Sept 7, 2011
I just put Oona a plane from Taipei to NYC all by herself. We’ve had two intense months together and many great adventures. Due to my obsessive planning, our luck and Oona’s good nature, all has gone well. She has been amazing as a traveling companion and as my translator. We have truly worked as a team. Her liveliness, love of people, sense of humor, showmanship and ability to connect with and to trust almost everyone has made it possible for me to paint portraits of hundreds of wonderful and interesting people from all over Taiwan. The next three weeks for me here alone will be my longest separation from her ever. On the bus back from the airport, I feel sad already, but also strangely exhilarated at the prospect of a small stretch of autonomy. My work days will be much longer and I will have time for my blog. But I will have to ‘headhunt’ by myself. Later that night: Just got into the studio and there are 14 people waiting to be painted. Maybe it will be ok…!
We moved our base camp from Shoufong to Hualien City on July 12th for a two week stay at ‘Home-stay’ in the downtown area. It’s an old Japanese style house (see video review on Oona’s blog) with only three bedrooms. We’ve been here for twelve days now and have developed routines and really feel at home. We’ve made many friends, had wonderful adventures and I’ve completed 210 portraits! Monday we leave for Lanyu Island. We’re excited but Oona and I are both very sad to leave.