Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Trip South in Taiwan

As you know, Taiwan is long and narrow, with high mountains(12 thousand feet high) in the middle. The widest horizontal line is less than 90 miles and the longest north to south distance is about 250 miles. It was once “discovered” by the Dutch and was named “Formosa” on western maps continuously, even though the Dutch were later kicked out by a general in the Ming Dynasty. The map below will give you some idea about the island:taiwan 

Father made some arrangements for us, especially Janice, to take a trip south to visit the island. We will show you several places we visited on this trip south in the next few blogs.  Taiwan at that time had less than 16 million people. Today the population is starting to level off with more than 23 million.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A very special July 4th!

In the USA, everyone enjoys July the 4th, because it is always a holiday! Certainly we take for granted this annual break, and it is the customary starting date for summer vacation. Besides associating the date with fireworks and picnics, a few other special celebrations remain in my memory. In particular, July 4th, 1969, was a very special one. We were invited to a picnic by Miss Clara Jones,to join with Faith and Wendell Friest and their two new daughters at Wulai waterfall, near Taipei. It was a beautiful day, a few of us had an enjoyable swim in the stream.wulaiwulai-2wulai-3wulai-4  
At night, Janice and I were invited by the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to a July 4th celebration party. It was eye-opening for us to see how a formal party was held by one country to celebrate another country’s holiday!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Josephine and George’s wedding

Just accidently we arrived in Taipei to catch Josephine and George’s wedding. They were both Friendship Corner members, and George used to sing in my choir there. They asked me to sing a song at the wedding, which I was happy to oblige. There was an interesting story about something that happened during the wedding. While I was sitting in the front with the wedding party, another wedding guest came to Janice, who was holding baby Margaret, to ask where Janice went to get her baby. Janice answered that “she is mine”, so the lady continued, “I know that, but where did you get her!”. I have a couple of wedding pictures:


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Taida, National Taiwan University

Taida is the shortened name for National Taiwan University. It is equivalent to calling the University of Kentucky, UK. The Huang family is very lucky to have four siblings, all of whom graduated from Taida. It is as rare as any family in the USA to have four siblings all graduating from Harvard. Especially since every one of us had to take the college entrance exams to get there. Further more, all four of us entered Departments in Taida with the letters “chem” in them. I entered the Department of Chemistry, the next two entered the Chemical Engineering Department, and finally our youngest sister entered and graduated from the Department of Agricultural Chemistry Department at Taida. How do you like that?  How lucky could you get, to end up in this fashion.

Well, of course, I had to show Janice my Taida. We went there several times, I tried to point out all the places I was familiar with: the chemistry buildings, the basketball fields, the Fu-Garden and certainly the famous entranceway lined by palm trees. At the time we were there, our youngest sibling was just beginning her studies, while our third brother was entering his junior year. 


Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Long-Expected One 盼盼

The word 盼盼, pronounced Panpan, in Chinese means the long-expected one. It was the nickname given to Margaret by my parents when she was born. As you can imagine, that was the name used by everyone when we were in Taiwan, and by all our American friends during most of her early years - in Kentucky and in Johnson City – up until the time she went to school. Its meaning was very appropriate as Janice and I  had been already married for four years before she was born. Panpan is easily pronounced and remembered so we were happy to use that name.

This is a common Chinese practice. Parents or grand-parents would usually give a diminutive nickname, in addition to a formal, grand, ambitious name, to each of their children. For example, my formal name in Chinese means The Bearer of Truth. Wow, how ambitious can you get! My nickname is “big hair”. A hair is always very small even a big one. In this way the gods (or whoever the authorities are) would not take their son away, as he is really small! My next brother, Dean, had the nickname “small hair”. Let me tell you – there are a lot of “hairs” in China!

Panpan adjusted very well in Taiwan. She was quickly involved with a red plastic reindeer on our bed in the back room, and she would spend a lot of time trying to “communicate” with it until she was tired and went to sleep in front of it.