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An end and a beginning

sunny 68 °F
View 2020 Vision - around South America on HopeEakins's travel map.


Even Noah had to get off the ark, and so did we after forty days and forty nights on the Silver Whisper. Our friends, our ship, our "parish" - are now sailing on for another hundred days until they arrive in Amsterdam. We will miss being there with them, and we are also very very excited about seeing our children and grandchildren and beginning our new life at Duncaster Retirement Community, choosing appliances and wall colors, deciding what to bring with us. The whole transition has been complicated by an illness Hope contracted around February 12. Sore throat, hacking cough, extreme fatigue ... and no fever. The latter made the ship's doctor very happy as she discharged Hope and declared her free of Corona virus. She will see our local doc this afternoon (2/18). So instead of visiting our good friends in Hobe Sound on the way home, we changed our reservations (Very lucky to be able to do this!) and flew to Hartford - where we rounded a corner and saw our son Bruce waiting to help with luggage and drive us home where he had prepared dinner.

In the meantime, we toured the region around Valparaiso and Santiago, Chile ,on February 15 and 16 with a terrific guide, Matio and his driver José. They are part of ToursByLocals, an organization we have just discovered (recommended by ship friends Rick and Michelle Chisholm) and about which we are very enthusiastic. Particularly given Hope's exhaustion, it was grand to have Matio take us to places that Bill could visit while Hope waited. Matio loves his city and his country and told us why; he loves graffiti and hates tagging (non-artistic graffiti) and told us why. He was eager to tell us about the unrest (too mild a word for this incipient revolution) and its causes. So we toured Valparaiso for the first half of Saturday, then went to Santiago where Hope napped and toured Santiago on Sunday before our ten pm flight. Both cities have a plain and many funiculars which provide spectacular views from the hilltops above. Most buildings are constructed of corrugated metal in places, derived from old shipping containers. To us, it looks quite unattractive; our Chilean guides were proud of the creativity it allows.

In the photographs of Valparaiso, note the piano key staircase and the defaced Anglican Church doors. Matio says that the rebels are wildly angry, deeply angry at the church about issues of pedophilia, especially moving bad priests to other parishes, about the use of church funds to support the excesses of clergy, about nuns who have abortions and bury the babies inside convent walls. He cited a sentence given to a convicted Bishop: he got18 months probation and had to take an ethics course. But why deface the Anglican Church? "It doesn't matter," says Matio; churches are all corrupt; they don't help the poor, they help themselves.

Posted by HopeEakins 09:54 Archived in Chile

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A fine ending to your trip and mine by your side.
I have been in Bequia for 9 days and fly back home from St Vincent tomorrow. Love the warm air and turquoise water.
Vaya con Dios

by Harriet Odlum

Just read about Hope’s illness and trust she is on the mend.

by Harriet Odlum

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