Mavuradonha Mission Station
P.O. Bindura P/B 16
February 21, 1952
Dear folks, one and all at home,
Well, after ages and ages of no post, at last it came. This noon a white policeman came in a jeep with a bag full for us. I could have hugged him. He said that he didn’t think that the buses would be able to come for quite some time yet as the road is very bad yet in a place or two, but now this afternoon the bus from Darwin came and the one from Bindura, so I guess that they will be coming now regularly. The rain seems to have vanished although it appears somewhat rainy tonight. We haven’t had any for about a week now, I believe. A little rain doesn’t do any harm. It is the continual heavy ones. Even in Salisbury everything was at a standstill, so I read in the papers – water, water, everywhere.
We didn’t get the most recent post today. There is still more to come, but of your letters, I got January 9th (you marked it December 9th), January 16th and 27th. How good it was to get them. I surely miss hearing about you when post doesn’t come regularly. It seems that with regular news one is quite close to home, but with none – the space between is infinite. So the missionaries in the early days surely couldn’t enjoy the luxury of post coming so quickly as we do nor so often.
I got the pictures which Ila sent of the kids and I see that you have a new piece of furniture which I never heard about. That little shelf affair by the window with that beautiful lamp on it. Well, it looks very nice and I can see that it would be very nice in that place. The tree looked very nice, too. The kids – Grace’s really have grown and they seem all big. I haven’t gotten the baby’s picture yet. It should come in the next post. Well, I surely enjoyed seeing them all. Little Linda is a doll yet, I can see. Barbara is as good looking, too, as ever, I see. My charming brother Jim took a very handsome picture, but where was little Larry? I’ll just have to be satisfied with newspaper photos of him. Ha.
So Lois has a boyfriend – well that is news. Now Ila must do likewise – whew. Eve got herself a machine, eh? Is it a Singer or what? I told you, didn’t I, that I have a fridge, a small one which Martin Uppendahl bought to use while he was living alone at Ruckomechi. It is certainly a good one. I had the last package of ice cream which you sent the other day. Anytime you want to send that, I surely enjoy it. I can’t seem to make it decent with only the custard and cream. Say, how did you know that I was wishing for some of that yeast? Mary got some at Christmas time and she has been having super bread with it. Almost like what you get in the States. You should see the loaf the boy baked for me today. That is the shape and exactly as hard and heavy as a ton of lead. I can’t possibly eat it. I guess the yeast which I have is absolutely finished for strength. I have hops. If I get time tomorrow I’ll fix me some yeast of my own making.
As to my waist-line, I’ve slipped a bit since I’ve been up here and so now I have to begin again. I want to be in trim for Conference which is supposed to be the last of April or the first of May.
So you men folks have a new tractor? What kind? How many do you own now on the Roy Ott farm? How is the pick-up doing? Do you still have the red Chevrolet? I suppose Jim practically owns that. Yes, you must be careful about the ice. It would be no fun to sit around with a broken bone. I set a boy’s arm the other day.
By the way, I could have started an orphanage today if I so desired. A father came with the thinnest child I’ve ever beheld of a year or so, and said its mother died last week and no one will take care of it for him. I guess the mother had been sick ever since the child was born and thus it never has had a chance. Well, I told him that I didn’t have any time to care for babies, and that I’d help it with medicine but I couldn’t keep it. So what the poor man will do, I don’t know. Perhaps it will soon die; I can’t see it living much longer, the way it looks. So it goes with some of our people. I suppose the relatives think that the child has caused the death of the mother and therefore will have nothing to do with it.
Inga’s two orphans are still here. They stay with the native school teachers here. She, by the way, is in Salisbury, staying in the Adams’ house (they are the ones I was supposed to bring a typewriter to, the ones who got the fishing rod) while they are on a three-month holiday at the Cape. She is staying there until April and then I suppose she will go to the South Africa General Mission Station here in Rhodesia. I had a very nice letter from her before I was rained-in. I must write her, too. Her address there – and it will always be forwarded from there – is: ℅ Mr. Adams (I forget his initials) Flat Four, Cecil Mansions, Second Street, Salisbury.
Yes, I got the rat poison and coffee. I gave the poison to Warren to use here in the food granary of the school but he didn’t use it all, although he hasn’t returned it to me so I’ll have to up and ask him for it, as I want to keep it on hand. I haven’t been bothered with rats here. I have two good cats and I guess that is the reason.
Did I tell you, too, that I have a big ridge-back dog (Rhodesian Ridgeback)? He has Alsatian mixed in him, too. He follows me everywhere. He lays down at school until I’m finished and then he trots home with me. If I go to the hospital or the garden, he trots right back of me.
Yes, that was very nice of Jane Saurs to give me that money. I can’t remember her. I shall write to her. I’m fed-up with F. Why didn’t he read that letter in church? After all you could easily tell it was written to everyone in general, not to him personally.
Say, as to climate here, it isn’t quite California. It gets plenty hot but there is about five degrees difference here than at Msengedzi. We are 70 miles from Msengedzi. Orval says that he has never seen the roads at Msengedzi in such shape. Well, I can imagine they would be bad, as all they are is a track through the bush. Betty Mason is down there with them and they hadn’t gotten post for ages either, so I know that it would be very hard for her.
Say, while I think of it, if you send another package, will you put in about four packages of forest green dye? I want to dip my bedspread. It is getting a faded look from the light. Be sure it is forest green. I can’t get that shade out here, and surely you can at home, if it is as popular a shade as it was when I was home.
I have a lovely red rose in a glass here before me. Those roses have surely been marvelous. They just bloom off and on all the time. So beautiful. I give one to Mary quite often. She got a glass rose from Muriel for Christmas and they look so nice in it.
It is getting very late and I’ve lots of other letters to write but I guess that I simply won’t get them done tonight. I’m kept so busy all of the time. It is hard to get all of my correspondence done. As to those bandages, it doesn’t much matter about the size, just as long as they aren’t too small. I may have to give some to the other missionaries at Conference time if they are short. Wyn didn’t have many, but perhaps she has gotten a supply by now.
So the Blairs have a girl. I hope she isn’t as lively as the other two. I got a letter from Margarette’s aunt, the one who sent Inga and I those nylon slips when we were home and she had enclosed $10.00. That was nice of her, wasn’t it? It is the first time that she has written.
I surely appreciate Don’s letters, too, and he writes news. I learned what he was doing, etc. He does OK. What about you, Larry? I know that Jim wouldn’t. Joyce and Janice do very well, too.
I’m in need of someone to do my book work, too, and to write my official letters. I don’t like the job.
You asked about chickens. Yes, one day at Msengedzi I bought ten hens from a man passing through. I figured the Lord sent them to me as it was just the time that I was trying to get chickens and the people won’t sell. Then I got two more. Then Russ gave me two settings of eggs and that gave me 14 chickens. One didn’t hatch well, and now they are nearly full grown. They are of quite a good strain, and Inga has given me a good roaster and at present I have two more hens setting. Then, too, I have all of Inga’s chickens with me. I have my doubts if she will be able to take hers, when she takes her possessions which are stored here.
I am now going to give the Brutons two hens to sit on eggs for them. I want the hens back. They don’t have any chickens yet. I’ve been giving them eggs. I get around six a day which is a fair amount. I don’t really need any more than that.
We’ve been desperate for fresh meat since the bus hasn’t been coming and we couldn’t order any from Bindura, so the Brutons and I bought a goat, but my taste for goat meat has changed and I don’t care much for it anymore. I used to eat it and enjoy it.
Well, you know I might get a chance to write to you again sometime, so I believe that I’ll stop for now and keep the rest of my ramblings for another time. I trust that this finds you all well as it leaves me. The Lord bless you all.
[p.s.] Kindly forward the enclosed to the owners. I figure it might be cheaper to do this way. I know I owe lots of others letters but they will be coming by and by.