February 11, 1976Dear Mary V,
Hi! As fast as this month is going it will be your birthday before too long! I've really enjoyed Ceylon – between the YMCA & Holiday Inn we have had the best of 2 worlds. At the "Y" there is a trampoline, 2 ping pong tables, 2 pool tables, etc.
Last night I went out to a family who I met when I went to Church. I was under the impression he was the minister but he is the lay leader or something like that. Really nice people – have a daughter 14 [or 17? 19?] who collects stamps – she gave me bunches more for John. Also alot of coins that are no longer in circulation here. Then they gave me a bunch of different kinds of spices to take home – but they are all the HOT variety so I plan to give them to the Jhangiana family in Bombay – somehow I think they will appreciate & use them more than us!
Mary V – I'm getting pretty good at playing cards – I've got solitaire down good & if I work on my speed I can do OK on double solitaire.
I'm enclosing some $ – from Ceylon. It is worth about 15¢ each. Please give one to Ruth Shoemaker – OK? I thought it was funny that it is made in England.
I bought a mask here – the kind you hang on the wall – it is suppose to scare away diseases and the like. I also got some Ceylon tea – and plan to give that to the Jhangiana family in Bombay. In India – except through the Black Market – you cannot buy things made outside of India. Alot of American companies are in India – but the products I think are of an inferior quality.
I hope school is going good for you – have you missed any school because of snow yet? It is hard for me to imagine it being cold – as here it is so HOT – and you feel it everywhere – because air conditioners are not a common thing. Some restaurants have an air conditioned room – but you pay 10% more for the same food if you want to enjoy the cool room!
Last night at the Bernard family they had all these different types of snacks for me to try – all fattening – every time I go in I say I'm going to get rid of what I've put on – but so far it hasn't worked. Some of the things last night were – coconut mixture rolled up in a pancake type deal, dates w/ strawberry jam, biscuits w/ jam, waffles like what you buy at the county fair, etc., etc.
Yesterday just near the Holiday Inn there were 4 girls about your age putting on a dance using snakes – they had them wrapped around them – afterwards they took up a collection for money.
One of the popular deserts here is yogurt w/ honey on it – or if you want something really special w/ honey and nuts on it. Tea in most restaurants (NOT the fancy ones) costs you 50¢ – but if you use sugar it is 75¢ more! (local money – not U.S.!)
I've got to close this so we can get going & get this in the mail. Tomorrow at 7:00 AM we catch the bus to the airport –
Hope all is well –––