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.

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