Sunday, July 31, 2016

At home, Aba, Belgian Congo - March 7, 1946

In which Coralee writes of local news and a trip to Faradje and the coffee plantation and sugar factory at Kurukwata. 

Dearest girls,

It was so nice to received your letters telling about your Christmas. Every detail was interesting. We are so glad that you had such a happy time. Our thoughts and prayers were especially with you at that time. Be assured that even tho every day is very busy, you are always remembered in prayer and our love ever remains the same.

Yesterday we were especially wishing that you had been along with us. We and Mary and Eddie and Nellie, left here about 10 o'clock. Daddy and I were in the rumble seat all the way to Faradje.[1] It was real nice back there. Eddie wanted to get a permit to import his guns. Then we went on to Baki where Yoiafa and Araba live.  We had a nice visit with them.  They have a new baby girl about 6 months old. Taniara and Affia and Turupina have grown a lot. They are a lovely family.

Yoiafa brought a table and we had our picnic lunch under the mango trees like before. Only this time we had a birthday cake for Eddie.

You'll be surprised to know that your old wagon looks much like it used to look. Araba uses it to go to her garden.

On our way back we stopped at the Faradje outschool and at three other schools on the way back to Kurukwata. It was so nice but very hot. We were very thirsty and dirty when we reached there about 5 o'clock. After tea we went with Mr. Schlippe to see the plantation and sugar factory [2]. It was all very interesting. The elephants were very interesting to Nellie.
1946 Belgian Congo bank note featuring
elephants working in a plantation. 

Mr. Pere of the Shipu Coffee farm[3] has announced his engagement to the daughter of our official at Faradje. This is a family of five girls. They are close friends of the Schlippes and their oldest girl and Marissa are very good friends.

Yesterday Eddie received a telegram saying his car and trailer has arrived at Mombasa and eight of their boxes. He plans to go down to Juba on a truck tomorrow and fly to Nairobi. Nellie is going to stay with us.  She is studying Bangala. We hope to have some good times even while Eddie is away. It'll be lots of fun to have a little pal like when you girls were here.

The teachers have given Eddie such a warm welcome back. How we wish they might remain here while the need is so great and there is such a fine opportunity.

The Logo pastor Timiteo has just returned from the Kaliko conference. They had 1005 people on Sunday. We would have liked so much to have gone but it wasn't possible.

Catherine is working here in the hospital now. Her husband has treated her so awful she doesn't want to return to him.

Did I tell you that each week I go to Aba Poste to the chapel for Sunday School?  Last Sunday we had 151 children.  I teach the lesson each Friday to the volunteer teachers; Christian women here on the Station who go down with me in the car and also the O.S. teacher and their wives.  It is very interesting. Every week I wish you were there to play[4].  I'm thinking of learning to play in my old age. Just hymns would be enough. Pray for these children.

Daddy took Aunt Rose Mary to Todro today. The car didn't play up for a wonder and he missed the heavy rain we had today. The Bakua rain. Picture Nellie eating our first white ants in a few days.

Mary is working hard to learn French. She hopes to go to the Gilles plantation with the Littlejohns in April so they can get a lot of practice.

Mrs. Schlippe has an orange bougainvillea and she is going to give me a slip. I wonder if it is not the kind you saw over there. The one on the Appendix has grown real big. Mary has a pretty red one. Nearly all my roses have died. All the bushes by the bedroom window. I'll have to start in new, I guess. Time is a such a premium I don't have much to spare. The ice plant I brought from Florida is growing nicely.

[Personal notes.]

Now dear darlings I love you across the miles and send to you a heart full of love and prayers.

Your Mother

1.  About 65 kilometers.
3. An interesting article about Starbucks Congo coffee. I cannot find any reference to the Shipu coffee farm - no doubt it has changed hands many times since 1946.
4. Mom and Edie played the organ.
5. I'm not sure I transcribed this word "Bakua" correctly. Hopefully Mom will give me some pointers.
6.  "White ants" are termites, which typically swarm after the first good rains of the season.  We caught and ate them at Kimpese too.  See here for a post about our experiences with these delicious little creatures.

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