Sunday, April 7, 2013

Seeing for things for the first time: A day with los Rotellini

Seeing for things for the first time: A day with los Rotellini
Darrel L. Hammon

It is not often you are with someone who experiences something for the first time. That happened on Friday, April 5, 2013, when we picked up los Rotellini who were visiting from the Dominican Republic.

Los Rotellini at Deer Creek Reservoir
We picked them up at their hotel and headed to Park City midst a rain storm. We expected some snow and more rain throughout the day. We contemplated just staying and visiting; yet, we trundled forward through Draper, Sandy, and the other cities, once separate and distinct, now connected, making Salt Lake even a bigger area. We pointed out the Draper, Jordan River, and Oquirrh Mountain temples and explained the triangle they form.

Hermana Rotellini, the skier
Hermano Rotellini, the skier

 Interestingly, almost the moment we arrived in Park City, the weather changed. What we thought was going to be a miserable day turned into a gorgeous day. Although the clouds covered the highest mountain tops, their various formation coverings brought a new beauty to mountain side and the surrounding area. 
Joanne and los Rotellini at the 2002 Olympic Museum
 At the 2002 Olympic museum, we met a wonderful Peruvian family. The mother was living with her family in Mesa, Arizona, now, and the daughter and her new husband lived in Ogden and going to Weber State University. The young woman’s husband wasn’t there to greet us, but she proudly told us he had served in the Dominican Republic and has talked incessantly about the DR. They planned on returning someday to conocer (get to know) the DR. It was a delightful conversation with people who share the same values and spoke the same language as los Rotellini. They marveled at the coincidence. 

Los Rotellini at the Olympics Training Center
We drove through old Park City and around the roundabouts. Los Rotellini just shook their heads, commenting on the bendiciones (blessings) of the people who live there, the cleanliness, and the neatness. They asked about what the houses were made of. Plus, they noted the slanting roofs and knew why they were slanted—so the snow would slide off. They mentioned the flat roofs in the DR and the challenges they pose when great rains pound them, causing the water to seep—yes, even gush—into the homes.

We left Park City and headed to the main highway and drove to Heber City. As we drove slowly through this quaint yet growing community of Heber City, Hermana Rotellini commented on the great pioneers and the pioneering nature of these people. Then we headed into the canyon.

Deer Creek Reservoir from the bank
Between Heber City and Bridal Veil, we stopped along the way at the Deer Creek Park. Other than another vehicle parked down the road, we were the only people there. We climbed out of the car and walked down to the lake front. Hermana Rotellini kneeled down and scooped up some water, marveling at its coolness. She breathed deeply over and over, saying how clean and pure the air was.
On the way out, we stopped at a clump of sagebrush. Hermana Rotellini climbed out of the car and approached the clump. She broke off a piece and gingerly brought the piece to her nose and smelled the sage fragrance. Precioso!

Bridal Veil Falls
We pulled into the parking lot at Bridal Veil Falls. Los Rotellini continued to look up at the majestic mountains as we walked across the bridge that spanned the Provo River. 

Looking up at the majesty

Provo River at the bridge to Bridal Veil Falls
On the other side, we trundled down the path to the base of Bridal Veil. Just to the left of base was a little pond that had been damned by medium-sized rocks. Swimming lazily in the pond were dozens of trout. Poking out the ground were three different machines that offered “fish food” for sale. A young couple had just purchased some fish food and were tossing it into the water and causing quite a stir. Hermana Rotellini sat down on the rocks, dipping her hands in the water to test its coolness.

Hermana Rotellini by the fish. She doesn't want to go.
Provo River at the bridge to Bridal Veil
The young couple tossing food asked us to take a picture of them. Come to find out he was a former missionary who served in Argentina. He was there with his fiancé from Colorado. We had a nice conversation in Spanish.

the mountains just opposite of Bridal Veil
Soon, we were back in Provo, the city, just a mere skip from Bridal Veil and its sereneness and majesty. It was hard to believe that fewer than ten minutes separated the jumbled mess of city and people from one of God’s most precious spots. Los Rotellini talked about God’s gracious finger in creating these beautiful mountains and scenery.

Los Rotellini y su familia
What an honor it was for us to be with Hermano y Hermana Rotellini. They are such gracious people. When we let them off, we met their daughter and her family. Wonderful people! We enjoyed meeting all of them.