Journey to Taiwan – Part 1 (14th April 2014)
Finally, I arrived in Taiwan!!!! Not arrived but went back home to Taiwan!!!
My curiosity of Taiwan has been escalated since my Tzu Ching friends went back to Taiwan 2 years ago and I didn’t follow them and after I experienced firsthand in this first day in Taiwan. My journey to Taiwan is due to my family journey in Tzu Chi where 22 members of my family have become Tzu Chi Volunteers and we wish to tell our beloved Master Cheng Yen (Shi Gong Shang Ren) this good news and on 13th April 2014, we began our journey to Taiwan where we transited first at Kuala Lumpur.
Our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan was at 1am and I thought my energy will all gone when we arrived in the morning at 6am. But surprisingly, Taoyuan Tzu Chi Volunteers welcomed us with such a warm welcome and suddenly all the sleepiness dissipated. Taoyuan Tzu Chi Volunteers consist of 17 volunteers of Commissioners and businessmen. It was a really honorable welcome for us.
Nei Hu Huan Bao Zan
The first place we are going to visit is Nei Hu Huan Bao Zan ( Nei Hu Recycling Education Center). What makes it different from other Huan Bao Zan is that this Huan Bao Zan focused in educational and to teach people how to recycle while also continuing to recycle. From the start we are given an explanation about recycling in Tzu Chi. Yah although I don’t really understand Hokkien Taiwan or Mandarin, I can get some knowledge like Paper should be divided into 5 different categories : Cardboxes, Newspaper, the plain paper (all white), paper with black and white (used), and Color Paper (magazine front page).
After the brief explanation, we are given a tour in the recycling center. First, we went to the entrance of the Recycling Center. There stood a decoration that made of thousands of glass bottles. Precisely, it consists of 2346 glass bottles. When we asked what is the meaning behind the usage of glass bottles, the Shi Gu explains that the glass bottles were collected by Tzu Chi Volunteers and the glass bottles remind us that all human beings were originaly born pure and clean, but because of our social life and every other things, we began to accumulate bad habits. That’s why, to clean ourself from those bad habits, we do and learn it at Tzu Chi.
Next, we went to a wood modeled house. First when we looked, it was just like an ordinary house But yeah, we are mistaken. The house was built with so much meanings and purposes behind it. The material to build the house itself consist of 50% wood dust (the dust when we saw a tree) and 50% plastics that came from the caps of bottles. It is built eco-friendly and we can attach and deattach the house (semi permanent?). The purpose of it is to build a temporary house fast when needed. Next is the brick, the brick is interlocked and there’s a small gap between each brick. The purpose is to make a breathing room for our mother earth. Water can run through the gap and down the earth. Grasses can grow in the gap and when they are tall enough, Tzu Chi volunteers can come to the recycling center and cut the grasses.
After that, we went to a slightly more interesting places. FIrst is where we learn the usage of energy by riding a fixed bike. We are told to power up the 3 different kinds of lamp. First is the modern lamp, second is LED, third is traditional lamp. Of course we all know that traditional lamp will cost the most energy among the others but surprisingly modern lamp cost energy more than LED lamps. We can feel the difference of effort needed to power up 3 kinds of lamps. And Shi Gu said that when we used Air Conditioner for 6 hours (it’s normal right in Indonesia?), we produce 4.2 kgs of CO2 for EACH room. Imagine if we have 1000 rooms, we have produced 4.2 tons of CO2 on DAILY BASIS. WOW, how much CO2 has we contributed to our lovely Mother Earth?
Then we went to the most interesting section (For me of course). In this section we see how plastic bottles were recycled to fabrics and finally made as blankets, shirts, etc. Here I want to share the steps required to turn plastic bottles to fabrics
Notes : The Plastic Bottles must be number ‘1’ in their code classification (mostly can be seen at the back of each bottle)
- Recycle Bottles, remove caps (will be recycled for different uses), rings
- Compressing the bottles into bales
- Remove labels and the bottles will be crushed into flakes
- Washing, Sifting and Drying Flakes
- Granulate the flakes into Recycled PET Chips
- Chips -> Yarn -> Fabric
- Cutting the fabric
- Sew the fabric
It’s really amazing that we can turn plastic bottles into fabrics but it’s definitely not okay to use a lot of plastic bottles,
Turn Trash into Gold, Gold into Love, Love into a Purifying Force, and Surround the Globe with It
垃圾變黃金, 黃金變愛心, 愛心化清流，清流繞全球
Xin Dian General Hospital
In the afternoon after lunch, we went to Xin Dian General Hospital. It’s a Tzu Chi General Hospital in Taiwan. There, we are given an explanation about the principles about how the hospital operating with the love and passion of Tzu Chi. Because of our lack of time, we lackly going anywhere in the hospital but yeah we had a great time there seeing a pianist and volunteers performing with love for the patients It’s not only a physical medication that the patient needs but also a mental warmth and care by people.
Da AI TV Station Guandu
After a brief journey to Xin Dian General Hospital, we went to Da Ai TV Station Guandu. There we learn more about Da Ai TV and me personally, I got a chance to be a news presenter for Da Ai Headlines .Haha. I got a DVD of my broadcasting 🙂 🙂 I’ve also uploaded to youtube ( http://youtu.be/-eHw3TUXhpo ) 🙂
Jendow Vegetarian Buffet Restaurant
Last but not least we ended up in Jendow Vegetarian Buffet Restaurant. It is definitely the most unique Vegetarian Restaurant I’ve ever met. It is all you can eat and you can chose from 100++ kinds of Vegetarian Food. Yeah 100 ( ONE HUNDRED++). The cuisines differ from Chinese, Italian, Western, etc etc etc. I’m all stuffed, ending up sitting quietly after finishing my fifth plate of food haha.. It’s really delicious. No doubt! You should try to google it and see it yourself!! 🙂
It is a beautiful first day in Taiwan. The most wonderful thing I have experienced is a warmth welcome and care by TaoYuan Tzu Chi Volunteers. Shi Gu SHi Bo have been really really really really (I can repeat 1000 times if I can) giving their all including their precious time, effort, energy to welcome us to Taiwan although we never met them before. It’s like meeting a long long long seen close family members We chat together in the bus, share each other experiences, LAUGH a lot, TALK a lot, SING a lot, EAT a lot and having FUN a lot! Tomorrow (15th April), we are gong back to our home, HUALIEN 😉 and I know and I just know tomorrow’s journey will be as interesting as today 🙂 See you guys, I’m going to have a rest soon 🙂 Bye!