Letters Home Part 1


This is an excerpt from a letter I wrote home, less than a year after moving to Africa…

April 1996

It is hot, hot, hot. Most of April was above 120˚F and hotter if you were in the direct sun. We started sleeping outside about a month ago. It’s a pain to climb the ladder to the roof to go to bed, but it’s worth it when you feel a breeze. The rains will be coming soon – in May and that should cool things down – and raise the humidity.

sleeping on the roof

The boys are getting up. It’s hard to sleep in when the sun beats down on you and the animals are carrying on. We now have in our zoo: 6 chickens, 3 pigeons (with egg), 1 goat (Gruff) and 3 dogs. We all enjoy each one of them. Gruff is a special favorite. He does the funniest things and is so ornery – the boys love his meanness.

Jay stays constantly busy with projects. Right now he’s building up a cement wall on our porch. He built the chicken coup and a pigeon cage. He repairs anything in the house that I ask him to. Jay's radioHe listens to his short wave radio (BBC mostly) and keeps us up on the news. And he plays with his Ham radio. He put up an antennae – he picks up a few things, but needs to learn more.

Lloyd does crafts constantly. He made a xylophone out of wood that’s lovely. He builds boxes and he made a frame for displaying his daggers. He also made a stuffed snake. He and Daddy built a work bench that is all his.

Lee still loves fighting more than anything. He’ll torment his brothers till they fight him. He fights with Gruff, too. The goat goes into the fighting mode the minute he sees Lee. When he’s not in trouble, he’s reading.

Raymond stays in the stars – outer space – somewhere where the rest of us can’t reach him. He imagines all sorts of scenes with his toys and stuffed animals. To get his attention you have to yell, “Raymond!” and make sure you connect.

Clay hated K-5 with all his heart. He and Elaine are bestest buddies. He hasn’t figured out that he doesn’t have to obey Elaine’s commands. He’s my sweetie and loves hugs.

Clay K-5

Elaine still reigns as her Royal Highness. She’s quite the lady! She dresses up and gets so embarrassed when we ooh and aah. She plays with her twenty dolls a lot – always combing their hair and changing their clothes.

The boys are hungry. Better get busy preparing pancakes.

3 thoughts on “Letters Home Part 1

  1. I remember hearing about the goat. Thank you for sharing your memoirs and experiences. As an American who grew up in Eastern Quebec, now in Australia I can relate to much of the cultural differences.


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