Monday, November 21
LETTER HOME TO MOM
August 1, 1967
Got your letter of July 24 yesterday. It’s so good to hear from you. I worry about you – but at the same time I don’t think that you should worry about me. As far as earthquakes go – Bilecik is one of the best places to be in Turkey. They’ve never had an earthquake here. We feel the shakes from Adapazari, but with no serious effects. It seems funny to us that we’re in the “Earth quake stricken north-western Turkey” as reported on the BBC & VOA. We don’t feel very “stricken.” As a matter of fact, I’m at the moment sitting in bed with some good western music – a cup of tea – feeling quite comfortable and happy.
CARE is supplying our several small canning houses with Ball jars for teaching purposes – and every woman who knows about it wants to learn – we have an extremely busy schedule. Today Ginny had to go to one of the canning houses in a nearby village and I taught here in Bilecik. We did 125 jars of beans, okra, eggplant, mixed vegetables, tomatoes and peaches. I was at the canning house from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm. Usually we start earlier but today was market day so the women have to buy their “stuff” early, so we got started later.
The weather here has been very kind to us so far this summer. This town is conservative enough that even if it were blasting hot we wouldn’t feel free to wear anything sleeveless. It’s been very pleasant – a sweater needed in the evening and a blanket at night.
We’re still waiting for tomatoes and grapes to become plentiful and cheap. Then we’ll have even more work with teaching villages how to make juice, bottle and pasteurize it.
Let me tell you a little but about the canning house here. It’s one large room in a boy’s handicraft school. This summer there are about ten boys living there and studying woodwork. They are all very poor village boys. Why is it that the poor ones are so nice? They are the most polite, hardworking and sweet boys ranging in age from about 10 to 16. They are always wanting to help us whenever they can. Yesterday a large shipment of jars arrived from Istanbul and were unloaded and left outside the building – about 600 boxes. In the evening Ginny overheard the oldest boy asking the director if all the boys could go to the movies that evening. The director said that he wouldn’t mind but that there wasn’t enough money in the budget for that. Ginny piped up and asked them how they’d like to earn their show money by carrying in the boxes of jars. The cost for the show is about .10 cents per boy – but you would have thought they she’d offered much more. They worked hard and had them in in no time – when she gave them a little extra (for sunflower seeds) they were overjoyed and she became their sister. It’s rare to find a group of such sweet boys!
So goes a typical day.
I love you Mom,