This past weekend I went to Shei-Pa National Park in Hsinchu, Taiwan. I went with a group of my uncle's former students, most of whom were in their 40s or 50s, a few retired. All really sweet Taiwanese people. Some details for you...
Upon arriving at our hostel, I felt a little sick from the altitude change and windy drive up, so one of Uncle's students, an unmarried lady with a big smile, offered to perform Reiki on me. I said, Yes. I sat on a chair in the middle of the kitchen while the other people in our group were buzzing around preparing for lunch. These are people I have only just met. She instructs me to put my hands on my lap, palms up and close my eyes. She then uses her own two hands and creates this energy halo around the top of my head, works it down to my shoulders and I am really feeling this energy, and it feels good! Then another lady comes up to me and whispers do I want to eat a dried plum, and I say Sure. She feeds me the dried plum using chopsticks as I am easing into this weird, heated energy state. Almost immediately, I feel guilty for accepting the dried plum in my mouth. Who do I think I am some type of East Asian royalty too good for the rough ways of Mountain life that I need to instantly be treated and fed dried fruit?! All I can think is I really hope eating this dried plum is not messing with the energy this other lady is so kindly creating to heal me. I have consumed the fruit of the plum and now the pit of the plum is resting in my mouth, which is filling with saliva (my own). I tell myself to relax. and I do, right before the Reiki healer starts really using her hands forcefully on my head, messing my hair, undoing my ponytail and sending my bobby pins flying off. She does this for a good few minutes. By the end of this 20 or so minute session, I feel foolish, yet so so much better and clear-minded, lighter, freer. It worked! I collected my hair ties and bobby pins from the ground and began eating more snacks offered to me by various adults.
About an hour after my Reiki session, we did a hike that was surreal. The hiking itself was completely manageable, mostly downhill, but the views, what we were walking through and surrounded by was truly from a new world, a Stephen King novel. See photos to get an idea. The fog was spectacular and added a depth to the forest I'm not sure we would have experienced otherwise. Unlike any other place I've been to and really, really peaceful.
I met a really cute Dachshund named Little Dragon!!
Everyone thinks I'm 18-20 years old and are all surprised to hear I've graduated and have worked for three years. The idea of quitting and traveling to them is a little foreign but they think it's cool and are happy I'm learning Chinese in the process. They say my Chinese is pretty impressive. One of the students brought his family including his two kids who are 10 (the boy) and 13 (the girl). I taught them how to say the word Moss, they taught me how to make a hacky sack from plastic bags, coins and a rubber band.
It was very sweet and I thank my Uncle for the experience.
Next up: Penghu, a group of tiny islands off the NW coast of Taiwan, for 3 days, 2 nights with the sea. I will be going with my aunt and her former students, all in their early 20s, so a little closer in age. Looking forward to making new friends and playing in the water.