, glutinous rice paste with peanut powder), you should go to Hualian (花蓮) in eastern Taiwan; if you like rice noodles (米粉, mifen), you can get the best from Hsinchu City (新竹). I t’s c u s t o m a r y f o r Taiwanese to not only enjoy the local specialty while traveling around the island, but it’s also important to bring some back to share with their f a m i l y o r c o l l e a g u e s, especially managers, as it suggests that you were thinking of them while away. Let me share some traditional Taiwanese xiao chi that I love and missed the most when I was living overseas. Changhua, central-west Taiwan: Meatballs (彰化 肉圓, Changhua rouyuan) - These are made of pork, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots wrapped in a semitransparent, chewy dough made of sweet potato flour and cooked in warm oil. I especially like the sweet and slightly spicy red sauce that comes with this dish. Hsinchu City, northwest Taiwan: Rice Noodles (新竹 米粉, Hsinchu mifen) and Meatballs (貢丸, gongwan) Hsinchu is known as the ‘windy city,’ which makes it the best place to produce rice noodles, as the natural breeze helps to dry them. Gongwan are meatballs made from ground or chopped meat made into a paste. They are generally used in soup. Tainan, southwest Taiwan: Danzai Noodles (台南擔仔 麵, Tainan danzai mian) - Lots of xiao chi from Tainan are famous and special to this city, but the most popular is danzai mian. This simple but delicious noodle soup is made with homemade soup stock, stewed ground pork, and bean spouts. I like to add a lu dan (滷蛋), a hardboiled egg stewed in soy sauce. Keelung, northeast Taiwan: Tempura (not the same as Japanese tempura) sold at the entrance to Keelung Temple (基隆廟口天婦羅, Keelung miaoko tienfulo) - This is a deep-fried fish batter with no filling. The golden brown fish paste is to be eaten with red chili sauce and/or soy sauce. Sweet and sour sliced pickled cucumbers served

with this dish refresh the palate after the fried food. Keelung Miaokou is the most famous xiao chi street in Keelung, near a temple in the center of the city. S h e n k e n g , Ta i p e i C o u n t y: To f u (深坑豆 腐, Shenkeng tofu) - Strolling around the old street in Shenkeng village, about ten kilometers southeast of Taipei city, you can smell and see tofu prepared in various forms – fried, grilled, steamed, or in a pot full of colorful spices. The infamous ‘stinky’ tofu (臭豆腐, chou tofu, tofu that has been fermented), which is popular here, is no doubt an acquired taste. For those who love stinky tofu, it’s tasty and wonderful; for those who can’t stand it, it smells like rotten eggs. This is for sure one of the most difficult traditional Taiwanese snacks for foreign visitors to savor because of its texture and strong smell. The easiest way to try it for the first time is to sample it fried or grilled; steamed stinky tofu tends to have a stronger scent and is especially likely to put off first-timers. From the night markets in the streets to comfortable restaurants, Taiwan is a wonderful place to savor delicious Chinese cooking. As the former president of the American Chamber of Commerce Taipei Richard Vuylsteke often shares: "If you haven't eaten there, you haven't been there.”

Dr. Winston Town and Ms. Anita Tsuei Town for your selfless years of service and dedication to the TAS community. www.communitycenter.org.tw MAY 2013

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GALLeRY May 2013

The islanDs of Taiwan kinmen, Matsu, lanyu, lyudao…. the outlying islands offer an extraordinary combination of traditional culture, some of taiwan’s finest old architecture, and beautiful natural scenery, yet most of them are still an unknown quantity to both locals and foreign visitors alike. The Islands of Taiwan is the first and only english-language guide book devoted to these endlessly fascinating yet often overlooked corners of the roc, and features in-depth coverage of more than thirty islands, including detailed information on culture and history as well as sights and attractions, plus recommended food and accommodation options.

ernie's Jewels – handmade Jewelry The Center Gallery in May features a collection of beautiful jewelry made with passion and love from Ernie's Jewels – Handmade Jewelry. These stylish necklaces, earrings, and bracelets are made with Swarovski crystals and elements, pearls and gemstones. You'll look absolutely fabulous wearing them. Prices are affordable, and bear in mind that every time you purchase a piece from Ernie’s Jewels, a portion of the proceeds is donated to the Orangutan Information Centre to help the Sumatran orangutans. To guarantee your satisfaction, customized jewelry can be ordered.

out now!

The A-to-Z of how to start a business in Taiwan.

Cotton bags from GiDe Also on display is a selection of handmade cotton bags from Anny Kuo's company, GIDE. The collection includes small bags for jewelry or coins, shopping bags, and backpacks, all decorated with cute cats and bunny prints. You will find many uses for these versatile bags.

Written by Elias Ek, serial entrepreneur and founder of Taiwan’s leading B2B telemarketing company Enspyre, How to Start a Business in Taiwan provides a goldmine of information for foreign entrepreneurs.

Tien Tung Gallery This month the Gallery also features the wonderful artwork of H u a n Yu a n C h e n a n d other artists from T ien Tung Art Gallery. Priced between NT$700 and NT$1,800, these beautiful scroll paintings make great gifts or an excellent addition to your home decor. Tien Tung also accepts custom orders.

“A must have for anyone…considering to do business in Taiwan.” Cedric, entrepreneur.

To purchase, visit www.startabusinessintaiwan.tw

A percentage of all proceeds of items sold at the Gallery goes to The Center, so please remember that by displaying and shopping here you are helping us to provide much needed services to the international community.

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MAY 2013 www.communitycenter.org.tw

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OFF THE BEATEN TRACK RICHARD SAUNDERS EXPLORES TAIWAN'S LESS-TRODDEN PATHS

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datieliao old trail

ay in Taiwan heralds the (final!) arrival of warmer weather, the plum rains, and tax reports. Best of all for nature lovers though, it signals the the amazing annual “snow in May” phenomenon, when countless thousands of tung trees blossom, turning entire hillsides white and carpeting the forest floor below in delicate flowers as they drift, like snow, to the ground. The tung tree (Aluerites fordii hemsi; 油桐樹) has long been cultivated for its seeds, which yield oil that was once used in paint and varnish, and also for its soft wood. The tree (a Taiwan native species) was a big contributor to the local economy in times past, and was planted in huge numbers in the hills of Miaoli and Hsinchu Counties during the Japanese occupation. Tung oil later lost its commercial value when cheaper, artificial alternatives were found, but the trees remain and have now spread to cover huge areas in the lower hills of the western half of the island. Follow Highway 3 down through Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli Counties this time of year, and you can’t fail to notice the beautiful show, but to really appreciate the beauty of massed tung tree blossoms, get out of the car and take a closer look. In recent years the tung blossom has become a symbol of Taiwan’s rich Hakka culture, and many short trails have been laid out especially for the appreciation of tung blossoms. For Taipei residents the closest impressive display of tung blossoms can be found in the hills above Tucheng (get off at Yongning MRT station and follow the signs in English towards Chengtian Temple), but for an even better display, head to the lovely old town of Daxi (大溪) in Taoyuan County and the Datieliao Old Trail (打鐵寮古道), a fifteen-minute bus ride (or short drive) from the town. This short and fairly easy walk is part of a network of old routes that formerly linked Daxi with the surrounding villages and settlements. It lies largely through a forest of tung trees, and the display of massed white blossoms beautifully compliments

many reminders of an older Taiwan along the way: ruined buildings, worn old stone steps, a beautiful old stone arched bridge, steles commemorating long-departed locals who donated money towards the construction or upkeep of the trail. It’s this wonderful combination of pastoral natural beauty, history and culture that makes this short hike a real winner, especially at this time of year!

GeTTinG There: The trailhead of Datieliao old Trail is just off national route 7 (the north Cross-island highway) exactly 3 kilometers from Daxi in Taoyuan County. look for a sign (in Chinese only) on the left. The route (including the extension to pretty white rock lake and the more demanding climb to white rock mountain) is described in Taipei Escapes 2, on page 203. allow three hours for the return walk from the car parking lot at the trailhead to Dongxing bridge and back. The tung blossom trails above Tucheng lie on the route of the Tucheng to sanxia ridge walk, also in Taipei Escapes 2 (page 169). follow the route from yongning mrT station to point 6.

Richard Saunders is a trained classical musician and writer who has lived in Taipei since 1993. He has written several books (available at The Center and in bookshops around Taipei), including Yangmingshan: the Guide (a complete guide to the National Park on Taipei’s doorstep) and Taipei Escapes I and 2, which together detail sixty day trips and hikes within easy reach of Taipei city. A fourth book, a guide to Taiwan’s offshore islands, is out now.

Support CoT

want to get “off the beaten track” and help us to keep Centered on Taipei running at the same time? enjoy a day trip or day hike anywhere in the Taipei area for up to 25 people with richard saunders as your guide in exchange for a nT$100,000 donation towards the running costs of CoT, and we’ll give you a year of banner advertisements on this page as well! Contact Kari schiro at coteditor@communitycenter.org.tw or (02) 2836-8134 for details.

www.communitycenter.org.tw MAY 2013

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outlook

autism in Taipei: searching for englishlanguage services TExT: LuKIN T. MuRPHY IMAGES: LuKIN T. MuRPHY & TAIPEI SPECIAL SCHOOL

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uge numbers of people have been affected by the explosion of the autism diagnosis. In the United States, 1 in 88 children is diagnosed with some form of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and similar rates are reported worldwide. With these high rates, it is not surprising that many expatriate families in Taiwan have a child diagnosed with ASD. Although awareness of the disorder has grown in recent years, it can still be difficult to find qualified professionals who are able to effectively treat and educate a child with ASD. These difficulties are compounded for English-speaking families living abroad where most services are provided in the local language. This is the case for many foreign families living in Taipei – there are a variety of services available, but they are predominantly provided exclusively in Mandarin. The challenge of procuring appropriate services for a child with ASD often proves too difficult for many families, and they subsequently decide that living in Taipei is not feasible. This is unfortunate because, although finding English-language services can be a challenge, there are qualified specialists in Taipei who

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can provide quality English-language services to children with ASD. whaT is asD? Autism is a complicated and enigmatic syndrome – complicated because of the varied symptoms and enigmatic because its cause is largely unknown. While there are several theories about the causes of autism, ranging from vaccines to genetic predisposition to environmental toxins, there is no scientific consensus regarding why some children develop autism and others do not. The term “Autism Spectrum Disorders” itself is quite complex and includes “classic” Autism, Asperger Syndrome (higher functioning individuals with fewer language difficulties), and Pervasive Developmental Disorders – Not Otherwise Specified (a catch-all term for individuals who do not meet enough criteria for a more specific diagnosis). A diagnosis of ASD is based on a combination of symptoms, including difficulties with social interaction, communication problems, and repetitive behaviors. sChool opTions Finding a supportive school for children with ASD is extremely

important. Public schools in Taipei do accept children with disabilities, and there are schools specifically designed for special education students. These schools employ degreed special education teachers, as well as occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists. Although the schools do have some foreign students, instruction is only provided in Mandarin. Since most children with ASD already have language delays, instruction in a foreign language often proves difficult for these students. Taipei has a host of excellent p r i v a t e s c h o o l s, b u t t h e y a r e not obligated to accept students w i t h d i s a b i l i t i e s. F o rt u n a t e l y, two international schools, Taipei European School (TES) and Taipei Adventist American School (TAAS), do provide special education services and accept students with ASD on a case-by-case basis. Both of these schools employ special education teachers who collaborate with students, parents, and teachers to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP), which outlines the student’s strengths, areas for growth, and goals. TreaTmenT opTions As with all aspects of ASD, the question of how to best educate a child affected by the disorder is controversial. Many parents are understandably desperate to find a treatment that will help their child and are willing to try approaches that are not based on scientific evidence. While some parents strongly believe in these alternative treatments, the following resources focus solely on mainstream treatments based on clinical research.

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Behavioral Therapy The gold standard in autism treatment is intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. Based on B.F. Skinner’s principles o f b e h a v i o r, A B A i s t h e m o s t widely applied and well-researched treatment for children diagnosed with ASD. ABA therapy focuses on teaching children with ASD communication and social skills, which will allow them to interact w i t h f a m i l y a n d p e e r s. S i n c e language and social skill deficits are the predominant features of ASD, overcoming these deficits gives children the skills they need to function in a typical educational environment. Ta i p e i i s f o r t u n a t e t o h a v e a branch of the California-based ABA provider SEEK (Special Education for Exceptional Kids). The director of SEEK Taiwan, Sue Ke, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst trained in the United States. Ms. Ke is also the president of Taiwan Association of Behavior Analysis, which is working to promote the use of ABA in Taiwan. occupaTional Therapy Sensory processing is difficult for many students with ASD. While most people can focus on an individual sensory input (such as a single voice in a noisy room), this can be difficult f o r s o m e c h i l d r e n w i t h a u t i s m. Proponents of Sensory Integration Therapy believe that exposing children with ASD to different sensory experiences can help train their brains to learn how to more effectively filter sensory input.

While there are a number of certified Occupational Therapists in Taipei, Sharon Li has the most experience working with Englishspeaking clients. Her clinic, which is conveniently located in Tianmu, contains a great variety of equipment and materials. Speech Therapy Speech therapy aims to improve language production and processing. Approaches to teaching language can vary widely from high-tech augmented communication devices to picture-based communication, sign language, or speech. Speech therapists can also address the social aspects of communication, such as appropriate greetings and conversational rules. It is important to have a speech therapist who is fluent in the child’s native language, which can be a difficult task while living abroad. Sherry Fu is a knowledgeable English-language Speech-Language Pathologist who can work with children with ASD in both home and clinical settings.

SchoolS Taipei european School (02) 8145-9007 http://www. taipeieuropeanschool.com

Behavioral Therapy SeeK Taiwan (02) 2737-0787 http://www. seekeducation.com.tw

Taipei adventist american School (02) 2861-6400 http://taas-taiwan.com

occupaTional Therapy Sharon li (02) 2836-7560 sharon.jyan@msa.hinet.net

Speech Therapy Sherry Fu 0953-378-136 shezza114@hotmail.com counSeling The community Services center (02) 2836-8134 http://www. communitycenter.org.tw

counSeling Counseling can be helpful in dealing with social skills deficits and emotional issues, particularly for high-functioning individuals with ASD who possess good language skills. Counseling can be beneficial not only to the child with ASD but also for family members who are affected by having a son, daughter, or sibling with the disorder. The Community Services Center employs excellent counselors able to address a wide variety of topics including family difficulties and intercultural issues. Finding SupporT Raising a child with a disability can be very challenging but also t r e m e n d o u s l y r e w a r d i n g. T h e key to success lies in finding a supportive network of family, friends, p r o f e s s i o n a l s, a n d c o m m u n i t y a g e n c i e s. U n f o r t u n a t e l y, m o s t expatriates in Taiwan are removed from family and may have a limited network of friends, which makes finding supportive agencies and professionals even more important. Hopefully the resources listed below will help make Taipei a more welcoming city for families raising a child with autism.

Lukin Murphy is a certified Special Education teacher and Board Certified Behavior Analyst who is currently a st ay - at- home fathe r to his nine-month-old son and parttime special education consultant. L u k i n p l a n s t o w o rk w i t h T he Center and other agencies to make services for children with autism more widely available in Taipei. www.communitycenter.org.tw MAY 2013

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TRAVEL

get away to... malaysia TexT & Images: Laura OsbOrne

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e lived in Malaysia for nearly three years, and with so many alluring charms, it’s hard to pinpoint just why we fell in love with it. Malaysia is a kaleidoscope of cultures with colonial roots and Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences. The food alone is enough reason to merit a visit to Malaysia. Be assured that any taxi man’s first question for you will be: “Have you eaten yet?” It is a wonderfully colorful country

and not just to look at; the people are charming and cheeky. With direct flights from Taipei to Kuala Lumpur or Kota Kinabalu, a trip to Peninsular Malyasia or to Malaysian Borneo is easy. And as clichéd as it sounds, there genuinely is something for everyone: wild outdoors, jungle, cool highlands blanketed with tea p l a n t a t i o n s, f a n t a s t i c b a r s a n d restaurants, stunning beaches, and some of the best diving in the world. Kuala lumpur As with most cities, there are polar opposites. You can spend hours in air-conditioned malls browsing Prada and Gucci or you can sit on a plastic stool in a bustling street eating nasi le m ak for NT$40. As a visitor I would aim to spend two nights in KL and to walk (slowly... because of the humidity) from Merdeka

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(Independence) Square t o M a s j i d J a m e k, t h e beautiful and original m o s q u e, b u i l t o n t h e ‘muddy confluence’ of two rivers (which gives K L i t s n a m e). F i v e minutes further and you’ll enter China Town, a bustle of ‘designer’ handbags and clothes in between markets selling squawking chickens in cages and pigs’ trotters. To one side you will have KL’s law courts and original train station (built by the Brits with a spec that will withstand a meter of snow – after a day sweating in KL you’ll understand the irony…). Carry on walking to Little India for more bustle, different colors, and curries. Next, visit the Museum of Islamic Arts, one of the most enjoyable museums I have ever visited. End the day with a drink in the Sky Bar at Traders Hotel (book a table) with its incredible view of the KL skyline. And with Malaysia’s somewhat tempestuous weather you are likely to be treated to an electric storm display from the dizzy heights of the bar. For the late nighters, Changkat Bukit Bintang is KL’s street of bars

and clubs – and their answer to Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong. Malaysia may be a predominantly Muslim country, but that by no means puts a lid on the night life. Lunch or dinner at Tamarind Springs in the middle of the jungle, just a 15-minute drive north of KL, is also a must. penang O n w a r d s t o P e n a n g, a p r edominantly Chinese island in the north of the peninsula – a very easy half-hour flight from KL or an adventurous 3–4 hour-drive (or a very slow train). Don’t go to Penang for beaches (you won’t be doing Malaysian beaches justice); go to stay in Georgetown, a UNESCO

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World Heritage site. Penang has something KL doesn’t: heaps of small town charm and fantastic boutique hotels. Clove Hall, Muntri Mews, and Seven Terraces are just a handful of the lovely and inexpensive hotels set in converted colonial shop houses or mansions. Again, Georgetown is a great place to stroll and take in the sites; Little India, China Town, and Fort Cornwallis are all within a 10-minute walking radius, and there is a booming art scene in Penang. Taking the train up to Penang’s Hill station, a colonial retreat from Malaysia’s heat, is a great respite, and on a good day you can see the island of Langkawi. For anyone heading to a beach holiday in Langkawi, a couple of days in Georgetown is a must. The highlands

The tea plantations and hiking in the Highlands are worth braving the twisting road uphill that you must take to get to them. The Cameron Highlands Resort is the best of a somewhat aging group of hotels. A day at the Boh Tea Plantation followed by dinner at a local steamboat restaurant and a drink in front of the open fire back at the hotel is a delightful break from most of Malaysia’s intense humidity and heat. The hiking is spectacular, although a lot more ‘tropical’ than Taiwan – beware of the leeches.

These are a few places that took some finding while living in Kl but were very special, and all of which are impossible to do justice on paper.

Malihom; an artist retreat in the hills on Penang island casabrina; a villa hotel in the jungle just a two-hour drive from KL (www.casabrina.net) To The beach… The choices are plentiful but will depend on the time of year. The monsoon season hits the east coast November to February (when most hotels will be shut). It then hits the west coast through Taiwan’s summer months. In my opinion, the beaches off Malaysian Borneo are the most spectacular. Next are the island beaches on the east of Peninsular Malaysia and then the beaches on the west coast of the peninsula. In Malaysian Borneo you will be standing in crystal clear water with starfish at your feet, snorkel and mask in one hand, book in the other. Some of the best diving in the world is around the Sipadan islands. It is the remoteness of these islands that adds to their perfection, but it does mean that they are not always the quickest to reach. Lankayan Island Hotel (although not in Sipadan) is idyllic. This by no means belittles the beaches on Peninsular Malaysia. Langkawi, with its duty-free status, has become the most popular tourist destination in Malaysia. It has some fantastic high-end hotels, the Datai and Four Seasons being consistently

nasi Kandar Pelita; the best street food in KL

high in the world hotel rankings. It also has some lovely boutique hotels, such as the Bonton and Casa del Mar. There is beach life of a different sort on the main beach – waterskiing, banana boats, fun bars and restaurants. There’s also an easy speed boat crossing from Langkawi to Koh Lipe in Thailand, which adds another dimension to any trip, should you wish to exchange the beef rendang for some pad thai for a couple of nights. The Peninsula's east coast hotels tend to be smaller, cheaper, and slightly more low key (in a good way) than those on the west. And out of monsoon season, the sea is crystal clear and teeming with turtles. The islands are full of lovely small hotels: Batu Batu on Pulau Tengah, or Bagus Place or Japamala on Pulau Tioman. On the mainland, Tanjong Jara is great for budding chefs; here they offer brilliant cooking lessons in an open kitchen looking out onto the beach. I n t r u t h, y o u a r e spoilt for choices when it comes to beaches in Malaysia.

Laura Osborne is a former corporate lawyer, now a mum – and still wondering which allows her more sleep. Her roots being in the English countryside, she has fallen in love with Taiwan's beautiful outdoors.

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COMMUNITY CSC NEWS

adding the ‘E’ to STEm: Engineering at Taipei american School Lower School TexT: ScoTT MiddleTon, TAS GrAde 1 TeAcher iMAGeS: TAS

Why teach engineering to young children? • Children are fascinated with building and with taking things apart to see how they work. • Engineering projects integrate other disciplines. • Engineering fosters problem-solving skills, including problem formation, iteration, and testing of alternative solutions. • E n g i n e e r i n g e m b r a c e s p r o j e c t-b a s e d l e a r n i n g, encompasses hands-on construction, and sharpens children’s abilities to function in three dimensions. • Learning about engineering increases students’ awareness of and access to scientific and technical careers. Taipei American School further developed the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curriculum in the lower school this year by implementing Engineering is Elementary, developed by the Museum of Science in Boston. This included two hands-on, engineering-based projects that connect directly to existing science units. For example, grade one students studied Chemical Engineering as an extension of the Solids and Liquids science unit. This involved the project A Work in Process: Improving a Play Dough Process. Students used the steps in the Engineering Design Process – Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve – to create better play dough. They changed the amounts of flour, salt, and water, as well as the order of the steps, to improve both the process and the product. Students worked with a partner to develop their best play dough. There were ten steps in the process that the students could reorder. This involved high-level problem solving. They planned how to mix and vary the amounts of the three

ingredients to improve their play dough. Overall, students learned from the Engineering Design Process, cooperated with classmates, compared their results, and improved play dough. Their job as play dough engineers was successful! Grade one students also studied Mechanical Engineering as an extension of the Air and Weather science unit. In the project Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills, students learned about wind and discussed methods that engineers use to capture energy. They brainstormed, planned, built, tested, and improved their own windmill blades. Students worked together to design their windmill blades. They had to decide on the materials, shape, number, and angle of blades. As they tested their blades, they first had to make sure the blades would spin. Then they added weights to test how many washers their windmill could lift. More weight lifted meant a more efficient and powerful windmill. In the beginning of the process, some blades were too small or at an inefficient angle. With a high level of student cooperation, blade designs improved, and the windmills were able to spin and lift between ten and twenty washers. With the success of the initial engineering projects, TAS lower school students will continue to benefit from additional STEM next year. There is no doubt that engineering and technological literacy are necessary 21st century skills. TAS prepares all students to succeed in a rapidly changing world, and, in engineering, that preparation starts in grade one.

Events at The Center Special Topic Coffee Morning Life’s a Beach: Enjoying Taiwan’s Coastal Areas Thursday, May 16, 10:30 am – 12 noon The weather is warm and it’s time for water, sun, and sand. Where should you go? How do you get there? Join us at The Center with this month’s speaker, Dan Tattersfield, for a fun and informative talk about visiting and exploring Taiwan’s beaches. Bring a towel, sunglasses, and your best beach hat. We’re having a party. Wipe Out!!! The Center’s Coffee Mornings are brought to you by Impact.

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BOOK CLUBS: A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols The morning book club will meet Tu e s d a y, M a y 2 1 s t , 1 0 : 3 0 a m onwards. For more information, email coteditor@communitycenter.org.tw. T he even i ng book club will meet on Thursday, May 30th, 7:15 pm onwards. For more information, email sharon.k.whitfield@googlemail.com.

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ChARItY

t Orphanage Club TExT: BRANDON HuANG & TINA YuAN

moTher’s Day anD GraDuaTion sale Tuesday and Wednesday, May 7th and 8th On these two days, we will be holding a sale with beautiful Mother’s Day greeting cards and other items. Also available will be graduation-themed cards for the upcoming class of 2013 graduation. As always, we will also be selling traditional and new TAS Orphanage Club sweatshirts and T-shirts. All are welcome to stop by our booth in the TAS FDR hallway throughout the day. All proceeds will go to supporting aboriginal children at the Puli Christian Hospital. flea marKeT Saturday, May 11th Our annual Flea Market will be held from 10 am to 3 pm in the TAS FDR hallway and the cafeteria. Table registration (open only to members of the TAS community) will take place in the TAS FDR hallway on Tuesdays and Thursdays after April 23rd from 4 pm to 5 pm. Tables in the FDR hallway are NT$1,500 each, tables in the cafeteria are NT$1,200 each, and registration will require a NT$300 deposit that will be returned after the sale. This is the perfect opportunity for members of the TAS community to sell any items from home, and a large variety of goods will be available. Furthermore, Indian food as well as other food and refreshments will be available in the FDR. All are welcome to stop by this wonderful event and browse through the incredible selection of items that will be on sale! rummaGe sale Saturday, June 15th The gigantic annual Rummage Sale will be held on Saturday, June 15th, and as always, the Orphanage Club welcomes all donations. The sale will be from 10 am to 5 pm and will be held rain or shine. There will be a huge selection of goods such as toys, clothing, household appliances, games, stuffed animals, shoes, miscellaneous items, and much more! Admission is free, and all are welcome. Please visit our website at www.orphanageclub.com all inquiries can be directed to tas.orphanageclub@gmail.com or to our sponsor Mr. arnold at arnoldr@tas.edu.tw

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CoMMuNItY

Dominican international school Goes Global TExT TExT: xT xT T:: A ALISTAIR LISTAIR WILLIS, TEACHER AT DOMINICAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL IMAGES: MERCIA DE SOuZA

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he A m e r i c a n c o m m i t m e n t to ethanol production sends food prices soaring around the world . Outsourcing by m ultin ation al s d ecim at es the old in du stri al sec tors of the West e r n economies. Chinese economic growth raises carbon emissions to unsustainable levels. I n t h e t w e n t y - f i r s t c e n t u r y, globalization is no longer an academic buzzword but an unignorable factor in many of the world’s most intractable issues. Often it is seen as the remit of the big players: global institutions l i k e t h e I M F a n d W T O, t h e G20 governments, and the multinationals. Yet globalization – its challenges and opportunities – is permeating institutions at all levels. For educators at the K–12 level, it is the opportunities that globalization presents that are most appealing. The new communication tools give us the freedom to forge global school networks and let students have access to other cultures in previously unimaginable ways. Yet the challenges are equally profound. As teachers, how do we confront students with the social, economic, and environmental challenges of the globalized world? How do we take advantage of teenagers’ innate idealism without trivializing the issues? Above all, how do we give students practical experience grappling with global problems? At Dominican International School (DIS) in Taipei, there is a commitment to developing a global consciousness

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among ur st ude nt s, aand a clear a mong o our students, recognition that we must go beyond the classroom to achieve this. And so, over the last two years, we have sent delegations to international conferences arranged by the Global Issues Network (GIN), a group of schools and teachers established to provide the resources, the training, and, above all, the inspiration to tackle the great issues of the twentyfirst century. In the spring of 2012, 24 students and nine teachers spent three days at the International School in Manila for a GIN conference on the theme “Compassionate Action.” Highlights included a barnstorming address by sustainability consultant Alan AtKisson and a fascinating workshop with internet entrepreneur Michael Furdyk, who turned his back on the corporate world to establish TakingItGlobal (w w w.tigweb.org), a global issues charity centered on an innovative website. In between the keynote speeches, the students took charge. Each delegation was tasked with presenting a series of Sustainable Action Plans based on actions taken in their own schools and communities, and DIS students presented workshops to students from around southeast Asia on issues o f p o v e r t y, g l o b a l w a r m i n g, a n d education for all. Our students had been preparing for months: running green campaigns, helping out at local elementary schools, and distributing donations to poor neighborhoods. Finally, there was a chance to get out into the real Manila. Travelling from the plush apartment buildings

o f M a k a t i t o t h e T h i r d Wo r l d slums at the edge of the city was an unforgettable lesson in economic inequality for students and teachers alike. Our group helped out at a Habitat for Humanity building site, constructing simple concrete houses in a neighborhood ravaged by a typhoon. Other groups visited recycling facilities, daycare centers for poor children, and garbage-strewn rivers. G r a d e 1 2 s t u d e n t A n y Ts e n g was so moved by her experience of poverty in Manila that she wrote an uncommissioned article for the school newspaper. In her conclusion, she comments: “The poverty that exists not only in Manila, but also around the globe, is real. Because we are all fortunate enough to be living in a city where almost no poverty exists, we don’t fully understand what poverty is. All of us delegates have been brought up with proper education and proper families. We don’t know what it’s like to live in poverty, therefore, we don’t have the right nor knowledge to say that we understand it.” DIS continues to be involved in GIN and has created a school club to involve students in community work and prepare them for upcoming conferences. In the autumn of 2012, we sent twelve students to the GIN conference in Singapore, a privilege that the students were granted for performing community service over the summer break. The most committed students had tallied over a hundred hours – not an insignificant sacrifice for the privileged students of DIS.

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coffee corner

Luguo Café at the Art Yard

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TexT & Images: aly Cooper

ucked in an alleyway in the heart of the fabric market is Luguo Café. Dihua Street is colorful and lively, and the alleys are always full of new and exciting finds. It’s the perfect place to have a “go-to” café when a refresher is needed after all that shopping and browsing. U p o n e n t e r i n g, y o u w i l l f i n d yourself in a cute little bookshop with a variety of merchandise for sale. If you haven’t spent all of your NTD upon entry, head up the staircase, and you’ll be delightfully surprised at the café that awaits. Yo u’l l n o t i c e t h a t L u g u o i s simplistic without appearing sparse …homey, yet still maintaining class. One glance to your left showcases an entire wall of almost floor to ceiling windows, radiant in their hardwood and unmarred by heavy drapes, allowing the natural light t o s h i n e t h r o u g h o u t t h e c a f é. I t’s i n t o x i c a t i n g. I f I h a d z e r o responsibilities, I’m embarrassed to tell you how long I could sit under that window. But today? My main responsibility was waiting for me to sit down, so I gave him the pleasure of choosing the seat. My six-year-old naturally chose the little couch next to a delightful little Beta fish that entertained him throughout my mini pot o’ joe. He chose wisely. Upon being seated, I took in the rest of my surroundings. Shelves of reading material (in Chinese) were stacked on a bookcase divider, and the furniture can only be described as an eclectic mix that somehow w o r k e d t o g e t h e r, a l l l o o k i n g comfortably worn without appearing shabby. As this was the second time I had been here, I wanted to

try something different. Something bold. I needed something that would pry my eyelids open, because the toothpicks just weren’t cutting it …and I was only halfway through spring break. My son was in need of a mother with more energy and, by golly, I was prepared to find her. So I ordered … wait for it … black coffee. Yup. It’s true. To be honest, the first time I came here, I ordered the iced caramel café latte, and it was fabulous. Tasty a n d creamy, it hit the spot and was beyond scrumptious. Today, however, I needed more. I found the menu a bit intimidating, as it implied that you should know your roast. There were different colored dots indicating the strength of the coffee. It was my understanding that the neon green dot indicated light, the lack of a dot indicated medium, and the dark blue was bold. I decided to start off with the light brew, as I was a bit apprehensive about experiencing buyer’s remorse by getting something darker at a high price and not liking it. As I was ordering, the server looked at me and said this has no milk or sugar. Yes. I know. I can handle it.

(Seriously. I get this a lot!!) I CAN HANDLE IT, BABY. Bring it. The coffee was brought to me on a wooden palette – in my own p o t!! I n s t e a d o f y o u r s t a n d a r d drop off, the server first poured the coffee into a shot glass then poured the shot glass of coffee into the world’s tiniest mug. The shot glass was then handed to me to sniff for quality. Uhhhhh – the expert that I am stated, “Yes. Yes of course this is fine….” I had ordered the Papua New Guinea. The coffee was indeed light with a bit of bite. A bit acidic upon the first sip, each sip following went down smooth. I have to say there was a quiet strength in this light brew – it was a coffee that definitely stood on its own. For me, not normally being a black coffee drinker, temperature is very important. If the coffee is tepid or lukewarm, it ruins the entire cup for me. This coffee was expertly hot upon arrival. What surprised me more was that even as my coffee cooled, the elements that made it special remained (read: I didn’t waste one drop). To be honest, I think next time I could go even darker. For those wanting to savor the experience at home as well, coffee is available for purchase. Coffee at Luguo Café is a bit pricey. The Luguo Café blend costs NT$200 and the specialty blends go as high as NT$600 for the Hawaii Ka’u. The hot or iced espressos/lattes run from NT$180-250. I would say that it’s definitely worth a try at least once if you’re in the area! Oh and one more thing – I left those toothpicks on the table. Coffee win! Thanks to Jennifer Meffe for the recommendation.

Luguo Café at the Art Yard (ArtYard 小藝埕) 1, Lane 32, Dihua Street, Section 1
 (迪化街一段32巷1號 | 1) (02) 2552-1321 Aly Cooper is an expat wife of two years who enjoys adventures with her six-year-old son, reading, eating, blogging, having A LOT of coffee with friends, volunteering and spending free weekends exploring what the island has to offer with the family. http://caffeinatedblisstaiwan.blogspot.tw Got a suggestion for our resident caffeine addict? Send them in via coteditor@communitycenter.org.tw.

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photography

Ten Tips for Photographing People

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ore often than not, it’s the people you meet that make travel truly memorable. I t’s a l s o p h o t o g r a p h s of people that usually get the best reaction from family and friends when you return home. So without further ado, here are ten tips for better people photography. First though, common to all genres of photography are three crucial things: correct exposure, correct white balance, and sharp focus. No amount of Photoshop trickery can replace these three basic points. Ensure you’re competent in these before you learn anything else. 1. FOCUS POINTS – ONE IS BETTER THAN MANY Modern digital cameras have a number of focus points that help the auto focus lock onto the subject. For portrait photography, having many points can be more of a hindrance than a help because the camera will make a guesstimate based on the average of all the points. Sometimes this will work well, but often you’ll be left with an out-of-focus subject and something in the background/foreground in focus. Instead, select one focus point only. This is usually done with a dial on the camera; check your manual for how to set it. The center point is the strongest, so use that one to lock your focus. 2. FOCUS ON THE EYES The eyes are the most important part of a portrait. If they are sharp and in focus, the rest of the picture can be out of focus, and it’ll still look good. Point the center focus point at the eyes, lock the focus, and then recompose as necessary. 3. SHOOT AT LARGE APERTURES The aperture or ƒ-stop is what controls the amount of light reaching t h e s e n s o r. A l a r g e a p e r t u r e i s, somewhat confusingly, the smallest ƒ-number. ƒ/2.8 is a larger ƒ-stop than

TexT & Image: CraIg Ferguson

ƒ/16; it lets more light in and has a shallower depth-of-field. When we set the aperture to its widest (e.g. ƒ/2.8), it’s known as shooting wide open. It gives an out-of-focus effect (bokeh) in the background, which results in pleasing portraits. The viewer’s eye is directed to the subject not the background. 4. SHOOT AT 70MM OR LONGER At focal lengths shorter than 70mm, distortion starts to occur. If you shoot a frame-filling portrait with a wideangle lens, your subject’s head is going to look strangely large due to the distortion. The classic portrait lengths are between 80mm and 135mm, but anything from 70mm to 200mm will look good. 5. SHOOT RAW Shooting in RAW captures all the image data. Shooting in JPEG means you are throwing away all but the basic data. If you make any kind of error while shooting, you can often still get usable images out of a RAW file; if you try to edit a JPEG, you’ll just make things worse. If your white balance is off, you can correct it with RAW; you can’t with JPEG. A RAW file will be 12 or 14 bit; JPEG files are 8 bit. 6. SHOOT IN THE SHADE The last place you want to be shooting is in direct sunlight. It’s harsh, it creates hard, directional shadows, and it’s not at all flattering to your subject. Move into the shade, and you’ll get smooth, even shadows and softer light. 7. CLOUDY DAYS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND Professional studio photographers spend thousands of dollars on light modifiers in an effort to create soft, even light. Nature also provides soft light and, best of all, it’s free. Cloud cover can help enrich the colors and create smooth, flattering shadows.

8. LEARN SUNNY 16 Sunny 16 is a rule of thumb for determining exposure. It gives you a baseline to work with. Sunny 16 simply says that on a sunny day, with your aperture value set to ƒ/16, your shutter speed will be the inverse of the current ISO speed. For example, if your camera is set to ISO 100, and your aperture value is ƒ/16, your shutter speed will be 1/100th of a second. On a cloudy day (or when in the shade), you simply use ƒ/8 instead. 9. WATCH YOUR BACKGROUND Pay attention to what’s going on around the edges of the frame. The last thing you want is trees or power poles appearing to grow out of your subject’s head, or someone making a funny face in the background. 10. NEVER EVER USE ON-CAMERA FLASH Probably the worst possible thing you can do when taking a photo of a person is to use on-camera flash. It is the most unflattering light – you are literally throwing light at the subject, and instead of making a photograph, you’re making a copy. Simply holding the flash at arm’s length with one hand while holding your camera in the other can make all the difference.

Craig is a professional photographer and has worked with the likes of Lonely Planet, Monocle, Asia Business Traveller, Asian Geographic and many more. In addition, he also teaches regular photography workshops and individual classes in and around Taipei. Visit his website at www.craigfergusonimages.com. 18

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tCM CoRNER

the five elements of chinese Medicine TExT: SHAuN RAMSDEN

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he five elements of Chinese medicine is the single most mistranslated and misunderstood theory we have. In Chinese, it is called the wu xing, 五 行. The character xing (行) means movement. The translation is therefore “the five movements.” These movements have two meanings: the root meaning and the branch meaning. The root meaning refers to the five pivot points of the seasons: Spring Equinox: The earth’s energy moves upwards Summer Solstice: Represents the up and outward direction Autumn Equinox: The downward flow of energy Winter Solstice: The down and inward movement The Center: The pivot point around which everything moves Each movement is symbolized by an element that moves in that direction: Spring: Wood - Wood grows up and out of the ground Summer: Fire - Fire sits on top of the ground and burns up and outwards Autumn: Metal - Falls down when dropped Winter: Water - Water falls down and seeps into the ground Center: Earth - Earth is the pivot by which everything else moves The second meaning of the five movements, the branch, refers to the categorization of each thing based on the direction of its movement. Just as yin and yang represent different feminine and masculine groups in the universe, each movement symbolizes its own grouping of things that move in a similar direction. Every food also has a direction and affects its respective organ. The key is to eat five different types of foods daily to keep balance among the organs by not over stimulating a certain movement or direction. Wood: Liver - Pungent foods: Spring onion

Shaun Ramsden is a native Australian. He has a Bachelor of Medicine from the Beijing Chinese Medicine University and numerous Diplomas in Remedial Massage Therapies. In addition to running his own Physical Therapy and Massage Clinic he enjoys training in different styles of martial arts. classictcm@gmail.com

and mayhem for two performances only on Sunday, May 19th, at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm. The company has been invited by the National Taiwan University’s College of Medicine to perform on their campus at 1 Renai R o a d, S e c t i o n 1 (台北市中正區仁 愛路一段一號). T h e p e r f o r m a n c e will be in English and is suitable for ages 12 and up. Admission is free; however, donations are appreciated. R e s e r v a t i o n s a r e r e c o m m e n d e d. Send requests for reservations to R4.radioredux@gmail.com. Red Room Radio Redux (R4) is a unique collaboration between members of the foreign and local communities

of voice actors, including a sound effects crew. The audience will see a representation of the sound studios of the Golden Age of Radio Drama of the 1930s and 40s. This will be R4’s fifth production since its inception at the 2012 Taipei Fringe Festival. Other presentations include adaptations of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Robert Lewis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, both of which have been produced for radio broadcast by ICRT FM 100. Red Room Radio Redux is supported by the Red Room Community and the Ripplemaker Foundation, where “Ripples change lives.” www.communitycenter.org.tw MAY 2013

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CoMMuNItY

RED ROOM RADIO REDUX will present a staged radio-theaterstyle production of The Tragedy of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s classic story of greed, arrogance, murder, madness,

Fire: Heart - Spicy foods: Chilis, cinnamon Metal: Lungs - Sour foods: Yogurt, lemon Water: Kidneys - Salty, heavy foods: Clams, mussels, oysters Earth: Spleen - Foods that stimulate digestion: Ginger, black pepper In each season the earth’s energies are moving in a different direction, and so is the body. If the body is not following the movement of each season, you will become sick. It is therefore best to create the correct movement by eating slightly more of the foods that belong to the movement category within the respective season. In the past, this was automatic as imported foods were either unavailable or were too expensive for the average person to buy. Ancient societies automatically adjusted their diets to suit the environments in which they lived. In the Middle East they didn’t eat pork because, in that climate, the animals easily became sick and passed the disease to humans. In southern China, the climate is so damp and hot that they needed to eat spicy and pungent foods to keep the digestive system stimulated. In Russia, Siberia, and Mongolia they ate lamb and venison as without this meat they would freeze. The Scandinavians ate oily fish daily to provide them with enough vitamin D as there was a lack of sunlight for much of the year. Eat foods that are local and in season, follow the directions, stick to your roots, and you will live a happy and healthy life.

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2013/4/26 11:36:52 AM


environment

A second chance for Second Love

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TexT & images: sarah chen lin

econd Love is a flea market held on the second and fourth Saturday afternoons of each month at the 44 South Village (四四南村) patio near Taipei 101. One would never expect to come across such an old place in this modern and lively setting. 44 South Village was a compound of old dwellings for veterans and their families that migrated from China in 1948 after the Chinese Civil War; the residents gradually moved out and the place is presently being preserved as an example of Taiwan’s cultural and historical heritage. Inside one of the buildings resides the Good Cho’s Café (好丘) and a little shop that sells homemade and organic products. There’s even an ice cream stall that sells interesting flavors such as tea and dragon fruit. Though pricey, one can rest assured that the ice cream is made with organic ingredients and that the fruits have not been treated with pesticides or fertilizers. Simple Life, a social enterprise run by youths, began organizing Second Love roughly two years ago. Second Love aims to instill the concept of a man’s garbage being another man’s treasure and encourages us to cherish what we have and not treat possessions as mere disposable objects. Simple Life originally served as a platform to bring together Taiwanese youths who wished to share and sell their creativity. As the enterprise expanded, they began to organize more

events to promote green concepts. Anyone can apply to sell at Second Love as long as the following rules are adhered to: 1 Vendors cannot sell new items with the exception of gifts that were never used or things that were bought but never used; such objects cannot be sold at their original prices. 2 Applicants must state their reason for selling when applying and provide pictures of what they intend to sell. 3 There are no restrictions on how much vendors can bring as long as it fits within the space allowed for each stall. 4 There are no restrictions on what each vendor can sell as long as it’s for non-commercial purposes. 5 No plastic bags are allowed; the organizers collect and distribute paper bags when needed to discourage the use of plastics. Applications are generally made one month (sometimes two) in advance. The organizers give new applicants priority on the waiting list and charge only enough to cover expenses for renting and cleaning the patio, since t h e l a n d b e l o n g s t o Ta i p e i C i t y Council. According to the organizers, they receive as many as two hundred applications per month! It’s unfortunate that they can only accept thirty due to limited space. Nevertheless, Second Love is an amazing place for those who love to search for old and unique

treasures and for those who wish to free up some space at home. Some of the strangest and most interesting things sold include furniture and old film cameras, which are currently among the most desired items. Arrive early (around 12 pm) as things may be snatched up in the blink of an eye when it’s crowded! Furthermore, rumor has it 44 South Village is due to close down soon as the government i n t e n d s t o r e b u i l d o n t h e s i t e. I encourage people to visit this unique site as soon as they can! Other Second Love venue: Outside X i m e n R e d H o u s e (西門紅樓) a t Ximending (西門町). Check the official website (in Chinese) for details: http:// simplelife.streetvoice.com/2012/about/ Bo r n an d rai sed in Venezuela by Taiwanese parents, Sarah has been exposed to world cultures sin c e she wa s yo u ng. S he g ra d u at ed w ith a n Environme nt al Scie nc e degree from Southampton University in the UK, was a former radio host for an environmental program at Radio Taiwan International, and currently works as a project manager in the Civil Engineering Department at National Ta i w a n U n i v e r s i t y , a s T W YC C ’s media coordinator, and as a freelance photographer.

Courses at The Center Activity What is Acupuncture and How Does it Work? Cake and Cookie Decorating: Magical Marzipan Discover 20 Maokong Eating Taiwanese Fantastic Fish Flat Hike: “I HATE Steps, but Love to Hike” march 2013 www.communitycenter.org.tw

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First Meeting Date Thursday, May 02 Friday, May 03 Saturday, May 04 Thursday, May 09 Friday, May 10 Tuesday, May 14

# of Sessions 1 1 1 1 1 1

Instructor Dr. Dustin Wu Eva Lu Katy Ho Boyden Sally Duh Chu Ivy Chen Richard Saunders

Time 12:30pm - 2:00pm 10:00am - 12noon 11:00am - 4:00pm 11:45am - 1:30pm 10:00am - 12noon 9:00am - 1:30pm

Meet @ The Center The Center Taipei Zoo MRT Sta. Exit 2 Golden Formosa Restaurant Tianmu The Center Corner of Zhongshan N. Rd., Sec. 6 and Lane 290

may 2013 www.communitycenter.org.tw

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bake it yourself

Bake It Yourself: Icing [Part 1] TexT & Images: Cheryl Chee

In the first of a three part series, Cheryl Chee introduces buttercream and whipped cream frostings The icing on the cake – isn’t that the best part? There are so many things you can do with icings to make a cake taste or look better, and there are also so many different kinds of icings you can use. But how do you know which icing works well with your cake? In this 3-part series, I’ll highlight the more popular icings that are versatile, easy to make, and easy to use. By the end of this series, hopefully you’ll be more familiar with the different icings available, and you’ll have lots of fun trying them out!

Buttercream Icing how does IT TasTe?

Sweet and buttery. Takes to flavorings very well.

how Is IT used?

This soft, buttery icing can be spread over a cake or piped into patterns or swirls on cupcakes.

whaT Cake Is IT besT for?

Buttercream goes with almost any cake – butter cakes, sponge cakes, cupcakes. It goes better with denser cakes than light, airy cakes like chiffon.

how Is IT sTored?

Buttercream hardens on refrigeration, and does not keep for more than a few days, although if you substitute water for milk in the recipe, you may be able to store it for up to two weeks. Buttercream needs to be stirred well before use if stored in the refrigerator.

IT’s greaT, exCepT…..

Buttercream melts quite easily, so this is not the icing to use on a hot, sunny day outdoors!

why do we love IT?

This is a delicious, versatile icing that is most popularly used to ice cakes and cupcakes. It’s easy to spread, easy to flavor, and easy to cut through because it stays soft.

recipe: whipped Cream IngredIenTs 1 cup double or whipping cream 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Chill the steel mixer bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer for ten minutes. Put all the ingredients into the bowl and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form (about one minute).

recipe: basic buttercream IngredIenTs 125 g unsalted butter, softened 1½ cups (240 g) icing (powdered) sugar, sifted 2 tablespoons milk (or water) Beat butter in a small bowl with an electric mixer until it is white and creamy. Gradually beat in half the icing sugar, add the milk or water, and then incorporate the remaining sugar. Flavor and color as desired.

Whipped Cream how does IT TasTe? h

Whipped cream is sweetened with sugar and sometimes flavored with vanilla. It has a smooth, creamy taste and texture. Generally lighter in taste and texture and less sweet than buttercream.

how Is IT used? h

This soft, light icing is easily flavored and colored, and can be spread over a cake or used as cake filling.

whaT Cake Is IT besT for? w

As the texture and taste are quite light, it goes better with lighter textured cakes, like chiffon cake and angel food cake.

how Is IT sTored? h

Whipped cream must be refrigerated. Cakes iced or filled with whipped cream must be chilled.

IT’s greaT, exCepT….. IT

Whipped cream quickly deflates and loses its shine if it is not chilled. It has an extremely low melting point, so even room temperature may be too warm for it, which can make preparing cakes with whipped cream a challenge. Simple designs can be piped using whipped cream, but because it is so heat-sensitive, it cannot be used for more complicated decorating.

why do we love IT? w

It has a very light texture and taste. It can be flavored easily and it stays soft so it can be cut through with a knife.

Cheryl Chee holds several certifications in cake decorating and sugar art, and founded Bake It Yourself in 2003 in Singapore. Bake It Yourself is a cake decorating specialty store, course center, and bakery that makes cake decorating accessible to all keen bakers. She recently opened a branch in Taipei. For more information, visit www.b-i-y.com.tw or call the store at (02) 25811-800. You can also email her directly at Cheryl@b-i-y.com.tw.

Have a baking or cake d e c o r a t i n g q u e s t i o n? A s k Cheryl! Email your queries to cheryl@b-i-y.com.tw and Cheryl will answer your questions in a future column. www.communitycenter.org.tw MAY 2013

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Expat pErspEctivE

with Morrison Academy – Bethany Campus and Taipei American School to host these events.

living in taipei with a special needs child TexT & images: maDonna maurer

L

iving overseas with a child with special needs has its c h a l l e n g e s, b u t i t’s n o t i m p o s s i b l e. P a r e n t s a r e sometimes reluctant, and rightly so, to raise their children in a culture that is not their own. For us, Taipei has been a good fit. I call us the “fusion family” because we are a mixture of nationality, race, and disability. Each member of our family has different needs. Even though there are daily challenges, Taipei has provided for those needs, including the needs of our daughter with Cri-du-Chat Syndrome, a genetic disorder. GettinG Around Ta i p e i h a s g r e a t p u b l i c transportation, and for people with disabilities, it’s convenient too. The MRT stations are equipped with elevators, with each train having two cars designated for wheelchairs and each car having dark blue seats designated for the elderly, pregnant, young children, and the disabled. Many public buses are now

accessible to the handicapped, with only one step and a built-in ramp for wheelchairs. As for taxis, I have found drivers to be overall polite and helpful when I’ve traveled with my kids alone. thinGs to do Taipei is full of activities and events for children, and many can be adapted to children with special needs. However, as an expat, it can be difficult to find this information, especially if you can’t read Chinese. I’ve found that the best way to “h e a r” a b o u t u p c o m i n g e v e n t s for kids is to check out the forum “Parent Pages” on Taiwanease.com. At museums, pools, and even the zoo, discounts are given to those with special needs. Expats do not qualify for the government disability pass, but we have a letter from the hospital that we use for these discounts, and most places accept that. One of the highlights for our daughter is the “I Am a Hero Games,” a sports day for children with special needs. Taiwan Sunshine often partners

MedicAl We have been very pleased with the services provided at NTU Children’s Hospital, most of the time! Many of their therapists have studied abroad. When we moved to Taipei seven years ago, our daughter had a feeding tube, was nonverbal, and did not walk. We were pleased that most of her specialists and therapists could communicate with us in English. Today she is off her feeding tube, beginning to say words, and running. We W couldn’t couldn be happier with the care that our ou daughter has received here – and that includes a few hospital t stays d due to pneumonia. The only area th that we have found lacking is English-language speech therapists. Families that have children with autism may tell a different story. Doctors that specialize in autism are difficult to find. The Lai family, expats from Malaysia and Singapore, has recently looked for a new doctor to follow up on their son’s condition. Yit Loong shares, “Parents need to be both knowledgeable about the specific condition of their child and what sort of therapies and treatments are appropriate for their child, as well as from whom and where to get help.” While good medical services

taiwan sunshine is a non-profit organization that exists to support and encourage families that have children with special needs. www.taiwansunshine.org | Facebook Page: taiwan sunshine info@taiwansunshine.org

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are available, it may take extra effort to find a good match. (See page 10 for more information about autism resources in Taipei). eDuCaTion Taipei has four dedicated special education schools. In addition, each district has an elementary school that serves as a resource center for children with special educational needs. Many local elementary schools offer a special education classroom, as well as support classrooms for those with learning needs. Of course, all of the instruction is in Mandarin. Our daughter was able to attend a special education kindergarten in one of the local schools. We were really pleased with the teachers and staff and what they were willing to do with a nonverbal expat child, but we knew that she needed to have her education in English. So, at the end of her kindergarten year, we made the decision to homeschool her. At the moment, the options for English-speaking children that have special educational needs beyond

learning support are quite limited. Taiwan Sunshine is currently in the process of exploring the feasibility of an educational program that would support these children. (See p a g e 24 f o r i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t homeschooling in Taiwan.) perCepTions Catherine Lai explains, “[Although o u r s o n] B e n j y’s a u t i s m i s n o t obvious, we still get the staring treatment a lot.” While Taipei is continuing to grow in its awareness of disabilities, “there is a general lack of awareness and acceptance towards autism.” The Lais have been criticized for their parenting skills because “people tend to associate an autistic outburst with bad parenting,” but this hasn’t stopped them from going out and providing Benjy with new experiences. While other people may mean well, they certainly can affect you and the rest of your day. Taipei has become our hometown. It isn’t just the conveniences of living here that make it a great place, it’s

also the people. I have found so many strangers giving us their bus seat, opening a door, and even offering to lift half the wheelchair to help us out. I have watched a bus full of people clap their hands with my daughter, all smiling and laughing. Of course, I have also experienced the stares, the awkward questions, and occasional rudeness of others, but that has not been the norm. So, I agree with the Lais, that we should “take every opportunity to expose [our children] to new things and experiences to help [them] explore the world despite [their] condition.” And what better way to give them new experiences than living in Taipei.

MaDonna has been living in Taipei with her husband, Uwe, for the past se ve n ye a rs . T he y bot h wo rk fo r Taiwan S un shin e . M aDonn a al so w rites about raising third culture kids. You c an read more at www. raisingTCKs.com

www.communitycenter.org.tw APril 2013

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EduCAtIoN

homeschooling in Taiwan

TExT: KATRINA BROWN WITH DOROTA CHEN-WERNIK AND TIM CHEN IMAGES: MADONNA MAuRER

H

omeschooling has been l e g a l i n Ta i w a n s i n c e 1982 and considered a special form of education since 1997. The most developed homeschooling country in Asia, Taiwan is also one of only a few that recognizes homeschooling as a kind of education. According to Tim Chen, Chairman of the Taiwan Homeschool Association and co-author of the Chinese book 我 家就是國際學校 (My Ho m e i s a n Inte r n ation al School), there are 1,750 students registered in “nonschool-type experimental education”; of those, 971 are taught by their parents, 224 are in co-ops, and 555 are in school-like institutions. Families may choose to homeschool their children for a number of reasons. The flexibility to choose curriculum from sources both in Taiwan and abroad is a major benefit. For families whose primary language is not Mandarin, homeschooling is a way to teach in the home language without the expense of an international school in Taiwan. 24

The inability of the local system to cater to different learning styles is another reason some Taiwanbased families develop their own programs at home. The Lee family decided to homeschool their first grader after they found that “the methods employed by the Taiwanese education system and our son do not agree.” Homeschooling has meant that their son can learn in the way that is most conducive to him, and he is now developing a passion for learning that was absent in the local system. This lack of flexibility was also an issue for Tim Chen’s family. Chen explains, “Our daughter is a highly visual person. Her study notes are in graphic form, which is great for organizing ideas but not suited for text-based school exams.” According to Chen, homeschooling suits children with learning difficulties very well, “as they are not subject to the undue humiliations o r n e g l e c t s f o u n d i n s c h o o l s.” C h e n e l a b o r a t e s, “T h e S p e c i a l Education Act was amended this year to accommodate homeschooling children. If a child is assessed to be

eligible for special education and parents choose to homeschool that child, the local government must provide for the homeschooled child as if the child was attending a school. For example, our son is a strong auditory and kinesthetic (tactile) learner but a weak text reader in all languages (especially in Chinese). He can learn at home by listening to audio books or [having a parent read] to him. If he was in school, his learning would not be as effective, as most of the information is presented in text form.” S o, h o w d o e s o n e g o a b o u t homes homeschooling? Needless to say, once you make the decision to homes homeschool, you can find a vast amount of information online a n d v i a v i r t u a l a n d r e a l-l i f e homeschooling groups. With the diversity of classes, museu museums, and other educational facilities in Taiwan, if your child can speak some Chinese and you are willing to do a little groundwork, the world really is your educational oyster. You will be able to fit group classes such as nature appreciation, art, music, and astronomy into your timetable, and you can tour museums during times when most children are in school. The Chinese-language website Taiwan Homeschool Advocates is an up-to-date, comprehensive resource for all things homeschool-related. If you cannot read Chinese, the “Learn@Home In Taiwan” Facebook group is the best place to start. Parents from as far south as Pingtung contribute to this informationsharing group, so you just need to reach out to find people in the area of Taiwan where you reside. Monthly meet-ups are also posted in this group. If you do not want to “go-italone,” you can join (or create) a homeschooling co-op such as the Taipei International Christian A c a d e m y (T I C A). F o u n d e d b y several parents, TICA is for families “looking for an excellent, English, inclusive education for their children.” Parents work together to educate the children at a community

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space. Children with special needs are welcome. The biggest hurdle for many families is understanding the application process. These legal issues need to be addressed once your child reaches school age. If a Taiwanese national (a child listed on a household registration (戶口)) turns six on or before September 1st, he or she will be legally obligated to go to school that year. If you want to homeschool your child in the upcoming academic year, you need to apply to homeschool before May 31st for Grades 1–9 and June 30th for Grades 10–12. If your child is a foreign national, you do not have to apply to homeschool in Taiwan. However, you can if you would like to. Your home country may have other requirements for homeschooling that you will need to comply with if you plan to return home at some stage of your child's education. The basic requirements for the homeschooling application are: you must reside in the city you are applying; your children must be school age; and you need to apply before the deadline. You lodge your application with the Education Bureau at your registered or household address. You will also be registered with a school, but you do not have to attend the school at all. If you choose to join any classes though, the school cannot reject you. Once your children reach high school age, you do not have to register with a school to become a homeschooler. In fact, 3/4 of high school homeschoolers do not register with any school. You can download all homeschool application materials from http:// law.chen-wernik.net/. The forms are all in Chinese. This year's Taipei forms included: • Reasons for applying • Teaching method • Information about your child/ children • Lesson plans (materials, assessment plan, timetable) • Intended educator's educational background

When providing your lesson plan, remember that you have all the freedom in how and what you teach your children provided that whatever you plan to do has been approved by the committee. Because children on the household registration will generally have at least one parent w h o i s a C h i n e s e s p e a k e r, i t i s expected that children will have some Chinese language curriculum, so it is inadvisable to drop this altogether in your plan unless you have a very good reason to do so. Chen does warn that the reasons for denying applications are arbitrary and that it varies greatly from city to city. “At the end of the day, it's all about whether the reviewer likes your proposal or not,” he says. Getting in touch with other families who have already gone through the process can help when tackling this hurdle. This year, Dorota ChenWernik and Tim Chen ran their first workshops to help families prepare for their homeschooling journeys, including completing the application process. Such event information is posted at Learn@Home In Taiwan on Facebook. Homeschooling can be a rewarding experience for many families, and a necessity for some. I hope this article has assured you that the application process is not as difficult as you may have imagined, and that you now have some tools to assist you should you choose this option for your children's education.

In Taiwan since 1995, New Zealander Katrina Brown lives with her Taiwanese husband in the mountains of Jilong. With t w o e l e m e n t a r y - s c ho o l age d children, Katrina is determined to make Taiwan more accessible for all families. Visit her blog w w w.kidzon e -tw.com for infor m ation about family friendly spaces and events.

Taiwan Homeschool Advocates http://www.homeschool.tw/ (Chinese only) http://2t.chen-wernik.net/ for a list of monthly events Learn@Home in Taiwan Facebook: Learn@Home in Taiwan Taipei International Christian Academy Facebook: Taipeiica Tim and Dorota's book 波蘭媽媽魏多麗 和台灣爸爸陳怡光 is the story (in Chinese) of their ten-year homeschooling journey. You can read more about their successes (in English) at http://ourbabelschool. blogspot.tw/

www.communitycenter.org.tw MAY 2013

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CSC NEWS

Support Centered on Taipei We need your help to keep this magazine in print Centered on Taipei is a not-for-profit publication that has been available free of charge since it was established in 2000. For many years advertisements covered production costs; however, in the past few years, as has been the case with so many print publications, Centered on Taipei’s advertising revenue has decreased substantially resulting in an unsustainable financial situation.

Without further support, Centered on Taipei is at risk of closing its doors for good. It is for this reason that we are turning to you, our readers, for help. Whether you’re a long-time reader or someone who is picking up a copy for the very first time, if you value the information and entertainment you find in Centered on Taipei, please consider donating.

Every donation, big and small, will put us one step closer to reaching our fundraising goal of NT$400,000. We believe Centered on Taipei is an important resource for the international community in Taiwan and a crucial link between the community and the Community Services Center. We hope you agree.

To donate, visit www.communitycenter.org.tw, stop by The Center, or call (02) 2836-8134.

Donate NT$1,000 and you’ll receive a Center coffee mug

Donate NT$100,000 and Richard Saunders will take a group of up to 25 people “off the beaten track” on a privately guided day trip or hike, plus you’ll receive a year of banner advertising on the Off the Beaten Track page of the magazine.

For more details visit www.communitycenter.org.tw. 26

APril 2013 www.communitycenter.org.tw

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ASk bIN

How Small Things Affect the Feng Shui of Your Home

TExT: BIN HuANG AND NATALIE KöHLE IMAGES: NATALIE KöHLE

W

hile visiting the pottery t o w n o f Yi n g g e o r one of Taipei’s flower markets, you may have noticed various pottery water features on sale, and were probably wondering what all these artificial streams and water fountains are about. No, although they look nice, they are not made for decorating your garden or your porch. They are for improving the feng shui of your home! F e ng s h u i, which literally translates as “wind-water,” is an ancient Chinese form of geomancy (the science of understanding the rules of Heaven and Earth) used to create buildings and interiors that conform to nature’s principles and that have good and positive qi. What does that mean? In the most simple, everyday understanding of these complicated notions, positive qi helps us to lead a harmonious life, protects us from misfortune, and improves business. So how does the water feature work to attract good feng shui? Again, I will give you the simple e x p l a n a t i o n h e r e. We s a y t h a t the water inside the water feature represents wealth – something that

most people wish to get more of. Therefore, a water feature should be placed so that the water flows towards your house. If the water flows towards you, then wealth will do the same. Thus, the best place to put a water feature is next to the entrance of your home. If you don’t have one of these water features, then perhaps you decorated your home with traditional landscape paintings? These traditional paintings often depict a stream. Maybe you don’t believe in the efficacy of feng shui, but if you have one of these paintings at home, just take a look at it – in which direction does the water flow? Don’t let it run towards the outside of the house: believe me, if the water is flowing away, your money will do so too! Another way to lose your fortune is to have the bathroom door in the wrong place. Is your front door directly opposite the bathroom door? If so, move the bathroom door or try to find a moveable partition or cabinet to stand between them so that incoming fortune will hit the partition or cabinet and stay inside your home, rather than disappearing down the toilet bowl.

Likewise, don’t let your bedroom door face towards the kitchen stove. th is associated with the The fire that b stove will burn everything including your health, your wealth, and your harmonious family relationships. Of course, instead of altering the kitchen door you can just find a nice curtain door, and hang it in front of the door. That will do the trick and protect you from burning up your fortune. Many people love fish and have an aquarium. However, don’t let them hurt your health by putting them inside your bedroom. According to the principles of feng shui, the moisture from the tank will make you sick. If, however, you keep them inside the living room, everything will be just fine. If you stock the tank with goldfish, koi, or other bright, shiny fish, your income may even increase! Many Westerners reading this will shake their heads in disbelief, but these are some of the most common t h i n g s t h a t Ta i w a n e s e p e o p l e will consider when designing and decorating their home.

Bin is an interior designer with almost thirty years of experience in Taiwan. In addition to running his own interior design studio (www. inkstone.ws), he recently started a small home maintenance service company (http://housewizard. wordpress.com/), in order to share his local knowledge about the ins and outs of home decoration with the expat community of Taipei. Whatever your household question may be, he’d love to hear from you.

www.communitycenter.org.tw MAY 2013

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Quinoa 藜麥 TExT: IVY CHEN

IMAGES: IVY CHEN & MAKOTO KAWABE

high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high blood fat. Quinoa is suitable for people on a gluten-free diet. Though we eat its seeds, it does not belong to the wheat family, but to the same group as beet, Swiss chard, and spinach.

an anCienT Crop ConTribuTes To Global fooD seCuriTy The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2013 as the "International Year of Quinoa" to address the challenge of producing good quality food to feed an increasing world population. Quinoa has been grown in all countries of the Andean region for over 5,000 years. Now it’s cultivated all over the world and grows under extremely varied weather conditions, from sea level

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up to 4,000 meters, from -8° to 38° C. It is drought tolerant and can grow in poor soil. In Taiwan, it grows in the south and east, mainly in indigenous villages.

usaGe The edible parts of quinoa include the tender leaves and seeds, while the stems are crushed to make fertilizer. The seeds are usually roasted and ground into flour for making noodles, bread, cakes, and cookies. It is also used in making millet wine (the traditional drink of Taiwanese indigenous peoples), beer, or chicha (the traditional drink of the Andes) as a koji (fermentation yeast). In cooking, quinoa can be used in salads, soups, desserts, and stuffings. Furthermore, medicinal, pharmaceutical, and industrial uses for quinoa have been developed. Quinoa seeds taste nutty or grassy when cooked. At least four types of

nuTriTion Quinoa contains high levels of protein – up to 35–40%. It’s the only food that has all the essential amino acids, trace elements, minerals, and vitamins. Because quinoa is so nutritious, it helps to reduce the risk of heart disease,

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quinoa are cultivated in Taiwan, including white quinoa (白藜麥, bái lí mài), black quinoa (黑藜麥, hēi lí mài), red quinoa (紅藜麥, hóng lí mài) and djulis (紅藜, hóng lí). COOKING IDEAS Try something new instead of always eating rice or pasta with your meals; experiment with quinoa in dishes such as djulis and almond tile, djulis rice and shrimp hand sushi

rolls (te m aki), djulis rice cheese balls, duck breast and djulis salad with marmalade sauce, djulis and white quinoa coated pork chop with Florence fennel salad, white quinoa and rice pudding, white quinoa and spring vegetable soup with croutons, black quinoa with pork hamburger, and ginger flavored pork with djulis noodles.

Where to buy quinoa: http://kullku.com/howtobuy.html Or order by phone: (04) 2246-8598 or 0952-188-355 Source: Part of this article is excerpted from The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Ender’s Shadow

By Orson Scott Card ISBN: 978-0765342409 Published by Tor Books

A

TexT: Shereen Lee

n a m e l e s s, u n d e r s i z e d four-year-old child roams the unfriendly streets of Rotterdam, a city deeply impacted by the Second Formic War and full of street urchins who wouldn’t hesitate to pound skulls into pulp for a scrap of apple. Tiny and alone, he learns to fight not with his fists but with his extraordinary brains. Wa r i s a p p r o a c h i n g; a n a l i e n species, known as Buggers, is about to attack. A recruiter, in a desperate attempt to find leaders, tests a group of street urchins and is taken aback when she finds a hidden genius a m o n g s t t h e m. H e i s s m a l l b u t bright, and his name is Bean. When Bean arrives at Battle School, an academy in outer space designed to single out geniuses to become commanders defending Earth from the aliens threatening to destroy the planet, he is the youngest and smartest pupil, but he is constantly being compared to the shining star of the academy, Ender Wiggin. Will he ever step out of Ender’s shadow and finally be recognized for his true worth? I loved Ender’s Shadow, especially Bean whose character undergoes

i m m e n s e p e r s o n a l g r o w t h. H i s only weakness is one of his greatest strengths; his toughness makes him more like a perfect machine than a human, but his character transforms greatly. The originally unpassionate Bean manages to become a truly human character with actual emotions, which, in the end, makes him more breathtakingly real than any character I’ve known. Ender’s Shadow is a companion to the science fiction/dystopian novel Ender’s Game, and there are several parallels between the two stories: both are about an exceptional child trying to fit in and succeed, and in both stories the child has a nemesis who haunts his thoughts and an advocate who seems to betray him. Upon multiple readings of both novels, more and more parallels pop out; however, I find the characters of Ender and Bean to be extremely different. For example, Ender seems to sink further and further inside himself as he tries to protect himself from the dangers that threaten him from outside, while Bean starts as a cold, survival machine – a product of his battles to stay alive on the streets of Rotterdam as a toddler

– but as he moves on, he reaches out to protect himself from his own external dangers. Even though there were faults, and I didn’t like all aspects of the book, Ender’s Shadow is still one of my alltime favorite books, telling Bean's story satisfyingly and providing a new perspective on its companion, Ender’s Game. I’m confident that everyone who reads this book will devour it just like I did. Orson Scott Card has done a terrific job of, in his words, “[telling] the same story twice, but differently.” Shereen Lee is a sixth grader attending Taipei American School who has a passion for writing and reading inspired by her family and friends. Want more? Go to her blog at http:// booknuttereviews.wordpress.com.

www.communitycenter.org.tw MAY 2013

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Just a few of the things that are going on around Taipei this month... Taipei City hall May 4th & 5th h An Urban and Rural T Tr Tribute: ibute Ta ibute: T Taipei ipei Carnival Venue: V Ve nue: City Hall Square and surrounding streets http://english.taipei.gov.tw 1 Shifu Road

riverside live house Every Thursday through Sunday Mini Concerts: A Platform for Original, Next-Generation Music Call: (02) 2370-8805 for schedules and tickets http://www.riverside.com.tw/ 177 Xining South Road

Taipei Confucius Temple May 11th & 25th Savoring the Sweetness of Spring Tea: Fine Tea Appreciation and Tasting Call: (02) 2592-3934, ext. 22 for reservations 275 Dalong Street

suhu paper memorial museum Until June 1st Flowing Scenery: Mu-ge Huang Solo Exhibition http://www.suhopaper.org.tw/en/ en_index.html 68 Changan East Road, Section 2

Taipei fine arts museum May 18th International Museum Day: Annual Public Cultural Event First floor entrance Hsin-yueh Lin: Enchanting Taiwan Until May 5th Galleries: 3A, 3B, 3C http://www.tfam.museum/ 181 Zhongshan North Road, Section 3 Taipei Zoo Until December 31st Special Exhibit: All About the Snakes In the Year of the Snake http://www.zoo.taipei.gov.tw 30 Xinguang Road, Section 2

eDuCaTion

mover

national Taiwan museum Until September 22nd Special Exhibition: The Food Arc Gallery: G301 & G302 http://www.ntm.gov.tw 2 Xiangyang Road

The red room 3rd Saturday of the month, 6:30 - 10:30 pm national palace museum Stage Time & Wine Until November 3rd http://www.redroom.com.tw/ Voyage With the Tailwind: Qing Archival 2F, 117 Da-an Road, Section 1 and Cartographical Materials on Maritime History May 19, 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm Gallery: 104 Red Room Radio Redux presents The http://www.npm.gov.tw/en/ Tragedy of Macbet h 221 Zhishan Road, Section 2 http://www.redroom.com.tw/red-roomradio-redux/ puppetry art Center of Taipei National Taiwan University College of Daily 10 am - 5 pm except Mondays Medicine, 1 Renai Road, Section 1 DIY Puppetry Class: Kids and Young at Heart Make Their Own Puppets spoT Taipei – film house Call: (02) 2528-9553 for schedules Daily Noon to Midnight, six showings http: //www.pact.org.tw Avant-garde Cross Cultural Films 2F, 99 Civic Boulevard, Section 5 http://www.spot.org.tw/index_e.htm 18 Zhongshan North Road, Section 2

csc Business clAssified beauTy

hair Dresser

#14 Tienmu E. Road

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national museum of history Until May 26th Exhibition: Xiao De-Yang’s Stone Carving from the Heart Gallery: 2F, Corridor http://www.nmh.gov.tw/en-us/Home.aspx 49 Nanhai Road

| Telephone 2871-1515 | GP168@hotmail.com.tw

MAY 2013 www.communitycenter.org.tw

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Centered on Taipei May 2013  

An English language lifestyle magazine produced for the International Community in Taiwan.

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