May 13, 1956

Eunice Ott

Eunice Ott

Missionary with the Evangelical Alliance Mission

Chironga Mission Station
P.B. 5, Mt. Darwin
Southern Rhodesia, Africa
13th May, 1956

Dear Mom,

I got your letter saying you’d received mine about the dog bite.  I don’t know if I told you how I got along with the injections, but I didn’t have any reaction at all which I know is a thing to be thankful for, as they can give various kinds of trouble.  I had them all on the abdomen and it didn’t even get sore.  However, I’m still not quite over the cold.  Perhaps the injections had some effect on me that way.

As to the dog, I just heard today that it did have rabies.  We called the place where they took the head last week and they said it was negative.  It seems they injected a rabbit and it had been 18 days and it had shown nothing.  However, on Saturday, only a few days later, they called the mission home in Salisbury and said it did have rabies and they wondered if I had had the full course of injections.  Then today, the government sent a messenger from Darwin out to find the native girl who was bitten to see if she has had the full course.  We took her into the clinic in Darwin when we went to town and told them to give them to her, but she may have run away and not gotten the full course, so they are going to make sure.

The government officials in Darwin were most concerned when we went through.  They sent someone out to vaccinate all of the dogs in this area the following week.  They go through the country about once a year vaccinating, free of charge, the African dogs.  We white people have to pay.  I was thankful that that African girl got bitten, too, otherwise I would have thought the dog was scared as I had picked up a stick to chase it out of my chicken yard, and I would not have gone to town and gotten the injections.  I think hereafter I’ll get them regardless, if I get bitten.  It does cost to have a special trip to town and the medicine cost me around seven dollars, I believe it would be.  Anyway it was worth it.

Yes, I have the picture here all ready to take to Mavuradonha when we go this week-end.  It looks real nice.  As to how I like it, I never was very happy about any of us, as I don’t think that man did a nice job at all on those pictures, that family one I mean.  Too faded out, like.  However it really looks exactly like Pa, and now with the frame and all, I’m quite satisfied.

Oh yes, the shoes came and the crackers and I only paid one shilling, when usually I have to pay about 20.  Thanks so very much.  I’m enjoying the crackers already.  We came home Friday from town.  Cedarholms came today.  That’s how I heard about the dog.

You should go to the doctor and let him have a look at your knee and leg if it is still bothering you.  I’m sorry you have had trouble.  You should get a smaller house.  That one is too big for you.  So the Marble Rock Church is being rejuvenated.  It must be looking right smart now.

I see the old rats have been busy in my house.  I just opened my desk drawer and I see they really made havoc in there.  What a mess.  I quick shut the drawers and decided I’d investigate them tomorrow morning.  They may have a nest in there for all I know.  I got a tiny kitten in town.  I hope it grows up quickly.  I couldn’t find a big one to bring out.

I’ll let you know about the dedication when I get back.  I got myself a pressure lamp in town with special money from the Ladies’ Missionary Circle in Mason.  It gives such a bright light.  It really is a lantern not a lamp.  That is what everyone buys, then we can carry them around when we go outside at night.

Well, time will go quickly and before I know it, I’ll be bustling around packing and getting ready to make my homeward journey.  I think someone should plan to meet me in Chicago, and I hope I’ll make it by Christmas.  Bye for now.

With love,

P.S. Yes, I’ve had colds before in Africa. I think the last one was last year when I was in town in April.  I had a most miserable one then.  I don’t have them very often though.

Ott Family, 1950. Front row, l-r: Eunice, Ma, Pa, Malcolm. Middle row: Evelyn, Grace, Gladys, Mary, Lois, Ila. Back row: Larry, Harold, Richard, Jim, Don.

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