Last Sunday we took the Outback to Chiguayante Sur and attended the ward in La Pradera. A number of young fathers were interested in applying for a Perpetual Education Fund loan, having missed out because of the age limit of 30 years. We come across many who want to follow up on studies they have had to abandon until now.
The La Pradera ward building is the first unpainted, red brick building we have seen, reminding us of red brick LDS chapels throughout Idaho and Utah. (Upon closer inspection it is a red brick facade, not actual brick and mortar.) We joined a morning council meeting in progress and gave our message to the ward leaders.
Although May is the equivalent of the late North American November, the impatiens plants bloom as if they are summer shrubs.
Wednesday was a national holiday, Dia de las Glorias Navales, Day of the Naval Glories. The streets were deserted except for the main plaza where marchers were waving flags and beating drums in preparation for protests against the current state of pensions, I think.
The entire plaza was surrounded by carabineros keeping watch. We ran into another march on Saturday afternoon. This can be rather exasperating to the cars and buses trying to get through town.
Friday was another Felting class. The ladies were learning how to make multi-colored flowers.
To make these flowers, the ladies position the layers of wool fleece on foam place mats and spray soapy water over them. The place mats and flowers are then rolled up with towels to wring out the water and flatten the petals, after which the flowers are dried and teased into three-dimensional shapes.
An example of a finished felt flower.
One of the hermanas had finished her Nativity figures.
I finally located a aguja de fieltro--felting needle--and a foam scrubber sponge. My attempt to make a cute little gray wool sheep currently looks like an owl pellet, or possibly an egg made of steel wool.
Hna. Verdugo made a series of these pretty wood-framed woven pieces decorated with felt flowers for her children.
On sunny Saturday we took a bus to the terminal at Collao to buy tickets for Chillan on Sunday, where we will be helping Hno. Seguel make a presentation to the Chillan Ñuble Stake. We will be staying overnight with his family and coming back to Concepción Monday morning. On the way back to the bus stop, we passed through the farmer's market, which at noon was in full swing.
Elder Kennington always likes to stop and look at vintage tools.
Bags of bulk legumes and bunches of cilantro and greens.
Fresh vegetables of all descriptions brought in by farmers from Chillan to Los Angeles.
I managed to not buy any plants, although the baby palm trees looked tempting. I limited myself to one neck scarf, an item sold by the Conejo family.