Sunday, October 12, 2014

One year anniversary

This week marks our one year anniversary as missionaries. The first weekend of October 2013 we watched General Conference with my sister Karen and her husband Pres. David in Salt Lake City. The following Monday morning we were dropped off at the Missionary Training Center in Provo.

This first Sunday in October 2014 we attended our own Barrio Universitario on Avenida Gleisner, which is also the Concepcion Stake Center. We watched a session of General Conference in Castellano. I must say my Spanish has improved over the last year.

The day was brilliant, fresh and cool.

At the bottom of the stairs on our way home. The chapel was full and the cultural hall had overflow seating. We were able to visit with a number of people we wanted to see.

We visited our bishop, who lives in this apartment, to tell him that we have been assigned to finish out the last five months of our mission setting up a Self Reliance Center in Temuco, about a 4 - 5 hour drive to the south. We will most likely be leaving Concepcion at the end of October.

The rhododendrons have nearly finished blooming.

The Plaza de España, with its Condor de los Vientos statue, and the government buildings of the Bio Bio Region VIII, Concepción, on Calle Arturo Prat.

We walked up Barros Araña, which has been undergoing an upgrade to its walking spaces. The newly-laid tile and concrete is much less broken up than the sidewalks on Chacabuco.

Wednesday we were invited to almuerzo with the Conejos, after we told them we are probably going to be moving away. They were very sad, but then thought maybe they could visit us in Temuco. Above is the inner entrance to their ground level apartment.

 Also having almuerzo with us were four office missionaries, who enjoyed the pork, rice, potatoes, tomatoes, sliced onions and toasted kernels of corn. The salsa ají, hot sauce that Hermana Conejo had made, had maní, peanuts, in it. Since one of the elders is allergic, and had spread the sauce all over his food, I exchanged my plate with him. I brought apple turnovers, empanadas de manzana, which taste just like American apple pie, a welcome surprise to the North Americans. When Hna. Conejo asked for the recipe, I had to tell her it included Saigon (Costco) cinnamon, which cannot be had in Chile.

Maria Conejo and her husband work very hard and have suffered many setbacks in their lives. Maria wants to go to the United States to sell her artesanal, handmade Ecuadoran items, to make enough money to ensure her children have a better life. Here she is weaving brazaletes, handmade wrist bracelets out of narrow colorful thread, by pinning the end of the braids onto a piece of cloth wrapped around her knees.

 Since I have 18 grandchildren, I bought several of the very pretty brazaletes. They were $1 mil pesos each, about $1.80.

 This week we made our monthly visit to the mother and grandmother of Marcia, the missionary sister in Peru. The two women, who are now accustomed to us, are very talkative and happy since their baptism. On the way out of the lane to their house are planters made from old tires, planted with pink Jupiter's Beard, lavender hollyhocks, and daisy-like white and purple osteospermum, which grow abundantly in Concepción.

Hermana Dulce, our name for her since she is always handing out sweets, showing us her latest knitting project for her customer families in the U.S.

 Several times this week, traffic around Concepcion has come to a standstill because of student marches for free college education. Up to two thousand students will take part in these demonstrations. One of the promises of the current president was to provide free college education, but it has not happened yet. Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay have free college education, and Chile is hoping to avoid the problems that go along with it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the pics, Sis. I think Germany has free college education, too. Even if you're not from there! So, a year now, eh? Madre mia!


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