Thursday, February 19, 2009

Congo (11) Brussels, Belgium, 11/19/1920 [DCS]

Brussels, Belgium

November 19, 1920

My dearest Mother and Father:

B.M. has already written to you, and I am late, but we have had so little time to write this week. The last two evenings we have been out until after eleven. Wednesday we were invited out for the evening to a Mr. Fraters. He is a minister and an Englishman; they speak so we can understand them, so we had a very nice time. They served tea first, then cocoa with small wafers, for these people here always serve tea to their visitors. Then we played ping-pong for amusement.

Last evening we were invited out to Dr. Anet’s. He and his wife speak good English; in fact they have been to America and he has visited different churches speaking for help for Protestantism over here. He has also been very kind to our missionaries as they pass through Brussels. We had such a crowd of us there, it seemed more like a party than a visit. There were three new Methodist missionaries there besides the seven of us, all from America, no longer than two months ago. Seemed grand to be in the company of Americans again. Of course, there is a crowd of us, but the more the better.

While we were there we were shown the “Survey” with my picture, also the Hobsons. Was so glad they did not use our passport picture. However, this one didn’t look much better in there.

We went down town shopping this afternoon, the two young ladies, B.M., and I. I got me a new dress, as the one I got in. Terrell last spring has simply gone to the bad. After it started to wearing out, it certainly went fast. I was so sorry, for I liked that dress. I got a brown crepe de chine dress, a very plain pattern, but quite becoming, I believe. B.M. said as I had so many blue dresses, it would be nice to get another color. I have never worn brown, but I believe this will be all right. The two young ladies thought so. I really need a woolen dress, but we have such a short time to stay here now, and I couldn’t use it out there, and would want a new one when I came back anyway. I decided I would get one I could wear in the Congo. The dress cost us $14.00, or 175 francs (prewar exchange = $35.00).

That’s the reason I got crepe de chine. I never told you about the dress I got in London. We found that dresses were cheaper there than at home, and I decided I’d like to have another nice dress, so B.M. got me a very pretty white crepe de chine dress. It needed quite a bit of altering, and they didn’t get it altered very well there, but I have fixed it since I’ve been here and I like if very much. Makes me look quite fleshy, also older and this is why B.M. likes it, I think. Have forgotten just exactly how much we paid for it, but about $21.00 with the present exchange rate – or about $27.00 before the war. You see, we have a rather low exchange now. It would have cost the Belgium people about thirty-five dollars. I also got me a table runner to work. It is very easy and I can make it at odd times. It is tan colored and will match the crocheted one you gave me. You can imagine how anxious I am to get out there and get my home fixed up. If I just had you to help me a little, I would be so happy. We are so uneasy about our dishes that we got in New York. I think it will be a miracle if they get out to the Congo in good shape, but as far as we can tell, it is packed real well. I believe I told you one of the glasses you gave me was broken. We had a good deal of room in our larger trunks, but they are so heavy now we hate to put much more in them. However, we are going to get a lamp, haven’t decided just what we want yet, but a rather large one. We will have to take quite a few chimneys and that will take up lots of room. We had some stamps (rubber stamps) made. Had some made last week, but they were so poor B.M. wanted some more. I haven’t gotten to printing them very well yet, but we are well pleased with them. The first two are for marking linen, and the other two are for letters, etc.

We are going to have something on Thanksgiving Day, but haven’t decided just yet what it will be. There is to be a service at the little Methodist church after which we are going to have a picnic either in our room, or out in the woods if it is a pretty, warm day.

Want to mail this soon and there is a crowd in the room, so goodbye.

With lots and lots of love to you all,


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