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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tim's Update: Taiwan

While Joseph is in Qingdao and Mom is home with Bronchitis Tim's update this week is from Taiwan:

Taiwan Service Center/Church Office/ Taipei Temple
This week I traveled to Taipei, Taiwan to set up the recording of the scriptures in audio for Mandarin Chinese. Nicole Hui also came to Taipei on this project and we worked with Christie Huang our AV producer.

The last time I was in Taiwan was in 2001 for the dubbing of Legacy and Testaments. I was surprised by the new Church Office building where there was a Stake Center previously. The new building (photo on right, and behind the temple in photo on left) houses the Taiwan Service Center, Church Distribution, Seminaries and Institute offices and classrooms, and a beautiful chapel, cultural hall (basketball court and stage), and offices for three stakes and five wards. Across the street, the former Service Center building (left) is now used for the mission office and housing for senior missionaries and temple patrons. The Taipei Temple block is nestled in the midst of office buildings. The new Church offices match the temple well and seem to enhance it rather than compete with it.

Contract Producer and Studio
Monday and Tuesday were spent visiting with people and studios to prepare for our scripture project (photo on left: Alan Lee, the Materials Management Supervisor, Tim, Nicole Hui, Area AV Manager, and Christie Huang, Taiwan AV producer) . It was a pleasure to meet Sister Shiao Wang (photo on right), a candidate for our contract producer. We visited the studios we are currently using for dubbing as well as several new studios that do work for Disney, Dreamworks and Pixar animation. We had success and were able to make plans for future production. I was also able to visit with Elder Joseph Chung, Area Authority Seventy and Temple Recorder in the Taipei Temple. He will review our Scripture recordings for the Area Presidency.

Lungshan Temple
During the evening hours on Monday I went to see the Lungshan (Dragon Mountain)Temple. It is an amazingly beautiful temple complex, especially at night. One of the outstanding features are the 12 main support columns with dragons carved in deep relief in the solid stone. Even though it was raining through most of the evening, there were many worshippers, especially young people. The dragon themed roof ornaments, the hand crafted artistry of the ornamentation, the incense and offerings, the splashing waterfalls in the courtyard, all combined with the faces of the participants to create a surreal and beautiful experience.

Taipei 101 Tower
Because of Christie’s great preparation, we were able to finish all our work by the end of the day Tuesday evening. I was planning on going to the Taipei 101 Tower that evening. Since Alan Lee had never been himself, he offered to take Nicole and I. It had been raining quite steadily since Sunday in Taipei, tonight it cleared up and was a beautiful evening.

Taipei 101 holds the world record in three categories: tallest to the structural top, tallest to the roof, and highest occupied floor. The outdoor observation deck is the highest in the world. The elevators are the fastest in the world, rising at 3307 feet per minute (37.8 mph) and descending at 2001 f/min (23.5 mph). The 728 ton steel pendulum that serves as a tuned mass damper (photo on right) is astounding. It keeps the building from swaying in the wind etc.

The view was spectacular. Afterwards we had dinner near the temple at a small dumpling restaurant.

High Speed Train
Nicole had some printing things to do on Wednesday with Christie then went back to Hong Kong early. I decided to take the High Speed Train to the south end of the Taiwan island. It was raining all day but that certainly didn’t spoil the view at over 200 MPH (300KPH). It took only 90 minutes to travel the 200 miles to Kaohsiung including two stops, one of them at Tiachung. It was a great experience to get a high speed overview of both rural and city life in Taiwan.

When I arrived in Zuoying (the location of the terminal near Kaohsuing) I took a taxi to the nearby lake with several temples and pagodas. In the midst of the downpour I was content taking photos to my heart’s delight in some of the most amazing dragon themed temples I’ve seen. The second temple had three levels, each more grand and richly decorated than the next. After a taxi back to the station and a short visit by subway to Kaohsiung, it was time for my train back to Taipei. I can’t imagine a much more interesting or exciting day in the rain.

After a final visit to the Distribution Center and the Taipei Temple (the LDS version) I picked up the laundry, went back to the hotel, and packed to leave by 6AM for the flight back to Qingdao.


Anonymous lens said...

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Jun 7, 2008, 1:37:00 AM  
Blogger Jill_ums said...

I served my mission in Taipei! I love Taiwan! I'd love to be your tour guide sometime! 下次你去台灣我可以跟你以此去!

Jun 9, 2008, 1:14:00 PM  

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