September 7th we visited the Frutillares Branch in Tomé, on the coast of the Bay of Concepción north of Penco and Lirquen.
I forgot to include this photo in last week's post. Before we left Salto del Laja, one shop opened up, and I found these lapices - crayon pencils made of small branches - for grandchildren. Who cares if they even color very well.
Sunday morning was gray and rainy. There was a big squiggle in the map we printed out, and it ended up being the old highway which had several hair-raising backwards curves, while going sharply downhill toward the ocean. The return highway was a real improvement.
Tomé along the ocean front
The Frutillares Branch building. All the meetings were timely, and the members were soft-spoken and reverent. During breaks between meetings, the members sang hymns in the chapel. It is one of the most musical places we have visited in Chile.
The chapel itself was well cared for and pretty. The building was remodeled and actually has central heating. Romy, who attends this ward, sang a duet with her music director, who was playing the keyboard as well as singing harmony.
Driving along the highway out of Tome.
Ships in the Bay of Concepcion.
Marker for the commune and municipality of Tome.
Sign for falling rock along highways cut through the hills.
Neighborhoods of housing built after the earthquake, which struck Tome hard.
South of Tome, north of Penco, is the municipality of Lirquen along the coast.
Above, carabineros making their presence known on Calle Serrano. We saw big green tank-like trucks on the street for several days. Wednesday, after a Planning for Success workshop, Manuel and Andrea walked us home, for safety's sake. I had sent to Salt Lake for their patriarchal blessings, which they lost during the earthquake, and printed copies for them,which they let me read. It was touching to know that other people would be blessed to help them achieve their goals, which Elder K. and I feel a part of.
We were warned by several people, including my Chilean cousin Hno. Rojas, whom we met on the street, our concierge Galvarino, and Hna. Rosas, that we should stay home the whole day on Thursday. September 11th is the anniversary of the 1973 coup d'etat installing murderous dictator General Augusto Pinochet following the assassination of the Marxist president Salvador Allende. Many of our friends keep their children home from school. All LDS church employees were sent home at 2:00 p.m. There is a history of anarchists using the anniversary as an excuse for violence against foreigners, and Chileans. It was an otherwise beautiful day, so for exercise we walked up and down several flights of stairs. We watched remembrances of our own September 11th anniversary on the Internet, the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001.
On Friday we saw our friend the street attendant on Chacabuco, to whom Elder Kennington gave a copy of the Libro de Mormon. He told us students and anarchists had blocked the street and lit fires, and 70 people from around Concepcion ended up being jailed overnight. During the week there was a bombing in Santiago, the murder of a young American teacher in Temuco, several alcohol-related deaths of students in Concepcion, and other problems with violence. We were glad when the week was over.
Meanwhile, I found a red-white-and-blue delantal - apron - with its Lone Star of Chile, along with other decorations in preparation for September 18th's national independence day.
Friday an enthusiastic group of elders and sister missionaries from the Concepcion South Mission came for a Self Reliance workshop . One of the elders asked about taking the OPIc English language test since he has been using the Companionship Language Study grammar books to prepare for it. Another thing I need to learn about: http://learningenglish.mtc.byu.edu/
I gave my green Mapuche-style wall hanging to Andrea for her September 11th birthday since she admired it so much. I made a new one, but I hung it on the wall in our apartment. Now everyone asks what happened to the one that was hanging in the office. Apparently once something appears on the wall, it needs to stay there.
A rug I crocheted on September 11th out of recycled yarn. I was going to give it away, but I may wait until the cold weather is over.