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November 11, 1975

Dear Mom,

….. Have been in Ethiopia now for two months and am beginning to feel somewhat at home. My communication with the people is still very minimal. This language is very difficult. In the Maasai language the trouble lay in the complexity of the verb and it being tonal. With Amharic, the sentence structure is the thing. For example, a sentence from the bible:

God loved the world so much that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.

In Amharic, you say: In-him who –believes everyone eternal life that he have, but that he not be destroyed, God the-only his-son until-he-gave
the-world just-so he-has-loved-for.

As you can see, it will be some time before I’ll be able to express anything the least bit complicated. I’m to the stage where I can say: At five o’clock the potatoes to the market to buy I will go.

Vince arrived on October 25th and has been here in Addis arranging driver’s license, work permit and some other odds and ends. We closed our house in Addis also this week and will now be staying with the Italian missionaries who have a center house here in the city. This move from Addis to Boranaland is a big step for us. Up to now, we have been living here in Addis and preparing to start our work down South. We’ll be living close to the people and the city will only be a place to come to shop as was Arusha. Of course Vince and I will be doing language yet, for quite a while. He will begin the course in January, until then staying in Yabello with the Dutchmen. The first half of our course ends on Dec. 20th so I’ll be joining them in Yabello at that time. Then on January 20th both Vince and I will return here to Addis, he for the first part of the course and I for the advanced part. We’ll be living here with the Italians (an almost new house and very good food).

Thanks for sending the books, I’m glad to have both of them, especially the cook book. I have found a place to play tennis and get in about an hour every day after school. I’ve been at it now for a month and a half.

Don’t believe all you hear about the situation in Ethiopia. All is quite peaceful here. We go to school, play tennis, go out to dinner and the movies just as we would in Nairobi, Arusha or home. Thanks for the pictures.

Love,

Ned

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