Sunday morning we were planning to drive to the LDS Branch where the Rio Laja flows into the Bio-Bio, but the day before, the intrepid Elder and Hermana Pendley reported getting lost on dirt roads driving there. Besides, it was raining, and we were low on gas, so we decided to save Rama Laja for another day and instead attended the Chiguay Ward.
The sky turned out to be beautiful.
The Chiguay ward was well-attended and active, and we met a number of people we knew--ladies from the weaving classes, students from our English classes, and applicants for the Perpetual Education Fund. In fact, it was providential that we were there--one hermana needed a certificate and Elder K.'s signature, so we printed it out in the clerk's office and she uploaded it into her account "al tiro," like a shot, right away.
After the meetings we were invited to have dinner with a member family. We followed their van toward Cerro Manquimávida, the dominant wooded hill in that part of Chiguayante.
The family home, where the dueña, hostess, served us rice, beef, pancito - rolls, salad, and postre--fresh fruit and vanilla liquid yogurt. She kept apologizing that it was not fancy, but we told her we were campesinos and liked it that way.
The kind family in their front room. They also have two older daughters. All four children are good looking and brilliant.
On Monday we went to Correos Chile so we could send a package to the U.S. We often see missionaries here, especially on Mondays. These two elders are most likely picking up a package from home.
More missionaries on their P-day, preparation day. We often see packs of them buying groceries in Jumbo, eating ice cream cones, checking out shops and galleries along Barros Araña, or walking on the street, like the hermanas above.
We even saw missionaries in the Fuente Alemana on Bernardo O'Higgins near Rengo, which was recommended to us as one of the best places to eat in Concepción. The place was packed, a good sign. We ordered sandwiches--me, this shredded pork with tomatoes, chucrut--rinsed sauerkraut--and plenty of mayonesa. Elder Kennington ordered churrasco, a sliced beef steak sandwich. Both were excellent.
Our waitress wrapped our leftovers in brown paper and string.
On the way home we passed the remains of this old wall built in the late 1700s, the original site for the first library and printing press in Concepción.
Tuesday we tried "El Mesón de Villena" on San Martin near Calle Salas, where the men of the Operations and Maintenance office often eat. It is the closest thing to a fast food lunch counter we have seen--tables already set with drink, bread and salad, only a few main selections, and fast service. I had chicken with mashed potatoes, soup and salad, standard for a Chilean almuerzo, midday meal.
Thursday we were invited to the Mamut Restaurant on Barros Araña between Colo Colo and Anibal Pinto, with the Pendleys, Baldens, and Arringtons, to celebrate Hna. Kauer's birthday. Mamut has branches all over the world and serves American-style food. Hermana Kauer had a chimichanga. I had baby back ribs. Pretty girls on the walk outside were handing out coupons, so we all got free raspberry cheesecake for dessert. Thank you Hermana Kauer for having a birthday.
After so many restaurants, Elder Kennington and I are getting into the habit of running up the stairs to the 7th floor instead of taking the elevator. It seems to be helping.
This cute hermana, who looks like she's about twelve years old, is taking Elder K.'s Planning for Success workshop for the Perpetual Education Fund. She has already had two years of university training in Occupational Therapy. She was helping Elder K. figure out how to use the camera on his cell phone (again). It looks like he did ok.
Racemes of the pink Tamarisk tree, Tamarix Ramosissima, beginning to bloom.
Hna. Verdugo stopped by to say hello, and to show us these cute buho--owl--book bags she has been weaving for her grandchildren.