Mi conductor hoy, Señor Leonardo

Mi conductor hoy, Leonardo.

Today I had the pleasure of having Leonardo serve as my Chofer around Talca. We visited the Andes Mountain tops that surround the city, the site of the 2010 Terremoto (earthquake), and much more…

DSC00461I had just finished my meeting and was waiting for my cab driver to arrive and heard the sounds of what I thought where tap dancers.  But instead it turned out to be the sound of these horses’ shoes hitting the pavement.  They were so beautiful and majestic up close.

DSC00466I told the driver that I wanted to see more place of Talca and he recommended our going up the mountain to view the city.  It was very early in the morning so a slight overcast inhibited the view a little.  Nevertheless,  the area where this statue of the Virgin Mary and a small church is located was quite a lovely.

DSC00468When I returned to my office and shared the photo with my office mates, José told me that is was an area of the city that during holidays and special celebrations the community gathers for large mass services.

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DSC00471Views of the main city (Talca) and surrounding villages that Leonardo pointed out to me from atop of the mountain.

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DSC00477Picture of the mountainside but, I missed taking photos that included the free-roaming dogs (perros).  I still can’t believe how dogs just seem to walk around with no owner here in Chile.  The other day one ran at my friend Eugenio while he was riding his motorcycle which was very upsetting.  But generally, I have not seen any behave in an aggressive manner.  I think that the bike may have spooked the dog.

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DSC00489Leonardo explained to me that this (above) was one of the areas damaged by the big earthquake in 2008 and that it had not yet been repaired.  He also mentioned how the event actually served as a boon for the economy because rebuilding the city created a lot of new jobs in Talca.

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DSC00491More pictures of El Centro which is basically downtown Talca, Maule, Chile

DSC00492It was a lovely early morning so not too many people crowded downtown as it was the time most folks were likely arriving to work.

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DSC00494Leonardo pointed out this building but, I wasn’t clear about its purpose.  It seemed like a place perhaps to go obtain some temporary work or perhaps gain some type of work training as I saw men walking inside.  Unfortunately, I cant say for sure and couldn’t determine much from his comments about the place.

DSC00495A large church in the downtown area is host to the predominantly Catholic faith tradition her in Talca, and Latin American in general.  I asked Leonardo if he was Catholic and he indicated that he was not.  He said that he believed in God and had faith.  I giggled and indicated me too, concurring with his sentiment that  having a personal relationship with God was more important than being religious and not really having a substantive faith and spirituality.

DSC00496I just took this picture because it showed food and I was hungry!  Ha ha🙂

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Leonardo pointed out to me that this was one of the buildings that had been severely damaged by the big earthquake of 2010.  It appeared to be unsalvageable.  I tried to obtain another picture (below) as we speed by in the Taxi.

That reminds me… there was a small tremor one day as I was in el baño.  I had actually experienced two very small earthquakes in my life.  Once when I was and undergraduate at the University of Akron and the other time was more recently when I was visiting with my daughter in Cleveland, Ohio in 2010.  The tremor I felt here reminded me of that same sensation from the past, just a small rumbling, similar to what you might experience if a heavy truck rolled past you on the street.  I returned to my desk and mentioned it to my office mates and they just shrugged their shoulders confirming to me that it was in fact a ¨tiny¨earthquake and they simply are just accustomed to the occasional tremor.  With my mouth agape, I was like,¨really, dang!¨ lol

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2 thoughts on “Mi conductor hoy, Señor Leonardo

    • Well, here is to hoping that “los temblores”are few and far between. I’m from the US Midwest and not ready for that experience.🙂 Thanks for commenting on my post and I really enjoy reading your blog as well. It’s been very helpful to me during my acclimation in Chile.

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