Sunday, November 2, 2014



Efforts are underway by the Taiwan government for a government led restructuring to avoid bankruptcy (Plan to stop Taiwan's high-speed rail going bust set for review). Since opening in 2007, this privately financed and operated system has been plagued with ridership well below projections. The Taiwan experience is consistent with the research showing that ridership on high-speed rail lines has been frequently over-projected.
Minister of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) Yeh Kuang-shih offered this sobering assessment:
“This is not the best time to address the financial problems, but it is the last window of opportunity. The Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp will definitely go bankrupt if the problems are not addressed by the end of the year. The only other solution would be a government takeover. If the company files for bankruptcy and the government is forced to take over operation of the system, the banks will probably collect on their loans, but neither large nor small investors will get anything back.”
Kuomintang Party legislator Lin Kuo-cheng said that the "debt" and "accumulated losses" mean that the Taiwan high speed rail line is "broke."

[Published at New Geography]

Photo by Tony Lin

Friday, September 19, 2014

Where To Find A Salon In Taipei For A Woman Of Color

I was recently in Taipei, Taiwan for an extended stay and I thought that finding a hair salon that can do my kinky natural hair would be a big challenge. Little did I know how easy it was!!  

In the states I frequented the hair salon just about every two weeks and like my skincare, healthy hair comes with good treatment and care. And with that in mind I nervously walked upstairs into a well kept salon in the upscale Da'an District of Taipei.

I did not speak Chinese, except for a few basic words, but I was lucky on that day. A nice lady was sitting waiting her turn and she was happy to interpret for me. The stylist came over and sat me down in a chair and her assistant came and started to massage my back, neck and shoulders for about 15 to 20 minutes, way longer than expected.
The real bliss started with the shampooing of my hair; it's like nothing I've ever had back in America. After the massage, the stylist came over with a small bottle of warm water and a small amount is squirted onto my hair and a bit of shampoo is worked into the hair until a rich and smooth lather is visible and the entire head is damp and smooth while sitting at the chair. Water is added bit by bit and the stylist then uses both hands to rub, massage and scrub the scalp and hair. After that is done a warm damp towel is placed around my neck and shoulders and I am taken to the sink for rinsing.
 After a thorough rinse, the hair was patiently towel dried, the ears cleaned and you were brought back to the chair where a senior stylist came over to do the blowing, drying and styling. When I first walked into this salon I was very skeptical of them doing my kinky natural hair, but at the end I was very satisfied.

Most salons in Taiwan will give you just the basic wash and conditioner, but if you want deep conditioner, color, and cut it will be extra. I have been to this salon about 6 times and I absolutely love the pampering. 

What makes Taiwanese hair salons different is the amount of time and care that goes into your day at the salon. Oh,, and US$10.00 is all it will cost you.

Where To Go For Salon Pampering: If you are ever in Taiwan, stop by Jǐn Hóng (瑾虹 - Brilliant Rainbow) for some pampering where the owner Wáng Xiùqīng (王秀卿will greet you with a friendly smile and a glass of room temperature water to drink.

Address: Taipei, Da'an District, He-ping E. Rd. Sec. 1 No. 187-7 2-F (台北市大安區和平東路一段187之7號2樓)
Phone Number: (02)2357-0186
Hours of Operation: 8:30AM-6:00PM
Number of Years in Business: 30

Monday, July 21, 2014

Credentials of New Ambassadors to Belize - Diplomacy

Ambassadors from the Philippines and the Republic of China (Taiwan) Present Credentials to the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Graduates of Crooked Tree Village Government School - 2014

The Boys - 2014
You've come so far. You've worked so hard. Your graduation is a new and open door.

Congratulations to the students, teachers and people of Crooked Tree Village on the graduation class of 2014. 

The Class of 2014 
Principal, Winnie Gillett

All photos by Amber Wade 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Central American Championships - Tegucigalpa, Honduras

 The Belizean Team
A delegation of Belizean athletes and their coaches left Belize on June  20, 2014 to participate in the 25th Central American Championship Games in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  The athletes won a total of 10 medals; 1 Gold 6 Silver and 3 Bronze.

Regarding the Belizean females, Katy Sealy was outstanding, taking the gold in the heptathlon with a Belize national record, and in hurdles. Alexia Neal won silvers in the 100m and 400m hurdles. 

For the male athletes, Brandon Jones took silver medals in the 200m sprint, long jump and triple jump, and Kenneth Medwood took home silver in the 400meter hurdles. 

The games are sponsored by CADICA (Conferacion Athletica del Istmo Centroamericano)

Katy Sealy - Central American Heptathlon Champion 2014 
Katy Sealy's Gold Medal - Heptathlon Champion 

Alexa Neal - Silver Medalist in the 100 and 400 Hurdles  
Katy Sealy with BAAA President, Sutherland 
Team Belize's coach, Evans

Photos via Katy Sealy's on Facebook and Alexa Neal via Instagram

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Workplace Rights For Belizeans In The US

The Honorable Roland York, The Consulate General of Belize and Ruben Rosalez, Regional Administrator from the U.S Department of Labor, Wage, and Hours division (WHD) has come together today to sign a memorandum of understanding to bring awareness of workplace laws and regulations applicable to Belizeans in the U.S. The objective of this agreement is to help Belizeans understand their workplace rights, in particularly with regard to violations of the minimum wage, working overtime and not being paid, child labor, record keeping and all laws establish under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

Belizeans who have worked in the U.S and returned home and even deportees who worked and left the U.S being owed wages, can collect their back pay and benefits through this initiative. 

For more information contact the Belize consulate at (323) 634-9900 or Ralph Valles at the U.S Department of Labor, Wage, and Hour division (626) 732-4928.

The WHD is working to get Belizeans their money owed and establish a system for referring complaints about unfair Labor practices. 

Know your rights! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Crooked Tree Village Tops The Primary School Examination - Belize

Ashton Tillett, Top PSE Scorer, 2014
Ashton with family members in Crooked Tree Village
Principal of Crooked Tree Village School, Winnie Gillett
Verla Jex, PSE teacher
The Primary School Examination (PSE) results were announced this week and the Crooked Tree Village School top the nation with the highest score. A total of 19 students sat the exams and all of them were successful.

Twelve year old Ashton Tillett was the top scorer for Crooked Tree School with a score of 381 of 400. The top 5 for Crooked Tree School are Ashton Tillett, Damion Tillett, Raheema Sealy, Gabriel Crawford and Elias Flowers.

According to a release from the Belize Ministry of Education, across Belize, seven thousand two hundred and forty five students sat the exams. As has been for the past several years, the results show major weaknesses in Maths, English and Social Studies. In Maths forty seven percent of the students scored below the fifty percent of the passing grade; in English the grades improved slightly, and fifty-eight percent of the students performed at satisfactory levels in Social Sciences, which is below the level from last year. 

Ashton Tillett, the number one student in Belize along with the principal of Crooked Tree Village School Winnie Gillett were interviewed by the news media, News 5 Belize and this is what they had to say.   

“I feel totally satisfied and it is a great feeling to finally reach a goal that you have tried so hard for. It is a good feeling. I prayed to God and I asked him to be there for me. I couldn't have done this without some special teachers from school; Verla Jex and all the other teachers that supported me with additional morning classes. I think what helped me on the English is because I like to read a lot and I like to study. All were easy except for the Math Two which was a little bit challenging because I think they put a piece of high school work in it and I think that was what took me down a little. To me, the subject that was easiest was English. I am always good at English and most of the subjects.”

Principal, Winnie Gillett:

It is one of the best feelings. I can’t even explain how we felt when we got the news that we had topped the country. it is something that we've been aiming for because we are always thriving for the best. As our school motto says, “Thriving for Excellence.” So I guess we've reached excellence and we will strife harder for next year.”

Congratulations to Crooked Tree Village!!!!

All photos via 5 News