Today (Sunday, June 15) is our last day in Taiwan. Tomorrow (Monday, June 16) we fly back to the United States (or at least some of us fly back to the U.S.). At any rate, this is the conclusion of the travel part of our research grant. We will continue to post to the blog. Some people have some blog posts from our time in Taiwan that are not yet posted. All of us will have reflections on the meaning of our time spent here in Taiwan. The interview process went far better than any expectations that I had. All of the women business owners were willing to talk to us and gave us one to three hours of their time. They answered our questions and told us other things that were important to them. Over the 16 interviews that we conducted, the students honed their technique and became quite expert at knowing which questions would need a bit more explanation. In addition to thanking the women business owners for their time, I would also like to thank the translators who worked with us to translate the responses into English. The translators included primarily students from Tunghai University and Lanyang Branch of Tamkang University but we also relied on some other people when students were not available. Dr. Karen Kingsbury’s many friends and colleagues here in Taiwan have also talked with us about their lives and about Taiwan to provide us with more context for our research.
It is great to look back on our four weeks and realize all the places (and hotels) we have been: in Taichung we stayed at Tung Hai Land Youth House; in Tainan we were in the Good Garden Hostel; on Penghu Island we stayed a night each at a guest house: Hi One One Homestay and Caramel Macchiato Homestay; we spent a quick night in Kaohsiong at the Modern Hotel ( the worst of the lodging places but we weren’t there very long); the Charming City Hotel in Hualien; another one night stay in Jia-ye Spa Hotel in Jiaohsi; and finally the Hsuanmei (Beauty) Hotel in Taipei.
I cannot possibly list all the wonderful places where we ate; but a few stand out: the choose your own ingredients soup eatery our very first night in Taichung; Bianca Pasta Restaurant in Taichung where we ate twice and had our first interview; the Organic Garden Buffet in Taichung with wonderful vegetarian dishes; the small Ai Tsao vegetarian restaurant and store in Lukang; Greenland, the vegetarian buffet in Hualien; lunch buffet at Dong Hwa University; and the Ami Cifahadan restaurant in Guanfu.