Saturday, December 6, 2014

Monday...No Slowing Down

 Joe went to work and Kate and Jake went to school.  The kids were ticked that they couldn't just stay home and play with us all day.  "You're doing all of the fun things without us!!!"  was their complaint.  It was slightly true.  But I had to remind them that in less than 24 hours, we'd be taking them out of school for a week so we could go on vacation with Momo and BG.  
 Our first stop was more of an errand that I didn't consider sightseeing until I started answering some of mom and dad's questions as we drove into a "neighborhood" where quite a few members of our church live.
 We have members who live in makeshift homes out of storage units.  We have a select few members who live in mansions.  We have members who live in places like this where they find materials that they can and put together a home for themselves and their families.
 It's humbling.
 Very humbling.
 The first time I drove down here to pick up one of the hermanas from church, I admit, I was nervous.
I didn't know if it was safe.  And it is true, there are places I am not allowed to go.  Too many assaults.  I asked the missionaries to accompany me to visit one of the children in Primary and they told me that this little 9 year old lives in a place too dangerous for even them to visit.  They couldn't take me.  I understood and I didn't want to go, but it made me so sad.  This is who we go to church with.  We have an interesting mix of wealthy and poor.  Living in Chile, there are distinct social classes.  It makes me sick.  At church we all work together.  It is the one place where I like to think that your "class" doesn't count.  Some struggle with this.  Some of the Chileans and Peruvians don't have the best of relations and I'm sure some resent the Americans who come down here.   No one is perfect.  But we are trying to follow in our Savior's footsteps.  And as we do, little by little, we will see each other how God sees us and learn to treat one another with the love and kindness and respect that all deserve no matter where we live or what we call home.

I dropped off some things for a sweet lady in our ward who would be watching Jhon's 4 siblings so his parents could spend their time at the hospital with Jhon.  She lives here, just 2 minutes from our church building. 

This is what is crazy about Chile.  Here we were in this "development" and not even a 5 minute drive from here, is the La Dehesa Mall.

 Beautiful and upscale and what many would call snooty if you ask most of the people who live in the homes we had just come from.  After all, this is their backyard.   I shop here.  I don't like to think of myself as snooty, but we are definitely beyond privileged.  I've seen the snooty ones.  They like people to know that they are in the upper class.  They even use a different accent to prove it.   It's gross.  
After we stopped off at the store, we headed through Bellavista to San Cristobal to get a good view of the city.

More days are smoggy than not.  Santiago is rated 3rd worst in the world when it comes to air quality. But on a clear day, it truly is amazing to see how big this city is.  It goes on forever!

At one point we thought we lost dad.  It was really warm and mom was starting to get worried that something had happened to him.  I started backtracking, and found him coming toward me with a huge smile on his face.  Classic dad.  I loved it.  "I found the most beautiful butterfly!!"  With lens in hand, he is ready to explore everything and anything and has nonstop energy until he's seen it all.

I never tire of going up here.  It's just beautiful and so serene.  

 From San Cristobal, we came down and stopped at some stores to check out the Lapislazi.
 You can only get this type of stone in Chile and Afghanistan.  No plans in the near future or far to go to Afghanistan, so we figured Mom and Dad needed some :)

And then we stopped for a REALLY quick lunch at this yummy place.  

We drank our juices and grabbed our food to go so we could get to school as fast as possible.  Jake was the last one in class, again this week, waiting for me.  Thankfully, he still had a smile on his face. 
 We all headed up to the pool to watch Kate's practice and Jake's class.  
 I'm loving this kids behind Jake.  And tell is the swim cap effective if your hair isn't tucked into it?  Just curious :)
And then on the way to the car, the kids used their bargaining tools to convince Mom and Dad that they HAD to try the crepe place.  I was all for not cooking, so it was set.

They fell in love.  We went back before their time in Chile was over :)

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