Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why I Like The Chapels Here

Despite the number of chapels the church builds and maintains throughout the world (over 10,000 and increasing), local conditions and culture are reflected in their design.  Here in South America, a lot of tile, brick and other durable materials are utilized.
The foyers are often really outdoor courtyards, 
with appropriate considerations for rainfall.
The chapel itself is usually well-lit by windows,
and in a "why don't we have those?!" item, the benches are moveable, and the arrangement can be altered as needed.  (Also makes cleaning easier!)
The 'cultural hall,' a multi-purpose area that can be used for everything from overflow for Sunday meetings to dances to dinners, is made of typical durable ceramic materials.
The classrooms are bright, and again, no carpet or other stuff that would go bad in the climate.
Water leaks are no problem.  Everyone grabs a mop, and the hallway is cleaner than it was before.
The kitchen areas are simple and low-maintenance.
Those are no silk flowers, buddy.  The arrangements here can best be described as "exuberant."
So, how can you identify an LDS chapel anywhere in the world?  No, only the temples have the angel Moroni on top.  The sign out front?  OK, that's great if you understand Spanish/Korean/Cyrillic.  However, if not, just look for the basketball backboards out in the parking lot.  In Latin America, they are cleverly incorporated into the structure of the soccer goals.  
And finally, the number one reason why Paula likes South American chapels is (wait for it)....
MANGO TREES!!  Luckily, we were flying in-country, so no one inspected her bulging purse for illegal importation of fruits or vegetables.  They would have scored about five kilos of nice ripe mangoes.  
We hope you can find the nearest LDS chapel wherever you are in the world.  We like the ones down here a lot!
Dave & Paula

1 comment:

markh said...

In Taichung, our mission office, the mission home, and the (old) Stake Center were on the same plot, with walls and gates separating them. On the mission home/office side, we had mango trees, an avocado tree, and a plumeria. :) Oh, and yes, the chapel had basketball backboards in the parking lot.