While we were missionaries in Africa, we sent letters from Rwanguba, a village in DRC (formerly known as Zaire), to our families in the States several times a month. My mom, knowing the letters would be like a time-capsule, saved them for us. So glad she did.
Nov. 2, 1985
Dear Mom and Dad,
Well, we just had a very good trip to Goma, mainly to do shopping but also to take a Rwanda missionary back to his home. He had been here at Rwanguba for three weeks with a severe case of malaria and hepatitis at the same time…we’re sure glad he’s recovering now. Daniel C, our French boarder, also went with us, and we had one nice meal out in a real restaurant. It was sure fun. When we do a shopping trip like this, nearly everyone on the station sends a list with money to help them stock up, too. You can imagine what a job shopping is. For example, we bought 24 flats of eggs with 30 eggs per flat! We ourselves had 5 of those flats, which will probably last a month or so since we’ll be feeding quite a few people at missionary conference. We also bought two sacks of flour (50 kgs each) and 1 sack of sugar. Lee made a trip to the vaccine place to get stocked up for public health trips. We came back with the car pretty heavy, but we had no car trouble this time.
We also brought back the mail back for the station. This time was especially nice for us as there were 2 letters and 2 packages from you. These were 2 milk cartons packed with lifesavers, marshmallows, gum, and JELLY BEANS. Sure tastes good. American candy is really flavorful compared to what we get here. Maybe it’s because what we have is old. The cassette tape (Christmas present) looked to be in good shape, too. Thank you, Mom and Dad.
We’re also enjoying the pictures. All of us were struck by how big those kids are getting, especially in the picture beside the truck with all three kids. Jami and Jonathan hardly look like toddlers anymore. Matt said it looked like fun raking leaves, Dad. We don’t have those changes of seasons here. Only the grass turns brown here when it’s dry season.
Hope you were able to get together with Uncle Ralph’s family and Aunt Esther. We want to do some careful planning so we can get in on some of those get-togethers next year. One year is beginning to seem awfully short for furlough. Thank you for doing all that shopping, Mom. Yes, I did want pantyhose, but that’s my fault because I didn’t specify (forgetting my English?) I’m glad you could find some of the items used.
It was fun to hear your comments about the slides and cassette we sent. The reason we put the music on was we really enjoyed the arrangement of Wonderful Grace of Jesus and Brighten the Corner and I’ve Found a Friend. We didn’t have a way to weed out the more jazzy ones.
Thank you for the sports updates. Actually, we listen live from time to time, but it’s not easy to stay awake. Also, the station may fade halfway through games, which is annoying. We couldn’t believe the poor Cardinals lost at home and with such a good lead. Oh well.
We’re all over the flu now. The next couple of weeks will be busy with preparations for conference. Before then, we’re having our last two Bible studies with the nurses, and I’m leading the last one.
This morning Rebekah crawled into bed with us and said, “Well, Mom, it’s time to change your hairstyle, Mom, ‘cause it’s November you know.” Seems she had noticed your November calendar stationery that I was using for a bookmark. 🙂
I have yet ANOTHER big favor to ask of you. We just received a request from the Missions Committee at First Baptist, Caldwell, for 10 slides of us and our work. Since we just sent you our very best selection, we’re hoping you’d be willing to take out 10 slides to loan. We don’t have duplicates of the more interesting ones. I sure appreciate your taking time to select the best ones, particularly the ones related to work. Let’s see – for the narration, perhaps you could use remarks from the tape we sent you.
We’re feeling a bit frustrated, not to be able to send you Christmas packages this year, but we’ve gathered some nice things made here in Zaire to bring when we come.
Last evening at the station costume party, Lee and Matt dressed as Geppetto and Pinocchio, Laurie was a clown, Bekah was a flower, and I was a bag of popcorn. Played games, too.
Lee and Norma + 3
p.s. The goodies you sent came just in time for Halloween, much to our delight. You’d have thought the kids were millionaires!
Thanks for reading, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Posted on November 21, 2018
9 thoughts on “Letters from Rwanguba – November 2, 1985”
Nostalgic post. Brings back the ideals and activities of youth. Clearly shows what it was like to live in another part of the world..
Don’t think I’d be able to keep up now with the pace of our lives back then. Thanks, Judy.
What a life, Norma. I can’t imagine what it was like. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, life there and then was very different from today. Thanks for commiserating, Laura.
A time capsule indeed! And a reminder of how much I take for granted being able to pop into a grocery store any time of day or night! Love the photo of Gepetto and Pinocchio. Wishing you and Lee a Happy Thanksgiving.
Nice to hear from you, Diane! Hope you and Richard had a Happy Thanksgiving, too.
How do you dress up as a bag of popcorn?
Good question, Laurie! I don’t remember what I did for the costume, and I don’t have a photo, but I think it involved crafting the top part of a bag filled with oversized kernels of popped popcorn, maybe of cotton balls? Must not have been that great, or there’d be a photo around, ha.
So interesting! I’ve always been interested in mission work. Thanks for sharing with us!