Wednesday, September 26, 2012

1972 Letter from Joe - August 1

Joe writes a letter from Senegal. Actually he wrote many letters. Transcription follows.
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August 1, 1972
Dakar - Tuesday night

Dear Uible Family,

I’ve received all your mail – thanks especially for the one about your trip to Mexico – Now, that you’ve talked about it, I really want to go but last month I went back to Lufthansa and they said they had made mistake in price so the trip became a matter of I-can’t-afford-it. What Lufthansa and I have worked out is that I’m spending about 7 days in Rio and then flying to Miami, London, Paris and finally Dakar. It’s still going to be an interesting trip.  [Joe wrote a postcard from Brazil on Aug. 26, which appears here on the blog.  Another instance of my getting things out of order.]

One of Serena’s pen pals here in Dakar gave me a package to give her when I arrive – well, knowing Serena is in Peru I’ll give it to you.

I sure hope to see you all i September. With dentist appointments, eye doctors, an expired driver’s license – who knows what will happen. Bribes of strawberries and homemade ice cream will get me to New Vienna for sure – you can bet your bottom dollar!

Working on the training program hasn’t been a pleasant dream. All I think about is getting back to the States for awhile.

Nick Augustus was with me for a month. He had just terminated after 2 years in Ivory Coast. He was nervous about going back to the U.S. – has no idea what he wants to do.

I’ve been eating at a Senegalese home for lunch now for quite awhile. The dishes are fantastic and the family – wonderful people. One dish call Maffi is made of rice, meat, and a peanut butter sauce – Uncle Harold, I think you’d like it!

My garden is all dried up. It’s too hot to grow anything now. It hasn’t rained for a month and they call this period of time the rainy season! Doesn’t make sense. [Like Arizona’s “monsoon” season.]

Bought a club card at the university so I can play tennis - 3 dollars - good until the end of the year. When I’m not working at the training program, I’m playing tennis now.

It’s hard handling all these problems that come up when you live in another society. One thing I can’t get use to is the fact that there are always at least 5 visitors in my house all day long. As an American I need my privacy one in awhile and here the Senegalese just don’t let you have it. I’ve gotten over the feeling that I have to feed them or keep them company. I just let them sit and look at themselves as I go about doing my business. Then there’s the fact that practically every time someone comes over, they want to borrow something or they want money. No one could me stingy in the USA, but here I’m known as Mr. Miser because I just don’t give every cent away to anybody who asks for it.

Won’t it be great to be back in my own country!

Hope all of you are well. Say hello to Grandma for me. The Senegalese and I send or love. Love, Joe.

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