Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Baa, Baa Black Sheep

This week we are working on home repair. Our friend had this house built only 4 or so years ago but chilean workmanship is very poor generally and he wasn't here to oversee the construction. The siding is leaking and rotting so we are pulling it all off and replacing it with hardee board planking with the help of a local builder we met through our neighbor. A friend told us that there are many smart people in Chile - doctors, lawyers, engineers, and professionals but Chile is sorely lacking in technical tradespeople who know what they are doing. This would be a great opportunity for trades people to move here and start a business but speaking the language would be a must. Anyway, this builder we met is top quality. He is chilean but married an american mennonite woman. There are 4 or so mennonite families living here in Puerto Octay.  They are honest, hard working people.

Even Thomas is helping
That's Daniel, the builder's helper, standing in front of the door
I also wanted to share photos of our ovejas (sheep). They are 17 mos. old ewes. Jorge, the neighborhood yardman, took Jim to a local farm to buy the sheep. Jorge speaks no english and his spanish is pretty rough- compare it to the southern country redneck drawl. Some peoples accents really throw us off when we already have a hard time understanding. But we are picking up on some of the lingo like Buena instead of buenas dias or t'luego for hasta luego.
I was surprised when Jim came home with the sheep in the car.
They were tied up and bagged!

They were a little dirty so Jim pressure washed them!
Does anyone have any Woollite?
Jim got a nifty little moveable electric fence which you can see in the picture below
We can move the sheep around the yard and keep them away from the fruit trees, bushes, and garden we are going to plant

Notice they have long tails
Most sheep have bobbed tails for cleanliness
While this area is predominantly dairy and beef farms, there are many pastures of sheep around. Most of the largest sheep farms though are in the pampas of Patagonia- Chile & Argentina. Our friend, Helmut, told us there are quite a few New Zealand sheep farmers relocating to Chile and buying farmland in our area.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Museo at Nueva Braunau

We have been very intrigued by the German influence in this area. We visited a Museo in Nueva Braunau (Braunau being a german town). It was started by a german immigrant who went to all his neighbors collecting family artifacts. In 1845, Chile passed an immigration law to attract immigrants to settle the southern parts of Chile. Between 1850 and 1870, 6000+ families came from Germany. They settled in Valdivia and then Puerto Montt and hacked their way through the dense Valdivian rain forest to carve out farms. Can you imagine the journey in ships from Germany, across the Atlantic,  all the way down through the Strait of Magellan and back up the coast? A very intimidating undertaking.
There are many Chileans of german descent still here and it is reflected in the architecture, food, and language of this area. There are lots of kuchen bakeries(yum!), german schools, and german style homes. Karl, our tour guide, grew up speaking german but also spoke spanish and english(learned from watching American movies!) very well.
The germans here are fairer and taller than the average chilean of spanish descent so we don't stick out quite as much (as long as we don't open our mouths!)
The Museo is in an old barn.

An old steam engine for powering farm equipment in the field

An old gramophone and it still works!

An old piano from 1809 - one year older than the Republic of Chile
It was brought over by boat 

An old wood cookstove - they still use these here - they sell them in the local supermarket

Music was important to the Germans - old accordion
I'm sure this is not as good as the old Loduca Accordions  made by Angie's family in Milwaukee!

A pump organ

Jim's hot tub and steam box

Treadle Sewing machines just like my great grandmother's which my friend Sherry just restored for me

Guess what this is?
I'll tell you at the bottom

A cider press for making hard cider also known as chicha down here

Beautiful horse drawn carts

guess what this is?
see at bottom

Here is our tour guide Karl opening up the latest in washing machines
all hand cranked

After the washing , you put it through the wringer
Then you put it in the wood fired drier
yeah! smoked laundry

This is the coolest music box!
underneath is the cabinet for storing the large metal disks
and inside goes the metal disks

This is the inside which is a series of bells and metal keys for those really high notes

Here is the disk that goes inside
they still work but they just play a recording of their music so they don't get worn out
 And now for the answers - the first picture of the screen box was an old fashioned fridge!
You hang or set your foods inside the screen box and lower it into your well to keep it cool
and the round drum in the second picture was a giant butter churn

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Farmland in Los Muermos & Puerto Godoy

We  looked at farmland near Los Muermos- very rural- the top of the property has views of the Pacific and off to the east are views of Volcan Osorno about 40 miles away. We met Helmut Muller, a chilean of german descent, at an agricultural store. He speaks great english and knows lots of farmers and who is interested in selling. This parcel is about 40-50 acres and the asking price is about 3k per acre though wee think they might take less. This is only the first property we have looked at and we don't plan on buying right away.

The view from the road - the property slopes down to the rear

Pastures on the left and a spring with a creek into the woods on the right

looking back up to the road

Then Helmut took us the 40 km to the beach down dirt roads - pretty remote!
Not even a town here only some houses 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fiestas Patrias

This week Chileans celebrate their most important patriotic festival of the year- Chile's Independence Day or Dieciocho, the 18th, for Spetember 18, the day recognized for their independence from Spain in the year 1810.  Everything is decorated with flags and their colors- red, white, & blue. They also celebrate with the national sport, the rodeo, parades, kite flying, and asados or cook outs. Traditional food would be the empanada, chicha ( a hard cider), asados (the cooking out of meats), and the Pisco ( a hard drink made from wine mixed with lemons).
We went to the rodeo in Frutillar.
The girls wear frilly dresses to dance the cueca
Clemson fans in orange?

A few things for sale including the wide brimmed hats, wool ponchos, and pin wheel size spurs that the huasos (cowboys) wear 

Notice the nice view of the mountains in the background

the object here is to pin the cow against the wall and guide him around the medialuna which is the half moon shape arena
Sorry, Jimmy, no bronco busting here!

The horses are just beautiful

Looks similar to the texan flag

The awards are given out

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Immaculate Conception Church

Here are a few pictures I forgot to include before and on the bottom of the page is the church we have been attending.
Osorno majestically looming out of the clouds

Puerto Octay which is a small town just north of our home on the lake

4 PM is milking time and its always busy on the roads

Always little chapels on back country roads

Volcan Calbuco has the flatter top

Andrew posing with Jumbo (pronounce joom-bo)
This is the large retailer and WalMart's competitor
This is the little church we have been attending in Frutillar Bajo which is on the lake.
This is the side altar
We have not found a latin mass yet and it sure is hard to follow in spanish
and they have no missals

The choir loft and entrance
notice the vaulted ceiling is painted a light blue with gold stars all over it
nice hard wooden pews and kneelers

The other side altar
no heating in this church
makes for frosty morning Mass where you can see your breath and we all bundle up the best we can
almost seems colder in the church than outside!

The main altar
The Angelus prayer is painted near the ceiling
It goes all the way around the church painted in each alcove

Yes, the outside is pink
Pink and yellow seem to be common colors on churches in these parts