We were able to tour the reconstructed Esmeralda, saw Iquique from the ocean view via boat, and enjoyed being with the Chileans on their special day. It was a unique moment to be in the city where the battle took place.
The Esmeralda is now a museum and we loved touring it.
Some views of Iquique from out on the ocean.
We went back to Pica, which is part of the Pozo Almonte Branch, for a Family Home Evening. We took the elders - a threesome with us. Pictured below are Elders Aquino/Argentina, Barrington/UT, and Sargent/UT. Next are Victor and Taciani, Brother Varela, and Mikki. It was a small group but we enjoyed spending the evening with them. On the way back to Pozo Almonte, we stopped to look at the stars. Pica is at least 35 miles beyond Pozo Almonte and with no lights around us we were amazed at all the constellations we could see. It was easy to see the Milky Way. Truly amazing!!
The Vera's invited to their home for lunch as Cecilia's parents and aunt were visiting from Santiago. They'd also invited another couple from their ward in Iquique to join us. The Vera's daughter, Anita, will leave in a few weeks to serve a mission in the Argentina Posadas Mission, which is in the northeastern most part of the country. It includes Iguazu Falls, which on the Brazilian side was included in our daughter, Nicole's, mission. She'll be a wonderful missionary!
On Doug's birthday, May 25th, we drove up to the little town of Mamiña, which is northwest of Pozo Almonte, up in the mountains. It's a town of hot springs and we're sure it's a bustling community during the summer but May is late Fall and it was a quiet day except for the Catholic church, which was having some sort of celebration. It was Memorial Day up in the States and when the people in the church were asked to remember their ancestors we felt like we were able to have a little Memorial Day of our own.
Mamiña is a town where legend has it that the waters of this place cured an Incan princess of blindness. The name means "the little girl of my dreams" and is known for its healing hot springs.
Here are some views of the town.
We celebrated Doug's birthday that night at the home of Oscar Rozas and his wife Olfa Montenegro (the wives usually keep their maiden name after marriage). They'd invited the Hernandez-Pino and Aldunate-San Francisco families over for pizza and birthday cake.Olfa is a fantastic baker and has a business from her home for bakeries and private orders.
The next day we celebrated with the elders in our zone.
Doesn't this look like a happy group?!!