With the dawn of technology and the internet, information about almost anything is just a click away. One can just search google for a destination of their choice and read about it. But one of the best ways to learn about a place — its geography, culture, and natural resources–is through first-hand information from the locals.
A distance learning project that has the exact goal was initiated in November 2017 by Ms. Morocco Lin, a teacher from Siang Shang Junior High School in Taichung City, Taiwan. The initial activity, post card making, has already been accomplished by students of Siang Shang and two batches of freshmen students from Palau High School. The postcards from Taichung showcased famous tourist spots, festivals, and food to name a few. In response to Ms. Lin’s initial activity, students from my English 1 class also sent hand-made postcards and booklets that highlight Palau’s rich culture, history, and of course the famous Rock Islands. Some post cards also had Chinese characters written on them; this was made possible through the help of Ms. Snow Winter (PHS Mandarin teacher).
The project also aims to discuss environmental issues and efforts to preserve and protect the environment. As the second phase of the project is underway, the Palau High School Science Club, headed by Ms. Liezel Pulgueras, is helping out by sharing videos of tree planting projects and coastal clean-ups. The Palau Pledge Project, which is gaining global recognition, is also a topic of interest in this aspect of the project. The same freshmen who created the second batch of post cards also completed a questionnaire that sought to gather their perspective on Palau’s Environmental laws.
The exchange is a collaboration that Palau High School seeks to develop and continue because of the positive impacts it has on the youth. With the help of Principal Smyth Rdang, Ms. Snow Winter, Ms. Pulgueras and the Science club, and the Embassy of Taiwan through Mr. Steven Kang, there are plans for bigger future activities; ones that will involve more students to preserve and protect the environment as well as to strengthen the relationship between Palau and Taiwan. Perhaps, in the future, strengthen ties with more countries.