Saturday, April 10, 2010

This and That

We recently visited several places in Colombia with a short term specialist to determine where we would have a vision project. At each place we visited, reading glasses and sun glasses were requested. Since we have a big inventory of glasses in our store house, we spent a morning last week boxing up glasses to be sent to Bucaramanga, Barranquilla and Cali Colombia. I am standing there admiring our hard work.

Royal is going over his notes to be sure that all the glasses were equally distributed. These items are stored at a house that is attached to the Ahlambra Stake Center.

Last week we had a two day holiday because of Holy week. Five senior missionary couples decided to take a trip up to the quaint colonial town of Villa de Leyva. On the way, we stopped at this rest stop and watched the young lady with her bucket of dough make arepas which were cooked on the brick stove behind her. We bought some and they were hot and delicious.

Presidente Casablanca and Elder Lunt enjoying their arepas. Also in the photo is Hermana Stull the psychologist for the area who is going home on the 14th of April.

We had lunch at a lovely restaurant. A unique kind of trout is a specialty dish in this area of Colombia so many of us had the trout. Pictured are Elder Stull, the Lunts and Hermana Chalmers mother of Michelle Chalmers of the McLean Stake.

I love this little town with its white buildings, unique roofs and cobblestone streets. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. I even had a shop owner escort me two shops down to find some tagua seeds.

Everyplace you go in Colombia seems to be built on hills. This photo shows the missionaries walking up such a hill only on cobblestone streets

Both coming and going you see military strategically placed along the roads. An interesting custom is as you pass one of these military folks, they give you a thumbs up and you return the gesture back to them

One of the things I have become intrigued with here in Colombia is tagua. Above is the tagua pod. It comes from the tagua palm that grows in moist coastal areas. The seed inside the pod is extremely hard and its texture is similar to ivory. The seeds, after harvesting, are allowed to dry for 3 months during which time they become very hard and dense. Then craftsman take the seed and polish it to a beautiful lustre. They can also be dyed brillant colors. Many interesting crafts are made from the seeds.

Above is my collection of polished tagua seeds. You can see that they can be polished to the point where all the brown is eliminated or you can get them in various stages of brown and white. Each seed has a small hole in it where it was attached to the pod.

Beautiful crafts and jewelry are carved from the tagua seed. Above is a nativity made from the seeds.

Pictured above is a bracelet and a necklace I have purchased made out of tagua seed.


  1. OH MY GOSH - I want that Nativity. It is so gorgous. What fun pictures!! That town looks so great - kind of reminds me of the pueblos in spain. you are having so many once in a lifetime experiences! So proud of you.

  2. I love your pictures. I have that Nativity set and love it. It was fun to see the picture of President Casablanca as we met them in Argentina. Is Sister Chalmers also from the Argentina mission? We met her there also. Her daughter lives here in Rexburg.
    So many wonderful things you get to see and do.

  3. You do such a good job on your blog. It has been so great to share all of your experiences with you. Someday when I go I'll do the same for you. (Hilma)

  4. Great entry! Love the pictures of your collections! Great shots of the quaint town. Love you!

  5. Love the pictures and what a great town!! I am with Julie, we want that great Nativity, how gorgeous is that!! Love you guys!! Kristy