Msengedzi M. S.
P.O. Dawson P/B 6
16th February, 1951
At noon today the boy returned with a small amount of post and among it was a letter from you dated February 1. The last letter which I got from you before this one was dated January 8 so I’m wondering if there isn’t another one at least from you somewhere. You mention a new car but that is all I have heard. I haven’t heard anything about it and surely you have written about such a big event as that. I think that we are missing considerable post that was written in January and so I trust that some day it shows up. We are having a terrible time with post coming the way it does now. We want to change over to Mt. Darwin but we won’t until after Conference in April – the latter part. If you wish though, you can send yours the way that I told you to before. The tsetse fly ranger will send it over to me. I am looking for some special mail and so I’m quite fed up with not getting all of the post.
Ila’s pictures came today which she took at Christmas time and I’m so very pleased with them. They certainly are nice of the youngsters and of the desk. It is nice of Don too also of DeLores. I hope that you do like that often because I can appreciate them more than ever of the kids, etc.
So you also got new linoleum for the boy’s room. I imagine that it does look nice.
You certainly have had a cold winter and are counting the days when spring arrives. Well it won’t be long now. This hasn’t been too much of a rainy season, really. So far just that one heavy rain since we have been here. It has been good and hot for the most part, too.
I think that by this time Dick and Mary have gotten a letter from me, if I remember correctly. Anyway I am very pleased with those shakers and I’d like some more sometime. There were four in that set and I’d like eight. Maybe sometime if you see any you can get me more. Eh?
As to the coffee I shall appreciate it so very much but I do hate for you to send stuff like that as it is so expensive. Yesterday I tried to brown some of the few green coffee beans which Helen gave me and I roasted them too much and the coffee tastes awful. I’ve forgotten how to roast them.
Yesterday, in going through some of my papers, pictures, etc., I came across some of the kids’ pictures which they had taken in school. I have one of Dick, one of Harold, two of Lois, two of Don, one of Ila, one of Jim, and one of Larry. I suppose that you have these, too. It certainly doesn’t seem as if it was only a few years ago that Dick and them looked like that. I believe that he has changed more than any. I’ve gotten quite a kick out of them.
I guess our mission is getting all of Mavuradonha Mission and also another mission station which they have here in Southern Rhodesia, so that expands our work considerably here and we are lacking the personnel to man them. It really is a problem, in spite of the opportunity it will give us.
Gradually I’m getting settled to the quiet life on the mission station as far as not seeing folks, etc., beside the natives. I do try to keep my hair as usual and every evening just before supper – we eat at seven p.m. – I get myself fixed up as if I was expecting company. I just like the feel of it. You know, a clean cotton dress, etc.
Boy, a long gray hair just fell out of my head. I wish that they all would.
I see my typing is bad but I believe that it is easier to read than my hand-writing. I’m very thankful for this machine. It works so nice. When my book gets here I’m going to practice and really get to typing properly.
Helen says that my things arrived in Salisbury. Here’s hoping that everything is OK.
We have been out of meat for sometime. Game is scarce here now and with the grass so tall it is very hard to see to shoot so as a consequence we just have some old canned or tinned meat and it is not very good. I couldn’t get any beef to bring home to can when I was in Salisbury as I used to.
School is going along as per usual. I don’t seem to have any outstanding pupils but perhaps some will begin to shine one of these days. Spiritually they don’t seem to be much either but I guess that that is my job.
I intend to send some pictures of my travels to you some time but Winifred sent all of my negatives into the place long ago and as yet they haven’t come back so there is nothing for me to do until they do come. Did you send that, or rather those, of my 35 mm camera that I took when home? I hope so as I’d love to see them.
Well, I must not ramble on more. I hope that this finds you all OK. Greetings to everyone of the Ott clan.
[p.s. written along the margin of the first page in handwriting]
That desk really looks nice. I wish that I had it out here. Does Pa have some drawer space? I see that you put that tongue plant on the porch. It looks nice there. The Christmas tree looked lovely.