Taiwanese Exchange Students Tour "A Painted House"

June 16, 2006--Posted at 5:35 p.m. CDT

LEPANTO, AR--Friday in Lepanto the Far East met up with Northeast Arkansas.

"The people are really friendly here compared to big cities," said Taiwanese student Olivia Chia.

A group of Taiwanese exchange students, from Arkansas Tech University, made the three and half hour trip to Poinsett County to further their semester long study.

"All of these students have talked to me about how much they love Arkansas. So I tried to choose something to go along with our text book that had extra meaning," said Arkansas Tech Professor Ernest Enchelmayer.

"Why we came here was we read a book, A Painted House, that is where we are now. We read a book and watched the movie, so our professor planned a trip here," said student Ying Ling Chen.

The students spent the afternoon touring the Painted House, something that up until Friday was just a book.

"Finally you come to the real place and you are very excited," said student Tcuzhiao Hung.

The students took pictures, toured the house, and sat in the car from the TV movie. However their trip to the Painted House was only half of the curriculum of the day.

"Going hand and hand with learning the language is also that higher level of proficiency and learning the culture," said Enchelmayer.

Culture that included the students sampling and trying authentic Region 8 cuisine with a fresh catfish buffet.

"Fresh fish and fries are really good," said Chia.

Aluncheon that featured new delights the students hope to bring back to Taiwan.

"Yeah, they are called hush puppies," said Chen.

"The cole slaw is good," said Chia.

The 22 students are in a masters program at Arkansas Tech. They spend a year in the program before going back to Taiwan to teach English there.