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June 6, 1977

Dear Mom,

…. Vince got back from the trip to Tanzania three weeks ago. He enjoyed the trip and brought news of everything going on down there. Parkepo, the fellow who gave you the cow, has died in the past year, and his village (he had six wives and many children) has dispersed. Lembarnat, who gave you the goat, is well and his eldest wife has a new baby. Tom Tunney, Arky and Joe Hertzstein are home attending the chapter, a general meeting of the province, which we have every few years. It seems the same old controversies are raging, the main one being are we educational or missionary. The meetings will be over toward the end of June and Tom hopes to stop here on his way back.

I have been staying in the villages more and more. Recently during the rainy season, there has been plenty of milk. Now that it is beginning to dry up again, I’ll have to carry more of my own food. It’s been quite a challenge to work up a safari kit for carrying on the back of the bike. Tent, sleeping bag, spirit stove, utensils, a few books, everything for three or four days, including enough water plus me go on the little 100cc bike. It must look very strange, but then not more so than a Borana camel loaded for travel to a new grazing area.

The garden is doing well. During this wet season, we’ve dug a number of beds about two feet deep and about fifteen feet square. These we line with cheap plastic, and then fill the holes back up with wet grass, manure and some of the dirt that came out. We’ve found that these holes lined with the plastic retain the water many times longer than those without. During dry season, it’s impossible to keep up with the watering….

Love,

Ned

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