1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
Oral Interviews: we interviewed the village head, Mr. An, the black pelt hunter, Aunt Xiu-Xiang, ethnic Bunun elders, and Dad Xu, which was the most important part of our research. Library: We checked out books on ethnic Tsou and Bunun cultures from the school library as reference materials. Books and Videos: We found a great deal of movies and books on cultures of native inhabitants from the school. Sound Recorder: We recorded the interviews, converted the materials into digital files, and put them on the Web site. Cameras: We took photos of our work and progress for records. Scanner and Printer: We scanned and compiled relevant pictures, and printed documents Telephone and Cell Phones: We used fixed phones and cell phones to confirm schedules Computer Software: We used such software as PhotoImpact, Frontpage, and Real Encoder to build our research Web site.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
In the beginning, each of our team members asked our parents about dribs and drabs of Tea Mountain, and talked to them about our research plan. Although they didn’t have a clear idea of what we were doing, they were all willing to try. We learned from many elders of the tribe that the village head knows a lot of stories about the tribe, and so we made an appointment with him. He showed us around the tribe and explained the woodcarvings and totems, while we recorded the stories. He also talked about his many expectations about Tea Mountain, which deeply touched us.
Then we learned that there are many other people in the tribe that are worth interviewing. For example, grandfather Zhizhong, an ethnic Bunun elder, who knows a great deal about hunting, the black pelt hunter who wants to build a large KuBu on Tea Mountain to educate young people, and Aunt Xiuxiang, who has been promoting community environmental protection for Tea Mountain all along. So we made plans and divided ourselves into groups to visit them, and recorded the interviews.
Finally we used the “Exploration Book of Tea Mountain Tribe” that the big brothers and sisters at Chung Cheng University had given us to record everything that we have learned about Tea Mountain in pictures and words. We compiled these materials into a systematic database and built a Web site, so more people would be able to see our beautiful homeland.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
Since the start of the Internet exhibition plan, we frequently visited and took photos of the tribe, and told the villagers about our plans. Because of the remoteness of Tea Mountain, villagers here lacked information about the outside world, and they don’t have many opportunities to use computers. We hope our participation in the competition will not only help people know more about Tea Mountain, but also let villagers know the convenience of information technology.
While we were undertaking our plan, Microsoft Taiwan and Acer Computers donated over twenties computers to Tea Mountain Village for the establishment of the “Study E-Paradise” and the training of information talents among female native inhabitants. These computers are now placed in Tea Mountain Church. In the future curriculum will be developed for people in the tribe to promote the cultural and tourism resources of Tea Mountain Tribe to the outside world through the internet.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
First of all we would like to express our gratitude to the “Digital Young Heroes” plan of the “Gene Development Association of the Republic of China”, which provided funding and a great deal of other assistance. It enabled students from Chung Cheng University to come to the mountain to guide our research, and enabled children of Tea Mountain to learn to use computers and understand more about the tribe culture. We must thank Aunt Lei Qian and Big Sister Amy of the Association, and Teacher Xing and Uncle Chen of the Taiwan School Net, for making the efforts and coming to the mountain to see how we were doing, and to encourage us. Furthermore, we would like to thank the warm-hearted villagers of the tribe, our parents, and many elders, for their instruction and guidance, which taught us many things that we cannot find in the book, and for their expectations of us, which we will remember well in the heart.
Finally we would like to thank our Schoolmaster Mr. Zhou, Director Huang, and many teachers, for providing us with the space and facilities to study in a perfect environment.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Tea Mountain has rapidly turned itself from a place rarely visited by anybody into a very attractive eco-tourism sight. This is the result of the steady and collective efforts of the villagers. Tea Mountain has a small population, but we have come to understand that as long as everybody is willing to dedicate themselves to the tribe, situations will always improve no matter what hardship or abominable external conditions are there. Although we are very young, we can still build a Web site and leave a permanent record of the land that the villagers have been diligently cultivating. This makes us very very excited.
In the future, we plan to ask the village head, the hunter, Dad Xu, and elders of the tribe to explain to us one by one the stories behind the 50 kiosks in the tribe and the totems, and we will make a systematic record. It will let people from all over the world to share the beauty of Tea Mountain through the internet, and let the existing “Sharing Culture” of Tea Mountain overcome geographical restrictions and be passed to the heart of everybody.