Saturday, December 7, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

11/26/2013    We’ve now been here in Los Vilos for over 2 months. In some ways time is going really fast but not fast enough when I think of all the things I’m missing back home.   I love fall and Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We may have chicken instead of Turkey for Thanksgiving but we will share a meal with the other ‘matrimonial couple’ in Illapel and another family. Then I will put up all 5 of our Christmas decorations and find some Christmas music somehow.
I love our little beach cottage. It’s small but so easy to clean.  We have to clean more often now that it’s warming up and we can open the windows.  Along with the cool air, dirt & sand blow in. We’ve also had 2 birds recently fly in. They say it is good-luck when that happens. We started putting bread crumbs outside on a table for them & they found them immediately. We love watching birds and I always think of my dad when I watch them. There are lots of different birds here at the ocean.  Last week for “P” day we went to ‘Pichidangue’, a nearby beach. We saw Cormorants, Whimbrels & watched another very interesting bird as it travelled back and forth skimming the surface of the water with the lower half of its bill in search of dinner.  We ate almuerzo at a little restaurant on the outside patio which had an ocean view.  I had Reineta (local fish) and an avocado salad which it turned out was simply an avocado peeled, thinly sliced and spread out like a fan on my plate.
Our work here is progressing. The people are very friendly but usually quite reserved until we speak first. Then they open up quickly. The other day we couldn’t find a particular store we were hoping had skittles or M&M’s for a game we wanted to play. We spotted 2 young girls and asked them for directions to “Keiko y Yo”, thinking they would know where the candy store was. They insisted on walking with us personally up the street to the store. The other Senior Missionary couple here in our district once stopped to ask for directions from their car. The Caballero/gentleman instructed his child (10yr old boy) to get into their car to go with them to the location & then told him to return home on foot.  I always feel like I’m living back in the 1950’s here.  I love how trusting the people are yet we have to gate and bar and lock everything in our possession or else it’s considered ‘fair-game’ and will be taken. They love to drink and party all night long. We met two very friendly (inebriated) men this morning while we were on our walk. They had been out all night and sadly, were robbed (so they said) while in that state of drunken helplessness. The disco up the hill opens at 1am on weekends and we sleep to the beat of the bass drum all night long. Luckily the sounds of the ocean waves help diminish it.
We love and miss you all!  Send us an email when you can—

Things I like:
·       The beautiful, colorful flowers like Geraniums and Bougainvillea etc.  They grow wild, like weeds, in cracks and crevices of walls and cascade down in voluminous color.
·       They gather as families & friends for Almuerzo from 2-4pm every day and feast.
·       They always peel tomatoes!
·       The church bells in Illapel chime every hour and often play songs.
·       When there is an old building that needs to be demolished, somehow it burns to the ground and is then bull-dozed before the embers have even cooled.  No need for any investigations ;)
·       Everyone loves Papa Fritas (These include both French fries and Potato chips-) & they are NOT considered an un-healthy, bad, fast-food item!

Things I don’t like:
·       Maimed stray dogs that are starving & bark all night.
·       The tiles on the floor in our shower don’t drain.
·       The need to pre-wash all fruits and vegetables in a disinfectant.
·       Our tiny LumPy bed!

The blessings we have received since being here are too many to count. We’ve decided we need to pay better attention to even the smallest of miracles that happen day to day here. Our family back home is being taken care of and we feel of their love, prayers and support. We have been given great families here to work with and feel a family relationship growing with many of them. We love the Elders and Sister Missionaries in our Zone.  Sadly one of our favorites, Hna Cazaut was transferred. It was hard to see her go. I got to be Hna Valencia’s companion for a day till her new one arrived.  (It was probably one of her laziest days on her mission because we just relaxed, made cookies and looked out at the ocean!)

 District on P-day.
Geraniums growing on our back wall.

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