Days 39, 40, 41, & 42: Time to Come Home!

by Theresa

Good news! I’m writing this post from a gate in the Detroit Airport and will be home in just a few hours!

I can’t believe that we’re finally back in the states, and it is SO relieving to know that that horrible 12 hour flight is OVER. It’s also incredibly confusing to think that our group departed from Providence University exactly 24 hours ago…

Only a few hours have passed since I’ve officially been in the states, but I already feel the effects of reverse culture shock.

For example, I spent at least 40 seconds in the airplane bathroom looking for somewhere to throw away my used toilet paper. Thank goodness we can finally flush it again! And to make it even better, I can use ANY toilet stall in the bathroom, not just handicapped ones!

TMI? Don’t lie—you think it’s hilarious.


After our farewell party, we  just had time to kill until our flight yesterday/today. It was nice to just relax, hang out, get organized, buy some last minute gifts, enjoy our favorite foods for one last time, and soak in the environment while we still could.

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I have three favorite highlights from our last days in Taiwan:

1. Filming the recruitment video for AU COBE in Taiwan 2014

As a part of the internship credit that can be earned during this trip, we were required to film a video to recruit future participants for the COBE Taiwan program. We dedicated one afternoon to filming and interviewing, and I loved getting together with everyone to chat about our trip—from money spent and credits earned, to trip highs and trip lows, to pre-departure anxieties and post-trip favorites.

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2. Making our very own Harlem Shake video

We’re kind of behind on the times with this one, but our Taiwanese friends had never heard of the Harlem Shake before–and really, what’s more fun than shaking like crazy for the world to see? Email me if you want to see the video!

3. Exploring the town on our own

The title does not effectively communicate quite how independent and confident we felt in the days before departure. One day, a group of us took the bus to an area of town that we had been to before but couldn’t quite remember how to get there. Even still, we were confident that we could figure out our way and spend the afternoon shopping, even without directions or a translator.

Similarly, my roommate and I treated ourselves to a would-be favorite restaurant, if it weren’t for the fact that they had no english menus. All the same, we decided to take the risk last night and use our notes to translate what we knew we were looking for on the menu.  In a twist of events, it turns out that they actually do have an english menu, but for a good 15 minutes, we were totally going to be able to order food from a chinese menu on our own. And that felt pretty good.

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❤ So happy to be back in the U.S.! See you all in person soon!