The last letter en route.
January 11, 1951
Being that I’m at a loss as to what to do, I’ll start this and post it when I get to Beira, as I’ll not have time once I get there. We arrived at Zanzibar last night around 10 p.m. and left at 1 p.m. today and now we shall be on the deep blue sea for a couple of days and then the big journey will be at an end. Zanzibar will be remembered for its coconuts and cloves. I saw huge piles of coconuts being husked, so to speak. Coconut trees grace themselves everywhere. Then we saw the trees on which the cloves grow and I saw loads of cloves in the warehouse on the wharf. The natives were shoveling them into bags, as one does corn. They said that those cloves were going to Singapore. We saw where the Sultan lives, his daytime palace and also his night one. The island is very strong Mohammedan. The shops and all were of interest but I’ve seen so much now of Arabs and Egyptian living that the novelty has worn off somewhat. Again I say, it has been a great trip. Are you tired of hearing me say that? You’d say the same, I’m sure.
Just now the crew is having fire drill. They have one once a week. We passengers have it only once when we first get on.
I want to get most of my belongings packed tomorrow. I don’t believe that we’ll get to Beira until the 14th as we had to stay a day extra at Dar-es-Salaam. We were all ready to leave at the proper time there when they discovered that they couldn’t get the anchors up and as we could leave only at high tide we had to wait a whole day, even though they remedied the anchors in a few hours. We may get in Saturday evening. Anyway we won’t be going to Salisbury Saturday as we had thought. I guess our baggage won’t go through customs until Salisbury, at least that is what they claim.
I’m anxious to hear from you all again. It has been a month (hasn’t it?) since you last wrote. You could have written a letter to all of these places. The next time I take a trip you can.
Winifred cut my hair the other day. It was too long and with this humidity it was difficult to manage. Now, it is much better.
Needless to say, I’ve spent plenty of money on this trip, especially while here in East Africa, but you can’t do much else and one hates not to see what one can while in these places. I still have $300. I believe so that should be sufficient but then I reckon that I won’t be getting any money out from the office until May. So you see I’ll not be flushed. Getting my baggage transported to Msengedzi from Beira will be no small penny, but anyway lots better than from Capetown.
Beira is the place for us to land, that’s for sure. Then we’ll have to buy groceries, etc., etc., before we go to the valley. I’m wondering, too, how much duty I’ll have to pay. Time will tell.
I believe that I’ll quit now and go see if I can find someone to talk to. Some of these men are always available but I’m not interested. Passengers are getting on now to go to England for holiday. Will write more later.
It is certainly hot today. This a.m. I packed as much as I could. What a job. I guess what is left I can get in Inga’s suitcase. Really, I don’t know what I would have done without it. Since Mombasa, I’ve gotten a horrible appetite so it is good that I’m getting off. Before, food didn’t appeal to me especially. I just finished eating a hunk of coconut. We hear that we’ll get to Beira Sunday a.m. Maybe a train goes to Rhodesia Sunday night. We aren’t sure yet.
The ocean is nearly as smooth as glass today and very, very blue. Every afternoon at 4 p.m. we have tea. I always have Nescafe. I got two tins in England and two tins at Mombasa so that should see me through until Salisbury. I’d love a good cup of coffee. I guess I’ll wait and add a bit after we get to Beira, but if we get there Sunday, I guess that I’ll not be able to mail it until I get to Rhodesia.
Here we are at Beira. We got here around 9 a.m. and we will not be getting off until 1 p.m. and our train leaves at 4:30 so we won’t see much of Beira outside of customs shed, etc. Anxious to get to Salisbury to get some post.
Love to all,