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Teaching and learning in Kyrgyzstan

Have you ever heard of Kyrgyzstan? Two years ago I had no idea where exactly this country was. And this year it was already the second time I traveled to this amazing country in Central Asia.

Everything started when Gerrit Beine asked me to join him giving a workshop about agile software development in Bischkek (here some impressions from 2012).

This year I was offered the possibility to teach, inspire and learn again in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. This time Michel Löhr joined in as the main coach for the agile workshop at KSUCTA University. And it was amazing this time I was already used to the not so good things like infrastructure or air pollution (which has improved in a good way over the last two years) and then on the other side I saw all this beauty!

The nature is stunning and looking to those massive mountains just outside of Bishkek is amazing. Hiking in those mountains was even more rewarding and then you had the people of Kyrgyzstan: Awesome! So friendly, hospitable, open minded and curious people it was a wonderful experience. Every day at least two students took care of us by doing activities to explore nature, culture, people or food. Thank you all for making this possible.

The 5 days agile software development workshop was a lot of fun where we taught the basics of Scrum. With a lot of games and interactive exercises so that the students could experience the agile culture first hand and learn to work and improve as a team and excel with each iteration.

I’m already looking forward to inspire, teach and learn more in this wonderful country called Kyrgyzstan in the next years.

Temple trip to Lukang

Browsing thru my pictures I saw some hidden pictures from Taiwan. From Taichung I did an day trip to the city of Lukang, known for it old temples. Taiwanese people were so friendly and helpful again it was amazing.

On my way to Lukang I met two students in the train and they where helping me to find the right bus to Lukang. In Lukang I was talking to a guy and he was giving me helpful hints what to what after. When saying goodbye he gave me his business card and that I shall call his mobile number if I have any problems. How friendly is that! On my way back I was again helped to get into the right bus. Another great day trip, check out some of the pictures:

Alishan National Park

From Taichung, Taiwan I went on a 3 day trip to Alishan National Park. Great walks in the park and the first impression what altitude of more than 2000m feels like. At least after 100 steps from my hotel to city center I was quite out of breath. But maybe it is just time to get more fit 🙂

Check out my first timelapse video (that’s the reason why there is still an Blog post from Taiwan although I’m already in Australia) with a forest walk in the National Park and of course some pictures impressions

Travel trip to Sydney

As you might have figured out I love traveling 🙂 And especially the part when I met people on the way, telling me their stories. And I’m always impressed again and again … So what did this time happen on my trip from Alishan National Park in Taiwan to Sydney in Australia

First waiting for the bus in Alishan I bumped into James, an Aussi guy who I met one day ago at a hike where we had an awesome 4 hour talk about life and passions. And I learned something about the mining industry in Australia and cameras.

Then in the high speed train to Taipei my neighbour was a guy from Germany as well. For a 2 day business trip he came to Taiwan to promote machines for pharmaceutical products, very interesting again.

On the airplane I had another great neighbour this time a Chinese guy who is producing app games and is living in Sydney working 4 weeks remote from there and then 2 weeks in Peking. Very interesting and beside the passion of software development we both like to take pictures so I was getting another great lesson about cameras.

On the bus to the apartment in Sydney my neighbour was a woman from Nepal who moved to Sydney with her husband 8 month ago. And we had another great chat. She told me something about the cleaning process of aircrafts. I’m always amazed about the people I met and what story they have to tell.

What is your story? Who did you meet while traveling and what did you learn from them? Tell me your story, I’m curious 🙂

Here some pictures from my trip to Sydney …

Surf Taiwan

Or more precise: Surf in Daxi, Taiwan at Honeymoon Bay

After Finland and Hong Kong now the third try to do some real surfing. This time on the north east coast of Taiwan in the little village of Daxi. 1,5h trip from Taipei by train (train fee: 2,5€) I arrived and went to the Spider Surf Club and met Quake my surf couch for the next 2 days.

We immediately scheduled in a 2 hour private surf lesson for the afternoon. And yes this was a very demanding 2 hours for me. First one hour and 30min some practicing on the floor and his specially designed surf board. Then already being quite exhausted another 30min in the water.

One day later another 2 hour lesson this time at an other beach with smaller waves but better for me as a beginner and I caught some nice waves, yeah 🙂

Please support me with a donation for the “Surf for Life” eduction project in April 2013 in Nicaragua. 345US$ of the goal of 2000US$ are already donated. Thank you very much for your contribution to this project! Keep it up, 17% of the donation goal are already reached. Your support means a lot to me! More background information on this project can be found here: https://www.surfforlife.org/give/Sven-Koble/

Sun Moon Lake Daytrip

Together with Yuyu (who I met at a delicious breakfast place in Angel, London this year) I went on a daytrip to Sun Moon Lake. Didn’t have an idea in the beginning what to expect from this tourist area. It turned out to become another amazing day in Taiwan. Watch some pictures 🙂

One awesome day in Taichung

Traveling around in Taiwan is great, very good train service and with a high speed train from Taipei it is only one hour to Taichung and what an amazing day I had there …

Arriving at the train station the temperature showed 27°C. Yeah finally FLIP-FLOP Time! After checking in the hotel, I meet Irene from Couchsurfing and she picked me up from the main train station. Then a great 30min scooter drive with Irene to a place where a veteran was painting his house. Very colorful and interesting to see. Then back to Taichung city where she showed me a great bakery and we tasted some delicious cakes *Yummy* What a great trip with Irene, thank you!

Next to the bakery was an ice cream shop with a long queue and so I queued for some ice cream, mmmhhh Yummy again 🙂

As it was very crowded I didn’t get a table to sit outside, but there where two empty chairs. So I set to one and after a couple of minutes offered the other chair to a woman. Then next to me a table was getting free and after a short small talk the couple invited me to join into the table and I invited the woman to join in. And from there on we had an amazing conversation for 2 hours. I love those coincidences where you meet people and they turn out to be amazing people. Roslyn, for instant, is a car racer and loves surfing, scuba diving, sky diving and other crazy adventurers. Amazing and you get to know those people just on the street eating an ice cream in the center of Taiwan. Amazing! Maybe that’s it, what I love the most about traveling 🙂

One awesome day in Taipei

My trip continuous this time to Taiwan. And as Surfing is a big motto for this around the world trip I was looking forward to try out couch surfing (https://www.couchsurfing.org). Simon was my first host and I must say it was an awesome experience.

Simon showed me around in Taiwan and we went to a night market where I tried out food I wouldn’t otherwise (1st language barrier, 2nd food wise I’m not very experimental). Then he helped me to organize my Awesome day in Taipei.

First off to the National Palace Museum with amazing jade craftings and paintings. Amazing! And on the bus I met two girls from South Korea and we had a nice chat. In the museum I met two ladies from Japan ( I told the one who was doing the talking, that her english is very good and she said yeah 24 years ago she retired as an english teacher) And still she is traveling: Awesome!

Second stop was a hot spring (Beitou Hot Spring). As the weather was a bit cold for me hot spring sounded like a great thing to do. And it was awesome! I went for the Public Hot Spring Bath (entrance fee was 1€). They had 3 pools from 35 to 43°C and after 10min in a pool you went to a cold pool. Somehow like Sauna 🙂 And the awesome thing was I met so many people there. A couple from Japan. Two guys from England living in Taiwan and teaching English and otherwise traveling around the world. A retired Taiwanese man who lived in Europe for some time and we had great chats. People are very friendly and helpful even if I couldn’t understand them they tried to help me in multiple situations, awesome!

Third stop was the night market in Shiling. A huge market with a lot of delicious food mmhhh yummy 🙂

After that thrilling day I met Simon again and he drove me with his scooter back to his place. He then showed me his 35min video he has produced (Awesome dude keep it up!) and then helped me to organize how to get to my next destination Daxi for some surfing …

Surf Hong Kong

Hong Kong next place to try some surfing. After Finland where surfing was quit hard (see post here) especially with no ocean and a lot of snow.

Hong Kong is temperature wise  already getting better for surfing and they have nice beaches all around the island. Small challenges here as well: no waves … So off again for some practicing without getting on a real surf board.

Please support me with a donation for the “Surf for Life” eduction project in April 2013 in Nicaragua. 175US$ of the goal of 2000US$ are already donated. Thank you for your support! More background information on this project can be found here: https://www.surfforlife.org/give/Sven-Koble/

Hong Kong Stopover

4 days in Hong Kong. Short time for such a thrilling city , maybe that’s why I was greeted with rain and 15°C (what did one of the passengers behind me said: “Well a bit cold for Hong Kong but hopefully I have a heater in the room.”

With a second view this was perfect weather to get rid of the Jetleg as it was 6 hours difference to Finland. And after getting out of the hotel, what a great city: Skyscrapers everywhere, Shopping and eating possibilities everywhere, Next beach not far away, Views to the city amazing, boat trips to cross to Hong Kong island great view.

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