Welcome to Chile o sea Bienvenidos a Chile!e are in Chile! Yes, we have returned the long, slender country know to the world as Chile, more specifically to southern Chile--Talca, La Union, and Puerto Montt with a plane landing in Santiago to get here. I will write when I can and insert pictures as we go. So, here are some first things:
As we were flying into Santiago, off to the east were the magnificent mountains that make up the Andes also known by many as the Cordillera. Wow! What a spectacular sight. I tried to take some pictures out the window; so, we shall see what they turn out to be. We landed around 8:00 a.m. By 8:30 a.m., we had passed through customs. We each had to pay a $131 entrance fee just to get in the country. Then we passed through customs. That wasn’t too hard.
We walked over to the Alamo place and stood there for a good half an hour for them to run through their things. Holy cats it took them a long time. I believe Budget spends most of their elsewhere. Finally, we were almost there when their system crashed so we had to start all over again. In the meantime, we finished and headed out to the car.
Now, what a experience this was. The guy and I walked around the car to make sure that he has written down all of the dings and things. There were a bunch, much more than the ones we see in the USA; but after driving around, I soon learned why. We drove out and followed the arrows. The GPS didn’t work; so, we didn’t get one to use. Basically, we were on our own. Soon, we did get lost and didn’t turn when we were supposed to. After stopped at a farmacia, we went on our way and poof got lost again. Amazingly, though, we just happened onto the Avenida Eliodoro Yañez. Ten blocks later we pulled off the street into one of the hotel’s parking spaces. When we checked in, we discovered we were way too early. We got directions and headed to the temple. Because of all of the one-way streets everywhere, it took us longer than we what thought. But in reality, it is only about ten minutes away. We plan on going to the temple tomorrow morning. We will try to hit the 9:00 a.m. session. The Church has a huge building on temple grounds. It must be the headquarters for the Church here in Chile.
When we returned, we checked in. A young man led us to our room. Lo and behold, it looks like a suite. He had already brought up our luggage and placed it in our room. Joanne and I lay down and fell asleep because we didn’t sleep well last night or morning, whichever it was. I just woke up around 12:30 p.m. and decided to begin my Chilean journey.
After we returned, we decided to walk around and find a place to exchange some dollars. Well, the bank where we wanted to go had a sign out that they were doing something inside; so, we couldn’t go in. We came back in ½ hour when they said they were going to open back up, but they never did. Come to find out, banks open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 2:00 p.m. Now, that’s where bankers receive the adage “bankers’ hours.”
Around 7:20 p.m., we walked down to the lobby and outside and waited for Fernando, Gloria’s husband (She served in our District/Zone in Puerto Montt). He was supposed to pick us up around 7:30 p.m. Because of the traffic y otras cosas, lateness isn't an issue. Well, around 7:45 p.m. or so, he drove up in his car. We gave abrazos, got in, and headed out to their apartment. The traffic was terrible. We arrived around 9:00 p.m. or so. We passed by Frank Aravena’s office, which is also Fernando’s office because they work together; then we headed for the apartment, arriving around 9:00 p.m. Gloria was there.
She had fixed us jugo. We had such a nice chat, some in English but mostly in English. Soon, it was time to eat. They had fixed asparagus, papas de purė, tomatoes, roast beef, little potato balls, and cucumbers. For dessert, we had flan, which is okay for once in a while. During the meal, we reminisced about Concepcion, about the mission, and about the families. After dinner, we chatted, took pictures, said our good byes, and Fernando took us home. We arrived around midnight. Joanne and I were both exhausted. After reading scriptures, we fell into bed. But what a wonderful evening with my Chilean friends. Just wonderful!
Stay tuned for more from los viajeros Chilenos!