Sunday, June 28, 2015

Adventure in Santiago

     Today I would like to tell you about an adventure that I and two of our sister missionaries had on Friday.  One of the sisters needed a medical exam and we decided to send her to Santiago to a very good clinic.  Also scheduled on Friday was the training for missionaries who have been here for five weeks.  We didn't want the sisters to go by themselves and also someone needed to pay for the the test, so I volunteered to go with them while President and the assistants did the training.
     It was great for me to see how transportation works for our missionaries.  We were dropped off at the bus station in Rancagua where immediately we were called repeatedly to board one bus or another.  I was glad to be with sisters who knew the system!  We boarded a bus, paid our fare of about $3.50 each and eventually headed out to the freeway. I have to admit we all enjoyed a nap on the way.  The bus station in Santiago is about a block from the Metro station, and we only had to wait a short time for a train.  During rush hour the trains are impossibly full, but at noon we didn't have a problem finding 
at least standing room.
     Unfortunately, after a couple of stops there was a problem at a station ahead of us so everyone had to get off, go up to the surface and find a bus that would take us past the problem to another stop. It was confusing with so many people milling around and a long line of buses, but we managed to find the right one, get off at the correct Metro stop, reboard the train and head to our original destination. The plan was to then catch another bus that would get us close to the clinic, but we ended up taking a taxi in order to make the appointment on time.  The sisters and I had a great time visiting and laughing while we made our way to the appointment.  We are also very happy that the test turned out with great results
     Whew!  We were definitely multimodal with public transport, but it took 3 1/2 hours. Fortunately, President came up after the training meeting to collect us and we rode in comfort back to Rancagua, even though it still took three hours to get home because the traffic was so backed up.
       I have mentioned collectivos and micros before, but this is how missionaries travel--we are grateful that Chile has an efficient and reasonably priced public transportation system.  During transfers on Tuesday, there will be many suitcases carried and hauled to bus stations and collectivos and then taken to the new houses.  This was an adventure for me and also a chance to see how calmly and capably missionaries handle the vagaries of public transportation among many other challenges.  They never complain, they just get where they need to go--after Friday I'm even more proud of them.  
new assistants on the left, current on the right

after Tuesday they won't be the new missionaries any longer
but we still love to train them

Our wonderful nurse explaining about stress and
glasses half full or half empty

A picture from our day of adventure in Santiago

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