Friday, March 27, 2009
THE GUTMANN / FUENTES' FAMILY
Back in December we went to Nong Khai, Thailand just to go to a specific guest house (See Mut Mee Guesthouse blog). Nong Khai was not the attraction, Mut Mee was. Well, here we are in Chillan, Chile and once again the city is not the reason we are here. If you check the travel guidebooks, you will note that there is a Cathedral here worth a visit and a nice artisan market, but other than that, there is no real reason for tourists to come to this Chilean city. But our friends from Cincinnati, Dave and Luz and their family are here and for us, that is a good enough reason to be here.
Our expectations for this visit were...well, we really didn't have any expectations; it was a social call. What ever happened here happened. We knew that Dave worked long hours at the University of Conception and that the girls were back in school after their summer break. We had arranged prior to arriving to have Luz be our spanish teacher for the week and we are having 2 hour lessons each morning. Other than that, we have allowed ourselves to be incorporated into whatever it is that is going on in their lives.
We have been to that "famous" Cathedral and the Artisan Market and at the moment, there is also an International Market on the Plaza de Armas that we have gone to. We all took a day trip to Thermas de Chillan in the Andes Mountains where we hiked to the top of a mountain (a small one) and then swam in the hot spring pools in the area. But the highlight of being here in Chillan is the social time that we have had with our friends and their family. It is also about being in a "regular" Chilean town and just living life here.
Since this isn't a well touristed town, short term apartment rentals are not really available. Dave and Luz's next door neighbors, Tatiana and Leonardo and their family, have vacated their house and moved in with Leonardo's mother so that we could use their house for the 10 days that we are here. Now that's what you call great neighbors! Thank you Tatiana and Leonardo for your generosity. We have a wonderful house to live in and best of all, we now have the most awesome visinos (neighbors) in all of Chillan!