Photo Competition Results
Second Place: Caitlin Cole
“Draws us in – what is this about? Links text well to image – image becomes repository of challenges and imaginings however future is only to revisit.”
While this photograph may not look that significant, I have chosen it because it represents the moment I came to realise how much my time in Taiwan as part of the TEEP program meant to me. The yellow slips of paper were given to us at the Confucius Temple, and we were asked to write our deepest wish on the envelope and post it on the board, so that it might come true. When I was asked to do this, I paused and thought. I had spent the day travelling around the sites of Tainan with my group of four amazing Taiwanese students, learning about their jokes, wishes and daily lives. I watched them each write down their wish – “to do better in my studies!” one said – “to win my baseball game on the weekend!” the other laughed. When it was time for me to write down my wish, I realised that it was to come back to Taiwan as soon as possible, and continue my amazing journey, learning about the culture of Taiwan and sharing in the amazing scenery, food and personality of the Taiwanese people.
After I wrote this wish, I faced many challenges. Teaching in a different cultural context was difficult, but incredibly rewarding. Becoming independent in an unfamiliar city was a challenge, one that was increased when I fell ill and was forced to spend time in a hospital in Tainan. Throughout these challenges I only became more enchanted with Taiwan, and my wish remained the same. Everyone was so encouraging, understanding and helpful. It is for this reason that I keep the image of my wish made in the Confucius Temple close – as a reminder to work hard to finish my studies and travel back to Taiwan and continue to build understanding and challenge myself to keep learning!