Feliz día de Padres (Happy Fathers’ Day)

Feliz día de Padres (Happy Father's Day)

We have so much respect, love, and appreciation for our Daddy.

Where do I begin to share with you all about the awesomeness of our father? My Dad’s nickname growing up was “Sonny”, and my little sister Keasha always says… “Everybody should have a little Sonny Brown in their life.” Today, more than any other time, I concur with her assessment. We are very blessed to still have both of our parents; because many people find celebratory days like this one very difficult to experiences. I greatly empathize with that reality and whoever is readying this and misses their father, I invite you to share mine in this short blog exchange.

I have always been a self-proclaimed “Daddy’s Girl” and I am sure that few in my immediate family would disagree with me about that position. All of my siblings and Mom tell me that emotionally, I am very much like my Dad who I would describe as walk softly, but carry a big stick if people start trippin’!! Ha ha.  My father and I have always seemed to have a mental, intellectual, and spiritual connection that allowed us to communicate without words.

My parents were very young when they married (around 19 years old) and at times it seemed that we were growing-up right alongside these young parents. In my opinion there was only an upside to that reality. There are numerous stories I could tell about how my father has been there for his family, from the time he helped me manage my asthma as a youngster by encouraging me to run with him down by Summit Lake at 6 am in the mornings, to the time he walked from his factory job returning home with actual icicles hanging from his nose as he had to walk home from Barberton, Ohio when his car broke down. Because of my Daddy’s encouragement during my early years, I went on to become a star-athlete in junior high and high school in track and field earning a silver medal in Junior Olympics competition and breaking a school record in the hurdles as a teenager. My father supported and encouraged us not only in our extracurricular activities, but also in our academic and spiritual development. I remember my father attentively reading my papers during my undergraduate and graduate years in college and he remains today the smartest and wisest person I have ever known. These are not simply the musings of a daughter holding larger-than-life exaggerations of her father; because there are easily 5 more sibling corroborators along with a long host of grandchildren who can attest to how very special and wonderful our Daddy (and Grandpa) has been and continues to be.

One of the few pictures of our Daddy as a teenager.

One of the few pictures of our Daddy as a teenager.

My Dad is the oldest of seven siblings and only he and my Aunt Bev are still on this natural earthly plane with us out of that group. I can only image the heartache associated with the transitioning of your parents and most of your siblings that my father has endured.  Nevertheless, my father’s spirit and dignity always allows us as a family to remain both mentally and emotionally strong during some of the toughest challenges in our lives.

Of course, there were times when I thought both of my parents were out of touch as a youngster growing up, believing that they simply didn’t understand how things are changing in “The World”. But, I have come to realize as an adult that my Dad’s claims (as per King Solomon) that there is nothing new under the sun have been pretty accurate, and that although technology and innovation has introduced new complexities in life, human beings maintain a consistent type of character that if you are attentive, you can learn how best to negotiate. Ultimately, wisdom is the principle thing with my Daddy (1 Kings 4:29; Proverbs 4:7). It is because of my father that I always had big dreams and was never afraid to pursue them. Words cannot express the joy I felt being able to Skype with my Dad from Chile and sharing with him my excitement about traveling to another country in the pursuit of my PhD.

So, in order to try and wrap up this post and honor to my father I have to say that the “true” blog post would be much too long in my effort to describe how my father has always been a man of quiet dignity and strength for all of his children. He teaches and examples to us the virtues of hard work, family support, loyalty, and how placing God as the head of your life can greatly assist in directing for you a prosperous path. So on this special date, I pause to thank God for my Daddy and every time I see his smile, hear his laugh, or listen to him pray, I am every more appreciative to be his daughter. ¡Te quiero mucho Papi! Gracias por todos. ❤  🙂

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With the help of my daughter I could Skype and laugh with my Daddy and Mommy from Chile

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Saturday family homemade Ice Cream scoops with Daddy pre-Father’s Day

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It was perfect weather today for our get together BBQ in order to celebrate the awesome Father’s in our families.

Happy Father’s Day to all who call or know you as you Daddy

Field Trip Tuesday with Cami to Pontificia Catholic University of Chile

Field Trip Tuesdaywith Cami to Pontificia Catholic University of Chile

The #1 Latin American University in the World.  The above sign’s US equivalent would be Office of Student Affairs.

Change of Plans

Initially, my good friend Camila and I were going to have a pleasant lunch and visit some Chilean museums around Santiago.  But, we were flexible and decided to do the museum visit another day.  Cami works in the microbiology lab at Pontificia pursing her graduate degree.  Since I have an undergraduate degree in biology, specializing in microbiology with a minor in Chemistry, her invitation to visit her campus and lab was met with great enthusiasm by me.   Below are some of our pictures from around town today and on her campus.  I’m not going to write a lot of text on this blog so just enjoy the pictures. 🙂

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A large statue depicting Jesus with outstretched arms adorns the rooftop at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC).  Below you can see the statue on the building above my head.

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Returning to the Barrio Lastarria District for lunch today was a must!

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My accidental artsy picture taking skills allowed me to create a mirror image illusion of the courtyard but they are actually separate left and right side photos.

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A statue of Pope John Paul II graces the courtyard at PUC, representing the dedication speech he gave there back in 1987.

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In Chile the academic program areas (Carrera) are represented by various Facultad versus the departments, schools, and colleges that we see in the United States.  Pictured here are the study areas of Law and Biological Sciences at Universidad Pontificia de Chile (PUC).

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Cami’s Laboratory on the PUC campus

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Just when I thought Lay’s potato chips had exhausted their flavor options they go all international on us. However, I’m pretty confident that this huge billboard was erected in honor of World Cup football participating countries. 🙂

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Mandarin oranges growing on a tree in a public park near my hotel.

A Tasty Dinner Salad with a Story to tell

Tasty Dinner Salad

Didn’t really have much to blog about today. Just thought my dinner salad look extra pretty, in spite of what are clearly GMO laden veggies (which I have no real choice about eating here in Chile).

Dang! Why are your fruits and vegetables so big here?

I noticed early on, here in Chile, what appeared to be super seed saturated fruits and vegetables.  Oh Monsanto!! You ubiquitous monster. I finally got up the nerve to ask the man at the fruit and vegetable store in my neighborhood if I could take pictures of the produce.  He kindly said, “Yes”.  As a side note, I showed a picture of a giant sized plum (it was as big as a Macintosh apple) I had purchased on Facebook with the caption, “I hope this isn’t a GMO fruit.”  One of my Chilean friends responded immediately, indicating that it was indeed a GMO grown fruit.  Le Sigh…  So here are the photos I took at the store this week.

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I placed a rather large onion next to these ears and corn and cucumbers so as to give the picture scale.  Pretty big corn there, yes?

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The stocks of celery here are twice the size I have seen in Ohio (which is a very agricultural state with support from the agricultural foods departments at OSU).  The celery here is 3x’s bigger than any of the celery stocks I have seen in Georgia.

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Above in this picture I am assuming that these were Kiwi fruit.  However, they had the oddest shapes I had ever seen.  I’m really not a big Kiwi eater so I had not problems staying away from these babies.  I also wanted to mention that the grapes are delicious here.  The ones in this photo to the right of the kiwi are a very deep dark purple. In most instances these would taste a little sour back in the U.S.  But, the grapes here tend to be very sweet and tasty.

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I get most of my fruits and vegetables at this place.  I love to cook so I stop by quite frequently during the week.  Plus they are waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy cheaper than the neighboring big chain grocery stores (both owned by WalMart).

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Well, I guess to compensate for the big produce in Chile, they make the portion sizes much smaller than what a typical North American would see.  I guess everything balances itself out that way.  I did notice that I rarely see anyone morbidly obese here in Talca, Chile.  Far less than you would see in the United States.  I always seem to actually loose weight faster here in Chile.

I am becoming more and more convinced that a lot of the foods we eat in the United States are processed in such a way that it promotes obesity or one becoming what would be called her a Gordita (if the person was being nicer about the insult).  Additionally, I am sure having to walk most places that I go here (for now) also contributes to my not getting too many more lbs. (pounds).  Correction, I meant kilos, since just about everyone else in the industrialized world is now on the metric system except the United States!  Ha ha 🙂