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At age 50, mother of two wins internship

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A 50-year-old mother of two yesterday won a tourism campaign, titled “Intern to Marianas,” held by the Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA) office in Taiwan, and will be paid NT$60,000 for the one-week internship to travel around the Northern Mariana Islands.

Lin Yong-ching (林詠晴), the winner out of three finalists, burst into tears when the organizers announced her name. She said she appreciates the organizers' stipulation that any R.O.C. national above the age of 18 could attend the campaign, noting that: “I am 50 years old, but I have a 25-year-old's mind and physical strength.”

Lin is scheduled to head to the Northern Mariana Islands for her internship after the Chinese New Year.

Lin said she had achieved several goals last year, noting that she graduated from a postgraduate school in the first half of 2013, climbed Mount Fuji last August, cycled around the island in September, and attended a triathlon and the Taroko Gorge Marathon in November.

“I applied to 'Intern to Marianas' in December, and I never thought this would be the most tiring event I had participated in last year,” Lin said.

She said not only did she have to compete with a bunch of young adults who are about her sons' age, but she had to participate in an online poll as part of the competition, and she found it really hard to maintain high popularity on the Internet. Lin eventually managed to bag nearly 500 votes, saying she's touched, and truly appreciates the people's support for her.

Lin will receive training sessions as a tour guide, which will involve a tour of several tourist attractions in the Western Pacific island chain, including World War II relics on the island of Tinian, and a natural swimming hole on the island of Rota.

The intern will then become the MVA's tourism ambassador in Taiwan, participating in local activities and seminars to promote tourism in the Marianas, a chain of islands about 2,750 kilometers southeast of Taiwan.

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The 50-year-old winner of the “Intern to Marianas” tourism campaign held by the Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA) office in Taiwan wears a coconut shell bra and skirt, and dances ...

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