Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Pacific Ocean, The Golf Course...again, La Portada, A Cemetery, the Tropic of Capricorn landmark, a Baptism, and our District

How's that for a title?  We drove down to Antofagasta last weekend for Doug to attend a Coordination Council meeting for all stake and district presidents in our mission, the mission presidency, and  led by the Area Seventy, Elder Gimenez, who's from Antofagasta.  As Doug's the 2nd counselor in the mission presidency, he was invited to attend.  We loved the drive down - our first since driving up here 3 months ago.  It still amazes us to drive along Route 1 with the Pacific Ocean on our right/west and the Atacama Desert on our left/east.

See all that white on top of the rock?  It's bird droppings.  As rain is a rarity among rarities, it just never gets washed off.  But isn't the ocean gorgeous?!!!

Our two-lane road, Route 1, with the Atacama Desert hills right next to the ocean.  So amazing!

Heading south we saw more of our little barren golf course so had to stop and take a few pix.  We've never seen anyone actually swinging a golf club but the course is there for their enjoyment.  And today in Iquique we found another golf course....brown just like this one (that's why we recognized it...)!

La Portada, meaning The Gateway, is a national monument and is located just north of Antofagasta.  The Daltons, our mission president, take the missionaries there the day they arrive and we wanted to go again to see it when we weren't so tired from our traveling from the states.

                                             You can see Antofagasta in the background.

                                               Now there's a very handsome young man!

                                             The panoramic view is so picturesque!

                                Out in the middle of nowhere we passed by this little cemetery.

Also just north of Antofagasta is this landmark, marking the Tropic of Capricorn, which is the southernmost latitude reached where the sun is directly overhead.  As we have the ocean to modify the heat and humidity, we don't suffer from a tropical heat. It's very fascinating for us to pass by this landmark. 

The Chileans love flying their flag near their homes.  We enjoyed seeing this little, remote pueblito with the very large flags of Chile.  Notice the dog?  There were about 4-5 of them and boy did we have a hard time getting away without hitting one of them!  They kept running in front of our car.  Fortunately, we didn't hit any of them!  Whew!!

        Sebastian was baptized earlier this month by Elder Modewell/MI.  He's a great new member!

The Sunday evening before transfers, the Rodriguez family had a little going away get together for Elder Anderson/ID who was transferred to Vallenar, a city in the southern part of the mission.  Our little district consisted of Elders VanNetter/TX, Herrera/Chile, Anderson/ID, and Balmeceda/Peru and Chile.  All great, hardworking missionaries!

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