Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hiking With the Fourth Grade Class

Waiting to go.

My daughter's headmaster is a forward-thinking and energetic fellow who comes out of a Boy Scout background. Given all the wonderful places to hike in the neighborhood, it is no surprise that every semester he has the school take a hike somewhere.

Since I had Tuesday off, and my wife was acting as a volunteer, so I accompanied the school on its excursion

Dan-dan looks around.

This semester we went up to the bamboo-clad hillsides to the north of the school. Bamboo from this area is famous all over the island, and the road was lined with farmers hard at work caring for their saplings.

Do the students worship my wife?, No, they just enjoy that favorite activity of small boys the world over, sadistic torture-murders of helpless bugs.

Those of you wanting to know more about socialization of authority relationships at the primary school level might ponder this scene of a speech made to the students using a microphone, from a teacher on a platform with a defined spatial separation from the students -- in the shade, while the kids are in the sun. In Taiwan speakers trained solely in the local speech mode do not step out into their audience to speak.

Who could resist going when you got this nifty button as the prize?

And they're off!

We walked along a creek/ditch/sewer for most of the trip.

No matter how "rural the area" it will be packed with small factories and machine shops.

My son, growing by leaps and bounds, stands out in the crowd.

The bamboo trees lent an authentic atmosphere, but provided no shade.

The obligatory spider shot. I love the sumptuous colors of these spiders.

That's Tanzi in the distance there.

My wife with my daughter's best friend.

Why is Snoopy taped to the telephone pole? I have no idea.....

My wife exchanges views with my daughter's teacher.

We met in a parking lot where another hiking trail begins. The principal had organized activities for the kids.

Our principal. I'd say some more laudatory stuff, but I'm too jealous of his Nikon D70.

Juying mans a table.

Posing by the sign.

My son spotted this one for me, a tiny little hunter scurrying across the sign above.

Kids line up for activities.

Another hunter comes to a bad end in the road.

What is it? A creek? A sewer? The destruction of the island's watercourses is one its saddest aspects.

Impromptu garbage dumps, a common sight along back roads.

The community bulletin board is taken up with signs not to drink, gamble, or steal, that date back decades. This one warns that come home late and drunk will impact your relationship with the wife, and be a bad model for the kids.

We arrived back at the school after more than three hours on the road. I took the principal aside and told him how much we liked the activity, and how we looked forward to more.