Trip to Taiwan–28 October (Part 2)

After we finished in the church, we walked over to a youth center that is part of the parish and where we were to eat lunch.

The members of the parish prepared a very nice meal for all of us and stayed to eat with us.


When most had finished eating, the parish members gathered the visitors into a circle around a wooden mortar filled with cooked rice and there were traditional songs sung with a simple dance step.
I didn’t really know what was going on when they handed me the large pestle and indicated I was to pound the rice. Then a series of men took over and each had a turn of two or three minutes of beating the rice.
After fifteen minutes or so, the object of our exertions was evident as the pounded rice turned into a large, heavy mound of sticky rice, a Chinese sweet and a traditional product of this village.  The wad of rice was place on a plate of sugar and ground peanuts and then portioned off into small sweet chunks.  Delicious!
Then we had a chance to explore the village for about an hour. We crossed the valley first on this pedestrian suspension bridge.
In the village was a statue celebrating the making of sticky rice that we had just done.
The terrain in this area is really steep and rugged.
Finally we drove to a restaurant near the Franciscan center and ate and then returned to the center where we spent a second and final night.