Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 4th in Concepcion

Sunday June 29th was the observance of the martyrdom of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Rome. We made a return trip to Coronel to visit the LDS branch there. It was a beautiful clear morning, so we set off in the Outback.
Concrete artwork on Puente Llacolen across the Bio-Bio. We're not sure what this is supposed to represent.

I find it much easier to learn Spanish when everything is in context, for example, traffic signs are easy to remember.

Many citizens of Coronel live in very humble circumstances. It was described as a "muddy, forested landscape" by the first Spanish conquistadores and settlers. The ladies in the branch Relief Society were talking about how the thick wood stove smoke was affecting people living in some of the neighboring canyons. In the lower left of this picture is what appears to be a family resting place.

Coronel was settled in 1861, in an area originally lived in by a large population of Mapuche Indians. Their influence is still strong. Coronel has several town plazas, including one with this clock tower.

The Coronel branch is quite small, but we recognized several of our friends from the weaving workshops and our English classes.

After returning to Concepcion, we parked the Outback and were walking along Chacabuco, the Bomberos, the firemen of Chile, were marching down the avenue wearing very clean and shiny uniforms. The Bomberos also rode out in their shiny red fire trucks, including the converted Ford F-150 subaquatic rescue unit donated by the LDS Church.

Bringing up the rear were the cadet bomberos.

One of the bombero offices is right across  the street from our apartment on Orompello. There are lady bomberos, too.

Friday was the 4th of July, so we picked up some roast chicken and croissants from the Unimarc across from the Centro and drove to the mission office. We chose unwisely to drive through the market street of Caupolican, although if you are stuck in a taco (traffic jam) you might as well be in the flower quarter.

 We had potato salad, baked beans, chips and seven-layer dip courtesy of one of the earnest young office elders, roast chicken, baguettes and croissants, and ice cream sodas thanks to Pres. Arrington.

 The Elders and Pres. Arrington taking pictures of the sisters playing balloon volleyball. Our "fireworks" were the noisily popped balloons on the floor.

Red, white and blue-dressed sister missionaries playing a rousing game of balloon volleyball. The most enthusiastic player was the 5 foot tall, 70-year old mission nurse, Hna. Balden.

 Back in the Centro following the festivities, our new group of weaving workshop ladies has grown from five to 17. They are not quiet anymore--they are happily chatting.

I include a photo of my newest knitted scarf, this one made of Chiloe wool that I dyed peach-pink using drink mix. It has been in the low 30's overnight lately, so I'm glad to have all my assorted shawls, cowls, scarves, hats, gloves, and wool socks.

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