I’ve been going to the orphanage every week to help. This orphanage has babies up to about 5 years of age. They can use as much help as possible. I usually start with the babies then move down to the “grandes” which are the “big kids”. They are very sweet but they don’t get the one on one like kids need. Sometimes when I hold a baby it won’t even look me in the eyes. I have to keep trying to make eye contact with him or her. It’s so important for these children! One of the babies is so energetic. His name is Luciano. He bounces himself so much in his bouncy seat I think he is going to fall out. He has beautiful light eyes and he smiles at you. He’s adorable. I would post a picture but they are sticklers about NO photos!
Anyway, I am telling you this because some of us who volunteer went to a class yesterday with a baby massage instructor. I wish I had known this when I had babies. She didn’t teach us the massage because she felt it would be too much of a bonding time and that should be used for the parents and the child. The people at the orphanage do not want us to bond with them because it is hard on the workers. They really don’t like us to hold them too much because when we leave they have to deal with a crying baby. I get it but it’s not right. I feel so sorry for those babies! Never having someone just sit and hold them because they just want to! I have lived the consequences of a child not having a bond with their parent- it’s not good!
She did teach us some “gentle movements” to do with the kid to get their arms and legs moving and to have a one on one time with someone. One exercise was just moving the legs in a bicycle motion. She said some babies don’t like it and will tense up as protection. They’ve already learned self protection at this early age. She was a sweet teacher and she will be a great mom when she has kids- she just has that personality. I learned a lot. Even though I won’t be here much longer I thought God could use this for some other time in my life.
The view from the apartment we were in was amazing. I hope you can see the snow covered mountains in the background.
Kent and I went out last night to one of our favorite restaurants here. It’s not a tourist place so the food is not as expensive as other places. We love empanadas and seafood and they do both well! We had ceviche, which the serving they give is gigantic ,and full of all types of seafood- fish, octopus, clams, shrimp, yum! We should have stopped there but we ordered the paila marina which I have shown on here before. It’s the soup with all the seafood in it. Here it is -one more time.
Hola mis amigos! I am writing to share my pizza making class information. This class was hard because it was 99% in Spanish. When I left I was so tired from trying to concentrate and understand not only the cooking instructions but the side conversations going on between all the ladies. The lady that taught it is from Italy but she’d forget to say it in English as well so I didn’t want to keep reminding her. I would just nudge my friend to get her to translate for me.
She gave us recipes for a fast dough and a slow dough. She was making pizza and foccacia and made us pizzas with cheese, onion, zucchini and onion, bacon and zucchini, and olives. I liked all of them and the cheese was the only one with sauce. They were very light as far as ingredients. The main job was preparing the dough and she said she does it the night before and she freezes a lot of it as well.
I know I won’t try it here because I have basically no kitchen utensils, bowls, measuring cups, etc. but I will when I get home. Also, my stove is terrible. I’ve made brownies and cookies for our conserjes (doormen) and each time they come out with the uncooked dough in the middle and hard on the outside. Now, I LOVE my brownie dough but I didn’t want to assume everybody does and I don’t know what Chileans like. (No comment Becky Flora
A few tips I learned. One is she doesn’t let the yeast
and the salt touch by themselves. She divided the water amount and put the yeast in the water, stirred it, and then added it to the flour. Then she took the remaining water and added the salt to it and added it to the dough. She said it doesn’t work as well if you mix them together. The second tip is that when you knead your dough use semolina flour on the counter and don’t sprinkle it on top of the dough. Just continue to put more on the counter as needed. Also, she used a lot of olive oil. She would let the dough sit for a while in her kitchen and bring it back in to the room with us as she put the toppings on. She would add the oil and then pour water on top of the dough. Lastly, she said to not rush the process. Take your time and let the dough rest between times that you’re kneeding it. My pictures are not that clear but I have a few.
I enjoy all the activities I do but mainly because I get to meet so many different people. This class consisted of 2 American, 2 Peruvians, 2 Chileans, 1 Columbian, and 1 Italian. We are really all very much alike. Think that is definitely one trait my parents have given me! Here are a few picture of the ladies.
I have 3 weeks until I get back home. We should know in the next week or 2 if our farm project is going to work out. We knew it would take more time than the States but it has been a real learning experience. I think Kent is working on this project along with his PhD reading almost as much as he did in New York!
Just checking in today. I am headed out to another cooking class and will take many pictures. This class is done by an Italian lady at her home and we will be making pizzas today. I love pizza so this is going to be good.
Some of you may have heard about the fires here over on the coast at Valparaiso. It happened pretty soon after the big earthquake up north so Chile had a lot happen at once. Anyway, the fires spread quickly and they were on a hill so they destroyed around 3,000 homes. Our church is collecting empty milk cartons to send over there which I thought was strange. Then one of the Chilean members showed us why. They take a carton and when it’s opened it is used for their walls and roofs. The material it is made of can be used for these purposes. I was so surprised but for these type of homes it works well.
Makes you thankful for our homes!
The other pictures I have today are of friends from church. After church, we walk over to the food court at the mall and visit with each other. Last Sunday they had music playing outside so some of us went out there to listen for a while. It was a beautiful day. It is now in the 50’s and 60’s during the day so we have to dress accordingly.
On Wednesday, the ladies in my bible study small group got together for lunch after we were finished. I think I may have told you about this group before. We meet at the church we attend but it is a non-denominational group so there are women from all different churches and countries. We gather at 9:15 for coffee and a snack and then at 9:30 we sit together and sing and the leader gives us a quick introduction to the lesson. We disburse into our small groups and discuss the lesson. We are studying Colossians so Wednesday we were talking about submission. What a spirited topic! Then around 11:00 we return to the main room together and the speaker presents the lesson. We usually end around 11:30. It’s a lovely time.
My small group has ladies from Chile, US, South Africa, Peru, France, and Columbia. They are a great group of women. So real and authentic. The group has a range of ages so we get to learn from each other. I try to soak up all that I can.
So, for lunch Chrystelle fixed a beet and onion soup. I had never had fresh beets before, but it was a sweet (not overly) soup. The only other ingredients were chicken broth and water. The color was beautiful. We also had a delicious quiche, quinoa salad, fresh rolls, and grapes. Then for dessert we had brownies (I brought-surprise!), lemon pie, and ice cream cookie sandwiches.
Last Monday my friend Rosa and I went to a Peruvian cooking class. It was at a Peruvian young mom’s apartment not far from our place. She was a trader along with her husband for years but stays home now and took up cooking. Along with Rosa and I, the other attendees were another mom from Mexico and a young mom/doctor born in Somalia but raised in Dubai. Neat group of ladies. It was in Spanish and English so I had to make sure I was getting the translation right. We actually sat at a table in the corner of the kitchen and she cooked at the counter next to it so we could watch. After looking at the menu, Rosa agreed that the real true Peruvian recipe was the soup. The other recipes could be found other places. But, it didn’t matter because it was fun and the food was delicious. I was wondering if you think someone could do this at their house where you live? It was 15,000 pesos which is approximately $30 ( a little less).
So, the menu was the following:
Tequenos Rellenos de Poro con Salsa de Maracuya y Aji – These were made of wanton wrappers with a leak and cream cheese filling. The salsa was delicious with ingredients such as red pepper paste, passion fruit, and dijon mustard.
Aquadita de Pavo- This is the Peruvian hangover soup. At least that’s what they said. When people are out partying they want to eat this after. It was delicious. Some of its ingredients were turkey, cilantro, and these buttery yellow potatoes they love here. Yum!
Risotto de Champignones Perfumado con Aceite de Trufa- This is a mushroom risotto with truffle oil. It was good and rich with butter, cream, parmesan, truffle oil, etc.
Cake de Zanahoria con Frosting de Quesa Crema- you could figure this out. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I was surprised with this cake since it is popular at home.
It was over after about 2.5 hours. I enjoyed getting to meet other the other ladies. Here is a picture of me and the professora. Rosa and I are looking to do some other classes before I leave. If we do, I’ll let you know. Time is ticking down for our stay……
While we were at our friends we were talking about smoking. The mom and daughter both smoke which here in Chile doesn’t seem uncommon. We see many people of all ages smoking here. I was telling them how I thought it was becoming less popular back home. I may be wrong about that. Anyway, they said the government doesn’t want people to smoke. I agreed the same for the US. Then they asked if the US did this to the cigarette cartons (see pics)
The week before Easter we met a realtor that was recommended to us by a friend. We met she and her husband at her office because he speaks English. He lived in the US for many years as a company executive. He really understood what we were thinking. In fact, their business is based on great customer service like what we gringos are accustomed to. We had such a nice meeting they invited us out to their house for a meal.
We got to go yesterday. What a great day! They picked us up at 1pm which in itself is a treat to be in a car (the little things that mean a lot now). He drove us out to his house which is only about 15 miles from the city. The view was beautiful as we drove over the mountains. He drove us through his town which has the basics of nice stores, a huge workout place, restaurants, etc. It is one of the best places to live around here. However, to live there you really need a car. They have bus service into the city but it’s not convenient to use to get around this area.
When we arrived to their house they welcomed us with some snacks and champagne in their backyard. Chileans eat lunch late usually some time between 1-4 pm. We met all the family that lives there with them.
Next we waited while the food was being grilled. It was delicious! He also has a huge garden so many of the side dishes were from the garden.
After we ate he showed us around his garden. He has 90 trees including apples, peaches, avocadoes, pomegranates, oranges, walnuts, almonds, lemons, and more. He also grows, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, potatoes, grapes, etc. It was really neat to see how he had it all set up. He loves doing it which is good because it is a lot of work. He gave us some fruit when we left which included a Brazilian fruit which I had never seen before. It’s small like a lime, its skin is like a kiwi, its inside is kind of like an apple, and it’s sweet kind of like a kiwi. I love them. I’m going to find out the name and see if we have them in VA!
We had a tour of the house and then headed back into the city. He took us on an alternative route so we could see another area of Santiago. We felt like we had a personal tour guide. This day was one of the best we’ve had in Chile. We can’t thank them enough for inviting us over to their home.