Centered on Taipei March 17

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A publication of the Community Services Center


Vol. 17 | 05

MAR 2017

Women in Taiwan

CONTENTS March 2017 volume 17 issue 6


From the Editors Kiddies Korner Activities Highlights Center Gallery March 2017 Events about Town CSC Business Classified

Publisher Editor Co-editor Advertising Manager Magazine Email Tel Fax Community Services Center Editorial Panel Printed by

5 6 7 7 8 33

Community Services Center, Taipei Suzan Babcock Richard Saunders Naomi Kaly

02-2836-8134 02-2835-2530

Siew Kang, Fred Voigtmann Farn Mei Printing Co., Ltd. 1F, No. 102, Hou Kang Street, Shilin District, Taipei Tel: 02-2882-6748 Fax: 02-2882-6749 E-mail:

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: Correspondence may be sent to the editor at coteditor@ 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 2017. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner. COT is printed on FSC certified 100% post-consumer recycled fiber. The paper is certified in accordance with the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council which promotes environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests.

Community TAS TES

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Community profiles

Diane Baker, Carolyn Chou, Alice Ballard, Mayumi Hu, Gail West, Eva Salazar-Liu, Karen Farley, Lansing Chen, Sue Whiteley, Lisa West


interview Zee Dlamini –

A Lady of Fashion from the Kingdom of Swaziland


fashion & beauty The Women Who Dared


travel Maling Hot Spring



Women and Water Retention

parents' view

Why Our 4th Grade Son Cannot Have an iPhone


Aim for Success, not Perfection


Roma Mehta, Andrea Toerien




34 MARCH 2017



OL Everyone needs to know why... We’ll help your whole family prepare for the big adventure. • Child-centered American Curriculum • QualiďŹ ed & Experienced Teachers • Engaging Outdoor Play Spaces • Low Student/Teacher Ratios • International Community Environment • Fun Afternoon Classes for Young Children

• Pre-Two-Year-Old Tigger’s Playgroup • Half/Full-day option for 2’s & 3’s • 2/3/5 days a week option for 2’s • Full-day Pre-K & Kindergarten • Mandarin Playgroups for all ages • Grade School Language & Literacy

Located in & adjacent to the Taipei American School Campus

Taipei Youth Program Association

We’d love to introduce you to our diverse and incredibly special community of learners! Please call to arrange a visitation.

TYPA Main OfďŹ ce: 2873-1815


MARCH 2017

Crown’s service offerings include: s s s s s s s



Go knowing

WWW CROWNRELO COM TAIWAN CR ad Euroview AprMay.indd 1

22/3/2016 3:40:25 PM

CoveR iMAGe:

the Calla Lilies of Zuhzihu by virginia Lee For more information, please go to our website at

From the eDitors

Cot teAM

Please send email submissions, comments, and feedback to

March 8th is International Women’s Day.

Suzan Babcock Editor

Richard Saunders Co-editor

Naomi Kaly Advertising Manager



KC Graphic Designer

Zee Dlamini Editorial intern

Normita Kavra Gupta Editorial intern


WRitinG AnD PHotoGRAPHy ContRiButoRS Sue Babcock Alice Ballard British Office Taipei Katherine Chang Lansing Chen Michelle Cheung Carolyn Chou Peter Dernbach Zee Dlamini Karen Farley Nomita Kavra Gupta Joyce Hu Tony Hu Virginia Lee

Brenda Lin Eva Salazar-Liu Roma Mehta Pai Su-yu Priya Lalwani Purswaney Joseph Reilly Richard Saunders Rosemary Susa TAS, TES Grace Ting Andrea Toerien Gail West Lisa West Whitney Zahar

Pick COT up at: Uptown: Community Services Center, No. 25, Lane 290, Sec. 6, Zhongshan North Rd. Sprout – No. 33, Sec. 7, Zhongshan North Rd. George Pai’s Beauty – No. 14, Tienmu East Rd. Downtown: Grandma Nitti’s Kitchen – 8, Lane 93, Shida Rd. Ooh Cha Cha – 207, Sec.2, Nanchang Rd. NakedFood – 22-1, Lane 160, Sec.1, Xingsheng South Rd. Samyama (Art) Co., Ltd. – 2F, No. 1, Lane 119, Sec.1, Daan Rd.

CoMMunity SeRviCeS CenteR 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 and drop by the Center to chat with us about our programs. you can also email us at

In Taiwan and throughout the world, people will come together locally and globally to commemorate, celebrate, reflect, plan and implement activities pertaining to women and issues that affect them. This issue of Centered on Taipei (COT), “Women in Taiwan – their stories” is our third year for honoring women in Taiwan. W i t h e a c h M a rc h i s s u e , wo m e n h ave s h a re d t h e i r experiences, creativity, interests, personal and professional journeys, challenges, frustrations, successes and messages of encouragement with other women. Each woman’s story reflects her own space and place within a larger one, the Taiwan story – a tale of a nation filled with rich diversity. This year, we are also celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Community Services Center. Reaching out to the international and local communities, “the Center,” as it is affectionately known, provides a wide range of cross-cultural activities, tours and trips, a monthly morning coffee hour (featuring a wide variety of speakers), counseling and cross-cultural services. Volunteers generously donate their time and talents to help the Center carry-on its day-to-day activities, to show enthusiastic community support for the Center’s major fundraiser & auction events, its classes, tours, special events and for Centered on Taipei, the Center’s magazine. We are grateful to each and every one of you. We cordially invite you to come to the Center. Stop by for a steaming cup of coffee or tea and a good chat. We are here for you.

Sue and Richard Accountant Activities Coordinator Assistant Activities Coordinator Coffee Mornings Coordinator Cross-cultural trainer Communications events Coordinator Mandarin Chinese teacher Systems Manager

Monica Cheng Rosemary Susa


Miyuki Boice, Daniel Chan, John Imbrogulio, Ann Lu Fiona Mackelworth, Leslie McFarlane, John McQuade Gloria Peng, Emmy Shih

Undine Urbach John Imbrogulio Anne Jacquet Raleigh Holmes Shan Lee Gloria Gwo Sara Riggsby


Adam McMillan

office Manager

Grace Ting



I-wen Chan, Katherine Chang, Hui-shiang Chao, Jung Chin, Chiao-Feng Chung, Cerita Hsu, Carol Lee, Miranda Lin, Emilie Ma, Kuang-Shan Wan

Bai Win Antiques European Chamber of Commerce Grand Hyatt Taipei

Premier Sponsors

Concordia Consulting ICRT San Fu Global

Counseling Admin.

Joanne Chua MARCH 2017



Fun Activities for Kiddies Here are some places to visit with your busy-bee kids to keep them buzzing!! TexT: NomiTa Kavra gupTa





Holi 2017 - indian spring festival

It's Indian Spring Festival again, known as Holi. Spend the day outdoors, celebrating the beauty of powdered watercolor paint with community-wide merriment, musical performances, and Indian food and drinks.

Date: March 12 Time: 11 am – 3:30 pm Telephone: (02)-2720-0011, 0920099-979 https://www.indianfoodtaiwan. com/mik-holi-taipei-taiwan-2017

play space

A great indoor play area for children from two months and up, featuring matted and padded areas for infants, educational toys, wooden blocks, puzzles, a sand and water room, climber, tunnel, books, a dress-up and house play area, and an arts and crafts area.

Address: 22, Lane 265, Xinyi Road, Section 1 Telephone: (02) 2784-0326 Time: Tuesday to Friday, 10 am – 6 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9: 30 am – 5 pm Closed on Mondays and national holidays. http://www.playspace. Admission fee: NT$250 for three hours per child (one adult per child for free)

stJuice XXii: tHe MarcH Hare

Stage Time and Juice has invited special guest artists Constance Woods and magician Burke Giordano for this event. For those who wish to share something funny or wise with a song, dance, story or joke, there will be a signup sheet at the door. Everyone else is welcome to sit back and enjoy the friendship. Juice and snacks can be bought at Bessie, the Red Room Bar.

Address: Taiwan Air Force Innovation Base (TAF) 2F library, 177, Jianguo S. Road, Section 5 (Intersection of Jianguo S. Rd. and Jinan Rd.) Telephone: 0910-947-307 Date and Time: Saturday, March 18, 2:30 – 5:30 pm Fee: NT$150 per adult, NT$100 per child (ages 5-18) to cover cleaning costs. events/#stj

yangMing park, flower clock

The Flower Clock is a large garden artwork near the western entrance to the Yangming park. Yangming Park is close to the visitors center and the main bus station for the Yangmingshan National Park. The park contains a Chinese-style garden with elegant buildings, pavilions, kiosks, streams, fountains and ponds. From December through April, the landscape is adorned with native cherry, plum, camellia and peach.

Address: 1-20, Zhuzihu Road, Beitou District, Yangmingshan, Taipei City Telephone: (02) 2861-3601 Office Service hours: 8:30 am – 5 pm, Monday to Friday Headquarters Visitor Center Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Telephone: (02)-2861-5741 Other Visitor Center hours: 9 am – 4:30 pm index.php?option=com_content &view=featured&gp=0&itemid= 104

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MARCH Activity HigHligHts Taiwan's North Coast: An Adventure to Fugui Cape and Laomei Algae Reef Wednesday, March 15th 8:45 am – 2 pm; $800 Guide: Richard Saunders The area around Fugui Cape, the northernmost point of the main island of Taiwan, is the focus of this scenic walking tour along Taiwan’s northern coast. From Tamsui, we will take a public bus to the village of Laomei, where we w i l l v i s i t t h e u n i q u e Laomei Algae Reef on the seashore near the village. This natural curiosity, formed by volcanic eruptions in Yangmingshan millions of years ago, is covered in a thick carpet of bright green algae and seaweed during the early months of the year, and is a favorite subject with both local and foreign photographers. We will then walk along the seashore, following the beach and surfaced paths, out to the tip of Fugui Cape, crowned by a lighthouse. The tour finishes with a visit to the traditional fishing harbor nearby, before returning to Tamsui by bus. Bring your EasyCard; wear sturdy walking shoes, and bring sun/rain protection as needed.

A Visit with Local Artist Tim Budden Monday, March 20th 9:45 am – 12 noon; $600 Guide/Instructor: Rosemary Susa and Tim Budden Tim Budden is an established British artist living in Taiwan who uses paper cutting as his medium and has taken this traditional Chinese craft and made it into a unique and personal art form. Tim has used his work to tell stories about living in Taiwan, and his own personal history is quite fascinating. Join the Center for a visit with Tim at his Beitou studio located in Polymer, an old warehouse, home to nearly twenty artists and the Lab Theater. (Tim describes the space as “cool and grungy!”) You will learn about his work, enjoy a demonstration of how he uses paint and color, and have a chance to try your hand at a simple mini-paper cutting project. Sky Lanterns and Waterfalls: Pingxi Township and Shifen Village Wednesday, March 22nd 9 am – 3 pm; $1,600 Guide: Jennifer Tong The first stop on this fun, full-day tour is the beautiful

MarcH gallery

Shifen Waterfall, the widest in Taiwan. It’s a great place to take some striking photos. From there we will go to the quaint village of Shifen, part of Pingxi township, famous for its annual sky lantern festival. There you’ll have the chance to construct, decorate and send off your own sky lantern (included in the tour fee). We will have time to wander about the village and shop for souvenirs and local treats. Yo u m ay b r i n g a p a c ke d lunch from home or eat in one of Shifen’s cute little restaurants. Getting the Most Out of Your Overseas Experience: A Workshop for Expatriate Spouses March 16th & 23rd 12 noon – 2 pm; $1,200 Instructor: Anne Jacquet As an accompanying expatriate spouse you m ay f i n d yo u rs e l f fa c e d with unique challenges in your role as the pillar and co n sta nt i n yo u r m o b i l e family. Balancing everyone’s n e e d s a n d p e rs p e c t i v e s (including your own) is no easy feat. During this fun and productive workshop, you will have the chance

to assess how things are going for you and your family; explore how you can make your stay in Taiwan an enriching experience; a n d h o w y o u r Ta i w a n journey can be used to contribute meaningfully to yo u r f u t u re l i fe. T h i s workshop will also help to deepen your knowledge and understanding of Taiwan and its culture. Refreshments included. Very Vietnamese: Restaurant Favorites Friday, March 24th 10 am – 12 noon; $1,200 Instructor: Thang Phan Join the Center for a delicious Vietnamese cooking class, and learn how to make some classic restaurant favorites. Here’s yo u r c h a n c e to t r y yo u r hand at making spring rolls. T h a n g w i l l d e m o n st rate two types: fresh shrimp and vegetable spring rolls (gỏi cuốn) and fried minced pork, mushroom and vegetable spring rolls (chả giò). Also on the menu will be beef noodle soup (Phở bò); followed by banana fritters with sesame (chuối chiên) for dessert. If you love Vietnamese food, don't miss this class!

A percentage of all proceeds of items sold at the Gallery will go to the Center. Please remember that by displaying your items or shopping at the Gallery, you will be helping the Center to continue to provide valuable services to the international community.

kristi tHornbury Kristi is our newest advocate for healthy living. To introduce some pure, safe, non-toxic & eco-friendly skin care and nutrient products, Kristi has carefully selected items that will appeal to individuals familiar with Taipei living. All items are certified as being vegan and gluten-free. Kristi is available to answer questions and to provide suggestions about her products. Contact her at, and she will be happy to share her expertise with you.

Morning book club The Sister by Louise Jensen Meeting on March 8 at: 10:30 am For meeting location contact:

Evening book club The Sister by Louise Jensen Meeting on March 30. For meeting location and time, please contact: MARCH 2017



events about town FESTIVALS

Yangmingshan Flower Festival This is one of the most popular flower festivals in Taiwan. Crowds of visitors flock each spring to Yangmingshan to see Mother Nature’s annual display of sakura (cherry), azalea and camellia blooms. Many international and local visitors will add this to their outdoor activities, so please be advised to schedule enough transportation time for your visit. WHEN: until March 19 WHERE: Yangmingshan Park, 1-20 Zhuzihu Road, Shilin District (near the terminus of buses R5 and 260) Call: Citizen Hotline: 1999 for information

Zhuzihu (Bamboo Lake) Calla Lily Festival The Zhuzihu Calla Lily Festival will kick-off on March 20th. The main attraction at this year’s festival will be a series of concerts within a landscape of great natural beauty. Participating calla lily farms will take turns hosting concerts

throughout the festival. Guided group tours (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) will be offered on weekends and holidays. During the tour participants will travel to various scenic attractions at Zhuzihu and Yangmingshan, enjoy flower-picking, food, hot-spring bathing, and other activities. WHEN: March 20 – April 23 WHERE: Zhuzihu, Yangmingshan Taipei City Azalea Festival Spring has sprung, judging from the flower festivals happening around Taiwan. Be sure to include among your plans a visit to the Taipei City Azalea Festival. Visitors can appreciate these colorful flowers, listen to music, stroll around the city, join guided tours, or go shopping in the nearby markets during the festival. WHEN: March 1 – April 4 WHERE: Gongguan Commercial District, Museum of Drinking Water, National Taiwan University, and Daan Park

Treasure Hill Artist Village “Light” Festival Whether you are a creative spirit or you simply enjoy being around an artistic environment, this festival is definitely worth visiting. This year’s light festival is an excellent example of maximizing what the Treasure Hill Artist Village has to offer.

Featured will be workshops, a creative market and outdoor performing arts. This is unique and not to be missed. WHEN: March 25 – April 30 WHERE: 25, Lane 230, Section 3, Tingzhou Road, Zhongzheng District (Gongguan MRT, exit one) MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE Sappho LIVE Enjoy a laid-back and cool music environment in downtown Taipei. Live music, dance floor, bar and good food. Also mic/jam sessions. Tuesday to Friday, 8 pm – 3 am Venue: B1, 1, Lane 102, Anhe Road, Section 1 Further information:

WHERE: Taipei City Hall and surrounding area (Sections 1 to 4, Renai Road, Xinyi District) tw/ EXHIBITIONS Taipei International Cycle Show This four-day event will showcase a wide range of cycle products and accessories. Items include bicycles, spare parts, frames, wheel parts, cycle repair equipment, brakes, batteries and even some items for a rickshaw or two. WHEN: March 22 – 25 WHERE: Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 1 Nangang District (Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center MRT)


Tour de Taiwan 2017 The Tour de Taiwan is an annual professional road bicycle race. It was first held in 1978, and since 2005 has been a part of the UCI Asia Tour. In 2012, it was classified as a 2.1 category race. This year, there will be 24 international teams competing. Cyclists from the Tour de France, Tour de Italy, and Tour de Spain have been invited to attend this year’s event. A stage of the race will be held near Taipei City Hall and surrounding area. WHEN: March 26

SEEING Project Wine Night @ NakedFood The SEEING project aims at rehoming shelter animals by increasing their exposure to the public. Join us at our wine and canapé evening at NAKEDFOOD as we raise funds to assist their cause. WHEN: March 11 at 7 pm WHERE: NakedFood, 22-1, Lane 160, Section 1, Xinsheng South Road, Zhongzheng District http://nkdfood.delicioustaipei. com/shop/eventbookings/ seeing-project-wine-night/

Taiwan 101: Essential Sights, Hikes and Experiences on Ilha Formosa by Richard Saunders Taiwan 101 presents Taiwan’s finest attractions to anyone who wishes to get to know this island of kaleidoscopic charms, complete with transport information and GPS coordinates of nearly 800 fascinating places.


MARCH 2017

Community | TAS

taipei American school Participates in the Lantern Festival TexT & imageS: TaS


or years, Taiwan has earned international recognition for its beautiful celebration of the Lantern Festival. From the Pingxi sky lanterns to the Yanshui beehive fireworks, each corner of Taiwan celebrates the holiday in its own unique way. In Taipei, residents honor the tradition with enormous lantern sculptures depicting themes relating to the Chinese Zodiac. This year, Taipei American School joined the Taipei festival and created a lantern. The lantern itself is an enormous peacock spreading its wings in front of Taipei's North Gate. The peacock represents the Year of the Rooster, and its sprawling feathers represent life and rebirth. This is particularly meaningful as it relates to the recent revitalization of the historic North Gate, where, fittingly, the festival took place. TA S l o w e r s c h o o l a r t t e a c h e r Stephanie Lee coordinated the effort of constructing this magnificent lantern. She worked with students in all three divisions, parents, administrators,

faculty, and staff during the first s e m e ste r a n d a l l t h ro u g h w i nte r break to bring the peacock to life. Special thanks to her assistants Jacky Lin and Zoe Kuo for their invaluable contributions and hard work. Visiting Artist Mr. Tim Budden worked with students and parents to facilitate the paper cutting details installed on the lantern. He hosted a number of engaging workshops and classes where

volunteers of all ages designed different parts. The Parent Teacher Association's Special Grant Program made this opportunity possible. The result is a colorful and detailed lantern full of symbolism and beauty. The TAS peacock entry earned second place in the Primary School Division competition and was on display from February 4-12 near Taipei's North Gate. MARCH 2017


Community | TES

Talking point: TES French Section TexT & imageS: TeS


hether it’s happened while you’ve been loading your shopping c a r t i n C a r re fo u r, o r while you’ve been sipping your latte at a mums’ and babies’ meetup, it has probably happened to you – you’ve ove r h e a rd s o m e o n e, s o m ew h e re talking about TES French Section (FS) in excited tones. The French school at the heart of TES has doubled its student numbers in the past three years and now has waiting lists in place for its classes from the petite Section (3 years old) to Terminale class (18 years old). It’s the fastest growing French school in the Asia-Pacific region, and quite possibly the fastest growing international school in Taiwan. What, then, is all the hype about? “Firstly,” laughs Head of School, JeanYves Vesseau, “let me quash the rumor


MARCH 2017

that the French Section’s recent growth is all down to me!” It is Vesseau’s fourth year as head of the FS, and it is tempting to see a connection between the school’s growth and his taking over at the helm. Vesseau explains that when he arrived at TES in August 2013, the first thing that struck him was the quality of teaching at the FS: “The teachers’ dedication to their students’ well-being and success, their professionalism and creativity, their vision of learning that always has the child at its center – it was clear to me from day one that this was a very special school.” The French Section’s innovative French-English learning pathway has been in place since 2007. Students following that pathway have three native speaking teachers – one French, one English and one Mandarin. The language of instruction alternates daily between French and English, with children also taking Chinese Language and Culture lessons four or five days a week. Once the children progress up to secondary, they choose a fourth language – Spanish or German – with an option to study Latin if they are interested. In 2013, there were 170 children following the French Section’s innovative and rigorous multilingual academic program. “It felt as though this little school was Taiwan’s best-kept secret,” shares the head of school. The secret is well and truly out!

The French Section now has a student body of approximately 340 children. With the introduction of a special FAL (French as an Additional Language) pathway, the FS has opened its doors to increasing numbers of non-Frenchspeaking students. Newcomers to the French language reap the benefits of instruction in French and in English alongside their classmates, while also following smaller “survival” French l e s s o n s t a i l o r e d t o t h e i r n e e d s. “The potential of children to pick up languages is simply staggering, especially among the very young,” acknowledges Vesseau, “and it is a true pleasure and privilege to offer more children the possibility to access that potential.” Personalized learning pathways, international exchange programs and coding events are just some of the innovations the French Section has seen in the past three years. The most ground-breaking, however, has been the decision to open the FS past middle school all the way to the end of High School. Was it a difficult decision to make? “No, not at all,” Vesseau replies, “it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. If we are going to take children on this exciting and demanding learning journey from 3 years of age, well, it seemed obvious that we have to take them right through to the end – preparing them fully for university at 18 with the French Baccalauréat .” The Bac, as the French call it, is the oldest of high school diplomas – introduced in France by Napoleon h i m s e l f. F o u r t e e n t h o u s a n d international students sat the Bac last year; it is renowned for its long hours of study, the depth and breadth of the knowledge covered in the course content, and for the extra credits Bac

Community | TES

graduates receive when they start college and university in the US or Canada. Full marks in the Bac are nearly impossible to come by, something which sets it apart from other high school diplomas. “Admissions departments the world over know the French Bac and its reputation for being a tough exam. I feel that in preparing our students to take the Bac, we are giving them an edge over other applicants to universities and third-level institutions around the world,” affirms Vesseau. “Universities nowadays are looking for diversity and for rarer talents, and what could be rarer than a

Taiwanese candidate with high marks in the French national diploma in a variety of subjects from Science and Economics to History and Philiosophy? We a l s o o f f e r o u r B a c s t u d e n t s the added benefit of English and Chinese International Baccalaureate m o d u l e s.” Fo r i n d eed, i n t ru e FS style, their version of the French Bac is personalized to meet the profile of their multilingual students; FS students sit the Bac in French, with Mandarin, English, Spanish or German as their second and third languages, while simultaneously sitting the International Baccalaureate language models in

English or Mandarin. They prepare for the International Baccalaureate exams in English and Chinese alongside their TES British High School classmates. If you would like to get to know the French Section better, to take a tour of the campus and meet Jean-Yves Vesseau, along with the French Section teaching team, you are invited to their Open Day on Saturday 18th March from 10 am to 2 pm at the TES Primary C a m p u s o n We n l i n Ro a d. Fre n c h Section teachers and parents would be delighted to tell you more about their personalized learning pathways and vision of teaching and learning.

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community | profile

The Fabulous Diane Baker TexT: PeTer DernBacH iMageS: PeTer DernBacH, ManDy gaineS


ven if you have not met Diane Baker in person, you may well have connected with her already in any of a number of ways. Diane has lived in Taiwan for three decades, and for much of that time has worked in bringing news of the world to English language readers and listeners in Taiwan. Diane worked for years with ICRT's news team, and in recent years has been working as an editor and reporter at the Taipei Times. Developing from her earlier work in radio, Diane has provided the recordings for the English language voice-overs at all of Taiwan’s airports, so Diane may well have welcomed you to Taiwan, or reminded you to head toward your gate in order to make your flight. Diane has also been an active member and supporter of The Community Services Center, including her current role as a member of the Steering Community. If you have met Diane, then you are sure to know she is a consummate story-teller. Diane has a gift for capturing the essence of a person, place or event and sharing it in a way that truly makes you feel as if you had been there yourself.

Diane and Mandy Gaines


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Diane has used that gift in her jobs in media, serving as a bridge to bring news of the world to an English-language audience in Taiwan. What you may not know is that Diane is also a doyenne of dance in Taiwan. Diane is one of Taiwan dance's most passionate and active ambassadors, sharing reviews, stories and developments of dance in Taiwan with a global audience.Diane's gift for story-telling is matched by her a passion for dance, and she has combined these in reviews and features that highlight the unique gifts, talents and interpretations of Taiwan's composers and dancers with a wider audience, both in Taiwan and around the world. Diane has chronicled the continuing flourishing of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre as it went from strength to strength and developed a reputation as one of the preeminent contemporary dance troupes in the world. Cloud Gate's groundbreaking founder, Lin Hwai-min, founded the troupe in 1973 and has developed a style of dance that fuses meditation, tai chi, martial arts, ballet and contemporary dance into a unique dance idiom. Lin Hwai-min himself is a creative story-teller, and many of the troupe's best known works draw on folk tales, historical stories and cultural tropes. Diane credits Cloud Gate with helping ensure the primacy of an indigenous language of dance and fostering a "national and family pride that is very rare for a dance or theater company." In 2008, Diane let readers in Taiwan and around the world know about the devastating fire that destroyed the rehearsal and storage space where Cloud Gate had worked for years. While many of the historical set designs and archival material can never be recovered, Cloud Gate is now happily in a new home in Tamsui where they produce Cloud Gate performances and dance shows from other troupes, as well as other musical performances. Diane has also covered the development of Cloud Gate 2, an

Diane and Peter Dernbach

off-shoot of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, through its early years under Artistic Director Lo Man-fei, and its continuing development as a platform for young choreographers. Cloud Gate is by no means the only major dance troupe in Taipei, and Diane has also chronicled the visually mesmerizing works of the Legend Lin Dance Theatre. Choreographer Lin Lee-chen takes years to develop each work, which often draw on religious rituals and natural rhythms. Legend Lin Dance Theatre's trilogy of Miroirs de Vie, Hymns aux Fleurs qui Passent, and Song of Pensive Beholding premiered between 1998 and 2009. Of Lin's work, Diane wrote: "the cumulative effect is both meditative and hypnotic, sending the audience into a trance-like state where time no longer seems to matter, only the ritual. Tableaux unfold, the world changes, and yet the differences are difficult to register." While Diane's reviews have not have been limited to dance, she has likely witnessed and recorded the debuts and development of more stars of dance in Taiwan than anyone else writing in English. In identifying the young choreographers, dancers and troupes to watch over the years, Diane has introduced the wider audience to the E-Dance Theater, Taipei Dance Circle, Jade Dance Theatre, Horse and others. She is constantly open to discovering new voices and new

community | profile creative directions in Taiwan dance, and regularly attends the graduation performances at the National Taiwan Universtiy of the Arts. Diane has seen Taiwanese dancers like Sheu Fang-yi head overseas to international aclaim (Sheu was a principal dancer w i t h t h e M a r t h a G ra h a m D a n c e C o m p a ny i n N e w Yo r k) a n d t h e n later return to Taiwan to establish their own companies. Many of these choreographers, dancers and artistic

directors have Diane on speed-dial, and she continues to have her finger on the pulse of dance on the island. If you are interested in learning more, go online and check out Diane's many stories, features and reviews. It is an an Internet course in the development of the contemporary dance scene in Taiwan. And keep your eye out for Diane at the Center, or at any dance performances around Taiwan. She will be sure to be there, continuing to bring

together dance lovers from around the world in celebration of new and old forms of movement. Pe t e r i s a n A m e r i c a n I P lawyer at Winkler Partners who first came to Taiwan to study Chinese in the 1990s. He enjoys hiking all ov er Taiwan, practicing yoga, and sharing a good meal or performance with T he Fabulous Diane Baker.

Carolyn Chou –

Meeting a Better You

TexT & images: Carolyn Chou


s a woman, a motivational s p e a ke r a n d e d u c a t o r, I am aware of the different roles and responsibilities that women face and strive to fulfill throughout their lives. Their challenges can be enormous. But when broken down into small, manageable goals and strategies, many of these challenges can be overcome. When they are, well-deserved and hard-won success follows. However, there are times, when we get into a slump. Our energy is at a low ebb and we are totally lacking in motivation. This slump can be temporary or it can lead into a cycle of negativity, depleting any remaining energy, causing us to get stuck. Because of my profession, I hear on

a daily basis my friends and students endlessly complain about their lives. They blame their bosses, the organization that they work for, their families and children for everything that is going wrong in their lives. They lump everything together into one tightly wrapped “blame package.” Then, they spend valuable time thinking negatively about everything in their lives. They reach out to find others who are also going to respond in a negative manner, and soon a circle of negative individuals has been formed. Negativity becomes the main focus of this group. It pulls people down and it is difficult to extract oneself from it, unless there is a significant mindset or attitude shift. There are several action steps that help to regain self-motivation. First, realize that you may not be able to choose or control your circumstances, but what you can control is your attitude about what is happening around you. The first is to be around positive, productive people. Find one or two people who you can share your ideas with, or have a good laugh or two with. Next, stop thinking too much. Find someone to help you to see what goals you would like to set for yourself. Write them down and set reasonable

time limits for doing them. Keep it simple. Follow your progress. Even the smallest step that you have completed is a success. Note your small successes and share them with others. You will probably become a motivator in their lives with your success. However, the most important thing that I would like to emphasize is to stay positive. Being able to “meet a better you” is worth all your attention and effort.

Carolyn Chou is the CEO of Silver Seed Ltd., a professional trainer, President of the Business Professional Women's Club, Taipei's Tenyuan Club and popular author of Bees Coming (Mandarin Chinese), a book about women and leadership. MARCH 2017


Community | prOFilE

Alice Ballard –

A Lady of Community Service and Compassion TexT: Sue BaBCoCK imageS: THe BriTiSH oFFiCe Taipei


oday there are many desperate people in the w o r l d fa c i n g a n d m a k i n g appalling choices for a variety of reasons. Many risk imprisonment. Some escape the consequences of their choices; others do not. Those in prison have little or no outside contact with the daily world. Most are far from their homes, like the foreign prisoners here in Taiwan. Too often, they are forgotten by their friends and sometimes their families, but not by Alice Ballard. As a Volunteer Prison Visitor to British and other foreign prisoners at the Taipei Prison, for the last thirteen years Alice has consistently offered moral support and help to prisoners who seek outside contact. For someone outside the immediate prison community, Alice has been a pillar of strength for these British and foreign prisoners. Her encouragement, c o m p a s s i o n , s e n s e o f h u m o r, recruitment of other volunteers, endless supply of English language books, reading sessions for those who could not read, and timely visits to men struggling with their incarceration have

become legendary hallmarks of this remarkable woman. Alice was especially sensitive to those prisoners who never received visits from family or friends, and who were servicing long sentences. Her weekly and holiday visits brought much joy and feelings of gratitude to these men. Upon learning of Alice’s award, one incarcerated man shared in his letter to a staff colleague at the Taipei Community Services Center, “…I am not sure how this has all come about, but I can say that this honor is richly deserved and I could not be happier that it has been bestowed on Alice.” Alice has also been a popular guest speaker with Taiwanese and international university students at the National Taiwan Normal University (N T N U), w h e r e I w a s a f u l l-t i m e member of the faculty. Those attending her lectures and presentations included students majoring in social work, counseling, education, music, media communication, family, and civic education, to name a few. As an advocate for visiting i n c a rc e ra te d B r i t i s h a n d fo re i g n prisoners, Alice shared with students her

experiences with the Volunteer Prison Visitor Program at the Taipei Prison. For the majority of students, this was their first time to learn about prison volunteer visitation programs. T h e i r q u e st i o n s we re t h o u g ht f u l and indicative of their willingness to promote or become Volunteer Prison Visitors in the future. With each university visit, Alice planted valuable seeds of awareness and deeper understanding among the NTNU students. She also established a viable means for interested and concerned individuals to give back to society, and to the less fortunate. She established another community link to those in need. Alice Ballard, a lady of community service and great compassion, Taiwan salutes you.

S u za n B a b c o c k i s a long-time resident of Taiwan. During her stay here, she has managed four successful careers in education, cross-cultural relations and counseling, although b eing a mother has been her favorite.


MARCH 2017

Community | prOFilE

Mayumi Hu –

A Community Volunteer and Advocate of Change TexT & imageS: ToNy Hu


ver since Mayumi Hu’s arrival in Taiwan almost ten years ago, she has dedicated herself to both improving Taiwan’s animal welfare and helping Taiwan’s young people achieve their goals. On the one hand, she is very active in animal adoption, stray dog catch/ neuter/release (CNR) activities, and animal welfare education. On the o t h e r, s h e i s d e vo te d to h e l p i n g young people find a place within the hospitality industr y. She is a frequent invited guest speaker at Taiwan universities, sharing her work experience there and through the Young SKAL organization. Quick to recognize that young people in Taiwan need to build their confidence in public speaking, Mayumi encourages them to attend the Taipei Toastmasters program. Additionally, she donates time and her own resources to help orphans and handicapped people t h ro u g h t h e Ta i p e i I nte r n at i o n a l Women’s Club and SKAL International charity programs. Mayumi’s love for animals started at a very young age, when she was a farm girl in Brazil. Her father had a farm

with a large variety of animals, and she participated in feeding and caring for them. After coming to Taiwan, during her first trip to Yangmingshan National Park she was heartbroken when she saw sick and injured stray dogs and puppies trying to hide from the rain. From then on, she became actively involved in animal welfare. She took care of stray dogs in the shelters and helped find families to adopt them through the Seeing Project. In addition, she spends time teaching kids at the Taipei American School (TAS) and the Taipei European School (TES) about caring for animals and the responsibilities of pet ownership. Mayumi is making a lasting impact in the minds of these children. Mayumi’s eagerness for making people around her better does not stop with children. Fluent in seven l a n g u a ge s, M ay u m i h a d a ve r y successful career in the hospitality industry, with experiences in Europe, the Middle East, United States, and Asia. Since coming to Taiwan, Mayumi has been sharing her experience with college students who are eager for a career in hospitality. She wants to help them succeed. Ming Chuan and Soochow universities have invited Mayumi to hold classes for their students. She has also evaluated graduation projects of students seeking degrees in hospitality and English Literature. Through her interactions with young people, Mayumi noticed the careers of many young adults in Taiwan were hampered by a lack of confidence i n p u b l i c s p e a k i n g. A f t e r m u c h consideration about this situation, Mayumi chartered an English-speaking To a st m a ste rs C l u b to h e l p t h e m. Now in its seventh year, the club has provided an avenue for numerous

young men and women to sharpen their public speaking skills and selfconfidence. At present, Mayumi is one of the Toastmasters Area Directors. She is volunteering her time to help many other Toastmasters Clubs around Taipei, and more people are benefiting from her presence. Yo u m i g h t b e w o n d e r i n g h o w Mayumi finds the time and energy for all the activities that she is involved w i t h. I t’s h e r a t t i t u d e, c h e e r f u l personality and willingness to reach out to people. Her passion for life, her smile and liveliness are all contagious and make a positive impact on those who know her. Her kindness towards others continually lingers in the hearts of many.

Tony was born in Taiwan. His family immigrated to the U.S. in 1971. After retiring f ro m t h e U . S . A i r Fo rc e in 2004, he b ecame the Senior Director for China/ Taiwan/Mongolia Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon. In 2007, Tony was assigned to serve in the American Institute in Taiwan. In 2011, he left government service and joined a private US company in Taipei. MARCH 2017


Community | prOFilE

Gail West –

The Hidden Gem of Tianmu


t was a cold and gray day before Chinese New Year when I rang the bell to the door which opened the way to the Taiwan branch of the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA). I was greeted by a woman with a big spirit who called me by name. This was my introduction to Gail West, who along with her husband Dick, and Larry Philbrook, form the core of the ICA in Taiwan. Throughout our conversation, Gail drew me in with the depth of experience and the stories she had to share. She approached every question with contemplation, occasionally giving a chuckle when it seemed like the story she shared was something she got deep enjoyment from. After spending time with Gail and Dick, I know why, in the words of our mutual friend Roma Mehta, the Wests are “the hidden gems of Tianmu.” ICA is a network organization with more than 28 groups all over the world. Its overall mission is to help people become self-sufficient, selfreliant and self-supporting through its facilitation services. To this end, they provide services to individuals as well as organizations to improve competencies and relationships in ones’ personal and work life. The art of facilitation means to make things easy in communication and social relationships. ICA hosts training programs for a wide variety of individuals and groups. The facilitation skills they work with include dialogue and planning, reflection practices, organization and leadership planning, focus on relationships, development of bigger perspectives, active listening, and community building. In her early days here, Gail was involved with opportunities for eco-cultural tours, facilitating “green” office programs in companies and environmental round tables. Prior to this the ICA invited a Scandinavian deep-ecologist to


MARCH 2017

TexT: WHiTNey ZaHar

image: gail WeST

introduce ecology concepts. In addition, they invited experts to introduce and begin their work with community building workshops and mediation emphasizing nonviolence, silence, and listening, open space technology, and the healing practice of resonance repatterning. One of ICA’s recent projects is based at a Tainan university, holding community development intensives for students in community building and working collaboratively. To that end, Gail believes the ICA spirit is certainly one of collaboration. She sums up more of the ICA spirit by saying, “always think of one thing less to do, then empower others to do it themselves.” As a result, she and Dick do not run ICA Taiwan; there is no hierarchy. They live where they work, and they open their home and workplace to dialogues, gatherings, and other meetings. After being in Taiwan for so long, Gail has noticed that people just want a voice, especially women. In the words of Teddy Roosevelt, Gail quoted, “Complaining about a problem without providing a solution is called whining.” ICA provides opportunities for people to have those voices. Gail has lived in Taiwan since 1991. She’s also lived in Indonesia, Malaysia, and India. What she finds so special about Taiwan is the kindness, openness, and energy of its people. “What also nourishes me in my work here in Taiwan is how the people here express their appreciation. They listen and absorb what we offer them through ICA, and then they take it and make it work for them. I love watching their creativity, energy, and enthusiasm,” she says as we sit in her office/apartment over cups of tea. She also states how pleasing it is to live in Taiwan, from the health insurance and public transportation, to the ease of accessing cultural arts and events. In their work

and in their lives, Gail and Dick immerse themselves in Taiwanese culture. Most of their friends are Taiwanese, so they enjoy the food and participating in the holidays and festivals. Gail was thoughtful when I asked about challenges she’s faced in Taiwan because she’s a woman. “I feel that because I’m a woman, I’m old, and a foreigner, I can do some things that my Taiwanese women counterparts ca n n o t d o, e s p e c i a l l y w h e n t h ey talk to companies about hosting ICA transformational programs. It’s easier for me to tell them to think about doing more than a half-day workshop, especially if they’re looking to make a big change in their organization.” However, she feels this mindset is changing. What matters most to the Taiwanese, she believes, is that an individual has an inviting manner, that they pay attention to the other person, and that they act with respect and authenticity. She loves working with students, and when asked what she would like to see young people do more of, she responded: “After asking them what they care about and what they would honestly like to do, I want to see them connect the two with responsibility, which makes all the difference. In my experience, when young people (and everyone for that matter) connect their passions with taking responsibility for their actions, anything is possible. When an honest invitation is offered to fully participate in this way, the creativity and commitment is amazing.” Gail closed our wonderful, enriching conversation with a story about an international conference about openspace technology recently held in Taiwan. There were many people present, all from different places in the world and with different expectations. One foreign conference-goer was

community | profile on the MRT, where she struck up a conversation with several Taiwanese students. She had limited Chinese, but she communicated through gestures and body language. Before she knew it, she had invited the students to attend the conference, and two or three of them came! Additionally, other conference attendees serendipitously saw a stall of delicious food and invited the vendor to bring the stall and his food for lunch at the conference. Other people from the conference invited

someone to give massages during breaks, employing a technique that uses the flat side of meat cleavers. While it seemed strange, it was a wonderful confluence of people and events that heightened the experience of the conference. Everyone experienced the flexibility, openness and freedom of open-space and of the ICA spirit. Words can’t convey how enriched my spirit felt after spending time with Gail and with Dick. I felt invigorated in

their company and privileged to listen to people who approach every part of their life with positive energy, respect, and authenticity.

Whitney Zahar is originally from the U.S. and has called Taiwan home for si x years. She is a mother, a writer, a teacher, and an active member of the Red Room community and Taipei Writers Group.

Eva Salazar-Liu –

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology TexT: Sue BaBcock image: eva Salazar-liu


r. Eva Salazar-Liu was one of the first members of the Center’s counseling team t o b e h i re d i n 1987, b y Directors Gail Metcalf and Joel Wallach. Her areas of professional interest included cross-cultural issues and relationships, cross-cultural marriage, women’s issues and grief counseling. During this time, she worked with global corporate clients assisting with cross-cultural training programs provided by the Center, assisting host country nationals, as well as Western ex p at r i ate s. C o u n s e l i n g s e s s i o n s o f t e n f o c u s e d o n c r o s s-c u l t u r a l adjustment needs. Dr. Salazar-Liu was part of the Center's counseling team for over two decades. S e l f-re f l e c t i o n i s i m p o r t a n t t o becoming a competent cross-cultural counselor or trainer, a view that had personal meaning for Dr. Salazar-Liu, whose husband was Chinese. Keeping an open mind, listening to each other with a willingness to hear alternative views and to be willing to work with new value sets are necessary for successful cross-cultural relationships. One of the main cross-cultural issues

that she found cross-cultural clients had difficulty in dealing with was how to handle conflict. Westerners tend to use strong body language, gestures and loud voices to show their emotions. They expect direct eye contact and often use open-ended questions in their communication style. This, of course, back in the 1980s and 90s, was considered impolite and too direct by their Asian counterparts, and it usually shut-down further avenues for communication. D r. S a l a za r-L i u e n co u ra ge d h e r clients to engage in an open dialogue so that they could acknowledge any differences. She demonstrated through her own willingness to listen to their views, to learn about their cultures and to work with them to create problemsolving strategies that were suitable for their situation(s). She was able to create culturally-sensitive interventions for her clients. I asked Eva about some of the things that she remembered during our first days at the Center. She quickly began to list them; reaching out to people in the Tianmu community, distributing flyers to beer gardens and parks,

making speeches at churches about the Center, selling flowers at the Taipei European School (TES), picking up clients on Zhongshan North Road and bringing them to the Center, painting the Center’s gate and putting up curtains. She worked with ICRT’s Gray Gleason and the station’s Outreach Radio Program once a month for ten years, answering incoming calls and phone counseling. Other community work was providing pro bono assistance and de-briefing to sexually harassed or raped overseas contract workers in Taiwan at the request of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO). As an involved parent at the Taipei European School and member of the Board of Governors for six years, Dr. Salazar-Liu is also an Associate Professor at Ming Chuan University, a position she has held for thirty y e a r s. T h e s e t w o d i s t i n g u i s h e d associations were instrumental to her counseling work at the Center. They provided avenues for client contacts and referrals, an important tenet of the Community Ser vices Center’s outreach mission for the international community. MARCH 2017


community | profile

Karen Farley –

Foreign Woman, Entrepreneur: A Taiwan Journey


his past year has been an entrepreneurial adventure that I was ready for. What I didn't anticipate were the additional complexities of starting a business in a culture other than my own. Reflecting on my Taiwan journey one year later, I didn’t realise when I started out it would turn out to be a truly enriching experience. I’ve met foreign women in Taiwan who find themselves on a traditional career path or others who land here as the dependent spouse of an expat on assignment. However, there are only a few foreign women who enter the start-up business world. A little over a year ago, I took the entrepreneurial leap and started KP Kitchen Taiwan, selling North American-style DIY Baking Mixes and offering a Baker Space to share my love for baking with others. For any foreign woman that would like to start a business in Taiwan, I would like to share parts of my journey with you. Why Start a BuSineSS taiWan? During the ten years of travelling, living, and working abroad after my previous Toronto-based business, I was looking for another business challenge. While exploring opportunities outside of Taiwan, I was usually in the wrong place at the wrong time. Within months of arriving in Taiwan by chance, I identified Taipei as the right place to put my business plans into action. So why Taiwan? F o r s t a r t e rs: y o u c a n! F o r e i g n e nt re p re n e u rs ca n l e ga l l y o w n a business in Taiwan with as little as TW$ 500,000 in initial investment. However, the business registration process is costlier and more time-consuming than other Asian business hubs. Engaging


MARCH 2017

TexT & image: Karen Farley

the services of a legal or financial professional can smooth the process and ensure that the right boxes have been ticked. Even though my name is on all the official documents, I still sometimes get a surprised reaction that I am indeed the responsible person approved by the government. What ConSiderationS are there When Starting up in taiWan? Starting a business outside the familiarity of your home country has its unique set of considerations: 1. Surround yourself with a strong support team Identify your skill gaps and find good people to support you as you start out and grow. Throughout the first year, language has been my single biggest challenge for doing business in Taiwan. Despite studying Chinese for half-a-dozen years, using my second language for dayto-day activities is one thing and engaging the linguistic flexibility to conduct business is quite another. A strong language consultant helped me develop a reasonable level of “baking Chinese,” however dealing with banking matters or engaging a tradesperson is still challenging. 2. Establish a market The consumer base in Taiwan is relatively small, and it is smaller yet if a business is targeted at a foreign community which makes up less than 3% of Taiwan’s population. In my first year in Taipei, I spoke with a lot of people and recognised a strong interest within the Taiwanese market for baking as a hobby. This both surprised me and identified the potential for a larger market opportunity than I had initially

anticipated. 3. Stand out from the crowd When a business is introducing a unique concept, the effort required to establish the market and the consumer demand should not be underestimated. Encouraging our customers to use their toaster oven for more than making toast is a large component of our sales process. On the product development side, I had anticipated the challenge of selling baking mixes in Taiwan by adapting recipes and portion sizes to suit those toaster ovens. 4. Be prepared to adapt local Having a great product or excellent service simply isn’t enough. What may work in one’s home country may need to be modified to fit the Taiwanese market. What took me by surprise was the divided reaction to cinnamon – a very common ingredient in North American baking – among our initial customers. I quickly learnt that cinnamon is more often used in savory dishes and, for some, has unfortunate memory associations with traditional Chinese medicine. I modified our product offerings and now highlight when a product contains cinnamon. 5. Build a good business network Developing a strong network of business supporters, mentors and, of course, customers is essential to establishing a business presence in Taiwan. Relationships take time to develop and strengthen, especially within a new cultural environment. Connections that have been systematically built up through school years and work in one’s home country need to be fostered in a new place. Listen, question, and ask for the help you need to move your

community | profile business plan forward. This support often comes in the most unexpected ways. One of our first hires came about as a result of a friend casually mentioning the online universitybased network that is commonly used by students, a resource I wouldn’t have had access to without his kind help. I have learnt a lot this year, especially

about being open to thinking outside the box, knowing how to establish networks effectively, asking for help and having a sense of humor. If you’ve been dreaming of that business idea and you’re planning to stick around for a few years at least, then Taiwan may be the place to take a leap and put those dreams into action.

Karen Farley runs KP Kitchen Taiwan which produces and sells DIY Baking Mixes throughout Taiwan. As a serial entrepreneur and serial expat, Karen grabs adv entures in business and life with both hands. When she’s not baking, Karen can be found dreaming of her next travel destination. Karen can be contacted at

Lansing Chen –

Devoted Educator Teaching the Ancient Japanese Art of Ikebana


ansing Chen has been practicing and teaching ikebana, the ancient Japanese art of flower arrangement, for over thirty years. Lansing’s love of beautiful flowers was encouraged by her mother, who also had a passion for flora. When Lansing was in junior high school, her mother had a lady from Japan who practiced the art of ikebana. During thus visit, the lady would come to their home and go out into the garden, carefully selecting the right materials for that week’s ikebana arrangement. Beautiful arrangements were created and carefully placed in auspicious locations throughout Lansing’s home. Inspired by these a r ra n g e m e n t s, L a n s i n g b e ga n t o practice ikebana. Years later, quite by chance, Lansing was walking along Po-ai Road, near the junction with Wuchang Street in Taipei, when she noticed a sign that had been placed in a tailor’s fabric shop. The sign indicated that on the second floor of the shop was a lady that made and taught floral arrangements. Intrigued, Lansing inquired. Moments later, she climbed to the second floor, where she found the teacher, who was just about ready to close her classroom for the day. When the teacher saw how excited

TexT: Sue BaBcock imageS: LanSing chen

Lansing was about floral designs and arrangement, she let Lansing stay to make an arrangement from the flowers that were left over from her day’s work. For Lansing, a dream was beginning to come true: to learn more about ikebana. Ikebana Ikebana is an ancient Japanese art of flower arranging. In Japanese, ike means to “arrange” and bana means “flower.” The practice of ikebana began with the introduction of Buddhism to Japan from China and Korea in the 7th century. By the 15th and 16th

centuries, ikebana had become a symbol of traditional Japanese culture, and detailed instruction books were being written on the art. Today, ikebana arrangements must follow these basic guidelines: a minimalist approach, shape and graceful lines, balance, good use of space, and be pleasing to look at. StyleS, StemS (brancheS) and Placement In Japan, there are as many as three thousand ikebana schools, each with its own styles and rules. Lansing studied the Shofu School of ikebana, the main MARCH 2017


community | profile styles of which include Kihonge (a basic “vertical” style), Keshadai (a “slanted” style), Kansuidai (“water-view” style), H u ta ku b u (“d o u b l e ste m” st y l e), Nageire (“throw-in” style), Jiudai (freestyle) and some applied styles.” Traditionally each ikebana design has three main stems. These stems (branches) are called Tien (Heaven), Jin (Human Being) and Chi (Earth). Their measurements are based upon the size of their container. The length and angle of each stem also depends on the classical design that is being followed. Stems are placed in certain positions and at specific angles in ikebana arrangements. Angles are an important key for successful ikebana. Stems and flowers are also held in various ways in different ikebana schools; one is the so-called kenzan (pin-holder), or the stems may also simply be arranged, unsecured, in a container, which requires a good technique to balance and hold them in the right position and at the correct

angle. Azaleas, blooming plums, peach blossom, coconut leaves, weeping willow, and branches from a variety of trees including pine, are used. Ikebana Flowers Flowers are selected by shape, size, color, and season, and by the feelings of the ikebana practitioner towards them. Bird of paradise, chrysanthemum, dahlia, peony and baby’s breath are commonly used, and recently many new imported flowers have enlarged the range that can be chosen. lansIng Chen – a DeDICateD Ikebana eDuCator As a senior member and past president of the Ikebana International Taipei Chapter, Lansing has served as Conference Chairwoman for the successful 13th Asian Regional Conference of Ikebana International, held in Taipei in 2015. Currently, she is delighted to share her experience with the Chapter organizing team, who

are hard at work getting ready for the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the Taipei Chapter of Ikebana International. This event will be held from May 18th – 22nd, 2017. The program includes an exhibition at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Xinyi Place A9 from May 19th – 21st, a workshop for members on May 20th, an ikebana demonstration by Mr. Akihiro Kasuya, the headmaster o f I c h i yo S c h o o l i n J a p a n, a n d a Celebration Banquet on May 22nd. MeDItatIng on the beauty oF nature anD gaInIng Inner PeaCe One of the main principles of ikebana is to create an arrangement in silence. For Lansing Chen it is this practice of stillness that has become associated with her practice of Japanese ikebana designs. Perhaps this is the main reason why this ancient art continues to attract followers in an era of global discord. They would also like to reconnect and be one with nature.

Sue Whiteley –

A gentle giver of care to those in need


ue Whiteley was born in Grahamstown, South Africa, although she spent an early part of her childhood in southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), until her family returned home to South Africa. Sue studied at Sharley Cribb Nursing College in Port Elizabeth. Her academic studies and training allowed her to practice in many different areas of nursing, including Palliative Care. As a trained Palliative Care nurse, Sue worked closely with the terminally ill and their families before moving to Taipei with her husband, Chris Whiteley, a professor at the National Taiwan Science and Technology University. In Taiwan, Sue began to explore the


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TexT: Sue BaBcock image: Sue WhiTeley

ways she could use her experience and training within the local and expat community. As a registered nurse specializing in HIV/AIDS and Palliative Care nursing, Sue decided to provide volunteer community outreach at the Harmony Home Association in Zhonghe District and at the Taipei Prison, which houses incarcerated foreigners. The Harmony Home Association has five shelters in Taiwan for women, children, orphans and adults who are living with AIDS, and for the elderly w i t h a d va n c e d i l l n e s s e s w h o a re facing severe financial stress. Sue befriended many people there. One Western gentleman she discovered was a decorated U.S. military hero, Frank Thomaschek (see the February issue

of centered on Taipei), for whom she provided Palliative Care until his death. A s a Pa l l i at i ve C a re n u rs e, S u e e m p o w e r s a n d c o m fo r t s p e o p l e by offering gentle, non-judgmental support and guidance. She encourages people in their growth, transformation and grief, allowing them to make decisions based on their own needs and wishes, and to learn from them. Palliative Care is a complex form of care which is unique to each person and situation. It usually involves a n i n d i v i d u a l’s s o c i a l, s p i r i t u a l, psychological and physical care. It also means walking alongside those in need, and offering them unconditional love: something that Sue Whiteley excels at.

community | profile

Lisa West –

Girl Scout Leader Extraordinaire


h e Ta iwan C h apter o f th e United States of America Girl Scouts Overseas (USAGSO) is a premiere leadership organization. Blending traditional aspects of the Girl Scouts with a new approach to scouting highlights the kinds of roles that girls might take on to become successful young women of the 21st century. Lisa West, mother of two daughters and adult scout leader for over thirty years, is an extraordinary woman, remark her long-time Taiwan friends and Girl Scout associates Priya Lalwani Purswaney and Joyce Hu. Priya explains: I have known Lisa West for over ten years. We met when I was a Girl Scout liaison at the Morrison Academy in Taipei, a Girl Scout troop leader and the co-chair of the United States Girl Scouts Overseas Committee in Taiwan. When we met, Lisa, her husband Bill and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Rebecca, had just moved to Taiwan. At that time, no one would have been able to predict the massive impact that Lisa would have on the expat community here in Taipei with her Girl Scout activities. Lisa West has devoted herself to scouting in Taiwan. She has been the

TexT: Priya LaLwani Purswaney

images: Lisa wesT, Joyce Hu

Chairwoman of the Taiwan Chapter of the USAGSO for most of her time in Taiwan. Through this program, she has introduced hundreds of girls to the Girl Scouting lifestyle, and has personally led multiple troops of high school girls as a troop leader. This passion has influenced her own two daughters, who were scouts throughout their school years. However, unlike some adult scout leaders who “retire” when their children graduate, Lisa remained very active as a scout leader. This level of commitment is rare and further illustrates her commitment to Girl Scouts. In 2016, under her enthusiastic guidance, two high school seniors achieved the Gold Award, the highest rank within the Girl Scout organization. As part of the volunteer opportunities that Lisa provided for the USAGSO girls here in Taipei, there are two that I would like to mention in particular. The first is that every Christmas season, each girl from her troop adopts an angel from the Taipei American School Orphanage Club’s Angel Tree, a tree with angel ornaments on it. Each angel represents a gift request from an under-privileged child. Girls from Lisa’s troop learned about giving and sharing through this annual activity. Another volunteer activity that her troop became involved in was at the American Club’s (ACC) Halloween party. Her Girl Scouts learned valuable skills in event planning, organizing, implementing and publicizing for this popular cross-cultural event. Each girl helped out at various Halloween stations, which included a visit to the famous cackling sorceress, Lisa West. Lisa’s contributions are memorable and she has been known to make special guest appearances all around the Tianmu and Yangmingshan areas during the Halloween season. She

was a perfect witch and enchantress with her elaborate costumes and props. Aside from Girl Scouts, as surprising as it may sound, Lisa does have other hobbies, too. She has been taking Mandarin lessons for a long period of time to enable her to further her understanding of Taiwan and its culture. Art classes offer her an opportunity to make some beautiful paintings, at which she is quite talented. Lisa will leave Taiwan. We and the other Girl Scout leaders are filled with anxiety over how her huge leadership shoes are going to be filled. It will be impossible for one person to do this. In fact, we are expecting that it will take four people to fill her leadership role. We would like to invite members of the community to join us in impacting the lives of young girls through scouting, so that we may continue the spirit and legacy that Lisa West will leave behind.

Priya Lalwani Purswaney, a professional English/ Chinese/Hindi interpreter, has been in Taiwan for three decades. In her free time she volunteers with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, while also actively promoting cultural exchanges between Taiwan and India. MARCH 2017



Zee Dlamini –

A Lady of Fashion from the Kingdom of Swaziland The following is an interview with Zee Dlamini, a woman who wears many hats. Among these is her passion for fashion. TexT: Zee Dlamini anD Pai Su-yu image: Zee Dlamini

As a child, who or what captured your attention and sent you a message about wearing pretty clothes? Zee: My mother. She always looked well-put together, even in a uniform. I was amused by the way clothes transformed the women around me. You know, grandmother and aunts could in a blink of an eye turn into the women I saw on Dynasty. Their hats, the shoulder pads, the prints, the pantyhose, the jewelry, the shoes, everything. I remember asking mother if she would save her all her suede loafers for me, so I could wear them when I was older. I started paying attention to my clothes even then. I started asking that my clothes be bought to match whatever I had. Thinking about it now, I'm pretty sure it was strange, I guess, to see an 8-year-old playing outside with matching pants/shorts, T-shirt and shoes, but I was that kid. Luckily my grandmother was very particular about her grandkids looking meticulous, even in casual clothes, so it was not an unwelcome thing. The men from my mother’s family were always stunning too. Prints and color was never off the table for them. Which I think was very brave back then, when everybody around them was trying too hard to be “macho.” A few years ago, at work, I looked at a picture of them taken at a soccer match, and I remember thinking, “who wears pristine midnight blue pants with a matching jacket and a yellow shirt outfit


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to a soccer match.” I realized that they were way ahead of their time. What the men in Pitti Uomo are doing now, those Swazi boys did in the early 90’s! My uncles had some swag on them! Mother saved one dress I asked her to keep for me, but I did not know she did until last year when she gave it to me. She has also saved several dresses she liked from my childhood so I can give them to my future daughter. Consequently, fashion for me looked like a way for transformational unity (in style and design terms). It represented the versatility of the female being; h e r s t r e n g t h s, h e r w e a k n e s s e s, her emotions. It was about grace, elegance, having fun and being creative with what you wore and how you wore it. Not necessarily about “pretty clothes,” because clothes don’t make you, they only create a temporary shelter. Therefore, the person in the clothes and how they carry their clothes was what really caught my curiosity as a child. How has your love of fashion grown from when you were a child, a teenager to now? What message do you want to present to girls and young women? Zee: As a child, it was merely just curiosity and exploring it through my eyes; creating storylines in my head, sort of like a photoshoot except then it was a private show for myself. As a teenager, it was a form of escape and rebellious self-expression… and my

rebellious streak seemingly has never left. Things didn't have to make sense, including clothes. They still don’t. Fashion for me became (and still is) an art form. “Normal” scares me, but it works for a lot of people. So “normal” is good for business and that is why I love editorial styling, because you literally are given a blank canvas and you, the stylist, become the artist. And I guess that’s the message I’d like younger and even middle-aged or mature women to know. You are not created to make sense to anybody except your creator. I would suggest to try not to lose yourself trying to live how you are “expected” to live, especially by people who share an earthly body just like you. Our callings are different; purposes are different and our abilities are different. A relationship, whether married, single, divorced, widowed, unsure, lesbian, employed, unemployed etc. is not you, so don’t let people box you into their expectations based on petty things like that. And it’s really easy to confuse selfishness with happiness. Everybody is created with a purpose, and trust me, it’s not to make as much money as you can. It has something to do with selfdiscovery. Self-identity is very important, and identity is a complex and dynamic concept, but the best thing you can ever do for yourself is know who you are in the spirit, because you are not your body - you are within it, before the world tries to tell you and shape you.

The earlier the better. So you can put on your Gucci loafers and not feel guilty, because you worked hard and helped many people along the way while in them, or you can wear your night market-bought loafers and still be the woman you desire and were designed to be. Fashion in its basic form is shallow, but what you do it with it is what gives it life, makes it art and gives you power, and if your intentions are set from a place of love, you will be at peace with how you look. But never shy from asking for help if you feel you need it. Sue [Babcock] mentioned that you have your own “collection.” What are some of the things that you have learned along the way? Zee: Hahaha! I have learnt that sleep is truly overrated, yet it is also essential. Most of all, that we need to take care and look after ourselves in order to be able to be effective in our work. This is especially so if the work requires creativity and interaction with different

personalities. I have learned to listen more, to be quiet, but active. Active in the sense of continuous learning, especially in the digitalized world we live in. I listen to others and to nature, because inspiration for me can happen with anyone, everywhere and anywhere. I think self-challenge and being resolute are the most difficult things I’ve had to do, because it’s easier to be in a comfort zone and enjoy the familiar. However, it is much more fun to jump off a cliff and pray that the parachute opens. And yes, you may hit the side of the mountain a few times and have bruises, you will panic for a little while and you will definitely learn how to pray. Once your parachute is in the air and you are done fussing (be still), then your chute will use the force generated by the passing air to extract your deployment bag which contains the parachute canopy. After your chute canopy opens, your landing will be somewhat safer, you will be happier and hopefully walking all the

way to the bank. Sometimes you need to change how and what you are doing, not necessarily change your business, but how you go about doing it, which means a “jump or dive” is necessary to get different results. I have also learned about the power of words; I remember touching my body and praying that God restores my health, because I am not effective when ill and I cannot fulfill the purpose He has for me when I’m lying idle in bed and in pain. Two weeks ago, for the first time in a year, the doctor gave the best health review, after looking at my charts. So, I have learned to believe in what I speak and with that comes a great responsibility to build and not destroy anything with my tongue or in my environment or body. And [I believe that] miracles still exist.

Pa i S u - y u i s a n e d u c a t o r , w r i t e r and photographer, currently working between Taipei and New York.

Recognizing the Community Service Center’s Volunteers (2012 – 2016) We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the many dedicated volunteers that have supported the Community Services Center over the years. The list is very long and we hope to continue with our acknowledgements of their service to the Center, in future issues.

Nancy Achorn (2012, 2013) Jennifer Adelson (2014) Alice Ballard (2014, 2015) Alison Davis Bai (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) Miyuki Boice (2015, 2016) Daniel Chan (2016) Vincy Chik (2013, 2014) Wakako Couch (2012) Wen Finamore (2012, 2013) Shana Garcia (2012, 2013) Carly Geidl (2016) Katharine Susa Gill (2012) Alexandra Hartline (2014, 2015) Anita Ho (2014, 2015) Webster Hsieh (2012) John Imbrogulio (2014, 2015, 2016) Anne Jacquet (2016)

Sharon Landon (2015, 2016) Lily Lau (2012, 2013, 2014) Shan Lee (2015) Sophie Lee Robin Looney (2012) Fiona Mackelworth (2014, 2015, 2016) John McQuade (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) Linda Mendenhall (2012) Margaret Mendoza (2014, 2015) Michael Mullahy (2013, 2014) Renee Nicolaci (2015) Jessica Nielsen (2012) Bunny Pacheco (2012, 2013, 2016) Monica Pellizzaro (2013, 2014, 2016) Gloria Peng (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) John Phillips (2016) Chaitra Pramod

Ruth Reynolds (2012, 2013, 2014) Jenni Rosen (2012, 2013) Julia Ruggiere (2012, 2013) Bianca Russell (2014, 2015) Amanda Savage (2013) Kari Schiro (2012, 2013) Sandra Schnelle (2012) Desta Selassie (2012, 2013) Emmy Shih (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) Michelle Smith (2012, 2013) Anita Town (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) Priyanka Waidande (2012) Elizabeth Weinstein (2014, 2015) Sue Whiteley (2016) Heike Wood Lillian Yin (2012, 2013) MARCH 2017


fashion & beauty

Women Who


Dared TexT: Zee DlamiNi


imageS: WeB

elebrating the women w h o s h a p e d fa s h i o n and its modern history is truly like going into a big library and not knowing which b o o k to b o r ro w b e ca u s e t h ey are all worth a read. A countless nu mb er o f wo men h ave mad e va l u a b l e co nt r i b u t i o n s to t h e fashion industry, as have their male counterparts. When thinking of fashion history, it’s easy to conclude that it is the women who make its most impactful changes. Although this isn’t always true, because there are so many women in the fashion industry, it’s very easy for most to go unnoticed and their contributions overlooked. But every once in a while, an amazing woman who does more than just contribute to the future of fashion design comes along, breaks the barriers, pushes the boundaries and opens cultural, business or creative doors, not only for females, but males as well. T h e d e s i g n e r s, t h e e d i t o r s and writers, the image-makers, the style icons, the thinkers and businesswomen, the beauty gurus, the models and finally, in today’s d i g i t a l w o r l d, t h e n e w m e d i a queens. All these groups of women have shaped, molded and continue to show off the multiple abilities of the woman. Here’s a quick look at a few of the many incredible women in the history of fashion.


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grace Jones The Jamaican-born icon stood out from the top models of the early 1970s, like Jerry Hall, Jessica Lange and Lauren Hutton. She embraced perhaps what had often been used to tease her as a child: her unusual, androgynous features. Her bold look was well received in Paris, where she moved after signing with Wilhelmina models, and was booked by designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo and Alaia. She also became muse to legendary photographer Jean Paul Goude and often collaborated with him before leaving the modeling world to pursue acting and singing. Jones and Twiggy changed the perception of what beauty meant for the world. She’s the original version of what we know as Lady Gaga.

Marlene dietricH T h e o r i g i n a l st y l e c h a m e l e o n, D i et r i c h frequently transformed her style under the spotlight. She was one of the first women to be photographed wearing a full tuxedo in the 30s, which contrasted her blonde, wavy locks. Other photographs show her wearing ties, bulky blazers, feminine midi skirts and lush furs. She opened the public eye to ever-changing fashion, and the fact that women can wear men’s pieces too — and still be elegant.

franca sozzani Franca Sozzani is the groundbreaking editor of vogue italia. As a huge supporter of the democratization of fashion, she regularly styled fast fashion with luxury on her pages. She was instrumental in supporting all ethnicities and sizes of models: Sozzani has featured multiple plus-sized models on covers, devoted an entire issue to all-black models and an issue of l'uomo vogue to African culture. Sadly, this fashion change maker passed away on Christmas day 2016.

grace Mirabella When Grace Mirabella replaced the great Diana Vreeland as Editor-in-Chief of vogue in 1971, she shocked the fashion world. Mirabella wasn't editorial; she came from the business world. Her parents were Italian immigrants, not socialites, and her only connection to the magazine was that she had worked diligently as Vreeland's former assistant. But in seventeen years, she tripled the magazine's circulation and proved that business skills are vital in the editorial world. She also supported American designers such as Geoffrey Beene and Calvin Klein, ushering in an era of wearability for the everyday woman. In the 90s she started her own successful publication, mirabella.


valerie steele

lillian bassMan Bassman can be described as the mother of fashion photography. Famous for her dreamlike black-and-white images during the 1940s and 50s, Lillian Bassman was a rarity in the male-dominated fashion photography field. Her unique aesthetic earned her the title of art director of Harper's BaZaar's erstwhile mini magazine, Junior BaZaar. Bassman used tissues and gauzes to create a dark, romantic quality that hadn't been seen in fashion imagery before.

eleanor laMbert The public relations maven founded the first-ever New York Fashion Week and the International Best Dressed List in the 1940s, defining the first serious fashion networks in the United States. Prior to that, editors, buyers and the fashion industry considered Paris the capital of fashion. In 1962, she cemented her legacy by organizing the Council of Fashion Designers in America (the CFDA), the most important fashion authority for decades, that still reigns supreme today.

Prior to Valerie Steele, fashion curation and history in museums were virtually nonexistent. The historian, curator, and director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology brought fashion to the forefront of cultural and academic conversations through exhibitions and books. "W h e n I b e g a n, n o b o d y w a s studying fashion as a scholarly topic. There was fashion journalism and a kind of antiquarian costume history, but nobody was looking at the cultural history of fashion, or what fashion means today," she once told Harper's BaZaar.

Zee Dlamini is a digital PR strategist turned fashion stylist/fashion blogger, in addition to being a full-time mommy with a zest for life and a lover of all things good.

vivienne westwood An activist, businesswoman, and designer, Westwood addresses everything from civil rights to climate change in her work, all while creating high fashion. She started out designing clothing for the punk boutique SEX in the 1970s. Today, she runs h e r n a m e s a ke l a b e l as well as Vivienne Westwood Red Label. Dame Vivienne Westwood may be responsible for the convergence of high fashion and punk. MARCH 2017




maling hot spring TexT & imageS: riCHarD SauNDerS


he beautiful Central Crossisland Highway, which once linked the cities of Taichung on the flat western plains of Taiwan, and Hualian on the island’s mountainous east coast, is graced with a number of fabulous hot springs. Deep in the depths of a stunning marble canyon at the top of Taroko Gorge, Wenshan Hot Springs is easily Taiwan’s most famous and popular undeveloped hot spring. Closed for some years during the early years of the millennium following a rockfall, the hot springs opened again to the public a few years back, and are more popular than ever. Near the opposite end of the highway is a second, equally beautiful but almost unknown natural hot spring, secreted deep in a gorge not far from the popular hot spring spas of Guguan (谷關). It’s smaller and less reliable than Wenshan Hot Springs (summer flood waters bring

down gravel which may temporarily bury the hot spring sources on the river bank), but the magnificent scenery on the route alone makes the moderately strenuous trip out there richly worthwhile. The ninety-minute trace up the river to the hot spring (there’s no trail or path) lies through magnificent scenery, and is a bit of an adventure, even when the water is low (in winter, which is the best time to go anyway, of course). The trailhead is a small road on the left of the highway just before the barrier that stops vehicles going any further (the section of the highway between Guguan and Deji remains closed after huge damage caused by the great earthquake of 1999). The rough road soon stops at a gate. Walk down to the riverbank just beyond, and start walking upstream, wading through the water or following the wide banks of rock and gravel exposed in places at

low water. Crossing the river can be quite a challenge if it’s rained recently; keep well away if there’s been heavy rain. A fine waterfall drops from the cliffs on the right into the gorge after a few minutes, and eventually the first of several tall waterfalls plunge down the other side of the gorge – a signal that Maling Hot Spring (馬陵溫泉) is nearby, beside the left bank of the river.

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), Taipei escapes i and 2, which together detail sixty day trips and hikes within easy reach of Taipei city, and The islands of Taiwan, a guide to Taiwan’s offshore islands. His latest book, Taiwan 101: essential Hikes, Sights and experiences around ilha Formosa, is out now. 26

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Women and Water Retention TexT: miCHelle CHeuNg

“Michelle, I wonder why my weight changes so much from morning to night: it can fluctuate from 2-4lbs, and somehow it’s even worse during my period!” This is the kind of feedback that I have received a lot from female patients coming to see me for weight management consultation. To understand why our weight can fluctuate day to day, we must know our body composition: the respective percentages of fat, bone, water and muscle in our bodies. Men and women have a different body composition, but in general, our body is made of about 50-65% water. In terms of daily weight fluctuation, body fat, and bone and muscle mass are relatively stable, leaving body water the main variable to account for the small and frequent weight fluctuation. Numerous factors affect our body water percentage, including dietary pattern and the consequences of certain medical conditions; however, women have a more complicated physiological makeup and they are more prone to retain water. edema is a medical term used to describe the swelling caused by fluid retention when excess fluid accumulates in the body’s tissues. The main symptoms of edema are swelling in the extremities (ankles, feet, hands and fingers) and weight gain. if you press a finger to a swollen area for thirty seconds, and, when you remove it, the area compressed stays indented for a few seconds, you have what is called a pitting edema. in most instances, it might get better on its own without any treatment, but it also can be a sign of a serious health issue. feMale pHysiology Swelling may occur in women during parts of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause. The exact mechanism is still unclear. Menstruation Pre-menstruation edema occurs in many women and can affect daily life. Many studies have suggested that women gain weight and develop peripheral edema (edema of the extremities, especially legs) during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (two weeks prior to menses until

imageS: WeB imageS

menstruation) because they tend to retain sodium and water. Female steroid hormones, progesterone and estrogen, are involved in fluid regulation, and hence are thought to play an important role in the development of pre-menstruation water retention. The mid-luteal phase is characterized by elevated progesterone and high estrogen levels. Estrogen and progesterone levels decline rapidly during the late luteal phase corresponding to clinical pre-menstruation edema. It also explains that why some women who have premenstrual syndrome experience bloating and breast tenderness.

To further investigate the correlation between the hormones and water regulation, studies have compared a group of healthy young women who received oral contraceptives with another group who received none, and the results suggested that the overall changes in water or fluid retention were consistently present during estrogen and/or progesterone administration, even though these differences were small. pregnancy During late pregnancy, water accumulates because the adrenal glands produce more of the hormones aldosterone and cortisol, which stimulate sodium and water reabsorption from the gut, eventually making the body retain water. It is also partly because the enlarging uterus compresses veins and lymphatic drainage from the legs; therefore, water backs MARCH 2017


health up in the veins of the legs and seeps out into the surrounding tissues. Slight swelling is expected during pregnancy; however, if sudden swelling is experienced in hands and face, it could be a sign of preeclampsia. It is important to contact a health care provider about any sudden swelling. Edema usually disappears quickly after childbirth. Menopause During menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels decline and numerous symptoms of postmenopausal syndromes (such as mood swings, insomnia, hot flashes and weight gain) may arise. Some women choose to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medications containing estrogen and progesterone, to relieve the symptoms. That being said, increased estrogen and progesterone levels contribute to water retention and bloating. The hormonal changes are uncontrollable contributors to water retention, but we can control what we eat. Among all the contributors to water retention, one common cause is diet-related and it can be readily reversed when a balanced diet is adopted.

1. Avoid excessive salt intake It’s well known that excessive salt intake results in increased water retention; in other words, absorption of water is increased in the presence of excessive amounts of sodium. Americans eat more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day. Despite the added sodium in many processed and prepared foods, sodium occurs naturally in many foods such as celery, beets and milk. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day for individuals over the age of 14, and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day. Excessive sodium intake results not only in water retention, but also hypertension, heart and kidney diseases. Salt vs Sodium: • 1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium • 1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium • 3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium • 1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium It’s also wise to read the label on the package to help you better understand a food’s sodium content. Sodium-Free Very Low Sodium Low-Sodium Reduced (or less) sodium


Less than five milligrams of sodium per serving; contains no sodium chloride (salt) 35 milligrams or less per serving 140 milligrams or less per serving At least 25 percent less sodium per serving than the usual sodium level

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If the food is "low calorie" and "low fat" and sodium is reduced by at least fifty percent per serving Sodium is reduced by at least fifty Light in sodium percent per serving Note: Don’t rely on your taste buds: some foods don’t taste salty but they may contain lots of sodium! Light (for sodiumreduced products)

2. Eat adequate vegetables and fruit Both vegetables and fruit such as bananas, avocados and tomatoes are rich in potassium. Potassium is a mineral that serves several important functions, and one of them appears to help reduce water retention by decreasing sodium levels and increasing urine production. The daily recommended intake of vegetables and fruit are 1.5 bowls of cooked vegetables and 2 medium-sized fruit.

3. Drink adequate fluid People often get the wrong perception that we should avoid drinking too much fluid when experiencing water retention. Sometimes water retention is due to sodium retention in our body, and sodium and water are naturally attracted to each other. In this instance, drinking more water is helpful because the kidneys closely monitor the amount of fluids and sodium in the body. Therefore, when you drink more water, your kidneys notice the additional salt and water, sending a message to the body to release both. As a result, salt is flushed out of our body. Even if sodium is not the cause, drinking water can stimulate your body to release extra fluids. Note: Some medical conditions require that you restrict water intake to prevent complications.

Michelle Cheung is currently a full-time mom to two but was previously working as a Clinical Dietitian in Hong Kong.

parents’ view

Why our fourth grade son cannot have an iPhone TexT: BreNDa liN imageS: WeB imageS


u r f o u r t h g r a d e s o n’s teacher conducted an informal poll the other day, asking who in class owned a smartphone. Out of a class of 21, only five did not raise their hand. Our son was one of them. He came home armed with a list of reasons why he should be allowed to have a smartphone – an argument he has been formulating and perfecting since at least the second grade, when he noticed his peers whipping out smartphones on the school bus and in the library, and middle and upper school students roaming the hallways simultaneously texting and zombie-walking. He bombards us with the same pleas regarding having a YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter account. When his grandmother, who was visiting from California over the holidays, asked him what Twitter was, he replied, “I don’t know, but everyone has it and you can follow celebrities and celebrities can follow you!” In other words, everybody else is doing it, so why shouldn’t I? Though this is not a thoughtful way to consider why one should do anything, it is a completely normal response for an observant, socially active ten-year-old who models behavior he sees around him.

Our son is the same age as the iPhone. In just one decade, the iPhone h a s u tt e r l y c h a n g e d t h e way w e communicate and behave. Without argument, it has granted us countless conveniences by making information abundant and available at any given moment. I am grateful to it for the times it has helped us navigate while driving abroad, or even in the back roads up in the hills above Tianmu. As well, for the times easy and immediate access to email has allowed both my husband and me to be untethered to the office desk so that we are able to spend more quality time with our children. But when I see toddlers holding phones while being pushed in their strollers, watching cartoons on a tiny screen instead of watching the world around them, or a group of teenagers each on their individual phone instead of interacting with one another, I question the way we allow our children to use smartphones and tablets – not only with abandon, but without considering the long-term consequences. Once we brought our children to see the Upper School play and the Middle Schoolers sitting in front of us were on their phones the entire time, sending instant messages.

Because the advent of the iPhone is still so recent, we are only just now beginning to see the results of studies conducted to understand the effects of consistent and continual use, especially in young children and adolescents, whose tender and impressionable brains are still developing. It has been shown that what we do online – whether it is compulsively check email, engage in online games, respond to every text and news alert, keep an internal tally of the likes on our Facebook page – releases the same neurotransmitter known as dopamine to the pleasure seeking areas of our brain. Dopamine is the same basis for nicotine, alcohol, drug, and gambling addiction. In his discussion about the predicament of millennials in the workplace, the writer and marketing consultant, Simon Sinek, likened our allowing children and adolescents to unlimited use of the internet and social media to opening the liquor cabinet in our homes and welcoming children to drink from an early age, thus promising a lifelong addiction. These studies have been published as early as 2012, and yet the tech industry has only exploited this piece of neuroscience by creating and offering apps and platforms – such as Twitter and Snapchat – which, by using limited characters or time in which to absorb and respond to information, now requires even more frequent attention, and ultimately is cultivating an entire generation of young people who expect constant and instant gratification. In more extreme cases, we are already seeing Internet addiction rehabilitation c e n t e r s. L e s s s e v e r e b u t m o r e widely seen are large portions of the MARCH 2017


parents’ view population that have un-learned how to communicate with one another faceto-face. How many times have you gone out to eat, only to find yourself surrounded by tables of diners on their phones – taking pictures of their food, swiping through web pages, playing Kandy Krush, sending Line messages to friends – instead of engaging in conversation with the people who are sitting right before them? As parents, we often talk about the importance of modeling good behavior. If we include a lot of whole foods in our own diet, our children will learn to eat healthy; if we are kind to the people around us, our children will also treat their peers and elders with respect and kindness; if we encourage regular physical activity as a family, our children will accept being active as a regular part of their independent life. The same is true for our over-dependence on smartphones and tablets. Even though the iPhone is only a decade old, it is not technology reserved for the young – it has been embraced with a fanaticism and fervor that spans across generations. In some cases,

our parents’ generation – in their late sixties to seventies – are even more bound to the incessant interruptions to everyday life that this slim, pocketsized mobile computer brings, dutifully answering every ping and every phone call. When I was growing up, my father forbade us to answer the phone during meal times because he felt that was sacred family time. During my teenage years, the phone usually rang for me, and when it inevitably would during dinner, we all had to ignore its persistent ring, coming from its place on the end table in the living room. Now, my father’s phone has a permanent place next to his chopsticks, should he want to answer a call, check stock prices or the number of steps he’s taken so far today. Knowing that engaging in social media, online gaming, and answering to your phone’s every beck and call is addictive and harmful to a child’s developing brain, we as a community have to be more mindful about how much access we allow our younger children. We need to set boundaries and cultivate a healthy and meaningful

Bai Win News March 2017 The Joys of Spring!

Bai Win Collections celebrates the arrival of spring with our latest arrivals of furniture and accessories highlighting florals and birds from all over Asia. There is a wide selection to choose from so come by and browse through our showroom. You won’t be disappointed! ѺᙶΟ̫౬࣌͛‫ۏ‬࿹‫ྕݡ‬ᇞᔛ ኛଋҌԧࣇ۞णมâТ‫ڟ‬ካ ఺࣎͡۞পҾ͹ᗟĊ ͽ‫܅‬Θᄃ౧‫ࠎ׊‬͹คĂᖣѩ෪ ᇈᝌᇉߋ͇۞‫ֽז‬Ą кᇹ۞ᏴፄĂ‫׶‬ჟ࡚۞ण‫ݡ‬Ă ˵ኛଋ˼༱Ҿ᏾࿅ᝄĊ

across from the ShiDong Elementary School, (pencil)


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relationship with technology. In this most current surge of technological advances – an Orwellian world filled with driverless cars and computers who converse with you – we should remember that no matter how advanced we can create these robots, the one thing that separates us from them is our heart, this delicate muscle we flex in order to love, empathize, and make sense of a world that is often – at its most beautiful – complicated and cannot be written into code or figured into algorithms. The responsibility falls to us to model the appropriate behavior when it comes to how we use technology to inform, rather than depend on it to survive.

Brenda Lin is a writer, the head of Corporate Social Responsibility at les enphants, co., and a mother of three.


Aim for success, not perfection TexT: KaTherine Chang


p erson walked into a job interview and at some point in the process, the interviewer asked one of the most common and most dreaded questions, “What is your greatest weakness?” The person responded, “I’m a p e r fe c t i o n i s t. I w o r k t o o hard.” Obviously, every interviewer everywhere has heard this answer before. It’s now considered by many to be a cliché or a disingenuous answer. But what if this is not a cliché for you; what if that’s really your reality? Most people have an idea about perfectionism, but in truth, it is an elusive concept not so easily described. When someone says to you, “You are such a perfectionist.” Are you supposed to feel flattered or insulted by this comment? Is someone saying that you have high standards, are diligent, or are a person driven to excel? Perhaps they think that you are rigid, unrealistic and self-defeating? One thing’s for sure: the intention of most perfectionists is to do things well and to excel. It is a valuable attribution that many people take pride in. Which is why if you talk with someone who is a perfectionist about changing the way they approach something, somehow your words may get translated into, “Lower the bar and

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be average.” This is something that no perfectionist would like to hear. Many people would consider having high standards a good thing. In fact, I have had people say to me, “I need perfectionism to be successful! It is what got me to where I am today.” But being a high achiever doesn’t mean you have to constantly tear yourself apart and suffer through the process. The hallmark of perfectionism is not a guaranteed success, but rather a highly critical inner voice that is fear-based. The difference between healthy achievers and perfectionists lies not in the goals

they set (both have high standards), but in the expectation they have about the process of achieving them. For example, both Bill and Jared have the same ambition. But in Bill’s mind, what should happen is a direct, smooth and straight-line process that leads to the desired outcome. Any perceived roadblock or unexpected deviation stresses him out and is paralyzing. Jared approaches his goal with a realistic mindset; progress to him is more like an irregular upward spiral. He tries to make the most out of challenges, especially when he asks himself, “Okay, what is this teaching me?” “What do I know now that can help me to get to the next stage?” Information he gains from experience is used as feedback to formulate better strategies. He gets energized from this creative process and derives meaning from finding solutions to obstacles. But to the perfectionist, the outcome is the only thing that matters. He views stumbles and unexpected changes as nothing but unnecessary defeats that should have been prevented in the first place (which he later uses to criticize himself). In a nutshell, the perfectionist merely endures through the process before the outcome, and regards mistakes with high defensiveness. He is more stressed and experiences fleeting satisfaction only at the end. It is no wonder why perfectionism and burnout often go hand in hand. To many perfectionists’ dismay, their strong desire to avoid failures and to be flawless can backfire on them; they have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them (or if they finish them, the final work never MARCH 2017


outlook sees the light of day, as they don’t show it to anyone). At the heart of perfectionism is the negative attitude towards making m i sta ke s. Pe r fe c t i o n i st s at l a rge believe mistakes would be construed as weaknesses and they would be negatively evaluated and unfavorably judged by others when they happen. So when they think they aren’t good enough at something, they are less inclined to do it. Self-directed achievers approach their goals with a personal focus and vision; their motivation is primarily driven by self-fulfillment. Perfectionists, o n t h e o t h e r h a n d, te n d to b e pushed towards their goals by a fear of disappointing others. This fearbased orientation can morph into performance anxiety where a person feels stiff, defensive, and vulnerable before a situation (such as taking an exam, speaking in public, or managing a project) and his mind goes blank.


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L i ke m o st p e rs o n a l i t y t ra i t s, perfectionism doesn’t exist as an all-ornothing category. Rather, perfectionism exists along a continuum. Most of us find ourselves either more resilient or more vulnerable to its effects during different times of our lives. Sometimes we approach our goals out of fear, other times it is the dream and passion that drive us to reach our personal best. If next time you find yourself p ro c ra st i n at i n g at a s et go a l, d o a l i tt l e s e l f-c h e c k to s e e w h at i s preoccupying you. If it’s fear, try to change that critical, condemning and shame-inducing voice inside your head and treat yourself as a friend or a coach might, with kindness and support. Imagine the positive benefits of completing the goal instead of ruminating on the consequences of not completing it – since that would only make you feel more awful and procrastinate more. See a challenge as an opportunity to grow and derive your

own personal meaning from it. In the face of setbacks, keep your mind focused on problem solving; if one option doesn’t work, try another, shift strategies. You may think, “What is one small step I could take toward reaching my goal?” or, “If I were guaranteed not to fail, what would I be doing differently?” Find creative ways to make the process enjoyable to you. Having high standards and striving to achieve is a valuable attribute. And there are ways to put the high standards to work for you, not against you.

Katherine Chang is a licensed counselor both in the United States and Taiwan, and enjoys working with kids and individuals of various cultural backgrounds. In summer, she likes hiking and backpacking both in Taiwan and abroad.

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Women in Photography - Taiwan This month, we are pleased to present Roma Mehta and Andrea Toerien, two women photographers whose photos reflect their love of photography.

Roma Mehta

Coffee, Taiwan, Yilan County

Andrea Toerien

Safety First – Ankeng Gas Explosion Sweeper 34

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