Monday, March 30, 2015

Arica, Geoglyphs, and a Zone Conference

We drove up to Arica last weekend to help in the kitchen for the zone conference up there.  We saw some geoglyphs along the way.  It's fascinating to see these pictures made by the Aymaran Indians, who were conquered by the Incas in the 1400's and the Spaniards in the 1600's.

This one is called El Gigante - the Giant - and is the largest prehistoric anthropomorphic geoglyph figure in the world with a height of 390 ft and represents a deity for the local inhabitants from AD 1000 to 1400.

This one has the sun on the left hand side of the mountain top along with another character to the right of it.

This last one was right down by the roadside.  We loved seeing it so close as we drove by.

We met Elder Lazarte in Arica.  We served with his brother and sister-in-law in Argentina.  Always special to meet missionary families.

The mission served subway-type sandwiches so we had the pleasure, along with Elders Harris/UT and Wegner/UT (to my left), of chopping all the veggies plus getting the fruit salad ready.  One of the things that Chileans love are avocados.  We chopped and mashed 30 avocados for this lunch.  

They each were allowed 2 sandwiches and everyone enjoyed their sandwiches, Doritos, fruit salad, and an Easter treat at the end.  The plates barely held everything!

This is a panoramic view of Arica from on top of Morro de Arica, a huge rock formation at the south end of the city.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Wedding, a Couple of Great Elders, More Views, and Iquique's Port

Yennipher and Leonardo got married last week!  Once they were married, Leo was able to be baptized the next day.  It was a wonderful weekend to be part of these special occasions with them.

 The Young Men served the food and President Pena, first counselor in the district presidency, polished all their shoes before the event.  They did a great job!

Yenny and Leo are sitting with Yenny's grandparents, who are in the Las Americas branch, and his parents.

We were impressed with their dancing talents!  They did a Chilean folkloric dance as well as others.

            Their beautiful cake was made by Olfa Montenegro.  It tasted as good as it looks!!

                 His baptism was the next day and again they were supported by their families.

The elders came to help with membership records and showing us online where they live.  We fed them pancakes before getting started.  Elders Anderson/ID and Balmeceda/Peru & Chile seemed happy to accommodate.  They serve in our branch, Tarapaca and are great missionaries.

Here's another panoramic view from another location at Alto Hospicio looking down on Iquique.

From this view you can also see their soccer field.  With that color green, I'm sure it's astro turf.

We went to the port today to take a little cruise around the area but enough people weren't there for the cruise so we'll go another time.  While waiting to see if people would arrive, we took pictures of the ocean and port.  This little island was covered with birds.

We usually see barges whenever we go down to Iquique, which is good because it means that deliveries are being made.

The old ship with the sails (down at this time) is a replica of the ship called the Esmerelda.  It's a Chilean steam corvette (a small warship) and was used in a battle between Peru and Chile.  It was a 4 hour battle and this ship was sunk by the Peruvians in Iquique on May 21, 1879 during the War of the Pacific.


               More views from the dock.

Juan was very kind to us while we waited for the cruise.  He told us about the earthquake and following tsunami and pointed out all the damage.  Then he had us watch a DVD showing the damage and repairs.  This dock we were standing on was the replacement of the damaged one.

When we first got there we saw a sea lion sleeping on this staircase.  By the time we got out the camera he'd slipped into the water and was gone.  Just before we left we saw him again (or another one) taking his morning siesta.  Doesn't he look comfortable?!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Primary Activity and another part of the Atacama Desert

We attended a Primary activity last Saturday and loved seeing the children having fun doing what kids love doing: playing!

 Everyone was busy getting balloons ready for their first activity.

Leonardo Reinoso, Elder Herrera/Chile, and Doug stopped long enough for me to take this picture.

This is the Bravo family. Romina is the Primary president and Abraham is the Elders Quorum president. Their two children are Ruben and Valentina. They're expecting their 3rd in a few months. They're a great addition to the branch!

                                                       Let the games begin!!

After they started with the balloon popping, they went around to several locations in the cultural hall and received points for how well they did. The final activity was throwing water balloons at Abraham Bravo.  He tried catching them with the colander but by the end he was absolutely soaked. Everyone, including adults, loved it! At the end, the children received prizes. I think the ones with the highest points got to choose first because all the prizes were the same.

                                                   The kids loved choosing their prizes!!

The next day we drove up to the branch in Pozo Almonte, which is about 30 miles outside of Alto Hospicio and is at an elevation of 3400'. We drove up behind this bus and took this picture from inside our car.  It says: The Lord loves you. Can you imagine finding anything like that on any public transportation in our country? It was a special reminder of what our mission is all about on our way to church.

We also passed this Indian etching on the mountainside. We find it very intriguing.

We love the little branch  and building in Pozo Almonte.

The next day we drove back up to an area called Pica that's part of the branch and about 30 miles beyond Pozo Almonte.  It's known for being an oasis in the desert.  They have groves of lemons, oranges, grapefruit, limes, etc. and we marveled at all the greenery in that little pueblito.

We loved looking over the walls to see so many healthy trees.

As we left we snapped a picture of one of the groves along the roadside. We learned that to get any water up there they must dig down about 120 feet to find water and then create an irrigation system. We saw this all over the area and for our eyes, it truly was an oasis. The other oasis we found were meeting some members of that branch. We'll be returning in a couple of weeks to attend a Family Home Evening they hold monthly with all the families living up there. We'll bring along the elders from that branch so they can meet those who haven't attended church in a long time.