A Trip to Olmue

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Olmué, Región de Valparaíso, Chile
Today we had the opportunity to see Chile outside the city of Santiago.  Chile is a long country 3000 miles—from north to south.  It is about 100-150 miles wide and the easterly boundary is the Andes Mountains.  The population is 16 million of which 1/2, or eight million lives in Santiago.
The Seiglie’s and us had breakfast on the 22nd floor roof patio at the Crown Plaza hotel. The have tasty little snacks and we’re outside.  Very nice.  We have enjoyed being with the Seiglie’s.  Mario is a fountain of information….always interesting commentary about everything from science to religion. 
Our trip today was to the town of Olmue about one and a half hours north. The Feast of Tabernacles will be held at the La Campana resort outside Olmue. 
We leave the congested downtown area.  Mario shows me the Presidential Palace and showed me the spot where a military coup in 1973 overthrew the Marxist government of Allende and the military general Pinochet because ruler. The military ruled for 17 years until almost 1990 when a more democratic style of government returned.
Mario spoke to us about the history of Chile, Peru and the wars with them.  Also of Argentina.  All very interesting to hear this history “on location.”
The people on the streets I find to be patient as they work around each other in congested areas.  The people are not what we think of typically Latin. They resemble more the Europeans: Germans, French, etc. and act like it.
We passed beautiful vineyards on the way to Olmue.   In the United States we know of Chilean wines….well, this is where they are from!   The climate here is so much like Southern California.  It’s the middle of summer.  It is warm….temperatures peak to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s dry.  The mountains are similar to the coastal mountains in California, as well. 
Near toll booths on the freeway, vendors sell various kinds of fruit.   We were intrigued by the huge cherries and bought two packages. 
We arrived at the La Campana resort and were met by the owner.  He showed us around a little, but it seemed important to eat lunch. The food in Chile, in fact in all South America is good and important, if I can say that.   Their steaks are great and offered a lot on menus.  I had the filet steak, a filet mignon, for a very reasonable price.  Tasty grass-fed beef!   We had a tasty lunch and then saw the accommodations people would use for the Feast as well as the meeting hall for the 120-130 that are expected to come this fall.
From here we left for the Pacific Ocean where we drove through an upscale resort area.   Tall high-rises and a festive summer vacation spirit. 
Then the two hour drive back to Santiago where we came back to the hotel and got ready for the 7:30 pm Bible Study. 
My study was on the first chapter of the Book of Ephesians.  Mario translated.  It was wonderful again to fellowship with the people.  The attendance was great for a weeknight – about half of what it was for Sabbath Services.  The people are very enjoyable to be with and even though we were challenged with communications, we were able to share.
The congregation gave us a sculpture of a pair of Andes Condors.  Very beautiful.  
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