My Aunt Marian kept many of the letters my mother, Donna Biel, wrote to her. She returned them in 2010. Most are recorded here. They were not entered in chronological order, so the best way to view them is by year, found in the index on the sidebar.
Dear Marian and Frank,
We have read in the TIME magazine that the peak of the Hong Kong flu was in January. We hope that those of you who had it have recovered. There have been a few cases here but since it is summer, it has been no more than a cold. So the newspaper says.
We had a nice rest at Bible Camp for our missionaries. Bible students who are on vacation and work there during the summer take care of the children in the morning while we had Bible studies or listened to lectures. In the afternoon there was swimming. There were volley and basketball courts. Cliff and men played against youth at a youth Bible Camp 15 miles from our camp. The food was excellent but we had to wait up to 45 minutes to be served after we sat down and it was late by then- 1:30 for lunch and 7:30 for supper. A couple of times Helen fell asleep before the food came. There wasn't room for all of the families on the main grounds so four families had to be 1 and a half mile away. We were the only ones with very small children and it was inconvenient as we only returned there just before supper. One day, Rachel was sick with a fever and the next day she had diarrhea. The camp is located in the mountains by Sao Paulo and was cool in the evening and excellent for sleeping.
On our way home we had car trouble and spent a total of 7 hours at a gas station in the country while Cliff went to a city to get different radiator. It had a clean bathroom and eating place. We got home at two in the morning. We had a 20 year old youth with us that was going from the Missouri Lutheran school in Sao Paulo to near our city. We met this youth when we went to visit missionaries of the Missouri church that are studying Portuguese in Sao Paulo. One family is from Brownton, Minnesota and have met my sister, Olive, who lives there. They spent part of one day with us at Bible Camp.
Since we got back two weeks ago, we have had someone for dinner almost every day. The first few days other missionaries came through on their way to their homes, then a Brazilian boy from our former parish came here for three days and traveled two days with Cliff when he had services, and other Brazilians, mostly youth, have come on the other days. We had Vacation Bible School here last week with about 26 children. Next week it is in our country church. This week Cliff is gone to another state for meetings on Evangelism. He is near a beach and we could have gone along but I didn't think it would be much fun if the children couldn't be with cliff, as he has meetings all day and in the evening. In two weeks he will be gone for 5 days for Bible camp in Londrina which is the time that many Brazilians celebrate Carnival before Lent starts.
It is still very hot- 90 to 95 every day, but I have started to think of winter clothes as May last year was our coldest month. I have taken apart some of my skirts that haven't been used for years and am having them made for slacks for the girls. The many dresses we brought along for the girls are out of style for they don't use dresses with full skirts that tie in the back and for this hot weather, straight dresses are cooler but with material from full skirts, dresses can be made.
I read in the newspaper from my hometown that a girl who I at times babysat for when I was in high school, was elected as one of the representatives of the Lutheran Church of America for a meeting to be held in Brazil in 1970 of the Lutheran World Federation. We hope that she will be able to visit us in our home.
We have given three male puppies away but have Luci, a white female and the mother. Last week, a friend of Rachel's gave us a kitten but it doesn't like the dogs and has had to be rescued from a tree, the roof, and inside the attic of a bedroom.
We got pictures of Ricky and Shannon. When do we get one of Eric and Lisa? We have to try to get some pictures taken soon.
Donna and Joey