Trip to Taiwan–27 October

Today started off in Taipei and ended up in a retreat center in central Taiwan.  In the morning, the starting point was Academia Sinica, the science institute where Henry Wong works as a researcher in nuclear particle physics.

Today Academia Sinica was having their annual open day and many tens of thousands of young people came to see the displays and demonstrations of natural science in so many different fields. The students were mostly high school age which is noteworthy because those who come to work and research at the Academia are at the PhD level so the students had at least 6-8 years of further studies ahead of them before they could realize their dreams at this institute.
These pictures were taken at more than an hour before the open house started and don’t begin to show the huge numbers of young people who had already gathered that early.
This is a display in the Institute of Physics where Henry Wong works.
At the end of the day (4:00 PM, when the open house ended), we were to take a hired car to central Taiwan, but in arranging for the driver to meet us at the institute, had not taken into consideration the thousands of students also leaving at the same time on foot, in city buses, and in inter-city buses like this one. Here Henry is talking to the car driver to find a place where we could meet.
We finally found the car and drove south several hours to this Franciscan retreat center where we met with a Hong Kong pilgrimage group touring holy sites in Taiwan. Here one of the Franciscans explains the environment of their renovated chapel.
After the quick initial tour, the group got their room keys and we had supper together. I was invited to join with the pilgrimage group because I had known some of them when I was in Hong Kong and this excursion would let me see some parts of Taiwan where I had never been.
Finally the day ended with a mass in the church which was way too big for our group of 40 people or so.