Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hermana Tia

Today is Father's Day. Happy Father's Day to my darling husband, my own dear daddy Harold Redd gone these ten years, and my admirable stepfather LaMar. Also, to my sons and sons-in-law, whose lives revolve around being husbands and fathers to my cherished grandchildren.

Last Sunday we drove in the rain across the Bio-Bio, through San Pedro de la Paz, and south along the Pacific to visit the little branch of Camilo Olavarria. The faithful members were happy to see us, including several sisters who had been attending the weaving workshops in the Centro de Autosuficiencia.

 The neighborhoods were pretty rough-looking, and poor.

 Next to the LDS chapel was a fence with razor wire along the top, and the chapel doors were banged up and rusted. Still, it is one of the nicest buildings in the barrio.

The chapel inside was immaculately clean and warm. Two sets of Latino elders are assigned to this branch. We mistook one of the sisters for Elder Kennington's "Tia", the hermana who reminds him of his aunt from Wyoming. She turned out to be Hermana Tia's sister.
The sisters take turns caring  for their older brother each Sunday, and walking the 30 minutes to church, so this week Hermana Tia was at home.

After church services, we drove Hermana Tia's sister to their little two-story apartment. She was thrilled that she didn't have to walk all the way home in the rain.

When we got there, Hermana Tia (left) was not dressed for visitors, so she insisted on going upstairs to make herself presentable for a photo with Elder Kennington. Hermana Tia crocheted all the chair and sofa covers in their house.

Elder Kennington snapped this photo, which shows more of everything, including the sisters' brother, peeking in to see what was going on. We returned Hermana Tia's jam jar, which we filled with nueces mariposas, walnut halves.

On Wednesday afternoon, coming out of the Centro following one of our English classes, we saw a telephone lineman on his extension ladder, which was leaning onto the lines themselves. The ladder feet were resting on the dirt around the tree. We've seen linemen at the tops of these ladders in the middle of busy intersections,  leaning their whole body onto the sagging lines, with only an orange cone or two to warn drivers racing down the street what was up ahead. Elder Kennington declares he will never be a Chilean telephone lineman.

On Friday, Andrea began another weaving workshop. Our beloved sisters from the last six months keep popping in to visit from time to time.

With the rainy season, we see many broken umbrellas abandoned on the sidewalks, victims of heavy rains accompanied by gusty gale-force winds. Elder Kennington finally asked me to make him a gorro, cap, since the nice umbrella we own is useless in windy rain. The first one I made was a little small for his large-size cabeza, so I claimed it for my own and made him another, larger one. These are made of hand-spun natural wool in the original color straight from the sheep. Such wool is very warm, and repels rain.
This week I broke out the black merino wool long johns, which keep me warm while the long-suffering little electric heater does its best to keep the apartment from getting colder. 

Since Clint's sister Wendy sent us these photos of the garden we left behind in Ontario, fortunately well-tended by our renter Chelsea, I included some of them here. The columbine that seeds itself so profusely beneath the fruit trees is apparently unknown in this part of Chile. It prefers dry shade.

My little Cornus Kousa tree, the lovely Chinese dogwood.

Wendy keeping the cuatro-por-cuatro, the four-wheeler or 4x4, from feeling lonely. She says she drives it around most days. Elder Kennington sorely misses his 4x4.

 Orange Asiatic lilies, called lirias here

Unusual shade of coral-yellow peony

Elderberry "Black Lace." These will have little black elderberries later on. Elders are known as sauco in Chile. Poppies are amapola, and dianthus, the common pink, are clavelina.

Friday we made the mistake of going to the Jumbo supermercado right before six o'clock in the evening, when the FIFA World Cup soccer game between Chile and Australia was about to begin. It was easy to tell because of all the silly red, white and blue hats people were wearing. We were swept out in a huge wave of people buying up all the cerveza and potato chips in sight. I came to Jumbo to get detergent and kleenexes, but I have to admit I came out with potato chips Peru "sabor pollo de la brasa," flavored like roast chicken. Interesting, those. I've tried the chips "sabor ensalata chileno," tasting exactly like tomatoes and onions, but I haven't yet tried the Brasil chips "sabor feijoada" or the chips de España "sabor chorizo." I'm not sure I'm ready for bean-beef-and-pork stew or pork-sausage-flavored chips.
For the next two hours we could hear cheering all over our apartment building as Chile scored three times to Australia's one, and the partying went on (as far as I could tell) until three o'clock in the morning.

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