It is more than a decade since I first came to Taiwan. During that time Taiwan has played a big part in my life, but my time there has finally come to an end and I am returning to Australia. This news may come as a surprise to some readers of this blog, but I have spent the past few weeks meeting with and saying goodbye to friends in Taipei and Taichung.
These past few years in Taiwan have been a rich learning experience. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to study at National Chengchi University (NCCU) where I completed a Master’s degree in Taiwan Studies. Dr David Blundell gave me some great guidance in the process of writing my thesis. David is currently editing a book titled Taiwan Since Martial Law. I have written a chapter for the book based on my thesis research and it should be published in the next few months. I will post the details of the book on this blog when it is available.
After graduating from NCCU I went to work at the Research Centre for Austronesian Peoples at Providence University. This gave me the chance to spend some more time in Smangus and to get to know the community of Marqwang in the rear mountain area of Jianshi Township. I have also visited a number of other indigenous communities around Taiwan with Dr Lin Yih-ren and thank him for his guidance and support. I must also thank Lahuy Icyeh, Watan Talu, Neqo Soqluman and Wang Hsin-han for their help over the last year.
In these past few years Venerable Chao Hwei (昭慧法師) has been very supportive and helpful. I will never forget her generosity in hosting the INEB Conference at Honghsi College in 2007. She also invited me to participate in the campaign against the Penghu casino and subsequently observe the referendum in Penghu. I have also participated in several conferences that she organised and other events at Hongshi College (佛教弘誓學院). I really must thank all the people at Hongshi College for everything they have done.
There are also many other friends and classmates who I have met during my time in Taiwan. There are lots of great people here and thank you to all of them for their friendship.
Some people have asked me if this blog will still be online after I leave Taiwan. I plan to keep this blog online for the forseeable future and I will even continue to write the occasional post about various Taiwan related topics. I will of course be closely following the news from Taiwan over the next six months in the lead up to the legislative and presidential elections.