Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Aba, Belgian Congo - January 27, 1946

In which Ralph discusses the Bangala Conference, a Logo proverb, and the cost of flying to Aba.  

Dearest girls,

I'm starting out with small writing as if I expect to write a long letter, yet I don't know if I can fill all this paper this time or note.

We are now in the very hot part of the dry season and during the day are unable to find a cool spot anywhere. Maybe that cave on the back of the big hill would be a good place. But fortunately it cools off quite a bit in the evenings. We have not gone swimming yet. Guess we'll have to wait until Eddie & Nellie arrive before going. It doesn't seem so inviting when there's not a crowd.

Since writing you last time I have been to the Bangala conference at Aja. They limited the native attendance to about a thousand otherwise there would have been far too many to accommodate. And only those missionaries who were on the program or who helped look after the meals were supposed to go.  It was a very fine conference, the general theme being "Kulika" or triumphant Christian living. Each morning a native and then a missionary would speak on the same topic for that day, and it was interesting to see how the different aspects of the same subject were brought out in that way.

This morning the Pastor, Timoteo Tiriable used an interesting native proverb to illustrate a point in his talk. He said the Logos have a proverb which says:  "If you want to buy a wife, don't look for one at a dance", the idea being that at a dance a girl would be all dressed up with a lot of lipombo and have a new hair-do, etc., trying to look her best to make an impression.  But when you married her and took her to your house you might find she was a lazy wife, and not at all what she appeared to be.

Miss Hayes has finally arrived. She became quite ill on the Congo steamer and had to stay in the Government hospital at Stanleyville for a couple of weeks. She wired us asking me to come get her, but I was then at the conference and our car was not in good order. Besides to go there for just one person would cost much more than for her to come in a plane.  And so Mother wired her to come by air, which she did. It took about 3/4 hour to get to Buta, the only stop on the way, and then only 3 hours from there to Aba. So she left Stanleyville about 9 AM and arrived here at 1PM. Quite a contrast to our trip on the Courier!  Did we tell you that there is now a landing field at Aba, just beyond the SHUN farm?  Every Monday a plane arrives here from Costermansville and it leaves about 8AM on Tuesday for Stanleyville.  Then every Friday a plane comes here from Stanleyville and goes to Costermansville (at the southern end of Lake Kivu) on Saturday. It costs 3000 francs to go to Stanleyville from Aba. The planes are converted British light bombers holding about 8 passengers. They have two motors and are very pretty and very fast.

Mother will write you about the arrival yesterday of the Hurber family. And now we are eagerly looking forward to the arrival of the Peter Stams III, and of Eddie and Nellie.

A plane full of love,