Chironga Mission Station
P.B. 5, Mt. Darwin
1st January, 1956
Dear Gladys and all,
Thanks for your Christmas card and note inside. Did you get one from Mr. A. A. Wilson? I did. It was nice of him to send it and he wrote a note, too.
So you didn’t know that I was moving? Well, I really had quite a hectic moving experience, but anyway now I’m all settled and you’d never know it, but it was a bit trying at the time. In the first place, the truck was loaded high with all of my earthly possessions; on the way top were the table legs sticking up and tied on the tail was a box full of my chickens. We didn’t even get out of the yard at Mavuradonha until our troubles began. We drove under a tree whose branches were too low and crash, crack went the table legs. Five of my tables or small stands lost one, two, or more legs, smashed right off. My dining room table really got it in a bad way.
Well, we continued our journey with a few less legs sticking up and we hadn’t gone very far until a terrific downpour of rain came upon us, and we didn’t have sufficient covering for the load. Results: mattress soaked, many other things soaked, but my books and papers were not, so we just kept on going. Carl Hendrickson, a new missionary from Los Angeles, was the driver and it was the first time he had ever driven in mud and rain. Then we got stuck in sand and water in a small riverlet – we got in up to the axles – and there we stayed for more than four hours.
Well, I can’t go into detail but we got stuck two more times and finally arrived here at the station at 2:30 a.m., tired and a bit discouraged and with two dead chickens and the rest looking like they were going to die. Anyway I piled the stuff into the house and went to town for a week as we had Field Committee, etc.
Anyway I got back a week before Christmas. Although my house is tiny, I had a terrific lot to do to get it in order for Christmas. I had to paint the new mud-plastered walls about three times and then the woodwork. I had to nail the legs on to some of the tables, remake my box furniture, cupboard, etc., which I had to dismantle in moving. I had to make some shelves, etc., as I had nowhere to put my pantry stuffs, etc. Anyway when I finished I had a cute Doll’s House as I call it. It is tiny and the floor is even with the ground outside so the water runs in under the door when it rains and the roof leaks terrifically (as do all the grass roofs on this station and they are brand new, too) but I have learned how to protect most things with gunny sacks and waterproofed paper so I manage O.K. The rains won’t last forever.
We didn’t exactly have the kind of Christmas that I’m used to but perhaps it was because I was a bit tired, too. Anyway it was O.K. We had a big meeting with the Africans.
It sounds as if Clarence really has his days and nights full. I’ll be glad when he finishes and can get on to a more humane routine. I suppose the girls have changed a lot since I saw them about six years ago. It doesn’t seem that long really. It was five years ago this month when I returned to the field.
Well, pray for me in the days ahead as I help in this new work. I’m supposed to know all about it, so to speak, and I’ve never seen inside a Teacher Training Institute, except one before. Anyway the Lord will help I’m sure. I saw some of the Southern Baptist missionaries while in town. Their students will be coming to us on the 24th when school opens.