The second day of South American winter, we and the Kauers from the mission office made the drive to Coelemu north of Concepción, between Chillán and Tomé in the Penco Stake. The Kauers were taking leftover clothes from missionaries returning home to the young missionary sisters, who were giving them to needy branch members. We brought them heavy socks, not realizing that there were two sets of missionary elders at the Coelemu Branch, too.
It was a moist and drizzly morning, and we saw green winter fields with horses grazing.
The sky can be quite beautiful. You could smell the wood stove smoke in the air.
The hamlet of Coelemu was restful, neighborly and clean, after the noise and litter of Concepcion.
We took pictures of the Kauers in front of the church building, and they took pictures of us. Although the chapel is small, the members are quite active and vocal, and the lessons were well taught. Hna. Kauer and I had cold feet, though--the chapel was heated with four propane stoves, and when the stove in front of which Hna. Kauer was sitting ran out of propane, we were shivering under our coats. I often wear leg warmers in the car, but people stare at them strangely, so I take them off and freeze.
We brought a picnic lunch, so we found the town plaza and took out our sandwiches. A big friendly dog with an uncharacteristically wagging tail watched us as we ate.
We decided to take a different route home, so we went through the winding woods to Tomé north of Penco along the coast. Tomé is a fairly large city, which was badly hit by the 2010 earthquake. Romy lives here in Barrio Frutillares. There are three church buildings housing three LDS branches.
The Kauers told us about the famous Tomé cemetery, so when we saw it along the road we stopped to take a look.
Along with cement-lined graves, there are generational mausoleums.
The cemetery is at the top of a very steep hill overlooking the bay, which was dotted with fishing boats.
The playa, beach at the bottom of the overlook.
The barrios of Tomé.
We passed the world-famous Bellavista wool blanket factory, where the Kauers buy warm blankets for the missionaries. When Elder Kennington and I got back to our apartment, we discovered the two blankets that are folded in our closet are frazadas Bellavista, the wool blankets of Tomé. Romy told us that the daughter of the rich owner of this blanket factory committed suicide over a doomed love affair, so the grief-stricken father donated a campana, church bell to the Catholic cathedral in her memory.
This week Hna. Dagnig began teaching her classes in Corta y Confección, Cutting and Tailoring. The ladies are preparing to make faldas, skirts. I keep trying to capture Dagnig on camera, but her electric personality seems to defy being captured. This is the best image I had of her.
We had a welcome call from the concierge that we had a package, this time from our daughter Carrie and her family in Idaho Falls! She sent pistachios, which were soon eaten, my favorite Lindt Intense Orange dark chocolate, goat's milk soap and lotion, and finally some decent caramels, Werther's Original. Thank you Carrie and family!
Of course we got lovely Dallin and Justin Batman drawings, maps and Spanish messages from Carrie and Jon, and what appears to be a Sydney original of either snowfall or bubbles.
Chile played two World Cup fútbol - soccer games this week, the first one on Monday which they lost 0-2 to the Netherlands. I never saw so many glum people walking around town as when that game ended. Saturday was Chile vs. Brasil, a "clash of titans," according to the New York Times blog. World Cup host Brasil may have crushed Chile four years ago, but this time Chile held them off in a draw, 1-1, but lost in the penalty shootout, Brasil 3, Chile 2.