Sunday, August 31, 2014

An Official Visit

Elder Kennington and I now have eighteen grandchildren! Nine girls and nine boys. Saturday morning, Jeff's Brielle gave her two little boys a sister, Junette Elizabeth. Since we have been on our mission two others have been born: Casey's Katie gave birth to the handsome and dimpled Isaac, and Jon and Carrie welcomed sweet-cheeked blonde Brynn Lee into the world on our May 10th anniversary.  We feel very blessed.

A week ago Sunday was the Concepcion Stake Conference, which we attended so we could visit many of the people we have met over many months. We were glad to see several who had come to the Centro for help and were now, in fact, employed.

 Following Stake Conference, we attended the baptism of Marcia's mother and grandmother, seated above with the father of the family, one of the sisters and a grandson. Often Chilenos will pose stoic and unsmiling for photographs, although Elder Streadbeck and Elder Encarnacion, seated next to him, weren't afraid to show how happy they were. The water in the font, unfortunately, was not heated, and it was an act of faith and courage for the bisabuela, who does not walk very well, to descend the steps into the cold water to be baptized.

During our weekly trip to the Unimarc on Chacabuco, we saw another of these carts of the very large stalks of an unknown plant. People buy these and chew on them like sugar cane, although we are told they don't have much flavor, even when you sprinkle salt on them. We asked the smiling vendor what it was and she said, "Nalca," a medicinal plant known as the Chilean rhubarb.

 Above is a photo of the Gunnera Tinctoria plant, with its long stalks, called Nalca, and large leaves, called Pangue. The leaves are used in cooking the national dish Curanto in a hole in the ground with charcoal and lined with rocks. The leaves protect the cooking food and add moisture. Medicinal qualities include helping with problems of the liver, hemorrhaging, diarrhea, stomach, and fever.

This week a large group of mostly North American, mostly sister missionaries was going home just in time to attend Brigham Young University, after spending a day at the Centro for a Self-Reliance Workshop. The missionaries have named this workshop "Introduction to the Real World," following 1 1/2 to 2 years of living only to serve others. Here they are waiting for the mission vans to pick them up in the fresh and brilliant sunshine of late winter in Concepcion.

On Wednesday we had an official visit from Brian Gibson and Dane Nielsen from Salt Lake City, along with Alejandro Calquin, PEF operations manager in Santiago. Brian is the interim South America South manager for Self Reliance as he travels the area visiting Centros and interviewing candidates to replace the outgoing manager. We gave presentations on what we have been doing for the last several months. Elder K. and I were able to have a nice chat in English with Brian and Dane before they left. They were very complimentary, especially of the work I had been doing developing materials and building the blog for volunteers and specialists. It was a good day for me.

 Romy made the executive decision on where to have lunch, and she chose well--the new Rosa Amelia restaurant down the street. The ambiance was elegant, the food was excellent, and prices were reasonable. We will be back.

A sister from Hualqui stopped by the Centro, showing the woven articles her husband had made. She and her husband had taken a weaving class, and while he does the actual weaving, she takes care of marketing by stopping at offices and ferias wherever she can and showing her wares. Above, Romy models a very soft and beautiful manta, a blanket-like cape made on a Telar Maria table-top loom.

Vendedora Silvia Saez holding the two triangular scarves I couldn't resist, which I bought to give as gifts. Maybe.

Friday the Pendleys invited us to a restaurant they found not far from the mission office, Quinche y Sabor, on Calle Prieto between Lincoyan and Rengo. It was an unlikely location, but there was parking! Sabor means flavor and Quinche is a term used in the cone of South America, meaning "steak restaurant."

The place was decorated with antique sewing machines and irons. It makes me tired to look at them.

We ordered the day's special, including crab soup, exquisitely cooked crepes with sliced vegetables and chicken, and fresh raspberry lemonade. The surroundings weren't as fancy as Rosa Amelia, but the food was just as good.

Friday night, Andrea showed us her latest creation for her son, a poncho woven and decorated in the Mapuche style. Behind her, a young married couple is on the computer as they make an online application for the Perpetual Education Fund, while Elder Kennington is in the classroom teaching the Planning for Success workshop.

I finally finished my Chile Telar of Chilco, the Chilean Fuchsia Magellanica. When I brought this to the Centro to show everyone, Hna. Rosa had to wipe away a tear. It affects her emotionally that I should spend so much time and energy making something beautiful, and so representative of Chile.

We have been asked by Salt Lake to develop short presentations on Best Practices for other missionary couples, including taking videos of learning local crafts, teaching how to crochet rag rugs, basic computer lessons, etc. I am beginning again with the famous Copihue wall hanging so I can record step by step instructions.

Here with the warp yarns in place, anchored to the frame in three places, and beginning the bordado, the embroidery-type stitch I am using to produce a raised color to highlight the flowers to come.


  1. Your Chile Telar of Chilco is gorgeous! Wow! And now you'll be famous in the Best Practices videos. Have fun making those!

  2. love the weavings! I am seeing many hawks as I take my morning walk. I was on the 4W and revved the engine and one of the hawks dropped his mouse. Rather funny!!! The battery finally really died and I got a new one and id the trickle charge at Chris's shop. The charger at the farm would not go to 2 volts. Brian helped me put in the new one and the 4W is so so happy and EAGER to get started in the morning. We are getting melons and endless tomatoes which I am so happy to give away. No grapes this year. even at the Paynes, his dad forgot to water them for a month. Love you and am so well-please with what you are accomplishing. wendy


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