Sunday, November 30, 2014


The third weekend in November we headed for the District of Linares to visit two of the branches and give Self Reliance and Perpetual Education Fund informational meetings. The weekend was perfect for traveling.

The fields were green, with the Andes mountains in the distance.

Past Chillan, we saw rice fields and rice processing plants.

One of the plazas in Linares, not far from our hotel.

After researching hotels in Linares online, I found the Hotel Curapalihue, which turned out to be a real winner. It is on a nice quiet half-street, and the concierge looked like he was about 90 years old, so it must be a safe neighborhood, too.

Our room was in the rather quaint stucco building behind the main building.

We deserved this. The desayuno, breakfast, on Sunday and Monday morning was simple and elegant.

The room was simple and tastefully decorated. In Latin America, it is not unusual to have two twin-sized beds instead of a queen or king bed.

From our window you could see the main Catholic cathedral and bell tower.

We went exploring and ended up getting ice cream cones and pineapple orange juice. Being inland, it was noticeably warmer in Linares, and less windy than Concepcion, although it was quite chilly in the morning.

In the morning we attended one of the branches on Avenida Valentin Letelier. It was better attended than many wards we have visited, by a vigorous group of members. All three smart and friendly members of the district presidency were in attendance, we think to make sure the North American missionaries made it safely for the meetings later in the afternoon.

After church we were invited to almuerzo at the Minches, the senior missionary couple assigned to Linares, along with four elders. As we drove up to their house we were immediately jealous. Not only because they live in a house at least three or four times larger than our apartment, but they also have a parking spot, furniture, insulated curtains, and a real, if very small, yard.

The Pulsiphers, who returned home from serving in Chillan several months ago, left behind all their furniture, which the Minches inherited. Sigh. Not that it would fit in our apartment.

The four elders, including one gringo and two South Americans, plus the tall elder from Spain who was feeling sick. I gave him some ibuprofen. Hermana Minch outdid herself with sweet and sour over rice, salad, vegetables, homemade rolls, and pudding for dessert.

Our afternoon meetings were held in the District Center on Max Jara, which looks quite different than most of the buildings we have seen in Chile. We spent an hour with the Self Reliance committee, and another hour or so with a group of people who were interested in the Perpetual Education Fund. The meetings went very well, and we met some wonderful people.

Monday morning we got back on Ruta 5 going south. Since there is often neblina--mist, or niebla--fog, on this highway, there are markers on the asphalt that show how fast you should be going.

If you can only see one of the markers ahead of you, slow down to 40 kilometers per hour, about 25 mph. If you can see two, you can bump it up to 60 kilometers per hour, about 37 mph. The usual speed is 120 km/h, about 75 mph.

We had at least one large bus traveling behind us, picking up people who were waiting every three miles or so along the side of the highway.

Thursday was Thanksgiving at the Arrington's condo with all the other senior missionaries. I spent the morning making Grandma Kennington's recipe for rolls, and an apple pie with Costco cinnamon. Granny Smith apples are in good supply at this time of year, along with blueberries, strawberries, huge juicy cherries, asparagus, and mangos. There is hardly need to eat anything else.

Pretty fuchsia hanging over the condo balcony. Since we have to renew our Oregon driver's license while we are overseas, we fortunately were able to cross the hallway to make a request of the Concepcion South Mission President Bluth, an ophthalmologist, who gave us a vision test.

Our latest weaving group has finished their studies and were having refreshments while showing off their certificates.

The talented hermana showing off her woven bag with felted flower decorations.

Her very pretty needle felted figures.

Saturday, stake Self-Reliance specialists showed up from all over the region for materials and training. We were able to make contact with several leaders whose stakes and districts we will be visiting in the next few months.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Parque Zoologico Concepcion

This week we attended Barrio Penco, which is one of the sweetest and most loving of wards. The members welcomed us warmly, and when one of the elderly ladies fainted during a meeting, the bishop stood up and calmly made assignments to everyone concerned with taking care of her. We loved attending this ward.

Few members knew about changes in the Perpetual Education Fund, so we gave out materials and had another impromptu meeting under the direction of the bishop to explain it all.

The view from the second story of the Penco chapel, across the Bay of Concepcion to the Naval Base on Talcahuano, where we played golf last week.

A photo of me beside the ward building.

This was the last week of classes for weaving and felting. I wanted to take a photo of our smiling Nuvia and her Nativity figures, so she had to dress up specially in her uniform.

Our favorite weaver also does exquisite needle felting, as would be expected.

For our week's adventure all the senior missionaries, including the two new office couples, visited the Zoo Concepcion in Valle Nonguen, south of Collao. We had been told it was just a small zoo, but it certainly held its own with all the zoos I've visited. The Chilean greeter insisted on taking photos of everyone as we came in.

Cabras de la Isla Juan Fernandez, miniature goats from Robinson Crusoe's islands due west of Valparaiso.

Among the lovely birds in the laguna section was this Caiquen, with a habitat ranging from the Cone of South America (Chile and Argentina) to the Straits of Magellan.

The central exhibit was an Andean Condor, a beautiful fellow who seemed to know he was being photographed. He kindly posed for us wearing this beatific smile.

Anther sly glance for the camera 

 Llamas are ferocious protectors of sheep, and are often herded with them.

Not being a fan of monkeys in general, I still couldn't resist taking a photo of this Papion Sagrada, Sacred Baboon. I don't know what was sacred about him, with the evil eye he was giving me. 

Peuco, the Mapundungan word for Harris' Hawk, Parabueto Unicinctus, which ranges from the southwest coast of the United States to Chile and Argentina. These birds resemble peregrine falcons.

Native Chilean Pudu, the Mapundungan name for the world's smallest deer. These Pudu are eating their grain first and leaving the vegetables for last. 

The zoo even boasted two beautiful white tigers, a Bengal tiger, and a brown bear.

The Jirafa in an awkward-looking eating position

Liebre Mara or Patagonian Hare, or, as Elder Pendley likes to call them, Jackalopes.

My photos of the gigantic brown bear were not successful, but I did get a nice picture of his name, BooBoo the Bear. Bilz and Pap are popular strawberry and papaya flavored soft drinks in Chile.

The Emus' rather shaggy hairdos made me laugh, until this one started to yawn, after which I started yawning.

Our new senior missionaries, the Lees and the Wynns, sent from Arizona and Boise, to help in the Concepcion Sur and Concepcion Mission offices. The Pendleys and the Kauers are delighted to have them.

More tired missionaries, at the end of the trail at the Parque Zoologico Concepcion.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Golf at the Club Naval

Having visited Tumbes on the Talcahuano peninsula for the first time on Saturday, of course we went back for the second time on Wednesday. On our first trip we had passed the Club Naval golf course, and Elder K. was duly impressed by the grounds and expressed a wish to play there. 

We ran into two elders in a stake center we were visiting, and since they had been given special permission, we asked if they would like to accompany us. They said they would.

Our Sunday visit was to the Hualpencillo Ward in Talcahuano South Stake. The members here are dedicated, with firm testimonies.

Wednesday morning, the elders met us at the Self Reliance Center, then we took off for the golf club on Chile's main naval base on the Bay of Concepcion.

Club Naval de Campo Tumbes. The weather was sunny, warm, and breezy -- just perfect.

Elder Kennington and two delightful young missionaries, Elder McAllister and Elder Hoopes.

The greens were immaculately kept, the trees well established, and the golfers were thrilled. We had the entire 50-acre grounds to ourselves.

Some of the holes had spectacular views over the Bahia de Concepcion. We could see Penco, Lirquen and Tome.

Colorful flags at the end of Hole 3, waving in the ocean breeze. 

Overlooking the shipping yard and submarine base

Elder Hoopes takes a shot. I am not sure if anyone cared about the score. A few days after this golf outing, Elder Hoopes was made a zone leader in Penco.

Since I don't really golf (the less said about that, the better), I was enjoying the smell of the pines, the cleanliness and beauty of the grounds, and taking photos of wildflowers.

These pretty little birds accompanied us the entire time. I tried to get them to fly to show off their white wings with black markings, but they mostly just ran along the ground.

Purple wildflowers under the pine trees

Weeds along the ground, but pretty nonetheless

 An interesting mushroom. After two hours and nine holes, the golfers were getting hungry and thirsty, so we reluctantly said goodbye to the Club Naval de Campo Tumbes.

 Since Caleta Tumbes was just a few miles down the winding hilly road, we drove there for lunch. Above is a photo of a patient fisherman repairing his nets.

Along the little street we saw several restaurants, and decided on Tia Ely's.

Two happy elders eating cheese empanadas with onions and cilantro. We all ordered the Reineta a la Plancha, a delicious grilled whitefish served with a pile of french fries. 

We watched ongoing ship repairs from the second floor of Tia Ely's. 

A photo of us on the pier

Another goodbye to Tumbes, and a wonderful day out for two hard working elders and for us.