Sunday, March 1, 2009

Congo (19) At Sea (Anversville) 12/19/1920 [BMS]


19 Dec., 1920

Dear Mother and Daddy:

Yesterday we stopped at Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, and went on shore. We anchored there about 7:00 A.M. and left at 1:00, so you see we had several hours. After being on the boat for some days, one is always anxious to get out on land for a bit.

These islands, as you know, are Spanish territory, although the natives are not from the mainland of Spain, but a dark skinned race on the islands. There are quite a number of foreigners here, English, French, etc., as well as many people from Spain. Dorothy has described the people as being miserable looking and filthy, which is the case with the poor class (or natives), while the higher class, of course, look and dress as Europeans. They have a very poor idea of cleanliness. This island seems to be a clump of mountains jutting right straight out of the water, with very little shore or beach. This makes it quite picturesque. It is really much more attractive from the boat as you pass than from the shore. But I have been on a number of these small islands and find them all more or less filthy and its people nearly a century behind the present civilization.

There is a goodly number of Protestant missionaries on board, about twenty-four, so we have lots of company. Sunday, we had our English service at 10:00 A.M. The Catholics also have their Mass Sunday mornings; there are about 20 or 25 priests and nuns on board, and of course the majority of the passengers are Catholic. There must be over 150 first

class passengers on board, most of them Belgian, of course, although several English, and two very nice, seemingly young Americans whom we like.

Dot was writing you in her last letter about being seasick; she had no bad case of sea sickness, but merely felt the motion a little; the same with myself. In fact we have both been enjoying our trip. Dot has a good appetite most of the time now, which was not the case very often on the "Caronia." I have felt the "mal de mer” less this time than usual, for I have not had a bad attack yet, while last time I had some hard times. Then I am finding my trip such a pleasure this time-all because of one little person. It certainly is different from traveling alone. She seems to be enjoying it, too --anyway, we have many good times together.

We are going to have a little Xmas party amongst our own crowd, each is going to give the others some small present and you may be sure we shall be thinking of you both on that day.

We are due to land at Dakar tomorrow in French Senegal, on the coast. Don't know whether or not we will stop long enough to go on shore.

With love to you both.

B. M.

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