Monday, January 26, 2009

A Minimalist

As I answer the phone and talk to friends and family I am amazed at the technological changes that have taken place in my life time. When I was a young child we didn’t have a phone. I remember the day we got our first phone. It had a short cord and you had to sit in one place to talk. Before you talked you had to listen to see if anyone else was talking since there were 3 other families in the neighborhood who shared our party line. We had our phone for years before I made my first phone call. None of my friends homes had phones so I didn’t have anyone to call.

I wonder how in this 60 year period we went from having a phone as a luxury to every individual in America needs a personal phone. Our travel to parts of the world where individuals do not live a life of indulgence makes me wonder how many other things I can live without. Am I ready for a minimalist life? I thought I had trimmed down and gotten rid of many things this past year. Now I realize that I still have far more “things” than I need. Today, I have started looking at my home and life and I am committing myself to eliminating anything that is not necessary. (Kent can keep his belt.)

In this minimalist thought I am also committing myself to reading and watching only that which will edify. I will not be humorless. I want to have time for fun and friends. I believe both can coexist.

This really is the end of the world!

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Amalia Glacier

As an elementary school child we studied the normal things. Some things were really boring but other things excited me. When I went home and told my mother about them she would always say, “well, I don’t know why you are all excited about that. You will never see _______ .” Well, I saw the Southern Cross. Seeing the stars out on the ocean where there are no lights on the ground was something I thought I would never experience. The Southern Cross is 4 beautiful and bright stars that from a cross or diamond. We also got to see Orion’s Belt upside down when we were further north. Such an exciting moment in my life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Mightly Hunter

This is a real seal lion. They even look like a lion with a mane. They can walk on all 4's just like a land animal. Instead of feet they have flippers. Quite impressive.
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Cute, but I wouldn't bring a youngster on a trip like this.

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About the Animals ...

Even a Penguin needs a vacation.
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About the Animals ...

These birds are like penguins except they can fly. Notice the sea lion in the background.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Home At Last!

I thought I would be able to talk about my experience in South America but I am wondering if it is possible. The culture, people, sights, nature were all new to us. And then there were the Animals!

I guess the pictures will have to tell the story for us.

Pictures of Santiago, Chili

Monday, January 5, 2009

Vina Del Mar and Valparaiso

Sunday was a wonderful day in Santiago. We attended the ward that meetings next to the temple. Never have I met so many friendly people. I went into the building while Kent, Ben and Becca stayed outsife to take pictures. As each member entered everyone greeted them with a hug and a kiss including me. Missionaries quickly greeted me - all 3 sets. The meeting started on time and was very reverent. With it being Fast Sunday I could only enjoy the spirit of the meeting. Kent and Ben discussed the testimonies after the service. They were pure testimonies of the Savior Jesus Christ.

After returning to our hotel room and packing it was time to leave for Vina Del Mar. Because of the many tourist we were having trouble getting a driver to take. Some of the Taxi drivers offered but we questioned whether or not their cars would actually make it there. The hotel concierge said he was getting off at 1pm and would take us. He was doing it on the sly so we had to meet him on the side of the building. Such an interesting experience.

Our drive was about 1 hour and 40 minutes. The countryside reminded us of California in the summer. We passed the wine country and then the seaside town came into view. It looked like the pictures of an Italian seaport town I have seen. The seashore was rocky and dirty. Dogs and cats roamed looking for food. Swimming was not an option. To describe the town I could only say the people were poor but delightful. The town was as clean as Santiago. Flowers and plants were abundant.

Our Hotel was an interesting experience. Our room had a fan but no airconditioning. To cool the room we had to open the window and wait for the evening breeze to begin. About 10pm the room cooled down so we could sleep. People in Valparaiso and Via Del Mar are on vacation so the party continued late into the night. Traffic, police sirens, and voices became part of our steeping experience.

Today we are going to go on a personal tour of Valparaiso. Then about 3 we will board the Star Princess for the next 12 days. This experience has been so exciting. One that I thought I would never have. Having said that there are things I miss.
  • drinking water
  • air conditioning
  • a refrigerator
  • did I mention drinking water?
  • talking to my granddaughters

I won´t be updating my blog for quite a few days. I am not willing to pay for internet access on the ship. Just know that I am well, having a wonderful time, and washing my hands constantly to avoid the dreaded Norvirus. Also, I don´t have spell check (unless Ben is sitting by me) and the computer keeps correcting what is a correctly spelled word with a Spanish word so don´t be too hard on me when you see errors on the blog.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Strange New World

January 1, 2009
So far we have had a wonderful trip. We haven’t had any bone chilling adventures to speak of. The city of Santiago moves at a show pace, including the Taxi drivers. The city is a beautiful European city. We have been impressed with how friendly everyone is. Friday night at the mall was different that we had expected. Familias were together enjoying each other. (Sorry, I'm typing on a Spanish Computer).

Our first day here Ben and Becca saw the city on foot. The older members of our group chose to go by Taxi. Today we went on a double decker bus. Alter about 2 ½ hours I came back to the hotel for some quiet time with my book. Ben, Becca, and Kent are still in the city sightseeing.

Everywhere we have gone people know about the Church. When Kent asked the Taxi driver if he knew where the Mormon Temple was he corrected him and used the correct name of the Church. The girl cleaning our hotel room is a member of the church. She gave us information about the meetings tomorrow. I think church will be the same as it was when I had little children. I will hope to feel the spirit but not hear (understand) much of what is said.

The weather is in the 80s but without humidity. How perfect! Outside my window I can look past the skyline and see the Andes Mountain Range. Tomorrow we go the opposite direction to the sea.