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January 14, 1977

Dear Mom,

It was good to talk to you. It was so easily done, I wonder why I never got around to doing it before. I know that in the future, we’ll speak again.

You have the news already by telegram. I will try to explain here the reason for it without at the same time making too much of it. The situation has deteriorated somewhat here in the last two weeks. Whereas before the shifta (Somali or other kinds of bandits) were neither heard of nor seen in our immediate area, now there has been attacks on some cars on the main road not far from here on the way to Addis. For this reason, travel along the Addis road is being kept to a minimum these days – only convoys with an escort of soldiers.

For these reasons, to bring you down here at this time would not be a good idea. It would be well for you to put off your trip to Ethiopia until things have settled down a little. It’s too bad; I was looking forward to it very much ….

Love,

Ned

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