Letter to Grandpa and Grandma Biel, February 14th, 1977

 Our house in Maringa, late 1970's.

Dear Mary and Harvey,

The candy and books arrived a few days ago!  We didn't pay anything on the books and just $2.50 for the candy.  Thanks for your part in the gift.  Marian wrote that she sent another package later that has 30 pillow designs that I had asked for.  I don't know if Cynthia or Marian paid for them and I asked them to get a check from Harvey from our bank account to pay for them.  I cleaned off a shelf to put these books on and stamped our name in them as we lend them out and borrow from others during the year.

I just got your birthday card as even though it had the correct address, it was put in the post box of another pastor who was traveling until last week.  Thus, I just wrote a thank you letter to Mrs. Gordon Nagel.

We are thankful that you weren't hurt worse than you were when you fell, Mary.  We've been fine except for diarrhea due to heat, I suppose.  For several days it's been 88 degrees in the house.

Our house was broken in to for the first time in nine years that we have been here. We went out of the city at 3:30 P.M. to a wedding.  We were going to be back by 7:30 to turn yard lights on as Joey had a preaching point to go to, but it rained a lot so we didn't get back until 9:30 since with heavy rain he couldn't go to the other place.  An empty barrel was used to step on top of our bathroom roof which slants up to the second floor to the guest room.  The rooms upstairs weren't locked but the window was shut.  The metal bar for locking the windows had been missing for years.  They tried to break into Helen's bedroom which is the easiest window to get in.  they took the radio from the kitchen but left it upstairs by the window they entered and took the new tape recorder of Charles and Rachel's, five tapes of Charles, new slacks of Rachel's, Rachel's blue jeans, and her necklace from Stan and LaVonne saying "I am a Lutheran" on the back.  We figured it must have been someone alone or else he would have taken more things.  We knew some windows in our house were easy to get into and now we are going to ask to have them changed.  We were upset, but thankful that more things weren't gone.  We hope the police will get the tape recorder back as it is being sold in the city for it has a radio, monitor, and would be easy to identify.  The only clothes gone through were Rachel's.  I bought her new blue jeans as Bible camp starts on Friday.  I plan to give Charles money for some tapes as it was his birthday and Christmas presents that he lost.  This is the 4th  tape recorder in nine years stolen from us.  The first was on the airplane just before we moved to Maringa.  It was replaced by the Airlines after six months.  Joey bought another one since we didn't know if it would be replaced.  That was stolen from our car three years ago, and a year ago, Joey lent one to an English couple and it was stolen from their house.  They didn't replace it as they hadn't asked to borrow it but we asked if they didn't want to use it.  We still have Joey's tape recorder which I had locked up, plus check blanks, calculator, money, and camera when we were gone on the bicycle hike.  On those nights, my maid and her brother slept here.

 Bike trip to Fazenda Kelina, 1979

Ten children, ages 13-16, bicycled the 18 miles with Joey.  Helen and I took bedding, clothes and food by car.  Most of the children that went with us weren't active in the youth group, but some are going to Bible camp and we hope they will become more active in church.  Three from one family haven't been to church in 10 years although Joey has visited them many times.  While on the bike hike, we spent a lot of time in the swimming pool at the doctor's farm, Fazenda Kelina.  Helen and I didn't go in as much as we didn't want to get sunburned as Charles, Rachel and Joey, who peeled afterward.  The flies were so bad one night that we could hardly sleep, so we sprayed the house twice the next day.  One family of church members that live about 4 miles away, gave us a sack of corn on the cob for our meals.

This last week we were gone for two days and one night to Ponta Grossa, a five hour drive to see the family that recently moved there after language school.  Pastor Charles Eidum is the one that saved Rachel at the beach.  They have children the age of our own children so they enjoyed the visit.  They are having a difficult time with the language.  It is amazing to see how little they can communicate after one year of study, but then we remember how we were in that situation.  We hope they will come and see us in July when there is a month break in school.

Helen and Charles enjoyed the children's Bible Camp.  Helen said that she would have liked to stay longer.  I took 16 children by train.  Seven were from our city and the rest from a neighboring parish, for the train service starts in our city and other cities further in the interior don't have it.  I stayed overnight and took a bus back the next day.  This Friday for Bible Camp for ages 14 and up they will go by train for four and a half days.  The train costs 2.5 times less than the bus.

I bought paint remover and took off paint around the floor back in the living room and dining room plus a door.  The paint was peaking through and showing two different colors.  I wore rubber gloves but it was the hardest and messiest work I've ever done.  Painting is a picnic compared to paint removal.

We had seen pictures on T.V, plus from "Time" magazine and have read about the terrific cold weather.  As one friend wrote to us this winter is only for polar bears.  While you are suffering from the cold we have had one of the worst floods of all times.  It is about three to four hours distance from us.  It will affect beef prices because about a sixth to a fourth total of the beef cattle drowned or starved to death.

I'm sending a letter t the International Institute as we haven't heard anything about the books we sent back for Rachel's 8th grade.  We figured that they should have gotten them in September.  If there is a refund, we asked them to send it to you to be deposited in our account.

It is nice that you can have a T.V. in two places.  I wish we had gotten a portable one for we have meetings in our living room and then have to push the T.V. into our bedroom for the children to watch it.  It always scratches the floor.

Before I got this mailed we got your letter wit the Valentine's Card.  It came right on the date.

All  of those snowmobiles in the family...  Sounds like the winter has plenty of snow for them.  Hope they are careful.

Thanks for the stamps you sent in Rachel's birthday card.  While in Ponta Grossa Rachel and Charles Eidam traded 224 stamps and she put some US stamps and Brazilian ones that she didn't have.  She spends all of her money on stamps.

I found another use for ace bandages-  for elastic bands on Joey's underwear!  He had five underwear that were good except for the elastic.  I got three fixed with one ace bandage.  I tried to buy an ace bandage here, but they don't make ones that stretch.  One of my American friends in this city thinks she has an ace bandage that she can give me as she is soon going back to the States.  If she can't find it, I'll let you know.  Send one cut up in three pieces- one piece at a time for I used slightly less than a third for each underwear.

You mentioned a special type of orange.  We have it here for about three months.  It is delicious.  It is a cross between an orange and a tangerine.  They are so easy to peel.

All for now,


Donna and Joey

PS  Joey just wrote to Cynthia and Nels- mainly because of the accident of Cynthia's.  Hope she has completely recovered now.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...