You’ve seen the beach, you’ve dreamt of Southeast Asia wondering what indigenous people are like and you’ve been craving Taiwanese food since you started planning your trip!
Now we experienced the real deal, witnessing the unique lifestyle and learning the history of the indigenous people. Shooting wild boars, climbing trees to steal eagle's eggs, camping in the forest overlooking the Pacific – this day, we spent in the coastal mountains of the indigenous Atayal tribe, learning to be an indigenous warrior.
Pony is the third generation chief of the mountain and the Atayal Tribe. His grandfather moved to this beautiful mountain after retiring from the Marine Corps. Pony is committed to maintaining the way of life of the aboriginals, and to help rediscover the glory of the indigenous people, along with improving the lives of some of the disadvantaged families within the tribe. Pony invited us to this forest with song, and welcomed us with handmade exquisite bows, arrows, spears, and woven baskets.
One of the Sloanies showed innate talent for shooting a bow and arrow. He hit a straw mountain boar far in the distance and was awarded a special red bow, a beautifully hand-made art piece.
Historically indigenous people would climb trees to steal eggs in order to survive. We climbed a six meter tree to gain a sense of appreciation for the indigenous lifestyle. We had to use ropes and we were fortunate enough to have a guide “show us the ropes” unlike Pony’s ancestors climbing with their bare hands and feet. While climbing some of us were scared and others couldn’t get up fast enough! Despite the varying opinions the view of the ocean and mountains was stunning!
This day, we had our fun, but also paid homage to the ancestors of the local culture. That night, we camped under the stars on the mountainside accompanied by frogs and who knows what other creatures!
The next morning waking up to the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean brought us back to the first lesson we learned upon arrival the previous day – The importance of meditation and opening of all five senses to the environment. The spirit and energy found in nature is powerful especially when opening up your heart!