Monday, October 6, 2014

18 de Septiembre

September 18th is Independence Day here in Chile and boy do we know how to celebrate. It is a huge holiday, even bigger than Christmas.  They celebrate for an entire week and everything is closed for at least two days, including all grocery stores. EVERYONE celebrates. Our stake celebrated from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.! They started with a flag ceremony followed by a young couple dancing the Cueca, the national dance of Chile.

MAH07121 from Michele Arrington on Vimeo.

Next we headed outside for lots of games including a tug of war. Somehow the four of us senior missionary sisters got roped into going against the Chilean sisters. It was no contest! We are a bunch of wimps!! Our companions went next and redeemed the gringos :)

MAH07158 from Michele Arrington on Vimeo.

After jumping rope for a minute and before we could get roped into the gunny sack races we headed for home. The other senior couples who are living in the city of Concepcion came over to try out our brand new gas grill. We had a yummy lunch and then headed back over to the church. Each of the five wards in the stake had prepared a dance to share with us. Everyone (but us) had on the traditional costumes and it was so fun to watch the dances.

Later we went with the Baldens and the Kauers to a rodeo in Chillan. Most of the rodeos here have only one event. The arena is divided into two sections - a smaller area and a bigger area. They let a cow into the small area and two guys on horses have to get it to circle the area three times. They try to keep the cow close to the wall by blocking it with their horses. It was cool to watch the horses skip sideways. After the third time around they open the gate and and they all go out into the bigger arena. The cowboys take the cow around the arena keeping him as close to the wall as they can. When they get to a certain spot they ram the cow into the wall with their horse then turn around and head for  spot B and ram him into the wall there. They turn him around again and head back to spot A for one final ramming. Made me feel really bad for the cows. Sometimes they just laid down and wouldn't get back up until one of the workers came over and pulled their tail.

MAH07235 from Michele Arrington on Vimeo.

Chile is very patriotic and there were flags flying everywhere. Nearly every home and business had a flag. Many cars were also decorated with red, white and blue. We feel very blessed to live in such a wonderful country.

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