Our second present, sent to cheer us, was a Christmas email from one of my patients containing a pointer to one of those frivolous but fun Web creations. We enjoyed it so much, we're sharing it with you: Santa & the Reindeer bring you "White Christmas". (Hope the link stays working...)
Our final present was a rafting trip down the lower Rio Trancura on Christmas afternoon. If there had been a dry bag along to stow our camera, we would be sharing with you some action shots of our group, furiously paddling on command from our guide, as we dove, rose and twisted over and between boulders on the swirling waters.
The rafting group above was made up of four brothers from Norway plus their girl friends. We didn't get shots of our fellow-paddlers, a family from Athens, Greece. The husband was an affable Greek gent, while his wife is Chilean. They brought with them their son, who looked to be in his tweens, and had all the awkward shyness of that age. (We were told of a four-year-old daughter, also, but she obviously did not come on the rafting excursion.) As so often happens, we monolingual Americanos were humbled by this family's fluency in English, Spanish, Greek, and French!
Both boats completed the journey, upright and with crew on board, through the "Class III" rapids -- or in my interpretation, a few who0p-de-doo's breaking up more relaxing "Class I" sections. (For reference, Class I is flat water, and Class VI is anything that looks like Niagra Falls. We're not planning to do any of the latter...)