Jeff Pike

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. —Aristotle”

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. The full sense of happiness is only present in the individual’s mind, manifested from the inside out, and practiced in the ordinary life.

Jeff Pike was born in Georgia, and was previously a teacher in Hawaii. After attending an event, he met friends from Taiwan. It was then that he began an adventure in Asia and traveled through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and finally, Taitung. You can clearly feel the magnetic power of simple happiness when around Jeff, and it continues to influence and expand outwards. In the process of talking and interacting with him, the people around him are immediately contaminated with this joyous atmosphere.

The first time I saw Jeff was in November 2016, an open-mic concert for foreigners held at the Governor’s Mansion on a sunny afternoon. His bandanna and hippie style is impressive, as well as his cheerful smile and brilliant wooden flute performance. These are what are unforgettable about him.

“Taitung feels like Hawaii and it’s very comfortable. It reminds me of the time I used to live there!” says Jeff as he picks up a mug with the map of Hawaii printed on it. He happily points out the location on the small map. Kauai, where he once lived (Kauai is translated as “cute island” in Chinese). He adds that the mountains there directly extend into the sea. The scenery along the coast of Taitung, especially near Donghe, is very similar to Kauai. The enchanting mountains of Taitung, the magnificent sea views, the relaxed atmosphere and the fresh air all make him feel like he is living in Hawaii.

Jeff continues to teach in Taitung, and started teaching in private schools in the beginning. Now he is an English instructor at the junior high schools of Donghe and Beinan. “The children in Taitung are very cute. Although there is a huge gap between the English level of the kids, I like the way of teaching very much here,” Jeff laughs. Although he has lived in Taitung for more than six years, he still cannot communicate in Chinese. Therefore, his students must speak with him in English, which helps them learn English more quickly. Earlier this year, Jeff and seven other foreign teachers jointly held a fully-immersive English winter mountain camp for kids in Taitung. They led a group of children for a three-day outdoor excursion to experience an American-style English camp, and allow the children to learn the language in a natural way. Although it takes time and effort to hold such an event, the happiness associated with children is the most precious and priceless reward one can get.In addition to Taitung, Jeff has also lived in Taipei and Kaohsiung for a short period of time. He said that even though the big cities have the convenience and diverse lifestyle that Taitung does not have, the unique scenery and fresh air here are not exchangeable for money.

Forest Park Lake swim, Biking beside the ocean, Home sweet home Taitung. —Jeff Pike
Using this short English poem, Jeff had done his best in the ordinary life of Taitung. Home is where the heart is, as far as he is concerned.

Jeff Pike

Mark
Kauai Island, Hawaii: Kauai (English: Kauai, Hawaiian: Kauaʻi, or translated as “Cute Island” in Chinese), is the fourth largest island of of the middle Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is under the jurisdiction of Kauai County, Hawaii, USA. The entire island has an area of 1,430.4 square kilometers and a population of 58,303 (statistics in 2000). Kauai is a volcanic island. The highest point on the island is Kawaikini (1,598 meters above sea level) and the second highest is Mount Waiʻaleʻale (1,570 meters above sea level). Kauai is located on the northwestern island of Oahu, and the islands are separated by the 170 km wide Kauaʻi Channel. Kauai was one of the last islands to join the Kingdom of Hawaii. Its chiefs did not surrender to Kamehameha the Great until 1810. Kauai is located on the northernmost tip of several large islands in Hawaii and is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands. According to legend, the original god of Hawaii was living there. This island is also called the “garden island”. Kauai is considered by many to have the most lush vegetation and the most distinctive natural scenery. The outdoor sports here are unparalleled. You can take the kayak over the majestic volcanic cliffs on the Na Pali coast, ride horses through the park, or witness the amazing scenery of Kauai in a helicopter. No matter what way you choose to explore Kauai, you will experience beautiful scenery and unique plant species and birds.