Sunday, August 17, 2014


Paralelepípedo is a three-dimensional parallelogram, Paralelopiped. Chilean mothers say it to their children in the same way American mothers say big words to their children--to remind them they aren't as smart as they think they are.

During one of our English lessons, Elder Kennington was explaining about the words cold and chilly, which can be translated to the word fresco, fresh, in Castellano. The ladies in the class told us fresco, besides meaning fresh, also refers to men who like to look at women. We told her it has much the same meaning in English. But Elder K., being Elder K., went on to ask her what  she would call a man who didn't look at women, and her instant answer was "Tonto," Stupid.  This got a laugh from everyone, including the men. 

August 10 we headed for San Pedro across the Bio-Bio, which had a low bank of niebla, fog, hanging over it.

We would have turned down this calle, according to Google Maps, but there was a farmer's market going on. It looked like a really good one, but it was Sunday.

This is the Población Candelario, a neighborhood named for the patron saint of San Pedro, the Virgin de Candelaria, the candle or holy light that guides to the right path. This neighborhood is notable for the number of dogs, which exceeds any barrio we have seen.

When we arrived at the La Marina chapel, Elder K. went inside to find someone to open the parking lot. Hermano Rojas came out with a key to let us in. He is fair-skinned and round-faced, with an easy happy manner. He said his ancestors came from England, and France--where his name, which means Red, came from. Since my maiden name is Redd, which in our family tradition first belonged to a French sea-captain living in Sneed's Ferry, North Carolina, we claimed each other as long-lost cousins. 

Our faithful Self Reliance volunteer Hermana Debora Soto Melo and her husband,  the former bishop of the La Marina ward, also fair-skinned and round-faced, as well as being kind and thoughtful, live in this ward. Both Debora and her husband have Type 1 diabetes, which has affected their diet all their lives. Obispo Soto had to have surgery on his eye this last week, since he suffered from a derrame, hemorrhage, due to his diabetes. After several weeks of waiting for the surgery, at times in great pain, all went well and he is recovering at home.

Halfway through the Concepción winter, the azaleas and camellias in the building next to our apartment are in full bloom.

A tall beautiful magnolia tree. We are told by Penquistas (denizens of Concepción) and Hermana Arrington that this winter has been wetter but not as cold as last winter, for which we are thankful.

Penquistas love the giant white calla lilies that grow so readily here. They have started blooming and they are gorgeous.

Another camellia shrub, grown large enough to be pruned as a tree. It looks like a huge rose bush from a distance.

Lapis lazuli can be found in only a few places in the world: the second most important is in Chile, in the Flor de los Andes mine in the high cordillera of Ovalle, Coquimbi region. The top producer is Afghanistan. Lapis Lazuli is the national stone of Chile.

I told Elder K. I needed to go look for a lapis lazuli ring. I could not find any I liked in the shops on Barros Arana, but I did find these pendientes de libélula, dragonfly earrings, and the pretty bracelet. I will have to keep looking for an anillo, ring. ¡Qué lástima! What a shame.

I had to think of a reason to peruse the displays of street vendors selling inexpensive Mapuche-style earrings in copper and nickel. (You will find out later in the blog.) I especially liked these ones sold by a church member--the four seasons symbol stencils in round copper, and the moon and stars motif. Mapuche jewelry often has hinges. Another vendor was turning out the copper wire earrings one after the other.

 More Mapuche-style jewelry, often using old Chilean coins.

I have been weaving these Mapuche-style wall hangings out of hand-spun wool yarn, and wondered how to dress them up,  other than the handmade willow button and the Sweet Gum tree seed pods, so I tried hanging the bigger earrings on them. Looks good, ¿no?

My desk in the Centro de Autosuficiencia. 

I love this lime-colored wool, which is knitted into a bowl and washed and agitated in hot, hot water to give it a felted finish.

Friday we went to a zone conference with the Concepcion and Chiguayante elders, plus one set of sisters from Hualqui. (There are no sister missionaries in Concepcion proper.) Here they are playing charades of different scripture stories. If you can't guess what this is, apparently it is the War in Heaven. The gringo elders are exceptionally tall, (6'2" or taller,) or else I have been in Chile for awhile.

Elder K. and I were in the charade about Baby Moses. I was the Egyptian princess and Hna. Arrington was the sister of Moses, with her down jacket playing Baby Moses. Elder K. was a slave attendant. I liked him in that role.
Above is Elder Gutierrez, the Master of Ceremonies. He has a wonderful, enthusiastic, carrying voice, and really kept the place hopping. Elder Kennington told him he was going to be the next Don Francisco -- the Chilean Univision personality formerly known as Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld--whom we have seen and heard on Mexican television Sabados Gigante.

Friday night, Elder K. teaching the second lesson of the Taller de Planificacion para el Exito, the Planning for Success workshop for the Perpetual Education Fund.

1 comment:

  1. Such pretty jewelry! The picture of Clint through the blinds is pretty cool. Always good to have another long lost cousin!


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