Luebo, Belgian Congo, January 17, 1922
My dearest homefolks:
Since my last letter I have been appointed to several "jobs" here on the station, 1st Librarian, now I don't know just what that work is yet. The Library is our meeting place, so one job, of course, is to keep it clean and keep the books in order. There are papers that come under the name of the Library and I will have to keep them straight. This morning Mrs. Stegall called me over to take over the entertainment stuff, such as sheets, spreads, curtains, slopjars, pitchers and bowls and all kind of things for fixing rooms for visitors. Stegall had appointed me to that position at last station meeting. Now this is quite a big job here at Luebo as there is always someone coming here, perhaps to stay for only a few days, but I'll have to drop my work and fix a room for them. I don't mind the fixing room proposition so much though as deciding where to put the people. The station is so large now--and prospects of it being much larger. There are only two places to put visitors now, the White Hospital entertaining room, where visitors are not supposed to stay--only patients, and my back room, and we certainly don't like to keep people back there at all. Our path to the back yard, toilet, and everything is right in front of the door and it isn't only unpleasant for us, it is for them also. This may seem selfish, but if I have a home, I want it private and not a regular hanging out place for everyone who comes through. I have been appointed as organist for English services, as Mr. Martin is going to leave soon to visit the out stations, or rather itinerary work and will stay until time for him to go home in April. Now I am going to tell you something that I believe will make you glad. I have asked Mr. Martin about keeping the piano in our home. There is no one else on the station who pretends to play sheet music.
Thursday, January 19, 1921.
Will take my letter up with the same subj. The station heartily agreed to my keeping the piano down here. It will help me so much. I believe I play better than when I left home. The little organ is really better for playing hymns, and the piano has improved greatly with use. I have not been able to practice on it much up there, but hope to do better with it here. I have started to teaching in the native school, started this morning, or rather for the first two days have asked to sit in the class and watch the native teacher. Mrs. Stegall is teaching Sankie some, but Sankie has been in bad health, has malaria and has had fever for almost two months now, not much, about 100 each day I believe, and she does not want her to attend school regularly. There is no telling when she will be able to come again, so as they are short of teachers in the native school and Mr. Gilliam asked me to take a class, I consented. Don't know how Mrs. Stegall likes it, as she has been so afraid they would get me in the school, but I did not feel like sitting down and doing nothing when they needed me there, and really I feel that I need something like that pretty bad so as to get on to the language better. I'm picking it up real fast now, but everyone says the way to learn it is to teach. I have the first reader class, but they are not graded like our books at home so some day after I learn more about my work I will tell you.
Kemp and Rowena sent us the cutest little kitty yesterday. The last one we had someone stole and we fear it was our table boys as they don't like for us to have a cat. One thing--they don't always get the scraps, and then she is often in the way; but if this cat goes there is going to be a palaver somewhere.
Continued in next letter.