A Taste of Chile

A Taste of Chile

We have been living in Chile for six months now and have absolutely fallen in love with so many things.

This made it all the sweeter to have our family visit for Christmas Break! Not only did they bring us a taste of home in the form of a million bags of coffee and Christmas cookies, but we also got to share a little of our new home with them.

Pictures are worth thousands of words so here is a quick glance at Kali (my husband’s sister) and Alana’s (her friend) time in Chile.

After picking the girls up from the airport, we spent the day in Santiago climbing cerros, exploring the Plaza de Armas and the Palace, eating completos (Chilean hotdogs), and discovering an awesome little zoo. After a full day we jumped on the bus for a 4 hour ride to our city of Linares. Fun Fact: These girls had their tickets to come here before we did!
The very next day we celebrated Christmas with our Linares church family! The youth decorated the church and put on a Christmas skit (See previous blog Feliz Navidad). After church, members hung around to eat sweets and exchange gifts. Fun Fact 1: Jon and I played Mary and Joseph in the skit. Fun Fact 2: It’s a special tradition to have church outside for Christmas. 
After church, we celebrated Gringo Christmas with Pastor Erickson, his wife Ellen, and our Kingdom Workers teammate Jenny. Highlights included grilling tons of meat, a cut-out cookie made to look exactly like my husband (Pastor ate it), opening gifts from home, and lots of laughing. Fun Fact: The dogs got more presents than we did. 
We spent Christmas Day at Lago Colbun, a lake in the mountains. Fun Fact: Our dog Arie learned how to swim! 
While the girls where here, a couple from church had a house blessing for their new home! Fun Fact: Almost the entire church family came to celebrate! 
And what do you do after a house blessing? Eat a ton of food and have a dance party of course! Fun Fact: One of our members actually convinced Alana that the meat she was eating was cat. 
A perk about living in Chile is that you are almost always one bus ride away from the mountains. I had to work, but Jon was able to take the girls to our favorite park close to Linares. Fun Fact: The girls thought they were going to die. 
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The mountains declare the glory of the LORD! Fun Fact: There is a trail in this park that can take you all the way to Argentina. 
Thanks to visitors who were willing to “rough it” we were able to spend 6 days in the southern part of Chile without paying for a place to stay! Fun Fact 1: You can camp almost anywhere you want – especially on the beaches! Fun Fact 2: Do you see the two volcanoes in the background? The one on the right erupted in April of 2015. 
We hopped on a ferry to camp and explore on the magical island of Chiloé. Fun Fact: On both trips to and from the island we saw tons of sea lions and dolphins. 
A beautiful beach where we got to see penguins! Two different colonies migrate to those islands every summer. Fun Fact: This beach was Kali’s first time swimming in an ocean! 
Not a bad place to have dinner and set up a tent. Fun Fact: At one of the beaches we camped at, dolphins played for the entire evening in the water right next to us. 
The stilt houses of Castro at low-tide. Fun Fact: We made coffee in our little portable dripper and enjoyed it while staring at this gorgeous view. 
Chiloé has tons of beautiful wool products…and of course stray dogs. 
Chiloé and the surrounding islands are homes to famous wooden churches, some of which are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We were able to see four of them. Fun Fact: We almost died riding over some steep, narrow, graveled hills to find some of these churches. 
Few people get to this side of the island, but it is worth it! Fun Fact: This is the biggest beach I have ever seen. 
Bridge to Nowhere. Fun Fact: When we walked further down there were tons of sea lions on the islands below. 
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Camping on the Pacific. Fun Fact: Yes, we all fit in that little tent. 
We spent the last night of the girl’s trip in the beautiful port city of Valparaiso. Fun Fact: Two of the hills here are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 
Steep cobblestone streets with gorgeous views and tons of beautiful graffiti. Fun Fact: Some artists go to Valparaiso to train in graffiti. 
Enjoying our last day together.

What a blessing it was to have these two ladies stay with us and to explore a little of Chile with them! A special thank you since these ladies lugged down two extra suitcases full of bibles, catechisms, and English books. How wonderful to have family and friends who are also our supportive brothers and sisters in Christ!

We all are one in mission.

Please come get another taste of Chile sometime soon Kali and Alana!

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