Letter to Marian and Frank, October 24, 1966

 In our front yard, Loanda, 1966.

My Aunt Marian kept many of the letters my mother, Donna Biel, wrote to her.  She returned them in 2010.  Most are recorded here.

Dear Marian and Frank-

Here I thought we were getting news of the arrival of your little one.  It is good to hear tht you have been feeling fine.

It's apparent you didn't get the letter I wrote answering your questions.  I sent it a few days before we got a letter from you saying you had changed your address, but I had hoped it would be forwarded to you.  I wrote that you shouldn't send us anything unless you want to send more candy.  For one thing, custom duty is too high and we will be ready to go on furlough by the time it gets to us.  We don't want to get new clothes until we are in the U.s. for we are limited to certain weight on the plane.  We have given a lot of old clothes away to the poor.  There is a possibility that we may be home before July- we will know at a conference in January.  It is certain that this station will be closed so we could go in February but Joey has to teach 2 weeks in Bible School in Cianorte which starts in March so we may be here until April or July.  The reason I think we may go home early is that next year there will be nine families to go and some will have to go earlier than others to spread out mission expense and not to leave so many churches vacant.  So who knows?  We may see you before you go to Europe.

In the other letter, I wrote that I had read "Bloody Morning" and enjoyed it.  It tells about the Hungarian revolution.  Last night we heard that it was the 10th Anniversary since the revolution started.  We think the embroidered things that you sent are lovely.  Someday I would like to hear of Frank's experiences when he left Hungary.

In the other letter I had thanked you for the presents you sent.  Charles likes to bang on things with his plastic hammer.  Today Joey was working on his car.  Charles took some of Joey's tools and was banging on his tricycle (my car, he says).  Rachel is forever taking some of Helen's clothes to put on the doll you gave her.  I gave her booties, a cap, and a couple things that are too small for Helen to use.  The necktie you sent is about the only one Joey uses and I use the half slip all the time.

This month has been lonely for Joey has been traveling.  He was gone one week to Umuarama, where special services were held in a tent.  Joey was the technician, so to speak, for he used his motor to show films as the town doesn't have any lights.  The following week he was here and Andy Olsen from Paranavai was special speaker at services held here.  Beautiful films that came from the U.S. in August were shown every night.  Films were shown outside and attendance was good bus, as usual, hardly any new ones come to services that are held regularly.  Last week, Joey and Andy went to a town 2 hours from Paranavai for the same film and service campaign.  It is a German community which Andy serves.  Tomorrow Andy comes here and they go for four days to a town one hour from here.  They both serve this German church but many members are spiritually dead so they are praying for a revival.  All of this has left Joey with slight liver trouple and upset stomach, but after a day of rest he is better.  Charles was so thrilled to see Joey the first week after he was gone that he couldn't say anything but laughed and laughed.

 Loanda, 1966 with Bobby

Our dog had a cut on a a leg that got inflamed with bugs.  Joey put medicine on it twice and that apparently killed the bugs for after a week of hardly eating anything and staying in the hole under our tool shed, Bobby now is barking as usual.

Rachel is super active and always into something.  One day she dumped out my perfume and filled the bottle with water to use in her playhouse.  She and Charles fight from morning until night.  If Helen turns out to be like them, I will be grey soon.  People can't believe Rachel is four because she is the size of three 8 year old girls on this street.  She weighs 46 lbs. and Charles is a chunk, too- weighing 35 lbs.

Helen at 2 months weighed 13 lbs 4 ozs.  Quite a fattie!  Besides breast feeding, she has cereal twice a day and sometimes a banana.  It is quite a chore to make baby food as there isn't anything available except in large cities and then it is only soup or bananas.  She doesn't have a tummy ache much anymore.  Since 3 weeks old she has been smiling and now laughs out loud.  Rachel likes to hold her and Charles gets upset if I let her cry for more than a minute.  He calls her "my baby" and refers to her as "he".

Are you going to breast feed?  It is nice that one can eat a lot and not gain weight.  I am at my normal weight now.  The biggest disadvantage is that whenever I go out for any length of time I have to take her along to feed her but it is nice not to have bottles to wash and prepare.

One hears such sad stories.  A young woman who had eight children (one every year) discovered she was pregnant again.  The baby is 4 months old.  This lady put a stick up inter her uterus to try to have an abortion.  A piece of the stick broke off and lodged there.  She died of tetanus.  Many babies die of tetanus because the mid-wife or whoever delivers the baby don't tie the cord with an antiseptic string.  As yet there aren't any planned parent clinics.  The middle and upper class use pills.

The doctor, who is good and very nice, was with me most of the time I was in the delivery room.  He took fetal heart tones just four times in nine hours before delivery.  The "nurses" here aren't trained to do much but they are good at giving shots.  Blood pressure was never checked nor flow of blood (except right after delivery I was given a shot for hemorrhage) and on the second day when I told the doctor I was passing large clots he took my blood pressure.  Blood flow didn't stop until two months- with Rachel and Charles it was three weeks.

Love, Donna

Notes along the side of the letter:

We are getting excited about going on furlough soon.  Rachel is anxious to go to kindergarten.  The children want to ride on a tractor with Grandpa and think it is great there are many farms to visit.

Louie Biel
We were surprised that Louie has already joined the Catholic church.  If only he could see how corrupt that church is here and pagan like with their processions.  Rarely does one meet a Catholic who reads the Bible or who knows anything about what it in the Bible.

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