The winds raged and howled for 3 days. Isaac and I spent part of yesterday squeegeeing out the school and most people in staff housing had water coming in through their windows. It was really cool to be out in the torrential rain, unblocking drains and being totally drenched, but warm. Never imagined that much water. The boys had a great time playing in the water, but worked hard helping too. We almost made it through the whole thing without losing power but last night, it went out, and then came back on, and then went out etc. I'd wake up to find all the lights on, but the a/c off so I'd get up, turn the lights off, turn the a/c on and go back to bed, only to repeat it 4 or 5 times during the night, and then mop the floor while I was at it. Not much sleep. We had almost 2 feet of rain fall in one day, hence the flooding.
Things were calmer today so we ventured back to the city for Church. Today they put the songs in English, Chinese and Romanized Chinese (basically, phonetically spelled Chinese). It was really cool to worship in another language. We actually made it home on our own, which is no small feat in a land of Chinese road signs and lots of freeways. The devastation downtown was considerable, but mostly biological. No buildings fallen (a few signs, one car flipped) but it was the destroyed trees that were sad. Some were uprooted right out of the sidewalk. Lots of cleanup to do. Luckily, things grow fast here. Some clay tiles fell 7 stories off the roof in the wind. The Cooper's car window was smashed. Not good.
When we got home from church, we still had no power so everything was hot and stuffy. We went over to the school to work for a bit but hot and stuffy there too. We decided to venture into the village for dinner. My friend Chris and I had picked up some dumplings there in the middle of the storm yesterday and they looked to have some really good beef noodle soup. Feeling confident, we first went to my favorite tea shop (one of 2 I've been to) and ordered these great iced teas. It seemed so much easier with Chris, who speaks some Chinese. I couldn't get them to understand Passionfruit (and didn't want to act it out) so settled for Lemon. They were great though. They've got this amazing system of sealing the lids to they can put them upside down in a bag. Very cool. We then went to the noodle shop. Again, had a hard time explaining that I wanted 20 dumplings and a large beef noodle soup. Fortunately, an English speaking girl came along and fixed it up for me. Unfortunately, here English was not that good. The lady showed up with two small bowls of soup, so I thought she had simply divided it, and then came with a large bowl. I tried to explain that I only wanted 1 large bowl, so she said "okay, okay" and left, only to return with another large bowl. We had enough soup to feed an army, and then she came with the dumplings. They were extremely friendly and we had a great time. Everyone's being great sports about the food and we're learning to like new things. When we left, it only ended up costing 26o NT , which is about 8 bucks, for all of us.
We're still loving it here and the adventure has only just begun.