Day 2 Taiwan: November 25, 2013

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Early morning departure from Taipei to Green Island. An 40-minute plane ride from Taipei to Taidong (east Taiwan) and 40 minute boat ride to the island itself. Due to the horrible windy and rainy weather, everyone was seasick and it was quite an unpleasant ride.

Prisons: served as an isolated location for political prisoners during the martial law in the White Terror era. Many well known high intellects were imprisoned at that time. The prison is served as a tourist attraction. A visit to the Oasis Village and Green Island Prison. We got to see the typical jail cells and solitary confinement rooms. A typical jail cell contains up to 10 people per room, where they would eat and go to the bathroom. They were not allowed to talk to each other, so they had to whisper quietly. Anyone who didn’t obey the authorities there can be subject to solitary confinement. It is a small dark room, surrounded by an inch of cushion on all four sides where one prisoner can stay up to two months. It is for either the mentally ill or those who didn’t obey the authority. The cushion is to prevent the prisoner from committing suicide.

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Human Rights memorial: an underground memorial with the names of all those who were imprisoned on the island. A beautiful rock that was carved with the quote, “At the time, there were so many mothers who cried for their child who was imprisoned at this island.” One prisoner was especially touched when he visited the island because his mother had cried every day when he was imprisoned there and was blind when he was released.

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4th International Conference on Human Rights education: I had the privilege to go with the group of people who attended the conference on this trip. There were two past political prisoners who were imprisoned on the Green Island themselves. It was interesting to hear their stories and experiences.

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Coral Reef: this island is a small volcanic island. My dad and I woke up in the early morning to walk by the ocean shore and found many stones and rocks that we decided to keep as souvenirs. The tour guide said we should hide it by putting it in our luggage, because we are not supposed to. Many were so beautifully shaped, created by years upon years of the water tides.

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Mountains

New things eaten:

-deer meat (popular on the island, there were many deers on the island) this is definitely the first time I had the chance to try deer meat. Tender and delicious. I felt bad eating it, especially when I saw a baby deer on my walk in the morning.

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-Buddah’s head fruit (a special fruit in Taidong) Looks like the head of a buddha; it is green on the outside and white on the inside. Very sweet and tastes delicious. very cheap too! only 2 for 50TWD, which is around $2.

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