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October 9, 1975

Dear Mom,

…. Just finished the first six week exam period in language school. I did real well on the tests, ninety-five percent; so I’m progressing and am doing as well as those in the class who are here in Africa for the first time (some not much more than twenty years old). The has been heartening because I was worried about starting over with the prospect of two new languages at my age, but am more confident at this point.

The bike is working out well. I took a three hundred mile safari during our four day exam break just to get the feel of the bike, the country and to see a little bit of how the people outside Addis Ababa live. Really had a good time. My ability to communicate is still pretty rudimentary but I got along OK. The Rift Valley lakes are very beautiful and the Sidamo and Galla peoples who inhabit the area are attractive and friendly.

Vince will be here soon, in less than two weeks. The house will be finished next week in Sidamo, so we’ll be giving up this house where I’m living most of the time by myself here in Addis. At that time I’ll go to live with the Italian missionaries from our Sidamo area who have a center house here in the city. I’m looking forward to it. Both from the stand point of no longer being my myself and also because they seem to be a fine group of people ….

Love,

Ned

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