BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
IN Taiwan, young men are required to do military service or provide their services in any of Taiwan’s ally countries.
Shao-Chuan Yu, Chia-Han Hou and Chien-Jang Huang are three young men who decided to leave their country and travel all the way to Solomon Islands to provide their specialised services rather than joining the military service.
They graduated from the best universities, are all masters graduates and came to serve the country through their services at the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) farm.
Shao-Chuan Yu, who specialises in nutrition mission in the country focuses on helping to improve the health status of Solomon Islanders through school farms and school nutrition.
Chia-Han Hou work involves helping out to manage the farm as well as in the delivery of fruits and vegetables to schools located near the farm.
Chien-Jang Huang’s mission is to provide qualified piglets and pig farm managing skills to local farmers in order to improve piggery industry in Solomon Islands.
They have served and been in the country for about 11 months and will soon leave for Taiwan sometime this month and next month.
All three have found Solomon Islands interesting with eye opening experiences of how different Solomon Islands is to Taiwan.
For Yu, Solomon Islands is a lovely place where unlike Taiwan, life is more relaxed and the pace of life makes him feel so comfortable despite the difference in weather, culture and people.
He says that the friendliness of people here is what lessens the feeling of being homesick.
During his mission, Yu said he had to interview staff of school kitchens and collect data which was very interesting.
“Things like chopping vegetables, boiling the water and cooking the food in local style is also refreshing. I also got more familiar with Solomon Islands’ food culture and know how people eat and cook. I guess that would be my favorite memory of the days I spent in Solomon Islands,” he said.
Hou said the most unforgettable moment during his time in the country is when he worked with the horticulture staff and got to communicate with them in Pidgin and hear them speak in their own dialects.
He said it is moments like this that makes him feel closer to the real Solomon Islands.
Hou added that Solomon Islands is truly the happy isles it calls itself.
“Solomon Islands call itself the happy isles and it truly is because people are always smiling with smiles bright as the sun here. People are always taking their time, enjoying every day with no worries,” he said.
Meanwhile Huang expressed that everything he has seen in Solomon Islands has impressed him.
He said the country is different from Taiwan not only in climate and environment but also people.
“The people here are very friendly and lovely. In these 10 months, I’ve met many people, and they have helped me a lot. This is a great country,” said Huang.
Huang mentioned that working with his colleagues is unforgettable especially when he uses pidgin to communicate with them.
“It seems I can be one of them, to be an islander. I really enjoy my time with them,” he said.