July 20, 1961 – kids’ adjustment (Anita)

July 20, 1961

Dear Natalie,

Your most welcome letter arrived on Tuesday, which is the day of the week when our APO mail comes in here. By now you’ve received a letter from Gene, too, I think, and possibly the first of a couple of very long-winded letters which I sent to Gene’s secretary at Temple to be duplicated and sent to some of our friends at home. There’s a limit to how many carbon copies I can make, so I’ve imposed on her to help me out until Gene can get one of the duplicating machines in his office here to work. (They have all kinds of American machines for audio-visual and such, but it’s either not working or has never been unpacked from its original cartons).

Please keep the balance from that $5.00 we left for the paper bill as I’m sure there will be some use for it on our account. Matter of fact, we may be owing you money if something else turns up that I forgot about.

We left some money at the Post Office to have our mail forwarded and they’ve been doing a very efficient job for us, I must say. You might tell the postman when you see him how pleased we are, and to warn us in time when the money for postage runs out so that we can send some more.

The Collars sound like wonderful people and we’re very lucky, I know, to have hit on such a nice family. You didn’t mention any problems, so I’m hoping that they got moved in with a minimum of turmoil. Val wrote that he had stopped by a day or so after we left and found that Mamie had cleaned everything up beautifully and the house was really sparkling. I’m glad for Mrs. Collar because it always makes moving easier not to have to clean up someone else’s mess first before you can put your own things away.

I was very interested in hearing about Doug’s Bible School experience. Sounds a bit like Jon. Doug will probably give his nursery school teacher a few bad moments, too, but I know he’s going to love it in the end and profit from it.

Of the two children, I would say that Ruthie is doing better than Jon here. She has been fortunate in not having had any dysentary at all, for one thing, and her disposition is such that she accept the limitations of our present quarters far more easily then he. He was so used to running in and out of the house at will, and here – where he must be accompanied by myself or the ayah – it makes him quite tense and irritable, as you can imagine. Also, he’s still somewhat knocked out from his bout with bacillary dysentary. It will be such a relief to get into a place of our own so that, at least, he can play in the garden or on the mall without someone standing right over him. It’s not that the hotel grounds here aren’t safe. They very definitely are, but I’m always concerned that he’ll get in the way of these adults sitting in the shade behind their Times of India. The British system of raising kids prevails here – keep them quiet and away from grown-ups. It’s completely un-natural and unwholesome and all my sympathies are with the kids.

I was so glad to hear you say that the air-conditioner helps cool off your living and dining room. It’s something I’ve always wanted and now I have something to go by when I start in on Gene about it two summers from now. Without air-conditioning here, of course, we Americans would simply not function at all.

The kids have just come up for lunch so I’ll run to my hot-plate and start something for them. Give our best to all the neighbors. Big hug to the kids.

Anita

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