_quot;IN THE BEGINNING GOD_quot; by fdh56iuoui

VIEWS: 36 PAGES: 170

									                                       AFRICAN ADVENTURE

                                  "IN THE BEGINNING GOD"

        In those first few moments of rational intelligent thought, that for me has most
        always arrived at or just before the first light of a new day, the stark reality of
        my present situation comes into focus.

        As this moment of cognitive thought replaces the fog of a sleeping brain my
        mind says to me :"DO YOU REALIZE WHERE YOU ARE? YOU ARE IN

        The interesting thing about these particular thoughts is that I have had the
        same disturbing thoughts thousands of times, as I struggled with the
        advisability of undertaking a responsibility like this.

        What is a Veterinarian doing trying to play Missionary?. I am not a preacher.
        not a religious zealot, just an ordinary country Veterinarian, fourteen years
        into a general practice, that has seen me achieve a moderate success.

        I have a wife and four children, a small 160-acre farm that I love, with an old
        two-story farmhouse that my wife and I rebuilt with our own hands. The
        rebuilding took a year between calls of a busy country practice.

        One of the things I am most proud of is my brand new Veterinary Hospital1. I
        built it on my farm, next to my home. It contains all the features I have ever
        dreamed of since my graduation from Oklahoma State University in 1953.

        I am only 39 years old. I certainly don't have it made financially, so what on
        earth could justify or motivate a fellow like me to entertain such thoughts?.

        The years after graduation from Veterinary School were I suppose typical for
        a country practice. Collinsville Oklahoma is a small town of about 3500
        population that called itself the Dairy Capitol of Oklahoma. Making a living as
        a country veterinarian was not an easy task.

        It was not a foregone conclusion that I would do well. The main attributes

    Collinsville Veterinary Hospital

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       that I feel that I had going for me was some natural God given abilities and
       the determination to work as hard as necessary to succeed.

       As I search my mind to try to discover where these missionary thoughts had
       their beginnings, I think it can be called just a growing awareness of
       responsibility to God.

       Certainly I wanted to try to be a good father to my children and a good
       husband to my wife. Church attendance seemed a must.

       Church attendance led to accepting positions of responsibility, such as
       Sunday school teacher etc.

       Probably the most important motivating factor was a feeling of gratitude to
       God for all the good things that had happened to me. A good wife, four
       healthy children, a good practice, and a happy home.

       Actually it might have been a commitment I made one Sunday morning at

       We would go to Sunday school and Church as a family and sit together in the
       pew as a family.

       Billie would get us all dressed in our finest, and we would proudly proclaim to
       the world that we were making the effort to be the kind of people with which
       God would be pleased2.

       On this particular morning the preacher had preached on commitment.
       He insisted that it was necessary to put your faith where your mouth is. He
       said " Faith without works was not enough".

       At the end of the service the preacher invited those that were prepared to
       TO DO" to come forward.

       With out discussion Billie and I went forward, not having the clearest vision
       what we were prepared to do.

    Carlin Family accepts Missionary Adventure

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                          AFRICAN ADVENTURE

In a Baptist church, after the service is over and the invitation has produced
DECISIONS, it is customary for the congregation to warmly commend you
for your obedience.

Billie and I stood there as our friends and neighbors crowded around, warmly
giving us their best wishes and blessings.

The fact was, that they were not fully sure what commitment we were
prepared to make either.

A few days later I wrote a letter to the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission
Board informing them of my decision to be obedient to God as a Missionary if
he could use me.

I had no idea what their response would be, it just seemed to be a place to

I made my commitment and wrote the letter in October of 1966.

The reply came unexpectedly on Thanksgiving Day as we were all sitting
down to Thanksgiving Dinner.

I can't remember all of the exact words but it had something to do with "What
a horse doctor might do as a missionary".

I know that my heart soared with excitement and surprise

With that phone call began a chain of events that led to our appointment as
missionaries, the sale of my Veterinary Hospital and practice. It also required
the selling of most all the things that we had accumulated over the fourteen
years of marriage.

                          THE TELEPHONE CALL

Our letter to the southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, was mailed in the
month of October of 1966. After the letter had been mailed, all we could do
was wait to see what would happen.

By October of 1966, I had been practicing Veterinary Medicine for 13 years.
Our life patterns and day-to-day activities were fairly well fixed. The children
were attending Collinsville grade schools.

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                           AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Cary was 12 years old, Susan 11, Patty 10, and Clint 7. We were thoroughly
settled into the activities of a rural life.

I had a new Veterinary Hospital right next door to our large farmhouse, which
was situated on 160 acres. There were Toy and Silver the two Shetland
ponies, Gypsy and Golden Girl the two horses, with a wide assortment of
cattle, calves, chickens, tractors and all of the trappings of rural happy living.

Thanksgiving day 1966 we were seated at the Thanksgiving dinner table,
grateful to God for His blessings, which included a bountiful table. At that
point the telephone rang.

I picked up the receiver and the person on the other end of the telephone
said, "This is Roger Duck from Fort Worth. I am representative of the
Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board. How are you?."
I swallowed my mouthful of turkey and said "fine how are you?."

Mr. Duck proceeded to tell me that the Foreign Mission board had received
my letter and was interested.

He said that the foreign Mission Board did not arbitrarily send lay people (non
preachers) to the Mission Field. He said that the procedure was to contact all
of the Mission Fields around the world, to see if any of them had a need for
someone with my particular qualifications.

Mr. Duck said that they had in fact done that and that the Ghana West
African Mission needed an Agriculture Missionary or Veterinarian to serve in

It was necessary for him to repeat, what he said, especially the name
Nalerigu. We finished our conversation and I went back to the table where I
shared the news with my family, of an adventure that would change all of our
lives from that point on.

Doubts concerning this decision came in waves almost immediately.

              Doubts Flood In



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                                        AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       ALL YOU'VE           BUILT??


       WITH YOUR      FAMILY




       These are not all the thoughts by any means, just a few that come to mind

       Actually, it was a strange feeling having strong serious doubts on the one
       hand and at the same time, actively making decisions poured in concrete on
       the other.

       These torments never completely left me alone, but as time went along, a
       certain peace replaced the worries.

       Spiritual insight into the things that were going on seemed to show me that
       as I yielded more and more of my self to God, the doubts and worries
       subsided and an accepting peace replaced the worries.

       The months that followed brought appointment as Missionaries in Richmond
       Virginia in the spring3.

    Appointed Missionaries Richmond Virginia

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                                 AFRICAN ADVENTURE

              Our home church in Collinsville had this notice in the Weekly
              Bulletin dated April 6, 1967


              Last week the Foreign Mission Board met and
              approved the appointment of Louis and Billie
              Carlin as Foreign Missionaries to Ghana. They
              are the First Veterinary Missionaries to ever be
              appointed by the Southern Baptist Convention.
              We are "Busting our Buttons", we're so proud of
              this family and that they are from our church. It
              will be wonderful to know " A Real Live
              Missionary", and it will make us feel closer to our
              Foreign Mission work.
              Dr. and Mrs. Carlin leave Sunday for Richmond.
              They will be officially appointed in an
              appointment service at First Baptist Church,
              Richmond, next Tuesday Night, April 9. The
              week at Richmond will be spent in orientation.

The decisions that were to be made would have crossed King Solomon's
eyes. At every step of the way it was necessary to turn our backs on
something that only a short while before had been of supreme importance. I
had to dispose of my Veterinary Practice and Hospital, get rid of every thing
that we would or could not take with us.
The logistics of providing for four children and two adults for 3 years at the
minimum, was to be formidable.

The Foreign Mission Board placed me in contact with people in Ghana, who
would help me with my decisions. The board also had personnel who were
expert in all these things.

At our appointment we were introduced to the people who would guide us
through the task of moving to the mission field.

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

A friend and Veterinary School classmate agreed to take the practice, so that
left the disposal of all our things and the purchase and loading the things to
take with us.

The correspondence I received from Urban Green, the Missionary I was to
replace in Ghana said " you will need to bring any personal effects you will
need, including furniture, and food, especially food and clothing, because
either they can't be purchased here, or they are very expensive" In other
words bring what you can afford.

We were told that the Mission Board would pay for our moving expenses
with a precise formula, which in our family’s case was 853 cubic feet of
ocean freight. We were also told that they would pay a moving company to
move us or that we could do the crating and packing ourselves if we chose.

I discovered that ocean freight moving companies used 15 pounds per cubic
foot as their rule. Billie and I decided we would do it ourselves, because we
felt we could do better than 15 pounds per cubic foot. It seemed strange that
weight was not the significant factor that the cubic feet was, so we plunged
into the project.

It took several weeks of intense effort to purchase, assemble, crate, and
pack what we would take with us, and for those who might be interested I will
enclose as exhibits the documents that pertain to that adventure.

                            PUT UP OR SHUT UP

Every decision we were to make, seemed to involve life, death, or honor.
Decisions that would irrevocably effect my family and it's future.

In truth the time for lip service to God had passed, it was time to put faith into
action. We either trusted ourselves in God's hands or we backed off and
admitted that our commitment was superficial after all.

One thing that we discovered is that when we made our decision and
committed ourselves and our future into God's hands, he honored that
decision by increasing our faith and imparting to us a peace that He in fact

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                                    AFRICAN ADVENTURE

was worthy of our trust.

Strangely enough as a pragmatic self-motivated person I have never been
one to passively expect God to perform for me that which I could do for
myself, therefore when it became time to prepare to go, Billie and I entered
into the preparations with all the zeal and determination we could muster.

We were told how many cubic feet of material things we were allowed to take
with us and that we could do the packing the Foreign Mission Board or
ourselves would pay a mover to pack the amount of goods that would fill that
space and do it for us.

I was told that a mover usually figured as a rule of thumb that 15 pounds per
cubic foot was what they achieved on average. I was also told that the cost
of the ocean freight was so much per cubic foot and not by the weight.

It was obvious then, that if I could achieve greater density of packing than the
Professional mover, I came out ahead.

Being a typically hardheaded OKIE, I decided to do my own packing.

We were also told that life would be rigorous in Africa and that we should
bring what we could afford economically.

At this point this faith journey took on a decidedly logistical quality. Billie and I
attacked the problem with great determination.

We knew we must logistically provide for three years if possible.
We must provide food, clothing, and in fact all things necessary for survival
for tree years. The nearest grocery store and supplies would be over 100
miles from Nalerigu.

Cary our eldest son was 13, Susan our eldest daughter 12, Patty the
youngest daughter 11, and Clint our youngest son 7.

We were aware that the children were growing like weeds. During those
three years growth would probably accelerate. In addition Susan and Patty
would probably
pass through puberty while there so many things had to be considered.

One interesting thought kept surfacing. If following Christ in Christian service

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                                             AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       meant you must be willing to walk away from material things, what was the
       propriety of taking all this STUFF with us?.

       Prayer seemed to give me no clear direction, so we plunged into the effort to
       acquire and crate food and fiber for three years.

       In our briefings by personnel from the foreign mission board we were advised
       that the size of the crates was critical.

       If the crates were too small they would be crushed in transit. If they were too
       large for several men to carry even with a dolly, the crates would in all likely
       hood be rolled end over end and the contents thereby destroyed.

       With this in mind I decided to make my crates four feet by four feet by eight
       feet4. I decided to use four by eight foot three quarter inch ply wood,
       reinforced at the inside corners with two by four pine boards.

       My reasoning was, make the crates too heavy to move except with heavy
       equipment. A risky decision, but worth the risk I hoped.

       I could also see the plywood coming in handy later.

       We had a PAID FOR 54 Oldsmobile, so we decided to sell it and use the
       proceeds to finance our three-year Larder.

       Resourceful person that I am, I prevailed on a Wholesale Grocer to allow us
       to purchase items wholesale. This stretched our dollars handily.5

       As dry and uninteresting as statistical data is, I have endeavored to provide
       as much information as possible, for two reasons.

       The main reason is that looking back now in retrospect I am extremely proud
       of our performance. The STUFF we took with food, clothing, medicine, and
       every item proved to be a blessing and us.

       The second reason is that I think the reader will enjoy looking into our minds
       as he or she agonizes over each item with us.

    Crates Construction behind my Hospital
    Groceries and Supplies

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       We tried to be as wise as we possibly could be. We knew that we would be
       there three years, we figured that we might use about one Three pound tin of
       Crisco per month, so we decided on 36 three-pound tins of Crisco.

       We knew that fresh meat might be hard to come by, so we planned on four
       cases of Spam.

       It would be fun to individually go over each item, but it would take much too
       long. Be assured however we meticulously computed each item's weight-
       volume to value ratio.

       The inventory documents I present here for your perusal, were the original
       done by Billie and I. They may contain notes scribbled on them and they
       might have misspelled words but I present them as is in hopes you can glean
       from them, the humor, the dead serious intuitive excitement, that we
       experienced as we did it.

       The crates ultimately weighed in at 2740 pounds, 2520 pounds, and 3600

       In addition we had ten 55-gallon oil drums filled with canned goods, flour,
       powdered milk7 etc. That raised our gross weight to over 10,000 lbs.

       It is laughable now to look back at some of the things we did to increase
       density in the crates. We even took the cloth off the bottom of the divan and
       stuffed two cases of toilet paper into the open areas around the springs.

       It would be interesting I believe for me to mention the fact that we achieved
       about 22 pounds per cubic foot and that the crates, and the barrels arrived in
       Nalerigu virtually unscratched. Only one quart Mason jar of home canned
       green beans was broken.

       The completion of the packing was a milestone and added emphasis to the
       prospect of actually going on this missionary journey.

                       TRUCK AND GORDON VETERINARY BODY.

    Crates Loaded on Veterinary Hospital Dock
    Oil drums filled with canned food and supplies

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                                         AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       Much of what materials I took with me was the result of great thought
       planning that went on in my mind in those early, heady, days following the
       acceptance of the fact that the adventure was a go.
       Because I would be the first Veterinarian that had been appointed as
       missionary by the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, there was no
       precedent to follow.

       It would be necessary for me to guide the whole process very carefully.

       I was in contact by telephone frequently with the Foreign Mission Board
       people assigned to assist me.

       I knew that to accomplish anything while there I would need proper
       transportation, drugs and equipment.

       For several years in my practice there in Collinsville I had used a pickup truck
       with a Professionally manufactured veterinary Bed on the back.

       A company called Gordon manufactured the Veterinary bed. I was very
       proud of it. It had self-contained water storage, refrigeration, and
       considerable storage space for carrying every possible drug and instrument I
       could possibly want.

       I told the people at the Foreign Mission Board that I would like to take my
       truck fully equipped, with me. They thought about it for a while and informed
       me that they considered that a good idea.

       The next decision was who should own the truck. I was willing to take the
       truck as my own responsibility but after discussion it was decided that it
       would be better if they purchased the truck and all the drugs and equipment
       from me.

       After the decision to take the truck to Africa was finalized I immediately got
       busy preparing the truck for the trip.

       The truck was a new 1967 3/4 ton Chevrolet with my Gordon body8 on it. I
       decided that I would build a platform on the top of the body and mount a
       Camper shell on the platform, with the thought that I could use the camper
       shell for housing out in the bush if my work required it.
    Mobile Veterinary Clinic

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                                 AFRICAN ADVENTURE

I also decided to build a metal platform that extended from the back of the
truck about 42 inches. This would greatly increase my storage and ability to
take plenty of materials with me.

It proved to be a strange looking beast but it worked very well, and we were
able to give it a trial run when we departed Collinsville on our way to
Orientation in Black Mountain North Carolina.

Close to the end of Orientation we drove the truck and contents to Houston
Texas to be shipped to Ghana on November 18, 1967.

I have included interesting documents relating to the truck and it's contents
as it left Houston on its journey to Ghana.

                       The First of Many Goodbyes

Releasing my practice to someone else was emotional and difficult, as were
the goodbyes.

On Monday the 21st of August 1967, we left Collinsville and headed for 16
weeks of orientation at Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly in Black Mountain North

Actual check in and registration at orientation was scheduled for September
2, 1967. I decided to give ourselves nine days travel time from Collinsville to
Ridgecrest, in order to break the cycle of stress, we all had been

The weird configured truck, gave us a camping vehicle of sorts and we had a
good time spreading our wings as campers. The smoky mountains were a
fun place to camp. We were already a fairly close nit family but I think
camping has a way of drawing people closer together.

               Camping in the Smoky Mountains

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                                         AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       I am cooking a pot of stew. We arrived here in the Smokey Mountains9
       yesterday evening. For the first time I have found a moment to sit down and

       It rained just as soon as we got here but I got my tarp up quickly so it didn't
       bother us much. We have a nice place to camp with toilets just 50 to 60
       yards away.

       Billie is taking a nap, so I decided to cook a pot of stew in my stainless steel

       We went into town this morning for supplies and I got the makings for stew.
       Mixed vegetables, Okra, potatoes, tomatoes, beef, etc. It has been cooking a
       couple of hours, and it sure smells good.

       The hills are beautiful here. They are all covered with trees and there is a
       small stream just about 100 yards away where the kids have spent most of
       their time. Last night there was a program about wild life in the area. Every
       one enjoyed it. The Forest Ranger (naturalist) gave the program and he is
       highly educated with real ability.

       We probably will take one of the guided hikes tomorrow. They sounded very
       interesting, and the best part is that it will not cost us.

       We went through Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge Tenn. At
       Oak Ridge we went out to the Atomic Energy Museum and I really enjoyed it.
       We are camped in a camp called Elkmont. This is a National Park so the
       facilities are provided through the Park System. The area is clean and well
       cared for.

       We will probably stay here till next Sunday when we will go to Ridgecrest.

       I am going to have a hard time living up to my first performance with my new
       store bought beanie flip. Friday night we stayed in a roadside park near Oak

    Camping in the Smoky Mountains

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                                           AFRICAN ADVENTURE

        Ridge. Next morning while I was cooking breakfast, a squirrel ran through the

        I grabbed my slingshot and stalked the little beast. I only had one small steel
        ball. With great precision I drew back and let go and hit him right in the head.
        Needless to say he didn't even wiggle. So I real fast looked around for the
        approval of my witnesses.

        I stand real tall with Clint.

        This trip so far has been interesting. We are seeing beautiful country and a
        couple of nights we slept snuggled up to small rural churches.


        Orientation10 was inspirational, educational, and frustrating.

        It was difficult living communally with 98 preachers and their children. I don't
        mean that disrespectfully in any way. It was just difficult living in a small hotel
        like room after having our own large home. It was also difficult being cooped
        up so close to so many people.

                        The following News item was taken from the Foreign Mission

                        Foreign Mission News
                        Foreign Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention
                        Box 6597, Richmond 30, Virginia
                        Baker J. Cauthen, Executive Secretary
                        Ione Gray, Director Press Relations

                        98 MISSIONARY APPOINTEES
                        BEGIN TO EASE THE TRAUMA


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                                 AFRICAN ADVENTURE

RIDGECRIST, N.C.—"Something could happen here." That about sums up
what Dr. Jesse C. Fletcher told 97 new missionaries gathered in their first
session of the new 16-week orientation in the new Rhododendron Hall at
Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly.

        (The 98th, who stopped en route to have emergency surgery, was to
join the group before the end of the week. His wife and children came on)

        "This is not a new school, but a new community, "said the secretary
for missionary personnel for the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board.
"You did not choose each other, but that is part of the potential. The heart of
what you have in common is belonging to each other in Christ, and real
Christian community centers around Jesus Christ."

Dr. Fletcher talked of the skills the Foreign Mission Board expects the 16
weeks to bring to the participants.

"But something more basic can happen," he stressed.

"Each one of you can experience on a deeper level what it means to be a
redemptive person.

The order and calm of the first session at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday September 5,
1967 belied the frustrations of a Labor Day weekend of frantic last-minute
preparations and details for Rev. W. David Lockard, director of Foreign
Mission Board's orientation program, and Rev. Victor A. Green, his

Both missionaries, the director (on leave from Rhodesia) and his associate (
on furlough from the Philippines) had quite a time settling 48 families and
two single women down for four months of community living.

Coming to Ridgecrest was a sentimental journey for some of the new
missionaries. Here as teen-agers and young people they made decisions
that have brought them to this pause for preparation before going overseas.
Some served on the Ridgecrest staff during student days, as evidenced by
their skill in setting tables, serving, and cleaning up the dishes. (Men and
women alike help with the housekeeping and mealtime duties.)

      Least but not least are the 114 children., ranging in age from six-
week-old Steven Rader (parents: Rev. and Mrs. Dick A. Rader of Tecumseh,

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                                 AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Okla.) to 13-year-old Cary Carlin (Parents: Dr. and Mrs. Louis E. Carlin, of
Collinsville, Okla.). Two sets of expectant parents are joined buy 94
expectant "uncles" and "aunts".

There is a nursery and a preschool program for children below first grade.
Children in the first through fourth grades have their own school in the
children's building of the Ridgecrest Assembly.

Three missionary journeyman returnees are helping with the young children.
Janet Davis, of Owensboro, Ky., directs the preschool program. James
Rinker, of Midwest City, Okla., is principal of the four-grade school on the
Assembly grounds.

Annice Watley, of Cedartown, Ga., Teaches.
Fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders travel about three miles in their
own bus to Black Mountain. They will complete the fall semester about the
time their parents "graduate" just before Christmas.

Adults and children seem to have an abundance of the well-known humor,
which sees missionaries through frustrations and mood and weariness.

On Tuesday, first day of school on the grounds, a third-grader asked his
teacher to let the class out early. His reason: "This bunch kept me awake
until after midnight."

During his opening talk, Dr. Fletcher kept expressing his regret at not being
able to share the entire experience with the missionaries. Late that day about
a dozen of the men, paced along each side of his six-foot four-inch horizontal
frame , carried him from the Lacerate home and "baptized" him into their
"community" by throwing him into Lake Dew (quite dirty after a heavy
summer of children and ducks).

Lacerate got the same treatment, though hardly for the same reason since
he will be with them throughout the training. He went along peacefully,
perhaps to tired to struggle.
During the Labor Day registration, two men walked in for their keys. Asked
their names by the secretary on duty, the first answered "Hale," the other
"Hardy," (They are Dr. Broads D. Hale, of Albuquerque, N.M., and Rev.
Lawrence P. Hardy, of savannah, Ga.)
The Foreign Mission Board photographer took a shot of two men assembling
notebooks for the 98 enrollees. Checking identifications, he asked their

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                                 AFRICAN ADVENTURE

One said "Jones," the other "Smith," (They are Rev. Bobby L. Jones, of
Jones, Okla., and Rev. J. Wendell Smith, of Rineyville, Ky.)

Lockard praised Dr. Willard K. weeks, retiring manager of the Ridgecrest
Assembly, and Rev. Kenneth McAnear, manager-elect, for their untiring help
in meeting "weird and wonderful requests.” They probably think we stayed up
nights thinking up things we needed," he mused. "And we did!"

The second morning of orientation began with an address by Dr. Baker J.
Cauthen, executive secretary of the Foreign Mission Board, on "Why
Orientation?" He told the new missionaries, that the Board hopes the longer
period of stateside preparation will ease the trauma of adjustment to new
environments, help them to be more effective in their work with people ("to
bring what we say with words down to their hurt")

Also, sharpen their facility in language, stimulate them to explore more
effective missionary methods, increase capacity for closer community
relationships, bridge the transition from family and friends to anew "family"
and new friends, test their motivation and call, and give them a spiritual
environment in which to grow a more contagious Christian faith.

The rather slow-paced, relaxed proceedings of the first week are hardly
indicative of the intensive schedule to come. The basic orientation curriculum
includes cultural anthropology, cross-culture communication, applied
linguistics, and group dynamics.

Among supplementary courses are bookkeeping and fiscal responsibility,
missionary health, leadership principles and methods, protocol, piano,
mechanics, and electrical repairs and maintenance.

Better interpersonal relationships will be learned through lectures, support
groups, and personal and family counseling, as well as through the
community living built in the orientation.

Dr. Donald N. Larson, professor of linguistics and anthropology, Bethel
College, St. Paul, Minn., and Dr. Howard Law, professor of linguistics,
University of Minnesota, St. Paul, will head the training in linguistics and

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                        THINGS WE LEARNED WERE VALUABLE

        Most of the things we learned were valuable and very useful, and we
        developed some lasting friendships in that crucible.

        Orientation ended in December and we headed home to Oklahoma11 for one
        last visit before leaving for Ghana

        A change in life style of this magnitude, especially where it effects an entire
        family requires a lengthy lead-time. The anticipation and preparation
        consume much energy.

        We had many things to learn and our education was just beginning.

        With orientation over, the first order of business was travel. Travel, especially
        long distances involves airplanes, which lead to luggage concerns, and
        weight allowances of in this instance of 20 kilos each.

        Even though we had done a remarkable job earlier of packing tons of goods
        in the barrels and crates, it seemed prudent to go heavily laden when we
        boarded the Transworld Air lines for Rome.

                        Goodbye to Loved ones and the USA

        On January 20, 1967 final farewells were said to relatives and friends, and
        we boarded the aircraft with maximum weight luggage
        and in addition each of us was loaded with carry on luggage.12

        Billie penned these following thoughts and observations as we climbed
        aboard the airplane, weighted to the maximum with important STUFF.

     One Last Snowman before Africa
     Departure from Milton's home and Tulsa

                                                    Page 18
                                AFRICAN ADVENTURE


Only through the Lord's strength did Louis, Cary, Susan, Patty, Clint and I
manage to move our mountain of coats, books, cases, auto harp and
overstuffed purses up the plane ramp in Tulsa, Oklahoma and to our seats to
store it beneath the seats.

After steak and potato dinner topped off by cheesecake, it was time to fasten
seat belts for landing in New York at Kennedy Airport.

We are over the water now coming in for a landing. Cary, Clint, Patty and
Louis all have seats by the window. Louis has had a ball with the earphones
enabling him to hear nine channels of nine different kinds of music, with
classical his favorite.

Luckily a luggage cart was available which helped us on to gate #14. On the
way a camera strap was broken. At gate #14 we regrouped. We tied books
together (school books) for easier handling.

I just had to laugh as we moved along. Louis had on his suit. Over that he
had a sport coat and over that an over-coat with the pockets of each coat
filled. From a back view it was hilarious.

at gate #14 Louis surveyed the broken strap - reached in his case for suture
and in his pocket for a large suture needle and mended the strap.

We purchased a TWA bag and consolidated two pair of shoes, two books,
and two cameras. Louis sutured Clint's coat sleeves together at the cuff and
we put a pair of tennis shoes in each sleeve.

Now we are waiting for the chain to be taken down and we will be on our
THE FORUM" will be shown on the plane tonight.

It is strange and hard to realize we are sitting in New York ready to fly to

The plane is delayed on take off to load baggage. While sitting we learned it
cost $2.50 per person to get earphones for the music and movie. Flying time
will be seven hours and forty minutes.

                                         Page 19
                                 AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Rome. The taxi fair to the hotel was a thousand Liras.

We are on the plane to Accra. Left Rome 2:30 AM the children should be
asleep but are so restless. Clint and Patty are perpetual motion.

Louis just had me look out at unusual lights showing up on the clouds from

                           I REMEMBER ROME

The most noticeable thing was that the people were so very much like in

After getting our mountain of "things" to the room I fell on the bed exhausted
- my body and brain both numb.

Charles Oliver took the others to get a bite to eat as we were starved. To us
it was early morning but to the world of Rome it was shortly after lunch.

Louis brought back to the room to me a grilled ham and cheese sandwich,
very tasteless, also a piece of pizza. Only a small amount of cheese and
tomato sauce on very thick dough, also tasteless. I was very grateful
because I was so hungry. I ate some of each and drank water. The food was
wrapped in rough paper, with more refined paper inside.

But that's not all. He also brought a beautiful bouquet of six red roses with
stems almost a yard long and green ferns. He also brought a bunch of

Later the maid came to make the beds. We were short a bed and
communication was a problem but setting it up the rail fell across Patty's toe
causing a bad bruise. This gave her some trouble walking. We went to sleep
as soon as the beds were finished and slept the rest of Saturday afternoon,
evening, and night.

In the night Patty and Clint were up and had to be put down again with Clint
muttering "it is the longest night of the year"

                                          Page 20
                                 AFRICAN ADVENTURE

At 5:00 AM Sunday we were up, bathed, and dressed. We ate in the hotel
having eggs, ham, toast, jelly, rolls, and milk. All but the eggs and milk were
Italian influenced.

At 8:30 we took a tour to Saint Peters Cathedral. We heard and saw the
Pope, saw people entering confession booths, saw people kiss the toe of the
statue of St. Peter.

I wasn't prepared for the feeling I received upon entering the cathedral. We
had been in other buildings that day with statues. All leaving me with a cold
empty feeling. I had expected the same feeling here, however, as I stepped
into the Saint Peters God filled my presence and remained until we left.

Seeing the worshiping going on made me want reach out and tell them to be
still, and know that God is, and that they could go to him directly.

The streets were narrow for the bus to turn corners. Car traffic is heavy and
few traffic rules. We napped after an unusually served meal.

We sat in a "hole in the wall" and the waiter came from another hole in the
wall with the food.

By chance we ordered Cannelloni and had a nice surprise.

Clint and I napped since he wasn't feeling good. At 4:30 PM Louis and
children returned from a sight seeing walk just as Charles Oliver and family
arrived with a station wagon (small size).

Eleven of us crowded into the little car and saw Rome at night on the way to
The Baptist Publishing House.

We met Lillie Mae and Roy Stormer. Also toured the publishing house.

That night we slept well. The next day we shopped until 1:00 PM, ate lunch,
took an afternoon nap until 5:00 PM, then shopped again and packed to

Alatalia airline served us beautifully. Soon after boarding we were given
warm, wet towels to clean our hands. Slippers for our feet and blankets in
plastic wrappers.

                                          Page 21
                                            AFRICAN ADVENTURE

        Day light shines rosy over the horizon, stewards serving coffee. Patty and
        Clint wide-eyed and noisy again.

                                   END OF BILLIE'S FLIGHT DIARY

                                My Debut As A World Traveler

        It started getting daylight in the airplane about 3:00 in the morning according
        to my watch. I never did remember to change my watch after leaving home.

        I could see the light in the eastern sky about 3 o'clock. It got day light about 4
        o'clock. About the first place we could actually see land was probably some
        place over France. Probably between Paris France and Geneva Switzerland.

        The land was real pretty. It wasn't cut up in sections lines like home. The
        farms were irregular shape, and appeared to have hedgerows around them.
        It was green and pretty. The houses were different shaped than ours. I
        couldn't see any housing tracts like you would see at home.

        We kept on going and we could see bodies of water. As we got closer to
        Geneva we started to see some snow.
        We crossed the Alps13 Mountains close to the Matter horn. It was real pretty.
        Beautiful jagged mountains. The pilot said it was down there but as far as
        seeing the Matterhorn is concerned, I was never able to pick it out.

        I am sure I saw it, and just couldn't identify it.

        As we crossed the border into Italy we were probably flying about 25 to 30
        thousand feet. There was a lot of overcast. As we came over Italy you could
        see little villages all over the hills. Funny little housing areas, in patterns not
        familiar to me.

        All down in the valleys were roads and little homes everywhere. It seemed
        that there were just lots of dwellings.

        As we continued on we could see the Mediterranean. It was a beautiful blue.
        As we came along the western coast of Italy we came over some islands that
        you can see on the map. We came over Turin and Genoa.

     Alps and Matterhorn

                                                       Page 22
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

As we flew along I don't remember seeing Florence but I am not sure that I
would have recognized it. We flew over the island of Elba and we could see
Corsica off in the distance.
Finally we made our approach and landed at Rome. From the air, Rome is
an impressive sight. We didn't know what to look for but it is flat country,
somewhat tropical and yet it was cool, about 60°.

A lot of the roofs were tile and considerably different architecture than I and
familiar with. We saw what looked to be some barley or wheat with lots of
sheep grazing there.

We landed and every one was exhausted. We had our hands full, so it was a
chore making sure that we had all the books and things we were carrying
with us.

We went into the air terminal there and had our first taste of feeling lost in a
foreign language.

I was directed to the customs window where you had to show your passports
and all that stuff. We were watching for our bags, because we wanted to pick
them up.

We were there for just a few minutes when we noticed that Charles Oliver
our friend from orientation, was there to assist us through customs.

Charles will use his abilities as an English teacher as his contribution to

Charles and another missionary, Roy Stormer were there. And we were so
pleased that they were there. You can't imagine how much that really helped
to have them there. How wonderful to have someone that knew the language
enough to get you through that initial shock and confusion of dealing with a
new language and new culture.

I probably would have been to the point of having an ulcer if some one had
not been there to help. I could have weathered the storm, but how nice, not
to have had to go though that by my self.

We got through and got our bags and got them all loaded on a little cart. It
cost $7.30 to buy bus tickets into Rome. On the plane we met an older
couple that had been to Rome before, the helped us along with what to look

                                           Page 23
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

for as we drove into town.

As we drove along the old ancient streets, we saw the coliseum, a pyramid,
Titus Arch and so much more.

Billie was so exhausted that she slept most all the way into town, her eyes
were so heavy. Of course I was all eyes and I saw all the things I could see.

When we got into the depot down town, we unloaded our bags and hired a
little Fiat cab to take the bags to the Hotel that was just about a block away.
Billie and the kids walked and the bags and I arrived at the Hotel about the
same time.

It cost a thousand Liras to take the bags to the Hotel.

We checked in and went to our rooms and visited and rested for quite a little
while. Then Charles had to go on. He had to get back to his family.

Every one was pretty tired, I made every body sack out for a little while and a
"little while" stretched out to most of the night.

I got my rest out about eight or nine o'clock at night, so I decided I would go
out and look around. I had been warned that people would just come up to
you and offer to show you around and sure enough as soon as I walked out
of the hotel, this nice looking young fellow walked up to me.

I can't for the life of me remember how he said it, whether he said American
or Englase or what, but he recognized that I was a green horn and wanted to
know if I wanted him to show me around and possibly go out and get a drink
or something.

I told him no, I just wanted to walk around a little and look for myself. I went
on and walked the streets and feasted my eyes and spirit on the new sights
and strange people and market places.

Even in that late hour of ten or eleven o'clock at night there was much
activity. I window-shopped and saw this fountain.

There was a big square there, big buildings and just so much to see. I

                                           Page 24
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

walked around there for quite a while and then went back and went to bed.

Next morning we got up and had breakfast. One of our initial problems was
this food bit. They don't eat like we do and it is difficult for them to serve you
and it is difficult for us to know what to ask for and how to ask it.

I gather that they don't eat ham and eggs much, or cereal. They eat pastry
and coffee. They have a strange way of making coffee. They call it
Copachino. It seems it is coffee and milk and maybe a little Coco I don't
know. They steam it and it makes quite a bit of racquet like steam going into
fluid. It comes out with quite a froth on it.

It is real strong and everyone thinks that it is just great. The people just
crowd around the places to get it.

I had one or two and it wasn't necessarily the best thing that I had ever
tasted. I could endure it, but it was not all that good to me.

Coffee is terribly strong when you do get a cup of coffee.

I had a little hard time convincing the kids to eat at least something. Clint got
a little sick at his stomach the first day. It was probably just the lack of fluid
and a lack of food, because he didn't eat anything. The uneasiness of being
on the plane and irregularity as far as meals were concerned must have
messed him up.

Finally Sunday evening he complained about his stomach. He vomited and
immediately started feeling better.
 He just had a sour gut I guess.

Sunday morning we got up and went down and bought tickets for a tour. I
think that was one of the wisest things we did. It cost 2000 Lira each. The
exchange rate is kind of wispy, it just depends on whom you get to do the
exchange but the current rate is about 620 Lira per Dollar.

We got all the way from 600 to 619. We never did get 620.

We got on the bus about nine o'clock and went around to the various points
of interest. There are many points of interest in Rome.

                                            Page 25
                                        AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       One of the fun things that happened on the tour was when the tour guide
       would stop the bus, and tell us "now you can take-a-de-pikture". The guides
       know the city very well and particularly what tourists would like to see.14

       For someone with limited time, tours are a must, because the tour guide and
       bus driver know exactly the things we wanted to see.

       We saw the Pantheon and many others. Some of the buildings were built
       back in the 17 hundreds.

       We went out to Saint Peters Basilica. There were thousands of people there.
       I got lots of pictures.

       At straight up 12 o'clock the Pope15 opens the shutters on his upstairs
       window and blesses the people below. As luck would have it the batteries
       ran down on my moving picture camera about that time so I didn't get that.

       I did get some 35mm slides of the Pope however.

       Inside Saint Peters Basilica is really fabulous. The architecture in there is
       staggering. One thing that we had been told to look for was the people
       walking by and kissing the big toe of the statue of Saint Peter. The people
       would rub their forehead on the toe and wipe the toe with a handkerchief.

       I was impressed that it might be well for us to have a genuine OKIE
       BAPTIST PRAYER MEETING right there in front of Saint Peter, so we held
       hands and a little season of prayer. We asked God for clearer understanding,
       knowledge and I asked the Lord to bless those people that were there in
       ignorance and maybe shed a little light for them.

       All in all the beauty was staggering. Just the architecture alone was beyond
       words. How the builders could have built something this beautiful and
       complex without machinery and put them together with such a degree of
       nicety that it still stands, is just an amazing thing with me.

       After the tour we visited and I made the children take a nap in the afternoon.

     Rome Tour

                                                  Page 26
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Sunday night we were invited out to a missionary’s home. We drove through
the streets of Rome Sunday evening.
Sunday afternoon the kids and I went for a walk and no telling how far we did
walk because I like to have not made it back, my feet hurt so much. If I had
not been so big I would have cried, my feet hurt so bad.

We went down and walked through the Coliseum. It is a magnificent
structure. The engineering there is something special. It would speak well of
any architect today.

We just feasted and feasted on all those sights. We got to see the actual
prison where the Apostle Paul was kept, and that was quite a thrill to see

We saw the Roman Forum and so many of the structures and sights we
have seen in the literature.

On Monday morning we went out shopping and enjoyed seeing the people
there going about their daily routines. We saw an outdoor street market.
People just out in the middle of the street selling just about everything you
can think of.

We saw meat markets with actual beef and pork and I swear I don't know
what it was, but it looked like a big dog all skinned. It probably wasn't but it
sure looked like it. The market was reasonably clean but it was open air and
they had all kinds of vegetables, some I recognized and some I didn't.

They had all kinds of "Fruita" . That is another thing that they serve at
breakfast "fruita juice".

Cary and I went around and shopped in several shops. We went into one
place where they could not speak English and I couldn't speak Italian. We
kept pointing and I bought some string. I new they wouldn't understand
yards, so I said "six meters" and Oh! they understood that. I bought six
meters of a heavy cord that I had in mind for tying the trunks with it. We had
a good time there.

We went on up the street where I bought a little bottle of perfume. The lady
clerk could not speak English but we Ooed and Ahhed and smelled and
finally bought a small bottle of perfume.

As we walked along, we got to smelling something that sure smelled rank.

                                           Page 27
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Pretty soon we came upon a fish market that was pretty potent.

We saw another meat market with lots of hams in the window and lots of
different kinds of meat.

We saw a music store with Accordions.

It was getting close to noon so we went back and found Billie and the rest of
the kids. We went a little Italian place and had some Italian food, and got
along real well.

I had Cannelloni and enjoyed it. The most fun was watching a rotund Italian
fellow eating a big plate of spaghetti and a whole chicken at the same time.
This fellow could sure put it away.

After lunch we went back to the Hotel and all had a nap.

Monday night about eleven or twelve o'clock we checked out of the hotel and
went down to the depot and sat until close to one o'clock, when we got on
the bus and went out to the airport which is a long drive, maybe 25 miles.

We got on the airplane that was a DC 8, and a very nice one it was. We had
been told that the Alatalia airline had something to be desired but we were
just very pleased with it.

The upholstery was dark brown naugahyde and it seemed like it had more
spacious seats than what we had already experienced.

We boarded the airplane and left Rome about 2:30 AM for Africa.

We could see lights on the ground and the moon was pretty bright. We could
see the waters of the Mediterranean.

One place that was real interesting was a place with heavy over cast. You
could see the moonlight glistening off of the clouds. Then as we flew along I
could see the bright yellow dancing light of several big fires on the ground.

I couldn't see what it was actually but I surmised that it was fires from oil
production in Libya or Tunisia. The bright eerie light was beautiful.

All through the night I had my head in the window hoping that I would get a
look at the sands of the desert. Closer to daylight I could see general outlines

                                           Page 28
                                 AFRICAN ADVENTURE

of the terrain but
no details. I had really hoped to see some sand dunes.

When we were approaching Lagos Nigeria to land, the sky was so full of
clouds, fog and dust, that we had to circle around there for about 20 minutes
before the pilot decided that we might as well go on over to Accra and land

The air was dirty there but was clear enough to make a landing.

Until we were within a few miles of Accra we could not see the ground. The
clouds were not the towering cumulus variety, just thick low clouds.

On our approach into the Accra airport we could see a terrain much like
Arizona. It looked like poor soil, a lot of erosion, with only a few trees. You
could see some round pens or corals with Brahma cattle in them.

My general impression from the air, was that of a poverty area, little shacks,
some larger buildings, poorly designed, and certainly not an affluent area.
The geography reminded one of Arizona, even the architecture was
somewhat similar to Arizona.

After we landed, Nadine Lovan and Wanda Carpenter met us.

Rome had been cool, in the 60° area. Africa was hot so we immediately
started pulling off clothes. It was not unbearable but it was very hot.

We had to go through customs. The people were eager to carry our luggage.
The airport is somewhat under construction. If they ever get it finished it
should be nice.

We got through custom with very little trouble. We had to declare what things
we had, but they didn't find it necessary to open our bags so we went along
pretty fast.


It grieves me to relate this part of the story, but I would be dishonest if I
did not.

                                          Page 29
                                   AFRICAN ADVENTURE

In retrospect I have decided it was Spiritual Warfare.

After clearing customs we walked out into a considerably different world than
we had known up to this time.

We so much wanted to "make a difference ". We wanted to proclaim to the
World our devotion to God. We wanted the opportunity to serve.

After a warm greeting at the airport. Nadine Lovan, the Mission person
assigned to greet us, took me aside and said "I am sure everything will work
out OK, but I need to tell you that some members of the mission are having
second thoughts about asking you to come here"

My heart and spirit was dealt a devastating blow. I thought "If this is true why
on earth have they waited until now to express their fears??"

I wanted to know if possible the reason for this vacillation and indecision. My
life and my family's life was totally dedicated to this enterprise. We had
proved ourselves I thought by our actions, and now to be
informed that we were not welcome was a blow beyond our comprehension.

I asked if there were reasons for doubting us.

Nadine said " They are afraid that an Animal Doctor might reflect negatively
on the image of the Nalerigu Hospital"

What could I say in reply. The weight of this enormous hurt descended
mainly on me, but actually on my whole family.

I thought "what should I do?. What can I do?". What actions I had taken
could not in many cases be reversed.

My home church looked on me as something special. I had taken a stand for
God and paid a price, albeit a small price, in comparison to the price Christ
had paid.

Being dropped literally into this crucible of visual and emotional overload, I
just could not decide what to do.

All the while I was being told " I am sure it will work out"

It was not long before a word here, and word there, helped me realize that

                                             Page 30
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

evidently it was the Medical Doctors at the Hospital who were concerned that
a Horse Doctor so close might contaminate their image.

Understanding this, it seemed an easy situation to solve. Send us someplace
else, away from their Hospital.

As this story unfolds I will only mention this situation specifically as the
events warrant.

Billie and the children went on in a cab and we followed along later with our
bags and everything.

Later we went out sight seeing and was amazed at the unbelievable sights. I
hope that I am able to describe in adequate words what we see, because it is
almost overwhelming.

My moving pictures may be the only way you will be able to grasp what we
are seeing. The streets are wall-to-wall people. The impression you get is
that they are dirty and poor by in large. The streets are dirty also, filled with
people in perpetual motion.

It appears that everyone is peddling something and packing what they sell on
their heads.

It may take some time to share all these things with you. We even drove
down town at night to see what the night activities looked like. There are
people sleeping on the streets, and considerable traffic moving everywhere.

It seems they all have something on their heads especially the women. Many
women have what looks to be a porcelain dishpan on their head, with
bananas, oranges, plantain etc. in it.

Plantain is a fruit that looks like a banana, but needs to be cooked and eaten
much like a sweet potato or fried.

We saw a man walking along with ink pens, colored glasses, and other office
supplies. One woman had a tiny baby on her back and was selling
cigarettes one at a time.

I don't know where original wealth comes from but they seem to be living off
one another selling each other things.

                                            Page 31
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

The dollar here is called a Cedi and a penny is called a pesawa. Roughly a
Cedi is worth about $1.02, which makes conversion relatively easy.

My truck, which had been shipped out of Houston Texas, was in Tema, a
seaport city about 20 miles from Accra.

We drove over to clear the truck out of customs. This was really our
introduction to the African bureaucracy and a whole new language.

Seeing my truck, from all appearances in one piece, was an emotional event
for me. Even though it belonged to the Foreign Mission Board, it was mine
and I was so happy to sit my bottom down in that seat.

They had told us that the truck wouldn't start and that there must be
something wrong with it. They had to drag it where it was. I didn't know if
someone had played the radio and run the battery down or what. I went over
there and looked it over and a strange thing had happened to the truck.

Evidently in the picking up of the truck with the crane or something, the
positive battery cable had become pinched between some metal and had
completely discharged the battery.

I fixed the battery cable and put a new battery in it but all it would do is
backfire and crank and backfire and crank. I just knew that someone and
fiddled with it and had rearranged the spark wires and got them out of order.
I had my manual that I had gotten from Jack Bates, but I just couldn't figure it
out. I looked and looked and worried with it and finally someone said would
you like us to get a "fitter" which is the African term for mechanic. I said sure
go get one, we will see what he can do.

They brought this African fellow and I told him what I had done and what I
thought and he said Uh Huh like most mechanics would at home and then he
reached in his pocket and got out a little piece of emery cloth and he looked
at the points. I had already looked at the points and couldn't see anything
wrong with them.

He dressed the points just a little and by George it started right up. When it
was shorting out it must have burnt the points. Evidently it had sit there long
enough for the oil to drain down and it knocked a little when it first fired up.

It started off and we drove into town. There is another interesting thing that I
had to learn and am still having to be careful with. I am trying to remember to

                                            Page 32
                                   AFRICAN ADVENTURE

drive on the left hand side of the road.

You get along pretty good when you are on the straight away but when you
are turning corners and going around traffic circles, it is a little confusing and
frightening to be on the left hand side of the road when cars start coming at
you from every which way.

Some times I have lapses of memory but so far I haven't run over any one
and haven't gotten run over. I have every one watching with me and there
will be no hard feelings if they warn me of a mistake.

When I start drifting of to the right hand side of the road, everyone hollers at

Sometimes I get hollered at when I am just trying to miss some one but at
least we haven't had any trouble yet.

The truck was just absolutely filthy, so we washed it and got it all cleaned up
and the polished it.

I got my Ghana drivers license. Each little task takes much time. They seem
to have all the time in the world, so they don't hurry. It is really a chore to get
any kind of paper work done. It is a good thing that I had someone guiding
me through all this or I would probably never get it done.

It seems that bureaucracies are all alike only the African is more so. If you
want things to move along at any speed at all you must grease the wheels of
progress with a bribe, which in Ghana is called a "dash". In not a subtle a
manner you are requested to " dash me".

Now this practice of bribery is certainly not unique to Africa, however it is
pervasive and must be dealt with. This presents problems to a Christian
Missionary Organization.

The Church is supposed to represent honesty, truth, and fairness in dealing
with one's fellow man. In the final analysis you do what you have to, but you
keep the unsavory practice of "dash me " to a minimum.

The trip of 20 miles from Tema to Accra was my debut of driving on the left
hand side of the road. I had occasional lapses of memory. but all in all I did
quite well.

                                             Page 33
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Being some what overwhelmed by the occasion, and in a rather generous
mood I gave several people a ride on the back of my truck. It made quite a
spectacle as we moved along with this mass of people clinging to the back of
a strange shaped vehicle.

Someone new to this culture is almost thrown into visual overload on his
introduction to the Ghana African culture.

The cities are filled with people on the move. Every conceivable mode of
transport is used. One of the most colorful in Ghana is the Mammy Lorry,
which is a ton or ton and one half truck with a flat bed covered with a canopy
and benches. These generally are filled to bursting with people.

The Mammy lorry is brightly painted and have names and sayings painted on
the truck and sides.

In addition to being highly motivated and wanting to make as significant a
contribution as I could, I wanted this time of adventure in Christian service to
be a time of personal growth for me and my family. I savored each moment
and each encounter with people.

I was intelligent enough to realize that there would be unhappy moments and
disappointments but this was our opportunity to become more than a
provincial Oklahoma farm Veterinarian.

I wanted God to sensitize my eyes to see beyond the ordinary, to perceive
the essence of what I was to encounter.

I think it would be well for me to say here that I never felt the presence of
danger for me or for my family. I can't say whether this was a peace that God
gave me or just what, but I felt comfortable with the Ghanaian people and
found them easy to love.

Now that is an interesting thought "easy to love" I had given that issue
thought before our arrival. The capacity to love sometimes the un-lovely is a
spiritual gift from God, so I suppose I was in fact preconditioned for this

Our few days in Accra were filled with being introduced to the Baptist Work
that was in progress there. There was a school for children, and a Church.

                                           Page 34
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

One Missionary couple and their children were involved in a radio ministry
where a correspondence school was promoted.

We went down to the ocean and the kids went in swimming and really had

When it was time for us to head north to Nalerigu, Billie, Susan, and Patty
went on a commuter plane, while Cary, Clint, and I drove the truck,
accompanied by a missionary to guide us.

It was 160 miles and took 6 hours of hard driving to do it.

The old truck is loaded so terribly heavy. I took that contraption off the back
end of the truck and had it along with one of the spare tires and had them
shipped to Nalerigu.

We completely rearranged and repacked the truck. I thought sure that I was
trough packing the darn thing, but we weren't.

The old truck is loaded so heavy and the roads are so bad. You just can't
imagine how bad the roads are. They have had big trucks go over the roads
and they are so wash boarded the you just bump bottom and the tires rub on
the under side of the fenders.

We did pretty good considering all making 160 miles in six hours. I got about
12 miles per gallon. At first I thought "my I am doing better than I thought" I
got 16 miles per gallon on my mileage but then I remembered that here they
sell an Imperial gallon which is an extra quart.

Most of the time we went 20 to 25 miles per hour most of the time. The
African drivers drive very fast and honk their horns all the time. Buses are the
worst but I just hunt a hole and let every one go around and we got here.

Even before arriving in Ghana the kids and I had discussed the possibility of
getting to see a "Real Jungle". We wanted to see what a Jungle looked like.
The only Jungles we had seen were in the Tarzan films.

We saw the nearest thing that we are ever going to see that looks like a
jungle. It was deep impenetrable forest with big trees, lots of trees and lots
of people, but it did not look like Tarzans jungle.

I seldom ever honk at any body, but here if you don't honk they get mad at

                                           Page 35
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE


We would go through little towns with real old dirty buildings and lots and lots
people in peculiar dress. I will have to show you the people and their dress in
pictures later on.

We got to Kumase about one o'clock and we had lunch.

After lunch they took us out to look around and here it is absolutely
unbelievable you can't imagine it. I hope that my moving pictures will show
you what we saw somewhat.

This missionary journeyman girl took us down into the market place.
The market place was, I wish I had a tape recorder that could record odors
because the smells I am sure would make Mama sick at her stomach. She
just couldn't have taken it. The odors were stifling.

The latrines were very odiferous, and you walk through there and there is
garbage piles and vultures, real big vultures. The surrounding buildings and
trees are just full of vultures.

The place is just packed with people. I never so many people in my life. Just
all kinds of humanity. We took some pictures there and then we went down
into the market place. It was like a bowl affair.

The isles are dirty filthy and all the women have tiny babies on their backs,
and here again every body is selling something. Every thing imaginable was
there for sale. Hardware, radios, bread, talcum powder, clothes, and this is
just one area. The was one area where people were making clothes. More
Singer sewing machines than I have ever seen before in my life. There were
little cubby holes, with 5 or 6 sewing machines with men and women sewing
on them, some doing fancy stitch work. Some making uniforms etc.

Some tailors were making these garments that men wear. They look like a
shirtdress, where the tail goes clear to ankle level.

There were places making sandals out of old tires. They were cleverly
designed and they made thousands of them.

We went into an area that smelled so bad, that the rendering plant would
have smelled sweet. It was a fish market. The fish must have been what the

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

vultures were after, because the vultures were up there in the trees
screaming and eager for something.

The fish was undoubtedly smoked. It looked rotten and smelled rotten.
Sometimes they picked the flesh off of the bone and sell little pieces, I guess
you might say fillet. They would talk to me and smile (I couldn't understand a
word) and I would smile back.

The called us "BRUNI" which translated meant white man. I don't think they
meant it as a word of disrespect however.

They would grin a big snaggled toothed grin and say "Bruni" as a greeting.

Another food that they had there, was called Foo Foo. It was Cassava all
mashed like mashed potatoes.

They don't have any wrapping paper here, so they use leaves. If someone
wants to purchase something, they wrap it in a leaf. If you want to buy a few
peanuts, they roll up a leaf.

Food was eaten mostly with fingers it appeared.

There were isles of mostly vegetables. No sibilance of sanitation, lots of flies

I know my adjectives are running out, but that is a capsule view of what we
saw. I just wish I could convey the odors to you.

We walked around there until we all pretty well had enough, so we walked
out of there and like I said it was unbelievable.

It was funny, the people seemed to have extra interest in the children. I
guess they don't see that many white children because they wanted to touch
them. They called the children "Pickens" I didn't pursue the meaning of the
word but I wonder if that is where the word "pickaninny" comes from?.

I need to go back and look at the market again, just to see if what I saw really
happened. It was such a vivid experience.

After the market walk, we came back to the house and rested before supper.

After supper we went to a church youth rally. It was really nice and we

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

enjoyed it. Of course it was Baptist and much like youth rallys at home.

They showed a short Southern Baptist movie called "The Answer". They
seem to really enjoy movies.

The next morning we went down town again sight seeing. This is Saturday
and there are lots and lots of people.

We went to some wood carver shops where they were carving Elephants out
of a beautiful wood. They were carving things out of Mahogany and Ebony.
They seem to be excellent craftsmen.

The use even the small scraps of Ebony to make jewelry. I am going to resist
the temptation to buy some of these things now and defer to later after we
have been here for a while.

We went down to a place to find out about the road on up to Tomale. They
said the ferry was not operative, so we will have to take the long way around.

We will leave for Tomale early Monday morning. Evidently road is rough with
lots of chug holes. It may take the biggest part of a day to drive it. We haven't
decided yet who will go with me and who will fly.

I guess poverty is somewhat relative. Measured by American standards
everyone and everywhere here is poverty-stricken and yet I don/t have the
feeling that these people consider themselves in poverty.

They seem to move about quickly pursuing their lives with eagerness and a
good deal of joy and happiness.

I was impressed with the apparent entrepreneurial drive of all these people. I
have always admired a person with what I call "hustle" and everywhere you
look here people are hustling.

The visual signals that I interpret hustle may in fact be activities of survival
but I must admit I have to admire a person who is busy pursuing a better life.

It has been hot and humid and we sweat a lot. We have noticed a slight rash
on Billie's shoulder and I have a rash similar to poison ivy on my belly. It
could be heat rash I guess.

There are a lot of little colloquial terms that we will need to learn here. For

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                                   AFRICAN ADVENTURE

instance if something is expensive, they day it is very "dear". If they are going
to give a gratuity or an inducement to give exemplary service you "dash" the

Almost every price here is negotiable and you are expected to bargain with
the person for the item. A rule of thumb I am told is to offer the person 1/3 of
the asking price and then dicker over it.

This practice is not my cup of tea, but I guess I will have to learn.

One tragedy we have had already is my 8mm Movie projector. I tried to use it
to show some movies and I must have burned out the motor because it spit,
smoked and then quit working. I was using a voltage converter and
everything but it might have been the 50-cycle current that did it.

Cool clothes are a must here. Clint and Cary have made short pants of their
long pants and Susie and Patty are using as little as possible.

From the looks of things at this early time in this adventure, I imagine that we
are going to be very pleased with our decision to bring so much food and
clothing and things. To use the word that these people use THINGS HERE

Just regular old crackers (The British call them Biscuits) are unsalted and
cost over $2.00 per box.

One thing that we learned yesterday, the mission just failed to tell us about,
is that we will have a $100.00 per month income tax to pay on the little dab
that missionaries are paid. In fact we learned that the first $100.00 has
already been paid.

Another thing that has caught our attention since our arrival here, is the
abundance of lizards. They are everywhere. Various sizes up to 7 or 8
inches long. Sometime they bob their head up and down when they are
looking at you.

We have see lots of different kinds of trees. We saw some Cashew nut trees,
some almond trees, some pretty flowering trees, and some we have not
learned the names.

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                                   AFRICAN ADVENTURE

The humidity must drop quickly as we travel further north toward Nalerigu.

We were taken out to the Baptist Seminary where they teach Ghanaian
young men to be preachers. We spent the day out there. They have 18 acres
and it is landscaped real nice. The buildings are not elaborate but very nice.

While out there they had a picnic for us. Every thing is so different here I
think you would be interested in the food that was served.

The wieners were canned and tasted like Vienna sausage. Our hostess Mrs.
Verner baked the hot dog buns.

It is interesting that the missionaries seem to substitute and make do. The
wieners cost .75 per can they told us.

They served small chips of some sort, which come dried in a can. You take
these and drop these in hot deep fat and all of a sudden they foam up and it
makes it into a tasty little chip of some sort.

They had onion flavored, tomato flavored, and some other flavor that I can't

They had some homemade ice cream made with canned milk.

Mrs. Verner made homemade buns that were very good. There is lots of
bread baked here and sold on the street, but it is not wrapped and so it must
collect dust, dirt and germs all day or until it is sold.

The women pack big stacks of small loaves of bread on a flat disk on top of
their heads. They work a long line of cars, lorries, and buses. The dust is
terrific so the person eating the bread, either eats the dirt or if he is of a mind,
he can blow it off before eating it.

I forgot to tell you that the mustard for the hot dog, comes in a toothpaste
tube. You just squeeze it onto the hot dog.

The salt here is larger granules than home and not as white.

I noticed a funny thing the day I picked up the truck in Tema. I had about 5
bottles of Pepsi that I had purchased at Lamberson service station in
Collinsville the day I left there.

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                                   AFRICAN ADVENTURE

When the people saw the Pepsi, they wanted one because they said Pepsi
from home was better than one bottled here. I was surprised but told them
sure have one.

They savored the taste and declared it to be better. There were a couple of
houseboys that worked for Nadine there and they wanted one. One
houseboy with a little more seniority said "I'll tell you, you let me taste it and
I'll tell you how it tastes. I just laughed and said "go ahead and have one"

I haven't tasted a local Pepsi to see if there is any difference yet.

Something that happened this afternoon that I particularly enjoyed was when
I heard a lot of drumming and singing and went to find out what it was.

There was an African funeral going. It was not too far from the Seminary so I
went down there to see what I could see.

The custom here is that when someone dies, all the friends and relatives get
all dressed up and gather and have a big party.

If it is a pagan funeral, every body gets loaded on strong alcoholic drink. If it
is a Christian funeral they drink non-alcoholic drinks. They beat the drums
and dance several days and give the diseased a dandy send off.

I went over there and stood around for a little while and then I asked for
permission to come in to the compound area. They said that I was welcome,
so I went in.

I asked for permission to take pictures and was told it would be ok. When
they saw my
moving picture camera they all brightened up and danced up a storm. The
old women were dancing and young women were dancing and the chief saw
what was going on and he got up and started dancing.

He was a big fellow with an interesting face, so I put the close up lens on his
face and took some footage of his face. I think you will find it interesting to
study the facial expressions and body language of all these people.

Notice that they are colorfully dressed in similar cloth. I am not sure of this,
but I think I was told that the family of the diseased furnishes this cloth for the
participants and the funeral winds up costing quite a lot of money.

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                                   AFRICAN ADVENTURE

I was later to find out that the Christian Church has taken it on itself to try to
change this practice, because it is a terrible financial burden on the families.

It is too bad the Church in America doesn't try to change some of the dumb
things we do there.

This fellow that died must have been a Lorry driver. A lot of his buddies,
other Lorry drivers were there.

We stayed around there for a good while and was cordially received.

After we left there we drove up to a housing compound not far away. I didn't
get any pictures of it, but I will. It is built in a circular fashion with eleven or
twelve rooms. It has a concrete floor and they cook outside,

It was built out of mud and then stuccoed, so that it is reasonably permanent
that way.

It is a clear dark night now and Cary and I are out in the back yard listening
to some drumming and singing, coming from a church across the way.

It is new to us but it has a very haunting quality. They must be beating on
something metal also because we can hear a metallic sound, not quite a bell

While standing on unfamiliar ground and listening to the unfamiliar sounds,
we looked up at the sky and at that moment we might well be back in
Collinsville Oklahoma. There above us was the constellation Orion an old
friend who many nights has looked down on me as I delivered calves.

I had never considered it before , but we take the heavens and stars so
much for granted in this modern day.

For travelers of old, you can imagine that the clear night sky and all it's stars
were the only constant that could be depended upon.

We left Kumase at 7 AM for the next leg of our journey north. Patty and Clint
were my companions on this adventure.

It was a terrible road. Dirt road most of the way. The road was narrow. At one
place it was so narrow that I clicked mirrors with another truck and broke the
class in my right mirror.

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                                AFRICAN ADVENTURE

The whole countryside was on fire. This is a practice I am told every year
during the dry season.

I had been given some checkpoints to watch for and these were showing up

There was some road repairs going on along part of the road. They were
spreading more dirt on the road in hopes of smoothing out the chug holes.

We came on a young fellow who looked like he wanted and needed a ride,
so I stopped at picked him up.

The young fellow could speak very little English so we had much difficulty

Most of the time he did not speak unless spoken to. I did ask a few questions
and we did worry though a few answers.

One amusing thing did happen while he was with us. We were driving along
a very rough section of the road and there were big fires burning along that
section of the road. I decided to get out and take some pictures.

After taking my pictures we started again only to see a very large rat run
across the road. The young fellow got very excited and wanted me to stop
the truck, so I stopped and out he went very fast and took out after the rat.

The ground was very rough and he was barefooted but he was in hot pursuit
of the rat. I tried to help a little but soon gave up the chase.

The rat got away, but we had fun with chase.

Soon after getting underway again the fellow indicated to me that this is the
place he wanted to get out. We said our good buys and continued on toward

We arrived in Tomale about 2:00 PM, and found our way out to James
Foster's house where Billie, Susan, and Cary were waiting and resting after
their trip north on the Airplane.

We took a tour around Tomale that Monday evening and then got a night of

                                         Page 43
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

much needed rest.
The next day we went to meet the Chief. He was an old man with a rugged,
craggy old face. He sat down and invited us to sit down. There seems to be a
certain protocol to be followed in greeting a stranger, which includes shaking
hands and some necessary small talk.

Foster introduced me as a new missionary that happened to be an Animal
Doctor, being assigned to Nalerigu. He considered that and said that he
thought it would be better if I could stay in the Tomale area.

After sitting and visiting a few minutes he spoke to an aid and the fellow left
and returned with a guinea and a bundle of yams and presented them to me
as a gift.

I realize it was a routine gesture, but it pleased me a great deal. While sitting
there I noticed that his horse had one messy eye. It looked to be a plugged
nasolacrimal duct, the duct that drains tears from the eye into the nostril.

I told him what I thought it was and that tomorrow about 4 PM I would come
back and treat the horse. We said our goodbyes and left there.

The next day I went out to Pong Tomale where the Veterinary School is
located. This school trains young men to be Para Veterinary medical

I had a nice day. I just drove in there and introduced myself and was
introduced to an African Veterinarian who spent a good part of the day
showing me around.

I was very much impressed with the facility and what I was told of the goals
and operation.

I was also introduced to a Canadian Veterinarian Dr. Chuck Morris who lived
there on the compound.

Dr. Morris invited me to go on a call nearby to see a case of Foot and Mouth
Disease. I had never seen this disease before so I was eager to go. We
drove out there in his Land Rover and as luck would have it the cattle were
not where we could see them.

Dr. Morris invited me to have lunch with him and his wife Eilene. They had a
very nice comfortable home with many African pieces of furniture and curios.

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

They also had a parrot that was kind of naked from molting for a long time.

I thought that he might have a feather mite that could be causing the
problem, so I got my microscope out and took a scraping but could find no

When the time was nearing for me to go to attend the Chief's horse I left and
drove back to the Chief's compound.

I got my twitch out and a tube of Soxipent. We twitched the old Stud horse
and I put the nozzle of the tube of Soxipent into the nasal opening of the
naso-lacrimal duct.

I told the fellows standing around to watch the right eye and then I emptied
the contents of the tube up into the duct. In a second or so the white
medicine came out of the corner of the eye and boy was it fun to watch their
faces and hear them as they reacted to what they were seeing.

Needless to say they were very impressed. I dispensed them some follow
up eye medicine and we went back home.

Early the next morning we left Tomale for Nalerigu. Billie and three of the
children went in an automobile with Don Reynolds a young journeyman
Missionary and Susan came with me in the truck.

It took us quite a little bit longer for us to make the journey than it did them.
What I had experienced before this in bad roads was not any thing to
compare with what we were to experience when we got within 30 or so miles
of Nalerigu.

It just changed from a road to just a trail really. It was very rough and I had to
inch along in the truck to keep it from bumping bottom all the time.

We got into Nalerigu about noon, which made a 5-hour trip of 105 miles
between Tomale and Nalerigu.

It is powder house dry here. It is a dark dreary day but the darkness is
caused by the dust and smoke in the sky. There is a name for this weather
and it is called "HARMATAN" it comes every year and is
a prevailing dust laden wind off of the Sahara desert.

The Harmatan just controls the weather in this part of the world. The humidity

                                            Page 45
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

is very low and the air is full of dust and smoke.

Another thought worth exploring is the fact that we in America are very
results oriented. We expect effort to produce results, and when it seemingly
does not in reasonable time, we experience frustration.

Even though I had given this thought before our arrival I was not prepared for
the amount of frustration that was to come.

Driving into the Nalerigu Hospital compound was a strange experience of
mixed emotions.

This was the place we thought we had been called by God to serve. This
was the place we had prayed about.
This was the place for which, we had left "Worldly things" to serve.

After a nights troubled rest. I met with Dr. George Faile the senior Doctor at
the Hospital.

He was rather reluctant to speak clearly their misgivings about my being
there. I could see that it was to be more of the same "everything will work
out" routine.

I bluntly told him that "I did not come to cause trouble, my sole reason for
being there, WAS TO HELP.

He mentioned that there was a village called Pandi, where I might be of
some use.

I told him that I would surely rather go there, than be where I was not

For reasons for which we were never informed, they decided to just make
the best of it.

Our second day here, we were invited to tour the hospital area. It is an
interesting building. The architecture is for this particular spot. The wards are
rather open rooms and quite informal. People come and go somewhat at will.

There is no air conditioning the air you see is what you get. The building is
ruggedly built of stone and cement, which is good because it gets a work out.

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                                          AFRICAN ADVENTURE

        Some of the wards are screened like our home that helps to keep the
        mosquitoes and bugs in.

        A huge number of outpatients are treated in this facility in a day.

        Yesterday I had quite an experience, something that I got to do that some
        people spend a long time here and never get to see it.

        We had heard that they had killed an elephant about 20 to 30 miles north of
        here. A few of the young journeymen nurses and Don Reynolds and I
        decided to go try to find the place where the elephant was.16

        We went in a Land Rover, a diesel powered vehicle normally with four-wheel
        drive, but this one only had front wheel drive because the rear drive was out
        of order.

        The place was near Nakpanduri and an escarpment. The geography
        changes quite rapidly at this place. The road drops in elevation quite rapidly
        as you come off of the escarpment.

        As we were coming along this part of the road we could see people trudging
        along this steep climbing road, heavily laden with large chunks of charred,
        smoke blackened, meat.

        One young fellow that would not have been larger than 100 pounds himself
        was carrying a great big elephant humerus on top of his head.

        I stopped and took some pictures of this group of people.

        We went on and we drove for quite a few miles and then we stopped a
        picked up an African boy and asked him to go along with us to show us
        where the elephant was.

        We drove another 10 miles or so and then parked the Land Rover and
        walked another 2 or 3 miles back in the brush.

        When we came on the sight, we could see the smoke where they were
        smoking the meat. It was just like a picture show. You just couldn't imagine a
        Hollywood production any more picturesque.


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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

We came through some big old elephant grass taller than our heads and as
we came out of this elephant grass we came into a rather clear area with a
lot of sapling trees. There were quite a few people attending to the smoking
of the meat.

The racks the meat was on were made of logs of various sizes. The rack
was about six or eight feet wide and twenty to twenty five feet long. It was
suspended on forked logs planted upright in the ground. The rack was about
three to four feed high.

The fire was under this rack and was kept burning big enough to produce lots
of smoke, but not high enough to burn down the rack.

We had more fun looking everything over. I took lots of pictures. I sure hope
they turn out good. My moving picture camera's light meter said I shouldn’t
take pictures, but I did any way.

The 35mm camera pictures should be good I think.

I identified a great many of the bones. I saw the scapulas, the skull which
was at least two or two and one half feet across.

I only saw one of the tusks that was about two feet long.

They had that elephant completely dismembered and all the bones were
clean of meat.

I saw a couple of tibia and a humerus. We talked them into letting us have
one of the teeth. An elephant only has four teeth, two upper and two lower.

I started trying to peal one of the teeth out of there and was having a difficult
time when one of the African boys came over and took one of his chopping
axes and chopped it out of there for me.

I think I mentioned this before but when some one does you service, you
"dash" them, and so I dashed this fellow fifty cents for what he did.

By that time it was getting pretty late so we decided we better get out of there
before dark.

Coming back out of that valley we came back a different way than we went in

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                                   AFRICAN ADVENTURE

and I mean it was a rough time getting out of there. With only front wheel
drive, several times we had to get out and walk because the Land Rover just
barely got it's self out.

It was really too rough a situation for that Land Rover.

The exciting experience of seeing the elephant, was a high that was to carry
me through those difficult first days in Nalerigu.

The following is a letter I wrote to my home Pastor the 28th day of February
1967, which will be a window through which you can see into life as we
experienced it those first few days in Nalerigu.

Dear Pastor,

The only thing wrong with being a long way from home is the distance. I
could sure use the ministry of your happy faces.

The first month here has been a little trying for us. I am not sure just what I
will say in this letter so don't share it with the people of the church unless it is
happy and light.

I have been having quite a battle with the devil the past few days and he sure
has been giving me a hard time. I am not sure I will even mail this so I ought
to just quit and go to bed. A nights rest, might make me in better spirits.

When we first got here to Nalerigu we moved into the Rest House that is a
two-bedroom house used for guests. All the food we had was about $100.00
worth that we brought with us from Accra. That is not much both in quantity
and quality.

The first three weeks here we were hungry most of the time even though we
were invited to eat with the other missionaries much of the time.

I don't like to sponge off people, especially with food so hard to come by and
my family so large. Trying to be polite we just did not eat well, so Billie and
the children and I were hungry most of the time.

We were not suffering, it was just not like home and a full refrigerator.

Another thing that haunted us almost the whole time we were at the rest
house, was the water situation.

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Water had to be filtered through a ceramic filter and then boiled to be safe.
This required us to be at the task of preparation of enough water almost full
time it seemed.

After the water was boiled, it had to cool down to be drinkable. Being normal
OKIES we like cool or ice water to drink. and this proved hard to come by
with a coal oil refrigerator.

The house assigned to us, was on a Hospital compound. The hospital had
generators to generate the electricity needed to operate the hospital. We
were privileged to use that electricity when it was available.

The fact is the generators were turned off about nine or ten o'clock at night.

This made kerosene refrigerators a necessity. They worked ok, they just
could not generate enough ice to satisfy.

It was Wednesday when I started this letter, but now it is Sunday afternoon.
Billie is getting lunch ready and I have been studying the bible. I have been
assigned the task of teaching a study course next week at the church. I am
not prepared at all. I don't know how I get myself in these messes.

Just think if I could have kept my mouth shut I could be home today (right
about now to be exact 8:00 AM your time) in church listening to your sermon.

The pressures of life still seem to be giving all of us a hard time. It is
comforting in a situation like this to study the bible, where I found in James
chapter one verse two and three it says: (2) My brothers, count it all joy when
ye fall into divers temptations; (3) Knowing this, that the trying of hour faith
worketh patience.

I understand this to a degree, but the pain of divers temptations call for the
lesser man to fall, withdraw and run. I only hope and pray that we have firm
enough grasp on Jesus that we won't be a disappointment to him and those
people at home who are watching us.

In short the weight of responsibility, bends the back.

Yours in Christ

                                           Page 50
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       February 3, 1968 Billie's thoughts

       We were in Accra 3 days and were taken around to see the Baptist work and
       see the town.

       Louis, Cary, and Clint with James Foster, Missionary from Tomale, drove the
       truck to Tomale.

       We stayed two days in Tomale, being introduced to the bush.

       The morning finally came when were on our way to Nalerigu. It was about a
       105-mile drive.

       We are so glad to be here. We are staying in the rest house that is all
       furnished and has dishes and everything we need until our house is ready.

       They had just removed another family’s furniture and cleaned it out. It has to
       be completely painted.

       I have never seen a house with such vivid colors, and such an assortment
       and combinations.

       The paint or painter has not arrived yet so then is not much that can be done.

       There is no hardware store to run to. The kitchen is such poor shape. The
       cabinets will have to be repaired. The ceiling in the kitchen leaked and it has
       to be replaced.

       Otherwise few coats of paint will do wonders.

       The house has nice large rooms and high ceilings. Lots of glass, louvered
       windows that makes them nice and cool. Cement floors with tile on them.
       There is a breeze way on
       the back with a nice storage area.17

     Nalerigu Home

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

We toured the hospital yesterday.

We have been preparing our own breakfast, but we have been invited to the
other missionary families for our lunch and dinner. We appreciated the

Last night Louis had gone off with the journeymen to see an elephant that
they had killed.

They got there just in time to see all the pieces being smoked on a huge

Louis brought back a tooth (an elephant has 4 he said).

The children have had two days of school. It will take a little time to work out
the best way to handle it.

Clint has joined two other children for school. He is out hunting a Chameleon

One of the girls has one for a pet and they want one. The water in the pool is
very cold because of the evaporation, but the children swim every day.

The pool is in the back yard of the house we will live in.

There is adequate water but any that we use to drink, brush teeth, scald
dishes, etc. must be boiled for 10 min and filtered through a ceramic filter.

February 4, 1968

We have been here a week now but still are not settled. Our house must be
repaired and painted before we can move in, so I have been painting it.

Our crates have not come yet so we sill don't have much to work with.

Susan and I were sick yesterday with bellyache and vomiting. We seem
better today.
It gets pretty hot during the day here. I can't tell you how because I don't
have a thermometer.

We are living in what they call the rest house it is a two-bedroom house with
one bathroom. We have been eating a lot of the time with the other

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                                             AFRICAN ADVENTURE

        missionaries but I think we will be more on our own now.

        So far we haven't accomplished much sense we have been here. It doesn't
        look we will accomplish much until we are settled in our house.

        If our crates get here with out a hitch I imagine we will be mighty glad we
        brought all those groceries.

        It looks like eating here is one of the big frustrations.

        Potatoes are hard to get and expensive. The yam that they use as a
        substitute is not very good. It is like eating rubber.

        The people use substitutes for potatoes rice, macaroni, etc.

        I took time out and went down to our house and painted a little while , truing
        not to over do it sense I am still weak from yesterday.

        Billie is baking some bread18 today, the flour here is full of bugs. The critters
        must be sifted out before it can be used.

        When you come into the village of Nalerigu you approach from the southwest
        on a narrow dirt road.

        The houses are almost all round mud huts with grass roofs. There is little
        pattern to the town.

        The market area19 is in an open area under some trees. The Hospital20 is
        about a quarter mile east of town with the housing compound pretty close by.

        Every day the sick people come and stand in line to be treated. The Doctors
        do a wide range of surgical procedures. It seems that hernias is a procedure
        they do frequently.

        February 18, 1968

     Four Loaves of Protein enriched Bread
     Nalerigu Market

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                                          AFRICAN ADVENTURE

        Billie had to go to Accra to a committee meeting. She didn't really want to go.
        Our lives are still hanging in limbo without provisions for the most basic living.

        Today however is the day we have waited for. OUR CRATES ARE HERE.21
        Wouldn't you know they would come while Billie is gone. Actually it might be
        a blessing because this way she won't have to do any of the lifting.

        It was very exciting when the big truck drove in with all our crates. Like the
        truck in Tema, seeing the crates seemed to be an emotional event for me.

        It is a strange and interesting thing, to go through the process of preparing
        for what you consider is a difficult, desperate, circumstance and then the
        planed for events start to occur.

        I knew I had gone against the conventional wisdom and advice when I made
        the decision to build the crates so large and heavy. PAY DAY WAS HERE.

        The crates were here, now I would be able to see if the things had made the
        difficult trip half way around the world intact.

        I climbed up on the truck with a crow bar and broke the metal banding straps
        that I had the people in Tulsa apply for me. Next I removed the sixteen
        Penney nails holding the three quarter plywood in place.

        When I pulled the sheet of plywood back and looked into the box, everything
        looked to be in good shape.

        I started handing down the contents of the box one at a time and the things
        were in turn handed down further to the people on the ground that took them
        into the house.

        With these supplies we had a fighting chance, to accomplish what we had
        come here to do.

        March 1, 1968

        Dear Aunt Sarah,

     Crates Arrive

                                                    Page 54
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

It is Friday night and all of us are thinking of you, so I thought I would write a
few lines. You have been with us in our thoughts the past two weeks. Let me

We arrived here in Nalerigu the first of February. The first three weeks we
stayed in what they call the rest house. We only had a few cooking utensils,
so quite a few of our meals were taken as guests of other missionaries.

Even though the meals were good, we were all hungry all the time. So two
weeks ago when our crates came, we dug into the food packages in a hurry.

The first night we had a pot of brown beans and as I was rummaging around
through all the things that the friends at home gave us prior to leaving, I saw
a box of Ready mix corn muffins given by Aunt Sarah and Mamaw.

The muffins were easily fixed and very good. Next the children found a little
skillet of popcorn - from Aunt Sarah and Mamaw - we had popcorn. It was
this same way for several days, every time we reached for something in our
larder, a note attached said "Lovingly given by Aunt Sarah and Mamaw"

Even tonight we made a pot of Gooy out of Spam and when we looked for
onions we fond onion flakes from Aunt Sarah.

The first month here has been hard work. We have been painting the house
and trying to get settled. The weather is real hot so I have lost a little weight.
We are still not settled but we are in the house and a lot closer than we were.

The floors are still cluttered with boxes and things but it shouldn't be long
before we have everything put away.

Billie has school for the kids every morning and they go swimming every

I have been very busy with the house so there has been no time for play for
me. I have taken down the kitchen cabinets, rebuilt them, and replaced them.
I had to do some plumbing, and electrical wiring.

I built a study desk for each of the children. My thumb is sore tonight so it
makes holding the pen a little rough.

I have not had much to work with but I guess I really didn't think I would
have, when I left home so I shouldn't complain.

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                                          AFRICAN ADVENTURE

        Nalerigu22 is just a village of mud huts with grass roofs on a little narrow dirt
        road. The people, especially the women go topless even to church and
        almost all of the little children don't wear anything except earrings and beads
        for the girls.

        I have been going to some of the villages and telling bible stories. I also have
        been treating a few animals. Now that I have the house about done I
        probably will be going more.

        We have been here a month now so I guess we are entitled to go to Tomale.

        It is Sunday now and it is afternoon. Billie is fixing lunch. I drove down to
        Yendi yesterday about 200 miles round trip. It was a chance to see a little
        more country.

                               WORK IN VILLAGES BEGINS

        It has been real hot the past few days and last night was hot all night. I sure
        wish it would rain.

        March 30, 1968

        It is Saturday morning the 30th of March. We are receiving a most welcome
        rain. It has been very hot for several weeks. Well over 100° during the day,
        and so hot at night it is hard to sleep. There will be a breeze all day and then
        get very quiet at night.

        We could see the clouds building north, west, and east of here yesterday.
        During the night the rain began, and what a relief.

        Sando the little African boy that plays with the children was outside early this
        morning, so I asked him in to have breakfast with us and I think he enjoyed it.

        I guess he had never had an egg over easy before. At least he ate heartily.


                                                    Page 56
                                         AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       I have been staying pretty busy lately. We are going to the villages
       vaccinating dogs for rabies and then I have a group of seven boys that I am
       teaching to read and speak English.

       The yard is always full of the little boys, so one day I asked a group of them if
       they attended school. Their answer was no.

       It seems some children attend school and some do not. I asked them if they
       would like to come everyday and let me try to teach
       them. This pleased them very much so we are into our second week of

       They seem to be doing very well. They are about ten or eleven years old I

       Saturday 27th April 1968
       We had a two and one half inch rain yesterday evening and last night, so our
       temperature is more reasonable today.

       Last week I went down to Sekondi and Takarodi to the Ghana Baptist
       convention. Susan and Patty had been ill so I went by myself.

       I left here on Thursday the 18th and flew down to Kumasi from Tamale. I
       stayed there all night then drove on down from Kumase to Sekondi the next

       After being up in the bush for a while it seems like real civilization when you
       go south. I even went to a picture show.

       The roads are real narrow and driving is not much pleasure.

       Sekondi is on the ocean and it is sure pretty there. I went swimming in the
       ocean one time while I was there.

       I had to sing at the pastor’s conference and preach the convention sermon
       on Sunday morning the 21st. I often wonder how I get myself in these fixes.

     My Literacy Class

                                                   Page 57
                                         AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       We had 3 Camels24 come into town yesterday and we all enjoyed seeing
       them. they were the tallest I have ever seen.

       The men riding them were dressed up in Arab costume. This morning early,
       some one came to the door and said that one of the camels was sick so I
       went to look at him. He had a saddle sore on his withers and they had put
       creosote on the wound and it burnt him pretty bad.

       There was quite a crowd while I treated him. While I treated him I noticed
       that every time the camels had a BM the people would scramble to pick up
       the pills. I found out that they make a poultice out of it to put on scorpion
       stings. I believe they said they also use it for headache, but I did not learn
       how it is used for that.

       May 13,1968

       I diagnosed a case of Anthrax last week. Today we started vaccinating the
       local animals.

       We started about 8 AM and by noon I had vaccinated 300 animals they were
       not all in the same place so I had to move around some and most of it was
       on foot. I must have walked 5 or 6 miles.

       By the time were about through it was scorching hot.

       Most of the cattle were tied up with little ropes and we had lots of help so the
       men would grab a cow subdue it and I would go around behind and give an
       intradermal injection of .5cc into the tail.

       I have another 300 or so in the morning to do, but I'll wear a hat this time.

       I have found a new radio station to listen to, which looks like in will be a lot
       like home. It is WNYW out of New York, with ABC new and everything. I
       even enjoy the commercials.

       More and more people are asking me to extract their teeth. I extracted 3
       more Sunday. Two from a boy and one front incisor from an old woman. I
       administered a local anesthetic to the old woman.


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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

I have a Medical Doctor lined up to out Wednesday to vaccinate all the
children in one village, for Measles. There were five little babies out there
Sunday that were really sick with measles.

This village seems to have a lot of troubles. I have spent a lot of time out
there lately, bandaging sores, pulling teeth. treating diarrhea, pink eye, even
cleaning teeth.

Milton should go ahead and get those medical supplies together. It would be
best to put them in barrels. He might scrounge all the samples etc. he could
get. the way I am going I will exhaust my bandage material.

June 3, 1968

It is June already, time is moving along pretty fast. It is Monday afternoon
and I am waiting to have a meeting with some of the missionaries.

I thought I would take the opportunity to write a few lines.

I have been pretty busy this past month. I drove 1303 miles. That averages
out to about 44 miles per day. On these roads that is quite a few bumps.

I got an old setting hen the early part of last month. She set 13 eggs and
hatched 13 out of 13. Actually I thought I had only put 12 under her but I
must have made a mistake because we have 13 baby chicks.

I am trying again now but I doubt this old hen is really setting. I bought some
eggs, this time some good Rhode Island Reds. It does not look very good so
far. The setting eggs cost 90 cents for 18 eggs.

The other day coming back from Gambaga, I saw a crowd of excited people,
running around with clubs in their hands. When I got up close I could see that
they were after a snake.

When I actually got there I could see the snake was a great big one right in
the road, so I had them get out of the way and I ran a front tire over it.

I was sure that I had run over him a couple of times but he scooted over into
the bushes, so I got out and every one was really excited. Finally I saw him in
the grass so I took a club from one the people and cracked him on the head.

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

I picked him up and boy was he big, so big that I decided to take him home.
Patty and I skinned him or (her) and the meat looked so good that we just ate
him. Cary couldn't go it, but by golly it was good.

I am still pulling quite a few teeth and yesterday I had to suture a woman's
hand that had been cut on a can.

I planted about an acre of corn today. We still haven't gotten the seed Milton
sent but maybe it will come today. This is mail day.

June 14, 1968

The people have been upset about something. This evening I learned that
the people around Nalerigu, think that the world will come to an end

It is strange, there seems to be much concern. Some people laugh about it
but you can tell they are worried.

This afternoon I went to a village and right off the conversation moved to
what I thought about the rumor that the world would end Saturday.

I told them that I had a book in my truck that had God's words about this very
thing. I got out my bible and read to them what Jesus said about his return.

It is amazing how god can use these silly rumors to stimulate peoples

On the short-wave radio this evening I heard what it is all about. It seems that
there is a hunk of star out about 4 million miles from earth, which some
people think is going to hit the earth and destroy it.

The radio even said there are a bunch of Hippies in the US that figure that it
is not really a star but God coming to destroy the earth.

I must admit it would serve the earth right as wicked as it is.

June 18, 1968

It is Tuesday afternoon about 5 PM. Billie washed this afternoon and we
have all helped.

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                                         AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       It has been a pretty day and as usual hot. I went to a village east of here this
       morning and vaccinated calves for bangs. We will go out every day this week
       for Bangs vaccination25.

       I have also been castrating26 some bulls, so we will have fresh meat now.

       When you go out on these trips it is necessary to walk quite a distance,
       Sometimes 4 or 5 miles. Some villages just have footpaths to them.

       I have been taking a gallon jug with and sometimes I get milk from the
       Fulanies. These are the keepers of the cows.

       We pasteurize the milk and it is not bad as coco or on cereal. I have not
       been able to get a lot of it yet though.

       I did something this afternoon that I have never done before. Billie and I went
       to the market and I bought a hunk of fresh meat.

       It was a piece of shoulder. I had to give $2.50 for it, which figured about 80
       cents per pound. It is a terribly nasty way to by meat but we haven't had any
       fresh meat except for a piece of pork last week, it is the first fresh meat in
       almost two months.

       We sure are thankful for the Spam and Chip beef we brought with us.

       Billie makes Gooy out of Spam. (Gooy is a dish my Mother made when I was
       a child. it is ground hamburger in this case Spam browned with onion and
       chili powder, then add
       a can of tomatoes and place the meat sauce over spaghetti).

       My chickens are laying 10 - 12 eggs per day now so we eat eggs a lot. I have
       some eggs that will hatch next Monday I hope. They are Rhode Island Reds
       and I have them under a borrowed hen.

       It is impossible to buy a setting hen. I will have to give the man two little
       chicks for the use of his hen. The 13 baby chickens sure are growing.

     Bangs Vaccination

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

I planted the seeds that Milton sent and have a lot of things up, even
Watermelon. There are millions of bugs just ready to pounce on every thing
that comes up however.

You would go crazy here, the bugs are so bad. The house was so full last
night, we just had to turn the lights out.

June 23, 1968

It is Sunday morning and it is really raining hard. We got up a few minutes
ago and I looked out to see a dark cloud coming. I could hear the wind in it.

The storms are funny here, you can see them coming a long way off so you
generally have time to get ready. Last week one day a long low cloud
stretching clear across the sky came in very low with lots of wind and heavy

We were out last week when we say the storm coming, so we took off for
home. As we were driving along the road I saw one of the mud huts on fire,
so we stopped and ran over to see if any one was hurt or if we could help.

Well the fire destroyed everything these people had including about 45
British Pounds or about $90.00 in paper money.

It was so pitiful to see them wail and cry. their life is so hard anyway, there is
little place for disaster.

I am going to take them some cloths and things next week

We have been working pretty hard planting farm and garden. I have plowed
and gotten the ground ready and now we have field corn, sweet corn, sweet
potatoes, and a lot of things that Milton sent the seed for.

I am getting so brown I look more like an African everyday.

When it rains or is cloudy it is cool but boy when the sun is out it is hot and
steamy. I just stay wet all the time. Sometimes I have to change underwear
several times a day. Seems like I do most of my sweating on my belly and
then it just runs down the front of my pants, so that my pants stay all the

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                                          AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       I had to stop farming long enough yesterday to pull a tooth. I had made up
       my mind that I wouldn't do that here in Nalerigu, because the Hospital is right
       here and I would just let the Dr. do it. This fellow stopped me on the street
       and told me his problem and I said to go to the hospital.

       In a little while he came to he house with an interpreter and told me the he
       had gone to the Dr. 4 - 5 days ago and all they had done was give him a shot
       and some pills.

       His face was swollen real badly and he was really hurting, so I went ahead
       an pulled his tooth.


       There was farm27 ground available to me. A Ford diesel tractor was part of
       the equipment inventory at the hospital.

       One of the interesting things about Christian service at this place is that there
       are many areas need. A motivated person can choose those areas that
       challenge his or her abilities.

       It can also be an area of spiritually and actually putting into action the biblical
       truths you have learned about.

       I plowed several acres of land and planted the best corn seed that I could
       collect. The seed was given to me or was traded for, from surrounding

       It was already apparent to me that a seed that was indigenous to the area
       would fare better and produce more in this harsh environment.

       I planted the corn in a rather novel way. I hired women to plant the corn in
       their usual way. This involved stepping off the distance between plants and
       using a stick to poke a hole in the dirt. The seed was then placed by hand
       into the hole and the hole closed and the dirt packed by stepping on the hole.

       Yams was another crop produced. It involved the building of a large hill of dirt

     Farming Photos

                                                    Page 63
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

25 to 30 inches high and 3 to 4 feet in diameter. These hills were randomly
built over a large area.

I decided that in order to use the Ford tractor, I would build my hills in a long
line by plowing the ground and then dragging the dirt up into hills by hand.

The yam seed cost about 1¢ each. The seed is placed in a small hole just
below the top of the hill. It was the practice to place a hand full of tree leaves
over the planted seed and then a large clod of dirt to hold the leaves down.

They were not able to explain to me why the leaves were used, however I
assume they were used to shade the seed from the hot sun.

May 24, 1968 Billie's thoughts

Saturday evening when Clint took his bath, he mentioned that he hurt when
he washed around his testicles. When we examined him, he was swollen.

Next morning at church Louis asked Dr. Faile to take a look at him. After
church we stopped by the hospital and Dr. Faile checked him and sure
enough a small part of intestine was coming through the hernia.

Clint was born with a Hydrocele, which is a form of hernia. This is a
weakness that occurs in the inguinal area. It was easily reduced and Dr.
Faile said he could live with it for years. It would never get better
however, and would be harder on Clint as he got older.

Louis preferred having Dr. Faile perform the surgery if it had to be done.

The only catch was that Dr. Faile was that DR. Faile was leaving on his
furlough to the state in 5 days.

He said he would look at his schedule and see what could be worked out.
Monday afternoon he came by and said he could schedule the surgery for
Tuesday at 2:00 PM

Dr. Faile discussed the anesthesia with Louis, a new one that is very safe
and leaves no nausea.

With all this in mind we decided to go ahead now, in this strange place and
strange land. We could not have had a more experienced surgeon, as Dr

                                            Page 64
                                 AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Faile has performed 4000 or better hernia operations in the last 6 years.

The time element was good, because it left no time to dwell on all the things
that could happen and was good because Clint didn't have time to think
about it long.

Clint said that if Louis would stay with him he wouldn't be scared. Louis told
him he would stay right with him.

Tuesday morning we walked down to the hospital for the journeyman girl
laboratory technician to prick his finger and type and check his blood.

The nurse came to the house then about 1:30 Pm and gave him the injection
to make him drowsy. At 2:15 PM we drove to the hospital and he had only a
few minutes before the actual surgery.

He got scared at the time and tears came in his eyes, but it was just a few
minutes until he was under the anesthetic and Louis was with him all the

Billie waited in the hall and it seemed such a strange setting with chickens
clucking around the back door and lizards running across the sidewalk. I
could hear a baby crying down the way and Africans occasionally coming

Dr Faile's wife came over with a Sprite drink for me but I wasn't thirsty. She

In about 45 minutes Louis came out to tell me they were just about through.
He also needed to get some air because we was getting woozy.

After he talked a minute he went out side the screen door to sit and he and
he became very white and said he felt faint.

I brought him a cool drink and he began to feel better. He then returned as
they were closing the incision.

The incision was about 3 1/4 inches long and runs crosswise with the folds of
skin. He used no outside sutures. The incision looks like a small scratch and
is healing beautifully.

Dr. Faile had to do quite a lot of manipulating to repair the hydrocele. After

                                          Page 65
                                   AFRICAN ADVENTURE

necessary manipulation, he had difficulty returning the testicle to the sack.

Despite all the trauma Clint had a minimum of swelling because we kept ice
packs on the area all afternoon and night.

One injection for pain was given as he was waking up.

As soon as the surgery was over, Louis picked him and put him in my lap in
the truck and we drove him home.

It was about 2:00 AM when he wakened enough to remember he had come
home and it was over.

The children fanned him with their palm leaf fans they had made. We all
stayed with him all the rest of the afternoon and evening. When bedtime
came and he still wasn't awake, Louis and I fixed him a place between us on
the king size bed, so we could care for him and not let him roll off the bed.

Clint has done very well. On Wednesday the next day he was up walking
and yesterday we had to watch him cause he was up so much. Today it is
almost impossible to keep him down.

Dr Faile said he was very pleased that he had so little swelling.

June 25, 1968

It is a very warm Tuesday evening. I wish it would rain to cool things off and
water my garden.

It is getting close to lights out time but I thought I would write the days

I wrote day before yesterday but I just felt like writing again.

I have had a busy day and I am tired tonight. I got up early, fixed my
breakfast and left about 7:15 AM.

We have been vaccinating cattle for Bands and today I worked south of
Gambaga. I vaccinated 100, castrated 21 bulls, treated an ulcer on a
woman's foot, treated several people with sore eyes, surgically removed two
plantar warts on men’s feet and pulled tow teeth.

                                             Page 66
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

In order to do this it was necessary to walk at least 8 or 9 miles.
Some of these villages are so remote that the only way you can get there is
to walk in.

I sure am slimming down. At time I weigh less than 170 lbs..

We will leave for Accra and the yearly Mission meeting Thursday. We will
stay all night at Tomale then drive to Kumase Friday.

I hope to buy some baby chickens while in Accra. There is a place down
there that has sexed baby chicks, which means you can by only females (no

Sept. 6, 1968

It is 10 min till one in the afternoon and we are sitting here in the road about
15 or so miles outside Kumase.

There is a bridge out down the road. A long line of cars and trucks have
accumulated along the road.

Approximately 8 AM was our departure time from Accra. Considering the
road, we were making good time, when this problem came up.

No telling how long we will be here. People came by saying that "they were
going to blow up the old bridge, and put in a temporary bridge.

I decided not to walk down there to see what was going on. The decision
was a fortunate one, because it started to rain real hard a little bit ago.

The temperature inside the closed up car is so warm, that we might as well
get out and get wet in the rain.

Time has passed and it is 2:30 PM now. We are back down the road to
Accra. After sitting there for some time, a British fellow came up to the car
and said that it would be a day or two before the bridge would be fixed, so
we turned around and headed back.

I hated the thought of driving that 155 miles again, so we found a room along
the road and here we are WA WA (translated means West Africa Wins

                                           Page 67
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE


Actually we are lucky to find this place. It is not a very nice Hotel but it beats
all that drive twice. I asked about food and they said they could fix some stew
and rice. We haven't decided whether to try it or not.

Right now we are resting. This is a strange place, you never know what will
happen next. I am just glad that it did not happen the other day when we had
all the kids with us.

It was not easy for the kids to say good by, especially Susan. We had a few
tears but I think it will work our OK.

The Hostel parents didn't please me as much as I had hoped but maybe the
kids can live with it.

Right off they started laying down silly rules and I had an argument with them
about the kids sitting on the bed. They said the bed was for sleeping on not
sitting. I told them, short of jumping up and down on it, a bed was made to

It got a little heated for a while but their petty rules made me angry.

Sept. 21, 1968

Saturday afternoon finds us just resting and doing nothing. Clint is asleep
and Billie has gone to Accra to a meeting of the building committee.

If it had not been that she could see the kids I don't imagine that she would
have wanted to go. she drove to Tomale and will fly the rest of the way.

as far as we hear, travel in Ghana has come to a screeching halt, except by
air. All of the roads down south are out. They talk like fuel will get scarce.

Kerosene I heard was 80¢ per gal.. I am glad I bought a barrel of my own. I
should also have enough propane I hope.

We bought an electric teakettle while we were down south. It is really helping
on hot water. It only takes 2 or 3 minutes to boil a pot of water, and we save
on gas. Also we

                                            Page 68
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

have been using that deep fat fryer to heat water.

Our food supply seems to be holding very well seems like we get tired of the
same old thing but my, am I glad we have it. I couldn't say for sure but it
might just last the 3 years.

We are not using it as fast with the kids gone to school. I can't remember if I
mentioned it but I am paying $50.00 per month each for their food.

Clint just came in from a good nap. Boy he really need his nap. Yesterday he
didn't get it and he was really tired last night.

We went to Sacogu, a little village north of Nalerigu last night. I had been
invited to come hear some music. We went about 6:30 PM and took the tape

The people are Moslems and the music has an Arab sound to it. I will send a
tape home soon.

They really put on a show for us with dancing and everything. They really
knock themselves out when a white person shows interest in what they do.

September 28, 1978

This is Saturday and Billie has just left to take the mail to Gambaga. Clint
went with her and I am here by myself. I am heating water to wash dishes.

While I wait, I will write my thoughts down.

We bought an electric teakettle. Boy does it work fast. It uses 220 volts
current, so it heats very quickly.

I really have good music now. It took the longest time, but I finally figured
how to fix my big tape recorder. I took the plastic insulation off of an electric
wire and slipped it over the capstan (little spindle that moves the tape
through the machine) it was just perfect to produce the proper RPM
(revolutions per minute).

Now I can use all those nice big tapes Kenneth Wadlow made for me, plus
the ones I made.

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

I might take a moment to explain why the tape recorder fails to work properly.

The problem is in the electricity. In the US of A the electricity is usually 60
cycles. For some reason that escapes me, outside the US, say in Europe
and here the electricity is 50 cycles.

This changes the speed of the drive motor that in turn changes the RPM that
changes the speed with which the tape goes through the machine. This
messes up the sound royally.

There are store bought adapters to solve this, but I don't have them. My
thought that worked, was to increase the diameter of the capstan and this in
turn would move the tape through the machine faster. Voila it worked.

I listened to one the other day that Kenneth Wadlow made New Years Eve
day. It was KRAV FM Tulsa. It is 4 track and lasts about 4 hours. It is

He even left the announcers and commercials on and it is really fun to hear
about Shake's Pizza etc.

Music is such an important part of my life. Out here in the boonies what you
bring with you is "what you got" as far as music is concerned. Unless you
really like native drums all the time.

Well it is 11 AM and I just finished the dishes. Billie is not back, but then I am
a pretty speedy dishwasher.

I was shaving a while ago, and I looked out the window and say an older
man outside. I continued to shave and Billie called me and said he wanted

When I finished I went out and he wanted 3 teeth pulled. They were upper
jaw teeth so I blocked them with Novocain and they came out real nice.

I must have gotten good anesthesia, because he said it didn't hurt at all.

I am going to try something new tomorrow. I have been concerned that even
doing the best I could, the people were not getting the Gospel Message.

By the time what I say in OKIE English is translated to Mompurli, I am afraid

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it doesn't make much sense.

I had a preacher come here to the house and I tape-recorded a sermon from
him. I will take the small tape recorder tomorrow and play it along with any
remarks I feel like making.

These people like to hear the little box talk, so I think they will be still and

Actually I think I preach better through what I do , than what I say anyway.

I think this procedure will give a freedom I haven't felt before.

                             Missionary Night Life

Last night about 3:00 AM I was deep in sleep working on my second cord of
sawed logs.

Up to this point the night had been, as any other African night, an exercise in
combat tactics, against the hordes of marauders, commonly called BUGS.

 Now the human brain is a unique apparatus. Each night during these hours
of restful sleep, the brain, in the interest of survival, keeps a watchful
surveillance for any sign of danger.

  Since most of the senses are dulled by slumber, the ears work tirelessly
filtering out and sending messages to the brain, computer information
processing center.

 Last night, was a particularly dark night, so the ears were very busy
receiving a host of strange sounds.

At 3:00 AM a series of sound signals were received and sent to the data
processing center for evaluation.

The sounds had several possibilities:
      1. possibly a mouse scampering around in the attic.

       2. may be a lizard on the ceiling.

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These were very good guesses, but the data processing center was not
satisfied with the conclusion, because there were other aspects to the sound.

With this determination, the action center button was pressed and condition
red alert was called. All the while the data processing center was faithfully
putting together the information, and a decision was reached.

There Was A Bat in the Room! the data processing center sent a message
to the adrenal glands asking for a surge of adrenalin need to activate a
slumbering organism.

This was not long in coming, and almost instantly condition red alert was in
GO! I reached for the flashlight next to the bed, and instantly located the bat,
busily flitting about the room. All in one motion I threw back the sheet, and
made for the bathroom only to find safety from immediate danger, but no
weapon with which to defend myself, and those dependent upon me.

The decision was made to make a speedy withdrawal through the bedroom
door, to the kitchen for a broom. In the kitchen however the broom could not
be found, so again the data processing center went to work on the
procurement of a suitable weapon.

Instantly the center recommended the Bad Minton racket that was in the
children's toy closet. With this weapon secured I opened the bedroom door
and entered into mortal combat with the bat. ZAP! SWOOSH! SWAT,
Lethal forehands, backhands and side arms were delivered, and soon the
intruder was on the floor.

I retrieved his lifeless form and after discarding the remains, slipped once
again into the bed for more restful sleep serene in the knowledge that the
silent century was at work.

September 28, 1969 Billie’s thoughts

When we returned from taking the mail to Gambaga, Louis had us a
sandwich and soup ready. After eating this lunch, I took a nap. After the nap I
got up and fixed my face and I feel part human.

Those trips over there about through me. Sleep has been difficult since my
wheels won't stop turning, wondering how the children are.

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Under normal circumstances this would not be so bad, but when I get to
thinking what irrational people are in charge of them, my heart just about
quits beating.

The Lord is working this out.

I inquired today and found there is a Presbyterian Hostel quite near there
and their children to the International School and the money is the same
$50.00 per child for food and laundry and all.

Enough about that now.

I am trying very hard to keep my mind off it, cause it eats up my good
thoughts and leaves me less than I should be.

It is like this perfume I just put on I guess. It had evaporated down quit a bit
and is so strong that it keeps coming up in my nose. I is some Italian
perfume that Cary and Louis got me in Italy, so it was a little DISTINCT to
start with. Whew!

A little boy was with a group the other day. They all had sores on their legs
and wanted some ointment.

I patched up each one and when it came to him his sore was on his hip and
he scooted his pants down. Of course the others all giggled but his skin
under his pants looked eaten up with something.

I called Louis to look but the little David that hangs around said it was lice.
Louis said "I don't know". David insisted and opened up a seam inside his
trousers and said "look at them".

Louis put it under his microscope and sure enough it was a louse.

I inquired about his bedding and was told he had none. His parents are dead
and he and another small boy sleep in the Lorries (trucks) in the lorry park.

I asked them what they did for food and David said they carry things on their
heads for people for a little food.

I got soap and a towel and sent him to the shower in the back of the wash
area. Afterward I gave him a bucket of water and some soap to wash his

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       He scrubbed them real good and hung them up on the line and wore a towel
       around him until his clothes were dry.

       Shortly after that I went to Accra, and I haven't seen any of them since I got

       A $130.00 was stolen out of the house where two of our single nurses live. It
       is about a block up the hill from our house.

       The Police implicated two boys from an ornery family, so they stopped a lot
       of them from coming into the compound.

       I am looking over you of your earlier letters to be sure I've answered all your

       You had mentioned the SWAT-ZAP-BAM in the attack of the bat. You
       wondered where every one else was. I was very much awake but under the
       sheet head & all and not about to come out.

       It reminded me of a night or two ago after the lights went out Louis said
       "LISTEN! WHAT'S THAT?". I stiffened up - I never know what to expect- He
       reached for the flashlight and shined it down by his side of the bed, then said
       "Billie, look here! There on top of a small stack of books sat a toad sat
       looking at us. They get between the screen and the big door and sneak in.

       Clint just got up from his nap and wanted to go to the market (today is market
       day). I asked him to get some onions for me.

       You bargain with each person for each purchase. Clint can do this pretty
       well. A flock of African children will follow him around and feel his hair and
       skin, and little ones want to hold his hand.

       All this exasperates Clint but he manages pretty well. He knows several
       boys that will somehow know immediately he is there and will help interpret.

       All of our children do real well with sign language.

       You asked about the deep freeze28. Because the electricity goes off each
     Deep Freeze and Electric Fridge

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                                     AFRICAN ADVENTURE

evening about 10 PM we try to keep the deep freeze full even if it is only
water. That way during the time of now electricity it stays frozen.

What a blessing the deep-freeze is.

Louis had Pastor John come out to the house yesterday and record a
sermon for him to take to the villages tomorrow. He recorded what his
interpreter was saying one day and brought it back and let Pastor John listen
to it. He said the man wasn't interpreting very well.

This is a very real problem. Perhaps the tape recorder will solve the problem.

Well I must start supper. Seems it is always time to eat. We had snake
"WAFU" again yesterday. One of the workers came from the dam down the
way here and had this huge snake, with its head cut off.

When Louis reached to take hold of the back of the neck, it reared around
just as though it had its head. It flattened out like you've seen Cobras do in
the movies.

We looked it up and decided it was a Pit Viper that is probably worse than a

Louis skinned it and when he started cutting its skin it really started a twisting
action. Once he got it skinned it quit wiggling.
Now you can imagine the control I had to exert over my mind to get my
throat to swallow it.

It fried golden brown and the meat was tinder and snow white. Clint and
Louis waded into it like fried chicken.

You would be proud of me though. I ate a piece but I couldn't quite chew the
bones so Louis cleaned the meat off mine for me.

October 30, 1968 (Billie's letter)

I had a bath today. (this morning early).
This is sort of an occasion. There are several ways to proceed. If it is late
enough for the sun to be out and if the water in the big pipe that runs down
here from the hospital, is turned on. We carry hot water (heated by the sun)
into the bathroom. three or four buckets, give you a luxurious bath of 2
inches of water.

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        But this being before the sun was high enough and since I was having to
        heat it in a tea kettle then this is how I managed.

        I brought in a big bucket of water out of the black pipe. I used this because
        Louis has to hand pump the water in the house.

        I set the bucket in the bathtub. Then I heated a teakettle full of water and
        added it to the bucket. Then I stand in the tub- get wet and suds up and then
        pour cups full of water over me to rinse off.

        Shampoo the same way. Exciting don't you think.

        November 1, 1968 (continuation of Billie's letter)

        Louis took the camper off his truck. It has not been as valuable as he thought
        it would be.

        He left the platform on and mounted a portable generator. Now he can show
        movies in the villages.

        Louis has gone out 4 nights this week. He is gone now but I look for him
        back soon. I think he has as much fun watching the people as they do
        watching the movie.

        Some of the films are educational, on hygiene and one is about an African
        boy visiting America.

        Yesterday we had a very hard windstorm and rain. It hit in the afternoon but
        lasted only a short time. It was the hardest wind since we have been here.

        The wind took many roofs off but surprisingly not as many grass roofs.

        It moved our metal chicken house about 5 feet. Some fellows helped Louis
        put it back where it was.

        Rain blew under the louvered glass windows, so we mopped mud and water.

        Mrs. Richardson had a little Halloween party for the 7 children here on the
        compound. We painted Clint's face29 like a Clown and he stuffed pillows in
        Louis's Levi’s and shirt. He looked very funny.
     Trick or Treat

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                                          AFRICAN ADVENTURE

        The other three in Accra will have to let you know what they fixed up. Tonight
        is their party and Monday they move to their new hostel. I miss them so---.

        For "TRICK OR TREAT" I made butter cookies and put pumpkin faces on
        them, with green and orange icing.

        Clint was tired so we doctored and soaked his sores and he has gone to bed
        at 8 PM. He gets banged up so, out playing. Always an elbow skinned or and
        ankle or heel or knee.

        Infection is so dangerous here, that I just stay right on them with Nolvasan

        My sewing class's30 sewing got wet in the storm yesterday so I hung it up to
        dry and when they came today, I put them to writing their first name.

        I printed their name at the top of the paper and wanted them to copy it. Well
        did you ever take a 3 year old's hand and teach him to write his name?.

        So many have trouble even holding a pencil. But I so want them to be able to
        write their names and recognize it when they see it written.

        Three or four could manage pretty well.

        November 13, 1968

        Billie has to take the mail to the Post office this morning, so I thought I would
        write a quick note. Clint received your letter of the 4th yesterday and enjoyed
        the letter and appreciated the money for his birthday.

        I went out Monday on a trip and didn't get back until Tuesday noon. I really
        hadn't planned to stay but the roads were bad and it got dark on me so I just
        stayed the night at Bunkpurugu.31

        This is a village right on the Togo border. I started pulling teeth in the middle
        of the afternoon and kept at it until it got dark.

     Sewing Class
     Bridge out at Bunkpurugu

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Some of the teeth were so difficult to extract I had to rest my hand.

I treated so many people for scabies that I ran out of medicine so I had to
stop that before I was through.

This village is up in the area that had the flash flood and lost all the bridges
and roads. Only powerful trucks with high clearances can make it in there.
The people are in bad shape, health wise.

They have no medical help at all. I am thinking about going back up there
and spending a week or so maybe.

I have a generator rigged up on my truck now so after it got dark I showed
the whole village movies on "What is disease" and "How Disease Travels"
also a film about an African Boy that comes to America to go to school.

I get the films from the United States Information Service, in Accra.

On that trip I knocked a hole in my muffler, so I have to take it off and weld it

November 27, 1968 (Billie's letter)

Clint is working on his composition and I am sitting here seeing that he
doesn't start daydreaming.

A short report on the latest bathing facilities: Louis made a wooden seat to
go in the bathtub. HOW MODERN CAN YOU GET?.

We will be thinking of you on Thanksgiving tomorrow. The families here are
getting together and I am to take the dressing (Louis killed two old Hens),
gravy, pies, ice tea and ice.

The deep freeze Louis got for us, is really wonderful. I was able to freeze
enough ice to make 2 gal of ice cream for Clint's birthday. We decorated a
cake real pretty.

Louis, Clint and I went to an Associational meeting in the country just above

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                                        AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       Ghana, called Upper Volta. The capitol is Ouagadougou32
       (pronounced O-wag-a-do-gou).

       The meeting was held in the capitol and French is the official language. We
       really had difficulty with the language barrier.

       We are getting more accustomed to language situations like this. We had a
       very good time.

       Ouagadougou even had restaurants that served Medium rare steak, which
       really tasted like meat. You should have seen us in the market buying some
       cloth and vegetables.

       Louis just brought the tractor down here to the house. He will use it to dig us
       a new trash pit.

       November 28, 1968

       It is Thanksgiving Day, about 2 PM here, which means that it is 8 AM Tulsa
       time. I imagine you are either on your way or out at Milton's, to start the

       It is quiet here today. The sky is hazy with smoke but the sun is bright and
       hot. The humidity is very low now and every thing is very dry. The whole
       country is on fire33.

       They burn it all of every year. The air is so full of smoke and ash that it
       settles on everything. Of course it filters into the house.

       The past few nights the hill north of our house has been on fire.
       Some times the fire gets so close you can hear the roar.

       It is no wonder these people get sick. Yesterday I went to the market to buy
       some corn to have ground into corn meal. I saw two things not necessarily
       outstanding but typical of how backward this culture is.

     Ouagadougou Upper Volta
     Fire north of house

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                                           AFRICAN ADVENTURE

        The grinder is a diesel-powered mill34, located in a pole barn, covered with
        galvanized metal.

        The man who does the grinding is usually dirty and handles everything that
        goes through the grinder. Yesterday the machine broke down and the fellow
        started working on it.

        He got filthy greasy and dirty and after he got the motor started, he just
        started to sit down and start grinding again, without washing.

        I could see what he was going to do so I went out to my truck and got my
        stainless steel bucket and some soap and water and asked him if he
        wouldn't like to wash before he started grinding. He liked the idea.

        Outside I saw a little boy about 5 years old, squat down in a trash dump area
        and have a BM, right in the midst of lots of people.

        No one seemed to notice or care. When he had finished he just stood up and
        walked away. About 10 feet away a woman, I guess his mother, stopped him
        bent him over, picked up a dirty rag out of the trash and wiped his bottom.
        Afterwards she threw the rag down and they both walked away.

        This is not usual, just routine. It shows why there is so much disease here.
        Much life here is at just subsistence level.

        It will take many years to see any change because when one of them
        manages to free himself from this way of life through education, he quickly
        leaves and does not return to help lift his brothers out of the filth and

        December 3, 1968

        It is a cloudless hot day here in Africa. I am writing letters.

        Billie and Clint are having school. Billie has been sewing hard lately trying to
        get ready for the kids to come home.

        I talked to Gerald a few days ago and he said he had heard nothing of the
        barrels. He was going to write the people about them.

     Corn grinding

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I know those of you at home must be confused much of the time about the
things I describe to you, but you might have to wait until I get home to
explain it to you.

I was glad to hear you got my paintings that I sent. I was afraid that WA WA

We took a short fast trip up to Ouagadougou, the capitol of Upper Volta the
other day. It was an interesting trip.

It was about 452 miles round trip, all on dusty roads.

We did not have a visa or re-entry permit, so it was ticklish. The worst part is
that almost no one spoke English. We were really in a fix.

I knew ahead of time that I might have trouble. I also knew what I must do.

We had our Pass Ports but no entry or exit visas. I was told that absolutely I
was not to allow the border guards to stamp my Pass Port. I was informed
that if they did, it started a chain of events that could cause me trouble.

Even with this knowledge I decided to go on with the trip.

It was a long, dusty, scenic trip. We did not arrive at the border until dark,
which probably added to the confusion.

When we drove up to he border, of course the guards stopped us and they
wanted to see our Pass Ports. I tried in repeatedly to find someone who
could speak English but could not.

In retrospect it is funny but at the time, it was difficult. I guess you could say
that I just worried the guard to frustration. He finally understood that I was a
"Missionary from Ghana" and to avoid continued hassle with this dumb
American, he motioned us on through.

We arrived in Ouagadougou after dark and were absolutely lost and could
not find any English speaking person for help.

We spent the night sleeping on top of the truck.

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                                          AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       At daylight we drove around a little, trying to find direction.

       Driving around in the dark the night before we had spotted a small French
       Bakery, so we stopped in front of the bakery and a man walking across the
       street toward us said HI!. We were so excited at that one English word, we
       prevailed on the kind fellow to give us directions.

       We spent the next night in an Assembly of God, rest house.
       We returned with many nice memories.

       It is dryer than a bone here now and the whole country has been on fire
       lately. The smoke and dust fill the air.
       I finally got a hot water heater hooked up yesterday and I had a hot bath
       last night and shaved with hot water this morning.

       December 13, 1968

       It is Friday night and I have just finished taking a nice bath. Tomorrow in the
       day I go to Tomale to pick up the kids. The normally hard bumpy 105 miles
       will seem short and smooth I think.

       We are sure ready for them to come home. I know they are eager also.

       I drove up to Bolgatanga35, a large village north of here today and bought
       $27.56 worth of meat.

       There is a slaughter and packinghouse there, which was built there in the
       days of Kuami Inkruma. The people that run it are German.

       At least it is clean and run well. I purchased 8 3/4 lbs of Bacon at 60¢ per
       pound, 3 3/4 lbs Ham at $1.00 per pound, 9 1/2 lbs of pork chops at 45¢ per
       pound, 14 1/2 lbs pork roast at 65¢ per pound, and 10 lbs hamburger at 50¢
       per pound.

       The price is not bad and the pork is very good so I got quite a bit. Thank
       goodness for the Deep Freeze. It has really improved or eating habits.

       What I do is take the fresh pork roast that actually is just boned hind leg and

     Bolgatanga Slaughter House

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        cut it up into nice sized pork steaks. Billie wraps them in appropriate size

        I also leave several nice size pork roasts. I plan to Bar-B-Q some of it.

        I wanted to have plenty so the kids would enjoy being home from school and
        the hostel36.

        I plan on killing about all my old hens next week. They are just eating feed
        and not laying now, so I am going to give them the RED NECK.

        We just put 4 or 5 of them at a time in our canning pressure cooker and cook
        the meat from the bone. Then we freeze the meat and broth.

        I also may kill 6 Guineas.           Feed is pretty expensive, so I can’t afford

        December 20, 1968

        It is 9:15 PM Friday, so I don't have but a few minutes before the lights go

        Martha, one of the nurses is going to Accra tomorrow. I thought I would write
        a little, so that she could take it with her.

        The Hospital had the Annual Christmas party tonight and we just got back.

        I have been welding almost all day. One of our two trailers need a lot of
        repairs. I said I would do it. It took me a little while to catch on this welding
        machine. By late afternoon I was going great guns.

        At first I had the wrong kind of rod. There is a difference between AC and DC
        rod. I couldn't get it to hold an arc.

        Finally I got the right rod. I have done a little welding before but never have
        had a lot of practice.

        Just when I finished the trailer, a fellow brought two wheels to be rebuilt. I
        did that job before I quit.

     Hostile living for Cary, Susan, Patty

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They did not have the right wheels for a trailer so they cut the center out of
two car
wheel, with a chisel, then took steel plates and drilled the proper holes for the
lugs and I welded it on to the wheel.----REAL BUSH ENGINEERING.
       I may get a degree after attending GBU for 3 years (Ghana Bush

Tomorrow in the big day for the space trip to the Moon. Cary and I are
excited. We are going to try to listen to the launch at noon our time. That will
be 7:00 AM your time.

We killed 13 chickens yesterday. We fried two for supper last night and then
pressured the rest. If we have too much we will just can the rest.

Boy we sure are proud of our deep freeze.

Cary and I went down into the center of Nalerigu yesterday and helped cut a
great big tree down. I straw bossed the job and furnished a cross cut saw
which I guess they never had seen used before. It was quite a show and we
got moving pictures of the event.

December 24, 1968
This is Christmas Eve morning 8:45 AM. I am listening to V.O.A. tell about
the moon trip. In just a little more than an hour the fellows are supposed to
go around behind the moon.

I sure hate to miss all this on TV but that the way it goes. Yesterday was mail
day and we got some nice Christmas cards.

I received one from Bob Simpson. I received the big letter from Milton but the
tape and bulbs haven't come yet. I guess it is a miracle if any mail gets here.

Last month it was the 9th before our check came. It wound up going to
another town and having to be rerouted. The post office people wanted 30¢
extra postage on a Christmas card the other day and I wouldn't pay it. I just
told them to send it back or eat it, I did not care. It had a 10¢ animal stamp
on it and the most it would have needed would be 15¢ but it just made me
mad so I refused it.

The card was from one of Billie's Uncles. Simpson said in his Card that he
had sent us a box, but he didn't say what was in it. If the duty is real high now

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I won't know whether to accept it or not.

This is the reason I have not encouraged people to send us things. We got a
nice card from Elvie Dutton the other day and the Sunday school class
deposited $53.00 in our account there in Collinsville. They wanted us to buy
a ham or something we could use.

Actually I guess this looks a little cold but I believe it is the best way to handle
things like this.

If those 35mm picture turned out good I am going to need more film. I left the
Missionary Equipment catalog with Milton. I guess we should order film from
them and get it to Diana Lay, so she could bring it to us when she comes

I am not sure I have mentioned her to you. She is a nurse that went on leave
in March and is due back in March. she said she would be glad to bring
some things for us. Her address is Phoenix Arizona 85015

We still have not had any word about the barrels but don't worry about it. I
know what it will cost to get the barrels until Gerald gets his bill, but I would
imagine it will be at least $2.50 per cubic foot (l barrel=12 cu. ft.) plus freight
from Accra to Nalerigu.

I went out a Village called Zugiligu last night and showed them a filmstrip
about the first Christmas. I don't know how much they understood. I just have
to hope they get the message enough to understand a little.

I am not sure yet but I may try to find an interpreter to ride with me. At first I
did not want one. I still don't want one actually but if I could find one that
worry about hours worked, I might try it.

Well the guys just went around on the backside of the moon. That must be
scary feeling to say the least.

The wind has been blowing the past couple of days so there is lots of dust in
the air. It is very dry now. Clint has chapped lips and some of the book
covers are curling up.

Susie bought an Ebony elephant in Accra. Up here in Nalerigu, it has

                                             Page 85
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Well it is afternoon now 1:30 PM. Boy I'll bet the TV pictures of the moon
were something. Did you get to see them?. As I figure it some of the exciting
things were happening before you got up.

This is probably where I am coming down with Hepatitis and I did not
know it at this time

I am just being lazy today. I don't feel particularly good today for some
reason. I had a headache yesterday and I didn't sleep well last night.

Clint had the diarrhea and vomits the other day maybe it is effecting me

I don't recall if I said anything about it or not but we have been seeing quite a
few snakes lately. The day we got back from Ouagadougou they killed a
spitting Cobra at out back door. It was a very large one, close to 5 feet long.

The other night I ran over one with my truck while we were on our way to
Mission prayer meeting. Clint saw him and I speeded up and ran over him
two or three times. It was a spitting Cobra also.

A couple of nights ago one spit in Nancy Wall's dog's eyes. This is the third
time I have treated a dog for this.

The story here is that these snakes can spit 15 feet with accuracy. I kind of
doubt it but that is what they say.

This is market day so Billie and the kids just went to take a look. It is quite a
sight to see, hundreds of people all peddling something.

You can get smoked whole fish, smoked monkey, dry okra, onions, yams,
home made cloth, home made rope, small bits of Ju Ju (magic) to be use in
making sacrifice to gods, etc.

You can get about any kind of junk you want except maybe an ICE CREAM

I wrote a couple of letters the other day. One to the US Dept. of Agriculture to
inquire about Federal Service. I didn't think it would
hurt anything to find out what they had to offer.

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Actually I am going to have a good paying job because it won't be long
before I will have kids in College.

I understand from the Short wave Radio that much of America will have a
white Christmas. We won't have snow. It is bright hot sun for us. We may go
swimming just for the heck of it, just to say we did.

The kids have to go back to school on the 4th. It is hard on them to be gone
from home. Susie would just as soon not go but she know she has must go.
Cary did very well, is his work, he was first in his class.

Patty was not very happy so I guess we will let her change to the American
School. That is where she wants to go. The French spooked her.

My Arizona license should be renewed next month. I will need to check with
Alex to see if the notice has come. I can't afford to let that expire, cause I
may decide to go out there when I get home.

Billie has been down in her back a little bit the past couple of days. She hurt
it cleaning the house. She has been walking a little crooked since she hurt it,
so I rubbed her with the Methylgesic.

Sunday I had a pretty interesting day. The past month has been the Moslem
fasting period. It is called Romadon. It is quite an occasion for them. Last
Sunday was the climax of the thing where they go off fasting.

I think it is like Marti Gras. At Kasapi when I drove up, they were really having
a ball, beating the drums and dancing and singing. I stood around and
watched for a little and took some pictures.

They invited me to come into the center of the group and wanted to know
what message I had brought. They asked me to lead them in prayer and
then I played them my tape-recorded sermon.

When the tape was over it was going to good to stop. I had a good
interpreter so I preached a little myself. The hard core Moslems really
squirmed when I told them " the Kingdom of God is just like that house over
there". The only way to get into it, is through the door.

I told them that Jesus says in the Bible "I am the door".

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After I finished I treated quite a few people. One little boy had a badly
infected foot. It may have been a guinea worm. I lanced it and got a lot of

I sure did see a lot of little children with Malaria at that village last night.

Now it is Friday afternoon the 27th of December. Cary and I are getting
ready to hear the return of the space men (we hope).

I was busy this morning. I butchered a Ram for the people down at the
leprosy village. It was a dash (gift) to the hospital and they decided to give it
to the lepers. I told them I would butcher it.

The people who usually do the butchering are so filthy I hope I can teach
them a better

way. They just whaler the carcass all over the ground. The meat gets pretty

I want to try to teach them to hang the animal from a tree or rafter.

The people here eat the entire animal, so I did some extra things that I would
not normally do. I opened the stomach and emptied it and cleaned it. Then I
opened the full length of the gut and washed that.

They also eat the heart, lungs, and head. On the head, they burn the hair off
and after some cooking, they eat hide and all.

After I did that a man from Nagbo, about 4 miles from here came and got me
and I drove down there and delivered a calf. It was half way out coming
frontward, hung up on the back end.

The hind feet were forward trying to come along with the rear end. I cut the
calf in half and delivered it easily.

I sent two 1800 feet tapes to Kenneth Wadlow for him to tape me some FM
music and we got one of those back. Boy was it perfect.

Just one side gives 3 hours of music at 1 7/8 the other three tracks are at 3
3/4 that last maybe an hour and a half. We will have good music now.

There is a Measles epidemic out at Boko and I treated the children Sunday. I

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was worried about them so I went back out there yesterday and looked at
them again. They seemed much better. Their eyes were very bad Sunday.

I even took my sketch paper along and sketched
the chief and one other fellow.

Oh I forgot to say that I got 5 eggs and a chicken for delivering the calf, how
about that?

Jan. 4, 1969    Louis

The rest, that everyone has been urging me to get , I guess I will now get. I
am about seven days into about with Hepatitis. I really haven't been very
sick actually, my temperature has not gone over 100 and the only medicine
that I have had to take is Vitamins and one sleeping pill.

I started feeling under the weather Sunday the 29th of December. I have
had some back pain and some nausea, but I have only vomited once. I
noticed my urine getting pretty dark, so Monday morning I had the kids take
a sample up to the lab and after looking at the sample, the Dr. wanted me to
come on up, for a check up. So far I am not real yellow. At first I didn't have
much appetite but I am doing a little better now.

I don't know how long I will be laid up but they talk like 6 weeks. Billie and the
kids will have to take Gama globulin. The kids are still here but due to go
back to school tomorrow. They will go to Tomale with Mrs. Richardson and
then fly on to Accra.

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               Happy New Year 1969 From Ghana West Africa
                                        AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       The kids are not to eager to leave but they know it must be done. The time
       for them to be home has gone by very fast, and I think they enjoyed

       I have not been ignorant of the risks that I am taking, exposing myself to
       almost every imaginable kind of disease, but I have been trying to be as
       careful as possible also.

       I wash my hands well with disinfectant soap after ministering to the people. I
       also know that dealing with their mouths, as I have been doing there is the
       danger of a droplet of moister popping up into my face or eyes that could be
       the way I might get infected. Actually I dealt with that some time ago, and
       decided, that I would be as careful as I could, and would trust God with the
       rest of it.

       One thing that hurts the most is that I had several people out in the villages
       that were improving real well, from bad sores, and now I guess they will
       loose it all. I am particularly concerned about Boko where I have been
       treating five babies for measles. I have had them on antibiotic for

       There is no need to worry excessively for me, I will be OK. It will just take
       time to fight this out.

       Jan. 7, 1969

       By this time you have had time to get real concerned aver the fact that I am
       sick, so I thought I had better write often (even though the mail might not
       even go out) to let you know that I am OK.

       My eyes are yellow as can be now, but I am feeling OK. I stay in bed all the
       time except to go to the bathroom. I am not weak, and I eat fairly well just
       not as much as usual. I have not had any more lab. work done, but I look for
       them to want to do more this week. Because I have nothing to do, I read of
       and on all day. There is a little itchiness, and dry skin that goes along with
       this so I have to put lotion on my feet and legs.

       During my convalescence, I have decided to paint37 a few pictures, every

     My Paintings

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       where you look here, there seems to be some scenes that would make either
       a good photograph, or a good painting so I have taken this opportunity to
       paint some.

       Billie took the truck and drove to Sakogu to get Chicken feed. It is only about
       12 miles. Even considering the drive, the feed is cheaper over there than
       here. Because of the Hospital and the white man the price is elevated.

       The wind has blown a gale today38 so the house has got grit and ash all over

       Joseph the young fellow who works for us, mopped the floor this morning ,
       and before he was through, you could have swept up a dustpan full.

       I had to kill all my old hens. I am hoping these new ones start to lay soon
       because we sure need the eggs. We haven't been getting any eggs even
       with all these chickens.

       It is expensive to feed them. This sack of feed today cost $5.00. The local
       eggs are no good however. Over half of them would be rotten.

       This is Friday the 24th of January so this is the fourth week of my Hepatitis. I
       am hoping that I won't have to be down much longer, I sure and ready to get
       back to work.

       January 9, 1969

       It is Thursday morning almost 11:30 AM. I just got though shaving and
       putting on some nice smelling after-shave. I needed the lift. I am not sure I
       will have anything to say but I thought I would try.

       I am feeling OK. I am not yellow anymore. My urine is still pretty dark and
       my stool is gray color.

       I have been reading most all day but I stay in bed all the time. Yesterday the
       wind blew awful hard all day. The house was just full of dirt.

       Late in the evening it let up so Billie a Joseph swept it once and mopped. It
       was reasonably clean last night.

     Harmatan Sky

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Today is the day the Astronauts are supposed to have their news conference
Washington. I sure home I can get it on the radio. AFRTS is supposed to
have it about 1600 GMT.

Patty was not very well satisfied at the International School so we decided to
let her change over to the American School. We got word that she got
changed over OK. At least now she will not have to take French.

January 12, 1968

This is Sunday afternoon 1:00 PM, We have just finished eating lunch so I
figured I would write a bit.

We had macaroni and cheese and green beans. It was sure good and I ate
several helpings.

This sickness has kind of screwed up my appetite it seems. A lot of things
just don't taste very good, and I can’t seem to take much.

I think I am starting to mend now however because the lab test looked better
and the swelling is starting to go down in my liver.

For a while my liver was so swollen, it was uncomfortable to lye on my
stomach. I am thankful that we are having reasonably cool nights so sleeping
is more comfortable.

I am sure I wrote a note and put it into that tube of my African paintings that I
sent, to the effect that everyone should be given one of those paintings. Aunt
Lillian gets first choice.

I painted one picture in oil the Sunday that I got sick. It was still wet in all that
blowing dirt, so it got pretty dirty. I hung it up today.

I had Clint and Joseph kill 4 chickens yesterday. We will have broiled chicken
soon. They killed two of the largest broilers and two young roosters. I hope
they are tinder enough to eat. I can't eat much greasy food so we will broil

January 14, 1969

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I have just finished egg, toasted biscuit, and oatmeal. I am feeling good. I
sure wish I could get out of here. I don't guess I'll be able to.

We have not heard from the kids since they left for school.

We broiled a couple of our chickens. They sure were good . I just cut them in
half, put salad oil on them and put them on the broiler. Billie painted them
with Bar-B-Q sauce. They were great.

January 19, 1969

It is noon now and I just got your last letter out and reread it. I seems a
shame for me to still be confined to the house because I am from all outward
appearances and the way I feel, well now. But here I am still in the house.

I am going to get them to run some lab tomorrow and I hope the results will
show that I can get out some.

I have been painting some the past few days and reading some books. I
read one yesterday I think you would like. It is called "The cross and the
switchblade". I read the whole thing yesterday afternoon.

Billie has been reading Huckleberry Finn to Clint. They are in Clint's room
taking a nap now.

The air is so dry now that I have had to start taking a Q-tip and putting
Mentholatum up in my nose.

Clint and I have been fighting bees. We heard a big buzzing sound and
looked out to see a big swarm of bees hanging from the rafters of the eave of
our house so Clint and I mixed up a little spray and pried the screen open
just enough to the nozzle of the sprayer out to where we could spray them.
We have had to fight bees, a couple of times sense we got here. The last
time they were in the attic, and when I finally got rid of them, the honey
dripped down into Susan's room and made a mess. It was too strong tasting
to eat.

January 24, 1969

This is Friday, so the fourth week of the Hepatitis is almost over.

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                                   AFRICAN ADVENTURE

A fellow just came down, to tell us that the barrels are at the Hospital. If we
can get someone to bring them down here we can get in there to see all the
goodies you all sent.

Clint is about to turn back flips he is so excited.

Here it is Saturday morning. We got a fellow to bring the barrels down. After
opening them we had a ball taking everything out. You all went to so much
expense. There is no way that we can tell you how much we appreciate it.

I am glad you put names on everything. We inventoried every item and know
what each person gave. When we finally got everything separated it was
past suppertime so we decided to have that can of steaks that Aunt Lillian
put in.

Billie put almost everything away before bedtime. I opened the Cocktail
Peanuts Aunt Lillian sent and savored the goobers.

I appreciate the dental instruments and dental book, it will really be nice
when I get to go again.

I wish the kids were here now to enjoy some of the goodies, especially the
Fritos and Crackers.

Jan. 31, 1969

It is about 9 PM so we only have about an hour more of lights so I had better
hurry. I have been painting almost all day long the past few days. I have
been wanting to create some of my own material. Most of what I have been
painting has been ideas taken from pictures, or other paintings, so I have
wanted to try to work up some ideas of my own. That is what I have been
doing the past few days, and I am doing reasonably well I think. I have been
using scenes that I see out in the villages and along the roads. I am trying to
capture things that are typical of this culture.

A couple of people were here at the Hospital the other day and they came
down here to visit. They are missionaries who teach at a school about 150
miles from here. They were so impressed with my paintings that they wanted
to buy some. I have about 10 different scenes of this area, and they want to
give the ones that they chose, to a man who is going home on leave. They
think that these pictures will show the church people at home what life is like

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE


I have been feeling good but I am still not going out to work. Today ends the
fifth week of my being locked in. Right now I am listening to short-wave
radio. I am listening to Russ Morgan over WNYE the music is from the
Dunes out in Los Vegas Nevada, how about that.

It has been terribly dusty the past few days. I don't guess you can see over 2
miles. It is powder dry dust, and settles on everything in the house. It is
necessary to mop and sweep sometimes several times a day.

Boy I sure enjoy mail from home and today I hit the jackpot, six letters, isn't
that great.

I went out Sunday for a while and the people of my villages sure have lost
ground heath wise, while I was sick. At one village, Boko the seven or so
little children that I was treating or measles were improving. Their
temperatures were up to 105, with sore eyes, and pneumonia. Because of
my sickness and inability to follow up, four of the children died. The epidemic
is still going on and I treated several more Sunday, which were bad with
pneumonia. At Mimima things were just about as bad, and one little boy had
a terrible burn on his leg. The burn was a third degree burn on the backside
of the knee area, and because of poor care, up to this point, scar tissue was
beginning, that would permanently crippled the child. The mother had
allowed the leg to stay in a flexed position so long that he was unable to
straighten the leg out. I knew it would hurt terribly bad but I knew I had no
other choice, than to force the leg straight and tear what scar tissue there

I did in fact force the leg straight and bandaged the leg with Furacin
bandage. I made the bandages so that he would be forced to have a straight
leg. The leg was some weeks healing but it did heal and he could walk.

The bees are trying to take us again this morning, so I sprayed them a little.
They are hard to discourage, and I am almost out of spray. When they are
trying to take over the house they really make a lot of noise.

I have had time to paint a lot of pictures in the past month, and I have written
25 letters. Of course I don't have a TV to take up my time, and I don't have
to try to make a living either. Strange feeling.

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Feb. 4, 1969 Billie

I just returned from the market with a nose full of red pepper and dried fish. I
needed some elastic, so I just had to go.

Usually I ask Joseph, the young man who works for us, to shop for me when
he goes to lunch, but I forgot to ask him today.

I found some, wrapped around a piece of cardboard, with dirty smudges on it
and he wanted 10 cents for a yard. I looked further but there was none to be
had so went back and bought 3 yards.

What I am doing is making Christmas presents that I had hoped to have
done by Christmas. I was selfish, however and sewed for my own children

Any way for the little girls on the compound I make little pinafores with
matching panties. One little girl is 3 years, one 4 years, and one 5 years old.
The nine year old I'm making a little shorty gown with matching panties.

The two boys, 7 - 9, I am making a shirt each. That leaves one little girl 11
years old who is at school in Accra, and I don't know what I will make for her.

But what ever it is I will also make each of my girls one of the same to send
so I won't be in the doghouse with them. I have been doing some appliqués
on the pinafores with my zigzag, and it looks pretty good.

February 4, 1969

I went out Sunday for a while and the people of my villages sure have lost
ground health wise while I was sick.

At one village Boko I had been treating seven or so little children for measles,
and they seemed to be improving. They were really sick. with temperatures
about 105°, sore eyes , etc.

With out follow up treatment however in my absence four of them died.

The epidemic is still going on and I treated several more Sunday that were
bad with pneumonia.

at Mimima things were just about as bad. One little boy had a terrible burn on

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his leg.

The bees are trying to take us again this morning. I sprayed them but they
don't discourage easily.

February 11, 1969 Billie

We heard there is an elephant in the vicinity. There is not much concrete
evidence enough to go trekking into the heat to hunt for it.

We also heard a lion is in the Gambaga area (5 miles west) today.

Dr. Ashworth treated a man night before last, that they said "some sort of big
Cat attack him. We are not deep in the bush enough to see these things.

We know there are herds of monkeys and baboons, because the farmers
continually fight them out of their fields.

We only get glimpses of them crossing the road sometimes when we go to

We also heard on the radio that there was an earthquake in Accra that
injured some people.

Louis went to a village about 17 miles away to look at the cattle they are
staking out for Rinderpest vaccination on Saturday.

Tomorrow he is going back and Tuberculosis Test a bunch of
them to get an idea if there is TB in the area.

It is a shame the cow’s milk tastes so terrible here. I guess it is the difference
in grasses and weeds they eat. Other tribes own the cows but the Fulani
tribe takes care of them. The Fulani women weave silver coins into their
interesting hair dos.

Louis took a good picture of one woman. Today the Fulani chief at Langbensi
let Louis sketch him and also his wife.

Louis has been painting a good deal on some big pictures in oils, the last few
days. This hobby is such a blessing at this time to keep his hands busy while
his body rests.

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                                   AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Louis just feels good all the time. He has never really felt "sick" since the first
week or so.

I am still doing lots of sewing. Also some of my sewing class girls came by
today and we have set next Thursday to start our sewing classes again. I
stopped before Christmas.

Feb. 12, 1969

This is mail day and it has gone out so this letter won't go until Saturday, but I
thought I would write when I had the time. I went to Langbensi this morning
to TB test a few cows. I have been interested in seeing if TB is a problem

I left here a little before seven. They had collected 8 to 9 hundred head tied
them up to stakes getting ready to vaccinate for Rinderpest Saturday. It is
quite a sight to see close to a 1000 head of cattle, all tied up, with all of the
Fulani herdsmen standing around. After we got through TB testing I treated
20 or more cattle for pink eye. Then the people were all standing around
waiting to be treated. I treated ringworm, Malaria, sores, scabies etc. About
this time some people came up asking to come examine a woman who had
been in labor for 3 days. I went down there and scrubbed her and myself
real good with disinfectant soap and examined her. The baby’s head was
too big to come through the birth canal so I knew it would have to be a

Life is difficult for these people, for example this woman was laying on a little
wicker mat, on a dirt floor, and when hard labor starts she roles off on the dirt
floor, so as not to spoil her mat. The people had been
pushing and pulling on her abdomen for three days trying to get the baby to

After cleaning up, I loaded the woman in my truck and started for the hospital
in Nalerigu.

The following morning I found out that a live baby was delivered by
caesarian. The woman had a ruptured urinary bladder from straining so
hard, but that was able to be repaired.

I know it will sound a little wild but we have had a little excitement the last few
days. An Elephant chased a woman right here at Nalerigu, and a Lion was
spotted at Gambaga. A few nights ago one of the Doctors was up half the

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night sewing on a man who was attacked by a leopard. I guess it really cut
him up bad.
We haven’t seen any of this , but I sure would like to.

Good morning, this is Thursday the 13th. I just woke up and went to check
on the woman in labor. It seems they did do a caesarian and the baby was
still alive. Its head was badly swollen and they had to work pretty hard to get
the baby to breath but they both seem to be doing OK.

February 19, 1969

It is 9 PM and we just got back from prayer meeting.

We have been here a year now, a lot has happened.

I guess the mail is screwed up again it has been two mail days with nothing
from any body. It is hotter than Hades here now.

I have been getting out more lately. Last Saturday we started our Rinderpest
vaccination at 4 villages. At Langbensi we vaccinated 1250 for Bangs and
1600 for Rinderpest.

It was quite a day. In between vaccinations of cattle, I pulled teeth and
treated everything imaginable.

The woman that I brought in to the hospital to have the section is doing well.
She had a pretty, light skinned, red headed baby

The fellows are collecting cattle at Gambaga and Nalerigu for vaccination
Saturday. I imagine we will to 3000 or better.

I am trying to get some picture of the action. It is a scream to watch. It is
better than a rodeo.

I have been doing some more painting and starting to come up with a new
material that I think will be good. I am using my own ideas now. I am painting
scenes typical of everyday life here. I take my sketchpad that Aunt Lillian
sent me, out in the bush with me and sketch my ideas, then when I get back
home I put them on cloth.

I haven't got the money yet but I may have some sold at 75¢ each.
I feel a little silly charging but these people just insist on buying some of my

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March 1, 1969 Billie's thoughts

Louis left out this morning shortly after 5 AM to vaccinate. He returned about
12:30 Noon. That is about all a person can take at this time of the year
because the sun is extra strong and before a before a person can believe
what is happening it is time to get out of the sun and rest.

Louis took a bath and a nap. He was too tired to go to a little get together

We had ground nut stew for lunch. Groundnuts are our PEANUTS. Can you
imagine peanut butter in a guinea fowl stew. But you haven't heard the best
(or worst) of it. It is served over rice. Then to go over the rice you have your
choice of one or all of the following side dishes: sautéed onions, roasted
peanuts, shredded coconut, diced cucumber, diced bananas, diced tomatoes
, pineapple chunks, diced Paw Paw, orange pieces, raisins, diced raw onion.

Now to eat it PROPERLY you heap all this together on the ground stew and

I'm chicken and put my fruit together in one spot, tomatoes in another spot
and so on.

We also had two kinds of cake and strawberry ice cream.

I brought Louis home a big plate of all the goodies. He rested and got rid of a
headache and feels fine now.

A Presbyterian American teacher from south of here has been wanting some
of Louis's little paintings on clothe. This morning he came just after Louis had

I fixed him a cup of coffee and he chose 17 of the painting and gave a
$17.00 check. How about that?. They have two of their missionary families
going home on furlough and wanted to give them each a set as a gift.

March 6, 1969

It is a nice cool morning. There is a nice breeze and the house is quiet. Billie
and Clint have gone down to the Church this morning to help teach some

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

men to read. They are having this leadership course again this year where
young men come in from some of the near by villages.

The heat has been awful, but I am not even sweating this morning.

I am going to leave this afternoon to go about 50 or 60 miles to a village
called Kpesimpe. We are to vaccinate cattle. I figure to be gone two or three

The area where I am going I have been told has some Hippopotamus, which
you can see in the very dry season. I might get a chance to see them, at
least I hope so.

This is the area that Cary and I went one time last year during the rainy
season. The mosquitoes almost ate us up.

I have been painting quite a bit lately I enjoy it and it takes up time when I
don't have anything else to do.

It is a good thing these little pictures don't take much paint cause I would run
out of paint fast.

I went into the pantry to clean it a bit this morning. I think the biggest part of
the items are going to last out the time. The longer we are here the more it
looks like we did a good job of planning.

Our canned fruit is holding up good as is our Spam.

The kids will be home the last of this month so they will get to enjoy a lot of
the goodies you all sent in the barrels.

I don't know what we will do while they are here but we have been trying to
think of something exciting to do. We turned in the Peugeot, so now we only
have the truck, it will be a little crowded if we try to go very far.

We were thinking of going up to Ouagadougou but I haven't tried to get the
necessary papers yet.

March 18, 1969

This is Tuesday almost lunchtime. It is still hot and still not rain. Sure could
use even a little shower.

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Yesterday was mail day but didn't get anything. This is a strange place and I
am sure that in the past year I have not been able to tell you exactly what is
going on here.

I know that in my letters it seems that I am always on the go and that I stay
real busy, but in reality, this is not true. That is the reason I have had so
much time to paint.

Sometimes it seems that is all I do for several day. I hesitate to try to explain
things because I know how difficult they would be to understand.

In the past year I have tried hard to find ways of using my Veterinary
Knowledge to help the people. Just to stay busy would be great.

If it had not been for doctoring people I just wouldn't have had anything thing
to do. You say "But what is wrong with that"?, well actually nothing that I can
see but you see this work does not have the blessing of the mission and I
must bootleg about all that I do.

There is no doubt that I have helped a lot of people, but the fact remains that
they don't need a Veterinarian.

Dr. Goerner the person in charge of this area of Baptist work will be here in
April. I am writing him a letter and will see him when he is here.

I know that within reason it will be a waste of time but I want them to know
how I feel.

In the next two years the FMB will spend about $20,000.00 probably to keep
us here and they just do not need a Veterinarian here. Especially with the
(Mission power structure's) view that a Veterinarian might in some way
tarnish their image.

I can sit it out and wait till the time is up and that is probably what I will do.

We have been vaccinating some cattle but it takes only a day or so in a
week, and even then you spend more time traveling that you do working.

The Local Ghana Veterinary people like me to help but what they really like is
my truck to haul them around.

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If you don't understand all this don't worry about it because I know it is

One thing I can tell you is that Missionary work is not the easy going, smooth
operation people think it is. There is considerable SPIRITUAL WARFARE.

There is a lot of petty backbiting and personal frictions that you just would not
imagine could happen. But it does.

You would think that at LEAST Missionaries would be on a higher spiritual
plane than the average, but not necessarily so.

What I will probably always wonder is, if all mission fields are like this one. It
is no wonder it has taken 2000 years to proclaim the Gospel.

March 27, 1969

I am in Accra now. I have been here since Sunday evening. I attended a
Hostel meeting Monday and the rest of the week I have been shopping and
just attending to things that I have wanted to do for a while.

I am staying here at the Hostel, so I have had a nice chance to be with the
kids and to see how they get along.
I wanted to go to a picture show while I was here but I don't know if I am
going to get to.

The kids will be out of school for the spring break tomorrow and we will fly up
home on Saturday.

Monday we went down town to shop a little. While there I found some out of
date black and white film for my 35mm camera, for 20¢ per. I bought some
and took a fast 20 pictures. I had them developed and got them back today.

The pictures were pretty good. I will send the negative home to you soon .

I am about eat up with heat rash. It is all around my waist and up on my
chest. It sure has been hot but they had a real nice rain here today.

If all goes well I will take the kids up to Ouagadougou over Easter. We
applied for visas etc.

Cary and Susan only get to stay home about two weeks. Patty comes home

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the fifth and gets to stay until the 25th or so.

Cary and Susan got their grade cards and did OK. Susan had been
complaining about not doing well but she got real good grades

Cary has been goofing off, and dropped down some.

March 19, 1969 Billie's thoughts

Louis is feeling real good and he does have many days that he rests most of
the day. Some days he is busy all day. I think he is getting plenty of rest now.

When they go out to vaccinate there is usually six other men that go along
and they all team up and work together to get the work done real fast.

Only 10 more days until Susan and Cary come home. Patty will be home
April 4th because she changed schools.

Susan seems very sad there.

Louis is flying to Accra, Sunday March 23rd to a meeting and might stay the
week and come back on the plane on Saturday March 29th with Susan and

I want to give the house a good cleaning next week and be all ready for

We had Dr. Richardson and his family over for supper last night and are
having Dr. Ashworth and his family tonight. They have had us over and I
needed to return the invitation.

It has really helped me out to have Joseph to help me with the housework.

March 25, 1969 Billie's thoughts

Clint and I are batching this week since Louis went to Accra.

I made Gooey and a couple of Pumpkin pies today so that will satisfy Clint
for several days, or until it runs out.

I kept a 4-year-old girl and her 10 mo old brother from 6:30 AM until 8:30 PM
and then Dr. Richardson had an emergency call and his wife was gone to a

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        meeting so he brought his two children down at 5:30 AM. they stayed until
        about 8:00 AM.

        Clint and I were worn out. The baby cried a lot (it seemed to us) I am sure
        glad Clint is 9 years old. We changed diapers every 5 minutes it seemed.

        We measured Clint. He wants you to know he is 4 ft 4 inches tall.

        The lights are about to go out good by for now.

        April 7, 1969

        This was to have been the day we left for Ouagadougou39, Upper Volta but it
        is about 7:30 AM and we are having a Toad strangler of a rain.

        We have not had a rain like this since last year. I imagine that this one rain
        will fill the lake and run it over. It was all but empty.

        I woke up about 5:15 AM and as soon as it was light enough to see I told
        Billie there was a storm brewing in the north. It just kept getting blacker and
        blacker, and then the wind started to blow.

        This is funny country, you can see these things coming and many times hear
        them before they arrive.

        This one rain will start the farming season. Even that little shower the other
        day made the farmers start to hook up their oxen to the plows. I even did a
        little plowing myself.

        I went out yesterday Sunday and treated quite a few people. I got stopped at
        Langbensi and pullet several teeth, treated sores, and looked at one woman
        with pretty bad mastitis40. Her temperature was 103°. Her breast was swollen
        up into her armpit. In fact I treated two women with mastitis yesterday. One
        old woman was nursing a baby and one of her breast had a big abscess on

        I evacuated the pus and replaced it with mastitis ointment.

     Ouagadougou over Easter Vacation
     Mastitis Woman

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       You could never imagine the things I do. I laughed a while back , there was a
       fellow with jock itch between his legs so I had him hold his sack up out of the
       way and I painted him good with my iodine.

       He danced for a while but it sure cured his fungus.

       You would die laughing to see these women dance and giggle when I take a
       sponge full of scabies medicine, pull out the front of their dress cloth and
       squeeze the medicine down their front. Then I motion to them to spread it

       Well it is still raining hard so we may not get away today.

       April 16, 1969

       We didn't get any mail last Thursday because the sorry truck didn't show up.
       It was Monday before we go it.

       Susan and Cary are back at Accra now. They went back Monday. That two
       weeks sure went fast and they were not eager to go back.

       I have been keeping my ear glued to the radio listening to the reports about
       that Airplane that Korea shot down. It sure looks like North Korea wants to
       start another war.

       My chickens41 are starting to lay real well. Some days we get 14 eggs. The
       pullets are nice and big and are sure pretty. I am feeding them corn now to
       make their eggs have yellow yolks.

       The eggs they get in Accra, are almost colorless. I will sell a dozen today for
       setting purposes.

       I have found an excellent protein supplement food for my chickens. The best
       thing about it is that it is free for the labor of harvesting it.

       I am sure you have seen National Geographic stories about Termite mounds
       in Africa. Well we have them also.


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        The hills are not as big as some in the National Geographic but they are just
        as full of termites.

        Certain places in the bush are covered with the Termite hills.

        I found that I can collect them, bring them home and feed the termite larva to
        my chickens.

        Boy do they ever like them. It is great fun to burst one of the hills on the
        ground and watch the chickens have a feast.

        April 23, 1969

        It is a hot April afternoon. I have been sweating all day and I am broke out
        with heat rash again especially in my crotch.

        Billie and Patty just went down to the market to see if they could find some
        cloth they liked.

        We have been digging out today and I think we will sell a lot of things we will
        never use. We are selling old shoes, clothes, blankets, and pails etc.

        Just about everything, is what you would classify as junk but one man's junk
        is another man's treasure. We thought it would be fun to just take what ever it
        brings. The funny thing is that if you just gave it away, you would start a riot
        and the people would kill each other, then complain because someone got
        more than he did.

        Billie had gathered a lot of old cloths from some of the other people. we had
        a rummage sale for her sewing42 class. It was a sight to see.

        Billie sold things for 5¢ -10¢ - 20¢ etc.

        I went out to a village this morning and treated a batch of kids for scabies,
        sores etc. We have been getting some ground ready to plant yams. I have
        ordered 2000 yam seeds and I hope to get them tomorrow.

        Billie has to take Clint to Tamale tomorrow to get his tooth filled. One of his
        fillings has come out and he has had a toothache for several days.

     Sewing Class

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The dentist is not very impressive, but it is about the best we can do. Others
seem to think he is OK. We went down there not long ago to check him out
and he seemed to give us the run around.

The sweat is just running off me.

I guess the rainy season is starting. We have had several nice rains.

Supplies are so precious, I have been stockpiling things that could be hard to
get if the roads go out.

I have plenty of Coal oil, bottled gas, and I found a case of margarine in

Things are starting to get scarce here. Word has it that the shortages are

There is suppose to be a big election this fall and some think they are holding
goods back to be dumped on the market at a convenient time to purchase

Evidently there is an elephant hanging around close by. We haven't seen it
but his tracks are not too far from the house and others have seen him.

It would be a thrill to say that I had seen a live elephant while I was in Africa.

April 25, 1969

I just rigged me up a fan and I am going to have to stay in one spot to get the
benefits thereof.

I just went out and took a sunbath hoping to get rid of my heat rash. I am all
broken out under my under pants. Even this far back in the boon docks there
are many eyes watching, so I can't strip off like I would like to.

Billie and Patty are out under the big tree with the sewing class. Normally
they only come once a week but Patty wanted to help again so Billie had
them come back today.

I had one of my rear shock absorbers break off, so I went up and welded it
back on this AM. I sure hope it holds.

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Earlier this week I jerked the muffler off of my truck and to weld it back. They
told me I couldn't do it but I did. It just pulled the pipe right out of the muffler.

The metal is paper-thin and it sure is hard to keep from burning up, when you
try to weld it.

One of my big front coil springs is broken but I don't know when I can get a

Patty goes back to school Sunday so we will take her to Tomale and the Air
Plane. I guess we won't get any mail for a while I hear that Pan Am is on
strike, so that means no air mail.

We didn't get any mail last week or this. In fact this letter might not even go
for a while. I will let Patty take it to Accra with her Sunday.

I have been cleaning out a lot of things that be brought with us that I can see
now we will never use. I am selling them. The things will not bring much but it
is better that just going off and leaving them.

One funny deal is that we have been saving our jelly jars and they are selling
for 5¢ each. Empty plastic gallon jugs bring 40¢.

I sold that Gabardine suit of mine that I gave so much for, for $4.00. I have
lost so much weight I couldn't wear it anyway.

April 29, 1969 Billie's thoughts

We have some empty spaces in our hearts tonight, for the children are all
back in school. Time is passing very quickly and the term will be over fast.

The lights will be going out any moment but I want to get this finished to go
out in the morning mail.

I have an important request to make. Patty needs a new set of strings for her
guitar. What makes it so important is the fact that she has held on to it as
strongly as "LINUS" holds his blanket, for comfort and security.

The guitar has traveled with her on the plane in her lap both times she has
come home. Both times she has said that she brought it for some one else.

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Any way, one string broke and the rest are needing to be replaced. So ask
for a set of strings (6) for a standard guitar. The strings should be in the key
of "G". They should be small enough in a roll to fit into an envelope and not
be very heavy.

Just air mail them to Patty like a letter instead of a package. Then they won't
have to go through customs.

Louis is wondering why I don't have sense of enough to come to bed. He is
weary. We saw Patty off on the Plane Sunday the 27 of April and then we
stayed over night in Tamale.

Louis helped our new missionaries load up their things to move to Tema on
the coast. Their place of work has been changed.

We got home late last night and he worked hard all day. He fixed a flat on the
truck and one on the car, built a chicken pen and unloaded a huge load of
lumber that the Kirklands gave us in Tamale.

They didn't have room to take it with them to Tema. Clint and I worked on
school today trying to get back on our schedule.

My sewing class comes again tomorrow. No mail has come through for a
couple of weeks now.

May 10, 1969 Billie's thoughts

Louis has flown to Kumasi for a committee meeting. Just for over night and
should be back today.

A doctor has come from the states to help for two weeks and between myself
and two other families we are feeding them lunch and supper. They are
staying in the rest house cooking their own breakfast. The Dr.'s wife came
with him and is really helping out.

This enabled Dr. Richardson to get away for a weeks rest that he needed.

I heard from the children on the 7th. They were OK. They are doing well in

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        Today for a change we have a breeze that is very pleasant. The farmers are
        hurting for rain. Louis has hired 3 men and they planted about 1600 yam hills
        and several rows of peanuts43.

        When it rains he has ground ready to plant corn. Also Baby chicks to care
        for. Four old hens have hatched out about 28 babies all at once. We have
        them in a covered pen so that the hawk can't get them.

        May 16, 1969

        Yesterday was mail day and we did better than we have in ages. We just
        haven't been getting any mail. I guess it must have been partly the dock
        strike, because we are getting 4 to 5 Sunday papers at once now. One of
        your letters was written April 18th.

        I wrote Harold Pavey last month and I got a real nice letter from him. He sure
        is a good old boy and writes a warm newsy letter.

        I have had to do some traveling lately and must do some more. I went to
        Kumase for a meeting a week or so ago and must go back next Sunday.

        I will probably be there 3 days. Fresh ear corn was available, so I bought
        some and brought it home with me. It sure was good. It will be a long time
        before corn up here will be ready.

        we have not been getting any rain and the people are really worried. I got
        some ground ready and planted quite a bit of farm. I bought some yam seed
        and have got planted about 2000 hills.
        I also have peanuts and corn.

        I am doing this as an Agriculture project, so am using mission money. It
        doesn't really cost a lot however, the yam seeds cost a cent each and after I
        got the ground plowed I hired some men to plant them at 50¢ per day.

        My corn and peanuts are up but the yams need more rain. I wanted the
        project to use people from the leprosy and TB village but they are too lazy to

        If I do well, I'll have enough yam to feed an army.


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We just had a real nice Doctor and his wife come here to help for a couple of
weeks. He practices in Birmingham Alabama.

They were just wonderful regular people, but the Doctors here didn't like or
appreciate him, for some reason or another.

I don't believe I have ever seen such a collection of hateful people to get
along with. There is no need in trying to explain but it will be nice to get it
over with.

I helped a fellow out in a village and then brought him into the hospital. He
has malaria, sleeping sickness, Onchocerciasis and worms all working on
him at the same time.

May 29, 1969

We had a nice shower this morning so it is not quite a hot as usual.

I haven't done much today. I did some surgery on a dog this morning, and
then I
have painted a little . I have painted three pictures in past few days.

I just take spells. These last three have been in oil and on canvas. I have not
painted any of the little pictures in a couple of weeks.

I sold twelve more. All 29 pictures I have sold have gone to people in other
mission groups.

June 15, 1969 Billie's thoughts

This is Sunday. This morning Clint and I went to the villages with Louis. We
are doing this regularly now. Also through the week we have been going to
the villages to show films.

We show one U.S. Information Service film, usually about Africans. The one
we have now is called "Negro Arts Festival" made here in Africa and then we
show a religious film.

The religious film is called "Every Christian a Missionary". Louis usually gets
a pastor or an English speaking Christian to narrate the films and translate
them into the village language.

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       Last night we had Adrian Hall over for birthday supper. He was 24 years old.
       He was born in Georgia but has lived in Glendale Arizona a good while.

       Adrian has his teacher’s degree from Grand Canyon College in Phoenix. He
       is a journeyman that means he is here on a two-year program. He is
       teaching Bible and History in the teacher’s training school here.

       Louis and Adrian have gone out to another village to show films.

       June 23, 1969

       It is Monday morning now and I have decided to rest today. I have been
       going pretty hard lately.

       I have been doing carpenter work this last week. I built a Pole type barn
       building to be used as a church, treatment center, and village meeting place,
       at Boko44.

       The people at Mimima built me a shed there so we could get in out of the sun
       and bad weather so we have been pretty busy.

       We are still very dry and really hurting for rain. The people are really worried
       about crops. If it doesn't rain soon there will be a lot of hunger.

       I have done a little carving lately. I have been wanting to try a little sculpture
       so I have been carving some elephant bookends. I have been pleased with

       I also got an order for 40 pictures, so I painted some here a few weeks ago.

       Today is Billie's sewing class, so there will be lots of noise this afternoon.

       June 26, 1969

       I just finished up a pole barn type building. We have built two in the past two
       weeks. One was my work and they helped. The other is their project and I

     My Boko and Memima Work

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                                           AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       The pole building is 14 by 16 feet and is 9 feet tall at the eaves. I built it using
       my own
       material so I didn't have to ask anyone for money or materials.

       I used lumber from moving crates and straightened nails I salvaged out of
       the lumber.

       I plan to use it as a place to get in out of the sun and rain, to treat the people
       and have our services.

       Most of the churches that the missionaries build are made of mud with grass
       roofs. They are small, dark, and hot.

       Mine will be large, plenty of light and will be able to be used for many things.

       I have been seeing a lot of real sick people lately. Several in the past week
       have similar symptoms. It seems that ones leg is swollen from the groin
       down to the foot, lots of fever and pain and real sick.

       One woman last Sunday was awful bad so I treated her and then went back
       Wednesday to check on her. I was pleased to see that she had really
       improved. She could hardly move on Sunday.

       I was a little reluctant to treat these people at first but if I don't they will just
       lay there and die.

       Billie and Clint are going with me now on Sundays. A lot of people from near
       by villages are coming to these two villages on Sunday to be treated but I
       also get flagged down on the road to treat and pull teeth.

       July 3, 1969

       We leave next Tuesday for Accra, so I thought I would write to you today
       because I may not get around to it again until after Mission meeting.

       I have farmed45 mostly all week. I plowed another 6 or 7 acres and put it in
       corn. Yesterday morning I had 27 women out here planting corn at one time.
       It jut took a couple of hours.

     My Farm

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What a picture to see, 27 women dressed in their cloths wrapped around
them, and most of them with a bright cloth about their heads.

They carry a planting stick about an inch in diameter and 60 inches long.
They walk the rows and poke a hole in the soil, drop in the seed and close
the hole by stepping on it with bare foot.

In side yourself you are excited to witness and be a part of this ancient ritual
but outwardly you have a mater of fact demeanor.

I killed 9 more chickens the day before yesterday. I am continually culling the
flock to eliminate the ones who are not laying eggs.

I am selling enough eggs to pay for the feed, with enough eggs left over for
all we need.

I have 27 baby chicks, two months old, and 10 a week old. I also have a
dozen eggs under a setting hen.

I killed two ducks and just finally had to skin them, because the feathers were
so hard to remove.

Our rains have finally started to come. I think today is the first day this week
we have not had rain.

July 15, 1969

It is a little overcast this morning, so it might not get so hot today. I plowed
more farm yesterday so the boys who work for me will have a job when we

I had some interesting small animal surgery yesterday this morning. A man
was outside before breakfast with a female dog with a cancer like growth on
her vulva.

After breakfast I did the surgery. I am out of Nembutal my general anesthetic
that I brought, so I used a epidural block (spinal block),

The anesthesia was perfect for the procedure. I have never seen this
condition in my practice at home but I believe it is called Genital Granuloma.

The surgery is difficult and tricky because the diseased tissue surrounds the

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                                       AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       urethra (tube the urine comes from) it is necessary to surgically remove all
       diseased tissue without destroying the urethra.

       I have done several of these, one in a male dog, whose penis was totally

       On the male, I did a urethrostomy46 (brought the urethra to the outside just
       beneath the rectum) and totally remove the penis.

       The procedure worked beautifully and I have pictures to show.

       July 16, 1969
       We are at Sekondi47 on our vacation. We brought my short wave radio with
       us and we are listening to the Moon launch today. We went shopping this
       morning, then came back to the house to listen to the radio.

       We had a pot of stew this evening. Food is always a problem when you are
       away from home. It costs too much and generally isn't fit to eat anyway. We
       went to the store this morning and bought some onions at .10¢
       each, some potatoes at 40¢ per pound, and a hunk of tough meat and a few
       other things.

       We are staying at what is called our "Rest house" it is an old residence
       where some missionaries used to live. The house is maintained and used for
       this purpose.

       There is a store here called African Industries where they sell all kinds of
       African Crafts. We went there this morning and spent our money.

       We are starting to put together the things we want to bring back to the USA
       with us. There are so many nice things, I wish we could bring every one
       something big but I am afraid we are going to have to settle for something

       The African woods are beautiful when made into furniture.

       Sunday we swam in the Ocean all afternoon and I think we will go again

     Secondi Vacation

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        tomorrow. Yesterday we visited Elmina48 Castle. It was built in the 1600. It
        was used to keep slaves for sale to trading ships.

        There were dungeons and secure places to hold the people. While we were
        there four busloads of American Negroes were sight seeing and we were
        told that they were grand children of former slaves.

        Martin Luther King's boy was in the group. Most of them were dressed pretty

        We will be here another week. After our vacation we will go to Kumase for a
        week of mission meeting.

        The kids all did fairly well on their grades. Susie did the best. We are driving
        a Volkswagen, which gives us quite a lot of room.

        By the time we get back, we will have been gone almost a month. I hope it is
        all there when we get back.

        I have four men working the farm while I am gone. I am hoping to have some
        nice corn when we get back. Some that I planted in mid May was ready to
        eat just as we left so it will be too dry by the time we get back.

        July 21 1969

        Monday evening 7:00 PM finds us listening to the short wave, giving the
        account of the astronauts taking off from the moon,

        I stayed up all night last night to listen to Voice of America.

        I sure wish I could have watched it on TV. Cary and I did get to go to a movie
        put out by the US information service in Accra. The movie was about the
        Apollo program.

        We went down by the ocean this morning and brought some fresh fish. They
        were very good.

        Later we went back to the ocean for a couple hour swim.

     Elmina Castle

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Saturday we went swimming and Cary caught a small octopus.

Food is one of the biggest problems on one of these outings. The stores,
what few there
are just do not have much to offer. You can't buy meat that is safe to eat.

I bought two hunks of frozen beef, about 2 pounds, l and made stew, which
was tasty and filling.

Bananas and Pineapples are plentiful and cheap.

One thing that is nice here on the coast, is that it is cool. The humidity is high
however. Some of our things are mildewing. Even my shoes mildew.

Well the space ship is on its way home.

August 1969

I am sitting on the shady side of the truck, some 30 miles from Nalerigu. My
battery quit me this morning so I am sitting here waiting for Billie or someone
to come help me start the truck.

I left out about 4:30 AM this morning, so I could get to this village for an early

We were to have started at 6 AM and I was right on time. We vaccinated 60
or 70 head for bangs and castrated a few. We then came back to the truck to
move to a different village. I got in the truck to start it and all she did was

I had small warnings that the battery was going out but I was hoping it would
hold out until I could get Tomale.

I have the company of two little naked boys about 5 years old. One named
Mahamido and the other is Megado. I don't understand a word they say but I
know how to ask their names.

It seems to please them to call them by their names. When you want to ask
someone his name you say "euri".

It is 2:30 PM now and currently we are having a beautiful day. This morning it

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rained on us.

Here come three goats down the road and they cant figure this deal out. I'll
bet they figure one of those people sure is pale. I am about 100 yards from
the Paragu village school and during lunch hour some of the children came
over to the truck and visited with me.

We had a nice time. I read them some bible stories, then I quizzed them to
see how good they were in their schoolwork.

Several had sores so I treated and bandaged them.

I drew one little boys picture and now at recess time he came back out here
and had his picture colored real nice.

The schoolteacher came out to visit and asked me to come to the school to
look at some of the other children. I really got busy then.

It is a couple of days later now and about 9 PM in the evening. I went back
out to Paragu the next morning and spent over two hours treating people just
as fast as I could.

I don't know how many teeth I pulled. There sure were lots of sick people. I
plan on going back Sunday morning, to have service for them. They are
mainly interested in my medicine but I imagine they will get a little Spiritual
medicine also.

August 5, 1969

It is late and I probably don't have time to finish this before the lights go out.
This has been a Holiday here in Ghana. School was out and the hospital was

It being Monday it should have been Mail day but we didn't get any so maybe
we will get it tomorrow. I sure appreciate the Watch and the calendars.

The watch is a very nice one, and seems to be very accurate.

It is the following afternoon now about a quarter to four. I went out this
morning to work but never did get much work done. Just a long 92-mile drive
on rough roads.

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

We were to have worked this village before, but I was sick, so they didn't go.
When we went out there today, they were not ready.

Yesterday on my way home from Kasape I was flagged down in Langbensi
by the African Catholic father. He was sick with a greatly swollen lymph node
under his left arm. It was not ready to open, so I gave him 2 cc penicillin and
some tablets.

This morning I went by there again and boy he was much improved. The
swelling was down and the pain was much less. I left him more pills. While I
was there another man wanted a tooth extracted.

August 6, 1969

We're home! Got to Nalerigu about 6:00 PM on Monday the 4th. Ever since
we arrived we have been working our heads off cleaning and washing.

I still can't see over the mess but maybe today will start showing some

All the dishes, pans, etc had to be taken out of the kitchen and we sprayed
for roaches. Louis tackled the pantry and we got a path cleared through it.

Half or more of the wash finished. We are digging dust and mopping. We
swept 4 times yesterday and it never quite looked like it.

The wet sand sticks to our feet. We had a shower in the night and had to go
out in the dark with a flashlight to bring in the clothes and re-hang them in the

I cut Louis's hair yesterday and he cut the boys hair. All have gone to
Gambaga this morning to look at some sick cows. The chickens quit laying
while we were gone.

August 16, 1969

I wrote 8 letters yesterday trying to get caught up. I haven't heard from Uncle
Louis since March and I am beginning to wonder if he is alright.

We are getting a good deal of rain now. It rained all morning yesterday.

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        Clint is out hunting with his catapult (beanie flip) Cary is reading a science
        fiction thriller and Susan and Patty are still in bed.

        Say big deal, I have had two patients this morning one puppy with an
        abscess on his jaw and there is a goat out side now --time out-- the goat had
        a sore mouth.

        August 20, 1969

        We finally got the Photographic dark room set up. I printed and enlarged a
        few pictures last night. These are taken with my 35mm camera. It is the
        same one I take the slides with.

        I might have mentioned that I bought quite a lot of cheap black and white film
        while I was in Accra. The reason it was so cheap, is that it was out of date.

        The film only cost 10¢ for 36 exposures.

        One of the nurses brought an enlarger back with her. I helped her set it up. I
        built some cabinets etc. Now we will have some fun with it.

        I bought some chemical and photographic paper with me but I'll bet I didn't
        bring near enough. I could see last night a fellow could go through the paper
        real fast.

        I took the picture with all of us in it, automatically in Ouagadougou. I got it all
        focused and set, then raced over and joined the group. I guess that is the
        reason I look like I just messed my pants.

        The one with Clint asleep holding the baby49 that is asleep, was taken one
        day on the way back from a village. They were both tired so they passed out.

        September 13, 1969

        This is Saturday again and it looks like it will be another HOT sun shiny day.

        We harvested the ground nuts (peanuts) yesterday50. It was quite a day.

     Cary, Clint and Baby
     Peanut Harvest

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                                 AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Wednesday we uprooted the plants and turned them upside down, so that
the nuts could dry.

We gave the plants a couple of days to dry, which reduced the bulk of the
green parts of the plant.

Yesterday I called the people from the TB village ALAFIA TINGA to come to
pick the nuts off the plants.

I went down in the field and loaded the plants on the trailer. I used the Ford
diesel tractor to bring the trailer up to the house, under our big tree.

We had over 100 people and it was a screaming good time.

The harvest was good I thought. We got about 8 1/2 barrels of nuts. I don't
know what that would weigh but if a barrel should weigh over 200 pounds.
Surely they should.

The gross weight should be close to 2000 pounds of nuts. A reasonable
guess is that they would be worth $75.00 to $80.00. After being dried and
shelled, they would be more valuable.

I had already promised the people that I would give all the peanuts to them.
As the day progressed, they started quarreling amongst themselves. They
were restless and were afraid that some one else would get their share.

I almost lost my temper with them.

September 24, 1969 Billie's thoughts

From the sounds of this LSD business and the reports of drug abuse, it may
be rough on the kids when they get home and are confronted with all the

Louis has been telling them about some of the things they will be confronted

We just went to the garden and brought back two huge buckets of fresh corn.
We are blanching and cutting some off the cob to freeze. We took the other
three houses a big mess of corn.

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                                         AFRICAN ADVENTURE

        Louis bought Clint a little brown baby goat51 when we were in the villages last
        Sunday. Clint has been wanting one.

        Sunday night the goat52 cried all night so Louis went out and taped his mouth
        shut. This upset Clint a little the next morning when he went out and found it
        but it has not been necessary since.

        After Louis came back to bed he felt something crawling on him and after
        hitting at several times and it kept crawling he got the flashlight and
        discovered he had a flea from the goat.

        The next morning he dipped the goat.

        Hair cut53 time is interesting because when Billie cuts my hair or when I cut
        Cary's or Clint's we have a big audience watching the spectacle. That is what
        happened this week.

        September 23, 1969

        It is Tuesday 11:30 AM. We drove up to Garu54 yesterday. It is a small village
        about 40 miles north of here. There is a Dutch fellow up there who is doing
        Agriculture work with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. He is a nice
        fellow and I have been telling him that I would come up.

        They have a good program going. They sell seeds and fertilizer, train
        donkeys and help the people build concrete silos55 for grain storage. They
        were having a small conference yesterday and asked me to speak to the

        They want me to return in January and teach a 3-day course in something.

     Clint Goat
     Cary and Goat
     Hair Cut Time
     Garu Agriculture Conference
     Garu Grain Silo

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                                    AFRICAN ADVENTURE

This experience has been a little rough on the kids. I hope though that in the
long run they will have benefited from it.

Hostel life has been difficult for them.

September 28, 1969

It is Sunday afternoon. the way I feel right now it would suit me better if it
were next year at this time.

These people can really try your patients. My trip to the bush sometimes
really make me nervous and irritable.

The people at times can be very rude and unruly. You can't reason with them
or anything.

The people in the surrounding villages are learning I will be at a particular
place, so they come and want treated also.

When you get all those people pushing, shoving and jabbering at the same
time I start to get nervous.

I have repeatedly let them know that I can do only small things, but they keep
coming. There are always those that there isn't
anything wrong with them, they just want some medicine "too".

If I would let them, all would take an aspirin. To hear them tell it, all have a

The way I am doing it now, is that I take their temperature. If they have fever,
I think about it.

It seems that every child has the stomachache and diarrhea. Also earache, if
not that something else.

One of the main problems, is that I don't even get time to think, and you
might as well blow in the wind to ask them to ease off.

The only thing that works is to close up the side of my truck and drive off.

They are a pitiful lot. I am afraid that it will be difficult for them to ever change

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        Filth and disease is a way of life with them. You talk about Job and all his
        problems. He did not have anything on these people. Many are just one solid

        How do you bandage someone who is sores all over?

        I will give a cheerier report next time.

        October 3, 1969

        It is only 7:25 PM but it has been dark quite a little while. I am in bed resting. I
        am tired.

        We drove up to Bolgatanga today and bought a couple of donkeys56. I have
        been looking for some for quiet a while. Even though they don't use them for
        anything here, they will not sell them.

        That trip up there is pretty rough because the roads are so bad. It is about
        150 miles round trip and it just about beats you to death.

        The road between here and Wale Wale is really mean now. I sure appreciate
        the automatic transmission on my truck. If it were not for that, I would be
        shifting all the time.

        We left shortly after 8 AM this morning and didn't get back until about 4:30

        Billie fixed supper and now she has gone to return some money to some of
        the people.

        While we were at Bolgatanga we bought fresh meat at the slaughterhouse.
        All they had today was beef. I looked forward to some pork.

        I think I got a couple of nice donkeys. One is young and the other is about 8
        years old. They are both about the same size. They cost 19.00 Cedis each.

        I also bought the rear axle from a wrecked car. I am going to make a two-

     Bulgatanga Donkey Purchase

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                                 AFRICAN ADVENTURE

wheeled wagon for the donkeys to pull. I am going to buy a plow and teach
them to pull that too.

These people have never seen donkeys work so they just let them run loose
and do nothing.

I don't have much to work with, so I hope I can scrounge enough junk to
make a wagon.
Scrap steel is hard to come by. Besides that I don't have a cutting torch, just
a welding machine.

I have a group of men who come once a week, to see if I can teach them
something about farming. How about that? when I am not a farmer myself?


One project of which I was particularly proud, was my donkey project.

There were many projects that I was able to pour myself into, including
farming and welding.

The project that would give me more satisfaction from the shear challenge of
it was the
donkey project.

I had tried for some time to purchase two donkeys. Even though the animals
were available, they were not for sale.

I was told that there was an auction at Bolgatanga. I made the decision to go
there and see if I could purchase the two donkeys that I needed for my

The donkeys were available to me as was the rear axle, wheels, and
differential of a small car. I purchased them and had them hauled to

This project was to test me in many ways. Even though I was a Veterinarian
and had practiced 14 years, my experience did not include using animals as
beasts of burden.

I had never actually seen oxen used to plow or pull a wagon, and as many
horses as I had treated, I had never been introduced to the harness or

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                                          AFRICAN ADVENTURE

        riggings necessary to work animals.

        I knew it would be necessary for me to design and manufacture my own
        horse collars, single trees, double trees, and vehicles.

        The day the donkeys arrived, was an exciting day57. I had already made
        halters out of rope that I purchased at the market.

        Materials were very hard to find, which added to the difficulty of a project.
        The metal extension that I had added to the back of my truck prior to leaving
        Collinsville, in addition to being available, proved to be the proper size that I

        I brought the welding machine down to our house and did my design and
        construction under our big shade tree. The mission did not have a cutting
        torch. This made fabrication difficult.

        I was able to join the metal platform to the rear wheel assembly that I had
        purchased in Bolgatanga.

        It was necessary to add a tongue to my wagon that would extend forward,
        between the donkeys58.

        Materials being scarce, made the design and manufacture of the horse
        collars difficult.

        I made a framework of small concrete reinforcing rod. It consisted to two
        parts, right side and left side. The sides were made
        in an arc that was the general contour of the neck of the donkeys at about
        the point of the shoulder.

        The two sides articulated at the bottom. It would be necessary to open the
        collar, place it over the neck of the donkey and then fasten it at the top.

        After perfecting the frame, Billie helped me pad and cover the contraption. By
        the time the padding and covering was complete it was taking on the general
        appearance of a horse collar.

     Donkey Transport
     Donkey Project

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

I built into the collar, places of attachment where lines could be attached.

After some trial and error, I was able to hook up the donkeys to the cart. It
was a joy to see the faces to the young men that were helping and watching.

We taught the donkeys to pull the wagon empty at first and then gradually
added weight to the wagon.

The donkeys came along at a good time because we were clearing farmland
of brush and trees.

The donkey’s presence gave me the opportunity to train both the donkeys
and Awuni.

It was good that the land that needed clearing, was close to our house and
close to my tools, that way I was able to make modifications to the rigging as

Ultimately we were able to carry two 55 gallon barrels full of water. This
certainly impressed the people.


Another project that actually was an extension of the wheel chair project, was
my sulky that I wanted to build.
I had already used the bicycle wheels on the wheel chairs. The construction
materials would be the same. Here again I would be restricted to the
materials available.

There was a supply of 3/4 inch galvanized pipe, so I used this for the
materials for my sulky.

I put a bench seat on it and floor boards to put my feet on.

When I hooked the donkey up, it proved fun a fun ride.

Cary and a friend that he had brought home with him from school, took the
sulky out for a ride. On the way back home they were going a little fast and
lost control. Cary told me that it was "a glorious wipe out".

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                                    AFRICAN ADVENTURE

There was no trouble finding things to keep the donkeys busy. We hauled
corn and yams from the field, cleared trees and brush, and hauled water.
The donkeys were all I had hoped for.

October 4, 1969 Billie's thoughts

I am sitting in the truck in front of the post office in Gambaga hoping the
postmaster will come in on a truck from another town.

We have had no postmaster the last 3 weeks that I have come.

Our Air forms and stamps are getting low and we have not been able to get
postal orders, or cash any for the people at the hospital.

November 2, 1969 Billie's thoughts

We received three nice letters in one day. How that boosts our moral.

I am sitting in the truck in a village writing this letter. I hope to get back to
Nalerigu in time to send this note with someone going to Tamale today.

I just got back from Accra and the children seem well. I think Patty was
needing to see me very much. She was sick several days. We are thinking
about letting her come home to finish her studies, if she continues to want to.

Louis is staying busy with his farming and being busy is good for him. This
past week he has been cutting down trees and dragging them out of the
farmland. Two workers are chopping them into firewood.

Louis is mowing down the tall grasses so he can plow. Soon he will get some
farmers to make his yam hills. The yams will be planted in January.

I sold one of my sewing machines yesterday to a new family that has come
to Tamale.

We will sell all that we have except a few books and our African souvenirs.

November 4, 1969

Well here we start November. I guess you all are getting some pretty chilly

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weather now. Funny we are still having hot weather.

We did get a nice shower yesterday however. We keep thinking the this
might be the last one. It is a lot dryer but the ground is in fair shape.

I have been cutting down trees and brush. Clearing new ground for next
years growing season. I have also been plowing some. The place looks nice.

It is hard work, but it keeps me busy, and that is what I need for the days to
move along.

We should have a pretty big farm next year. I will probably will not be around
to see it all harvested so they can fight over it after I go.

When you have a big farm it is amazing how many people want to share
your good fortune.

November 10 1969

I had a very busy week last week so I don't think I had time to write.

We have been working pretty hard clearing out trees and breaking new
ground for farm. It is a good opportunity to train the donkeys to pull and the
people to people to learn to work the donkeys.

Last Wednesday I drove up to Bolgatanga to try to get some bearings for a
trailer. I also wanted to see about getting a plow for my donkeys.

While there, I bought some meat from the slaughterhouse. They had some
nice fresh pork and some bacon etc.. We bought $41.42 worth of goodies.

On the way back to Nalerigu I passed a big Lorry with a four wheeled trailer
stopped along the road. It was crammed with Brahma like cattle.

I could see that they were having trouble, so I stopped to see if I could help.

There were three big steers down and one was upside down with his feet
sticking through the slats.

The men were frantically trying to get the cattle up on their feet.
They pushed and pulled and finally it was apparent that one big one that was
up side down had died.

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                                         AFRICAN ADVENTURE

       They started preparing to drag him out of the back of the trailer on to the

       I could see what they were going to do so I said through motions and sign
       language to hold on a minute.

       I jumped into my truck and backed up to the trailer and motioned to them that
       I would take the dead animal on my truck.

       They went along with the idea and we drug him on to the deck of my truck. I
       real quick cut his throat and started him bleeding out.

       About that time they started to jabber and I figured something was up. One of
       them came over to me and motioned with his hands that he figured the steer
       was worth $3.0059.

       I studied a minute and figured he was at that, so I gave them the $3.00 and
       drove off.

       We got home a little before dark and I started butchering him. I got through
       just a little before lights out. I hung the hindquarters in the barn and waited
       until daylight to cut them up.

       Of course there were a batch of Africans all hungry standing around. I gave
       them the guts, head, neck , rib bones, lungs, etc. They thought they were

       I gave all the other missionaries some and we still have a freezer full. We ate
       some of the filet and boy was it good.

       I cut it up proper so this is the first identifiable meat cuts we have had in
       Ghana. We even had a Pike's Peak roast.

       November 28, 1969

       Clint is sick today. Billie has just taken him up to the Hospital for lab work. He
       has been feeling bad for several days. There is just nothing you can put your
       finger on. Today however he woke up with a bad headache.

     $3.00 Steer

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This old country is hard on you, in that you never know when you might
come down with the "lumpukeroo" or something.

I got up early this morning and Killed and dressed 10 fryers. They looked real
nice. I
sure hope they taste good. These chickens were hatched about in May I
think. I didn't weigh any of them but I am sure some would go over 3#. I still
have more to kill but I have to take it in hitches in order not to overwhelm our
deep freeze.

The electricity goes off at about 10 PM like I have told you, so the freezer is
without power all night. In order to make it work, we need to keep it fairly full
and frozen solid. When we don't have enough food to freeze, we keep it full
of ice.

I killed the chickens right in front of all my old hens, I hope they get the
message that life is not so secure that they can stop laying any time they get
a mind to.

It is dryer than a bone now, the Harmatan blew in the 6th of November. The
humidity is very low now and everything is parched and dry.

I am applying lotion to my legs and arms every time I take a bath now. If I
don't I just get white scaly. I wear very little clothing most of the time so I am
brown as I can get.

One nice thing about the weather is that it has been cooling off real good at
night lately and I have even used the bedspread some.

Billie freezes and would turn on an electric blanket up to cook if she had one.

The old moon has been clear and pretty lately but it is smaller and smaller
and later and later every night, so it won't be long until it is blacker than pitch
at night.

Boy you can't imagine how black a place can be with out any moon.

We have been cutting some cane fodder to put up for the donkeys. These
people never put up feed for animals and I think they think it is silly. There
sure won’t be much forage for them to eat much longer cause what doesn't
dry up and die will get burned off.

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       December 19, 1969

       We have been clearing trees and brush lately. The ground is far too hard to
       plow now. I have about 6000 yam hills ready to plant next month.

       This morning I mowed a few weeds, killed and dressed 3 guineas, 1 chicken,
       1 duck, and castrated the two donkeys.

       I am sure thankful for the $3.00 steer meat. It has been a blessing, especially
       with the children here.

       December 28, 1969

       It is Sunday evening and by golly we have a ceiling fan today. It is getting
       real hot during the day now so we ought a fan for the front room.

       I have been putting off putting it up, cause I hated to mess with the wiring. I
       decided to give it a try today, after I got back from the villages.

       I did not start until about 3:30 PM and we were in business by 5:30 PM.

       Christmas has come and gone and by the time you get this it will be next

       The mail didn't come last Thursday, which was Christmas so we should have
       a good day tomorrow.

       Last week I hauled water on my truck60. Dr Norman, a new Dr. here is a real
       nice fellow and his cistern ran out of water so I put a big tank on the top of
       my truck and hauled about 300 gallons at a time.

       I put about 10,000 gallons in his cistern.

       My tomatoes61 are really producing now. We have been giving away some.
     Haul Water
     Cary Water Tomatoes

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                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

They are big and very sweet. Everything else is burned up.

Cary and Susan will be home until about the 7th. Then they will have to
return to Accra and to school.

We treated a lot of people today and pulled quite a few teeth. I have been
seeing some wild ones.

I went a village the other evening and there was a woman there with a tumor
about the size of a marble on her gums, she could not get her jaws together.

She wanted me to remove it. I found it to be a piece of granular tissue and
cut it away, only to have it bleed and bleed. You could not get forceps on the
bleeder. I finally got it stopped with powdered iron sulfate.

December 28, 1969 Billie's thoughts

The days together this Christmas season have been special, and Louis has
been enjoying the children. I think the older they get, the more he will enjoy

Cary is able to work along with Louis. They put up the ceiling fan this

For lunch (2 PM when Louis and Cary returned from the villages) I had pork
roast, rice and gravy, peas and sweet potatoes.

Tonight Cary requested a pancake supper. So all 5 of us got in the kitchen .
We had a package of Blackberry mix that could be made into jelly or syrup
so we mixed that into syrup.

We also had some Dutch Honey Syrup made with canned milk and sugar
and vanilla. This was made in England and was called "Lyle's Golden Syrup".

We opened a can of Margarine that is made in Holland called "Dutchy"

We mixed powdered milk called "Nido" .

Cary cooked the pancakes and made huge skillet sized ones.

I climbed 5 shelves high in the pantry to get the margarine. Next we needed
sugar, so I had to refill the can from a 100 lb sack in the pantry. It comes in a

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burlap bag and is supposed to be interlined with plastic. The last two bags
have had the plastic broken. The sugar is less than clean.

January 4, 1970

It is Sunday evening almost 6.00 PM and it is starting to get dark. I went out
this morning and Susan and Clint went along. We finished about an hour
sooner than I had figured.

                                         Page 135
             Happy New Year 1970 From Ghana West Africa
                                  AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Sure seems like the most of these poor souls have something wrong with
them. I am still pulling lots of teeth it seems.

We got two air letters from you last Thursday one written on the 17th and the
other the 22nd.

The kids planned a big blast New Years Eve here at the house. We had
games, home made ice cream, popcorn, and lots of noise. We finally got to
bet about one or after.

The Christmas vacation has been rather uneventful for the kids but I think
they have enjoyed it. Susie and Billie have been sewing quite a bit. Bell
bottomed slacks and lots of fancy loud clothes.

The children are starting to think about what they will wear back to the US of

The biggest part of the things (clothes) we brought with us are either worn
out or too little, especially Susie.

She is bigger than Billie everywhere. She wears size 9 shoe, which we failed
to bring. All the tennis shoes we brought for her are worn out.

You won't believe how she has grown. I don't think that she is too big but she
sure is getting wide in the beam. I just hope we can hold on until August.

We will take them to Tomale to return to school Wednesday the 7 th.

I can't explain it but the chickens have produced eggs abundantly all the time
the kids have been home. Some times 16 to 20 eggs a day. We have had
plenty for all uses, even selling some.

Two of the old biddies are wanting to set again.

We killed one of the other fat setting hens. Billie made some of those
homemade egg noodles using Aunt Sarah's recipe. Actually she made a
double recipe and we ate the whole pot at one meal.

My tape recorder is trying to give up the ghost but I keep patching it up. I am
making pulley belts out of bicycle inner tube. I had to rebuild a little plastic
propeller the other day that just fell apart. I used airplane glue and thread to

                                          Page 136
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        repair it.

        I guess that I am lucky to be able to fix things. I sure am getting lots of
        experience lately.

        I have had to dismantle the radio several times but it plays fine.

        Our washing machine has been acting like it wanted to give up but I hope I
        can keep it going a little longer.

        All of the things that Billie has to deal with every day62, like washing clothes,
        filtering water, baking bread, and getting clothes dried takes a great deal of
        energy and time.

        We have just finished supper of meat loaf and grits & cheese casserole.

        We canned 4 quarts of tomatoes out of the garden yesterday. My tomatoes
        are producing pretty well. They need water every day.

        January 10, 1970

        I am trying my hand at tanning a cowhide. I autopsied a bull a while back and
        the people gave me the hide. I stretched it out and dried it. I thought about
        taking it to Tomale to be tanned but finally decided to give it a try myself.

        I took the hide from my $3.00 steer down to Tomale63
        but they are not finished with it yet. Tanning is a very interesting procedure,
        especially here in the bush. I have photos. It will cost $9.00 to tan it.

        I got out the encyclopedia and it deals in generalities not specifics. I will use
        sodium bichromate, salt, sulfuric acid and soda.

        I am trying to get the hair off now. The hair has started to slip around the
        edges but not out in the middle.

        This is a project that I don't have to worry about help with, because it is pretty

     Billie's work day
     Tannery at Tomale

                                                    Page 137
                                     AFRICAN ADVENTURE

smelly so far, and no one likes to participate.

I rebuilt the crank mechanism on the old ford tractor. I had to make a part
from scratch, but it worked.

I also sold another $25.00 worth of my paintings (moonlighting).

January 20, 1970

It is 20 hundred Greenwich Mean Time or 8 PM our time or 2 PM your time.
 It has been dark almost 2 hours now and we have eaten supper. I have
been carving a little lately I show you my carvings when I get home.. I just
finished a pretty good-sized one the past day or so. I carved out that scene
on the last painting I sent to you. If I was where I could get real good hunks
of wood I would do more.

I made $2.00 welding a wheel back together a couple of weeks ago for a big
lorry. I gave the $2.00 to the Hospital for gas and welding rod.

Billie's house slippers gave out the other day so I made her a pair out of
some leather, that I had bought at the market.

It is going to be nip and tuck if our things hold out.

Billie and Susie are about out of drawers, and Susie has about out grown
most all her things.

I hope to be through packing and have the stiff we want to send home gone
from here by April or May. Only 192 days to go you know.

Jan 23, 1970 Louis

We have just finished a good supper. Have you ever eaten Curry?. It is good.
If you have not we will prepare it for you when we
get home. You might turn your nose up when you see how it is served.

If a fellow will just try it however it is very good.

You have a meat sauce and gravy that can be made from several meats.
Then you have rice and as many condiments as you can scrape up: orange
bits, banana slices, peanuts, coconut, fried okra, minced onion, tomato
diced, etc.

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        All these things are piled on top of the rice and meat and then you just dive
        in. Some people here like to sprinkle liberally with red pepper. We go easy on
        that however because we don't have and ice cream.

        I went to Tomale yesterday and picked up 1200 yam seeds. These are a
        particularly good type. I am also planting many of my own seeds. The
        humidity has come up a little today and there were a few clouds. I have had
        to patch up my tape recorder again, so we still have music. I am lucky to be
        able to keep all this stuff going. We have played this thing many an hour.

        When we were planning our trip over here, we figured one 3 # can of Crisco
        for each month here, but it looks like we will run out a little early as we only
        have three cans left. Our planning has really paid off, and I am sure thankful.
         We haven't seen any one here that has done as well as we have.

        I have been asked to go to a place called Pandi. There is a Leprosarium
        there ;and the Missionaries that are running it asked me to come to look over
        their cattle, sheep, and goats. They said that they were having some
        problems. It will probably take most of a day to get there so I may stay 2 or 3

        January 27, 1070

        I had some elephant for supper64. How about that?. This morning early I left
        to go to Garu, which is about 40 miles north of here. I went through
        Nakpanduri where my friend Stephen lives. He is a Veterinary Assistant,
        stationed there.

        His wife just had a baby boy a week ago and he named the baby after me65.

     Elephant Roasts
     Louis's Namesake

                                                  Page 139
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        I took the baby a little mesh stuff. Billie tells me it is called Bridal tool66. I
        thought they could use it as a mosquito net.

        After I left the mesh I drove on and no sooner than I had left Nakpanduri, I
        started to pass lots of people with big hunks of meat on their heads. I knew
        right off some one had killed an elephant.

        Soon I saw the tusks, ear, and tail. I stopped and took some pictures.

        I drove on to Garu but the men I wanted to see were gone so I turned around
        and started back. When I got back to Nakpanduri I stopped again and
        Stephen and I went over to the hunter’s house that had killed the elephant.

        He had a round mud hut full of meat, some skin, the tail etc. We visited a little
        while and I took a picture of him with his gun and spear.

        The hunter killed the elephant with a poison spear, shot out of the old flintlock
        muzzleloader. He showed me that he had a pretty bad sore on his thumb so
        I took him out to the truck and gave him a shot of penicillin, and some sulfa
        tablets. Then I wrapped the thumb67.

        I was really interested in what poison he used, but he was reluctant to reveal
        his formula. I just assumed it was curare.

        When I got ready to ho he gave me the end of the elephant’s trunk, which is
        supposed to be a delick-a-see it had been smoked some and so it was black.
        You could tell easily what it was by its shape and the fact that two holes were
        running clear through.

        I also got another nice hunk of muscle, well smoked and a piece of skin and

        I put the meat on to cook soon after I got home and we had some for supper.
        It was tender and tasty like beef. I don't know what the trunk will taste like but
        I plan on saving some to cook when Cary gets home.

     Billie snuggles child
     Elephant Hunter

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        January 26, 1970 Billie's thoughts

        Your letters mention all the snow and sleet. You really have had a winter this
        year. We are sitting here under the ceiling fan and of course Louis hardly
        ever wears a shirt.

        It will look strange to see him in "Clothes" again. He wears these short pants
        with high top work shoes.

        Patty is feeding the monkey and I have sent Clint to get a bath. I think he
        works at getting dirty. No one could get that dirty accidentally.

        Thank you for sending Cary the driver’s manual. It gives him food for

        Louis went back up to Nakpanduri this morning to help vaccinate cattle. He
        took a couple of elephant steak sandwiches with him for lunch.

        February 10, 1970 Billie's thoughts

        Yesterday Louis left for Pandi, which is about 200 miles from here to visit an
        area he has never been before.

        I know he will return safely and gave a good trip but it is hard not knowing
        where he is and what he is doing and when he will return.

        He thought he might cross the river on the ferry68 and get down as far as
        Kumase. He will have much to tell us when he returns.

        Patty is blossoming and it is good for all of us to have her home. She and
        Clint are outside with two of their African friends.
        Patty was cutting the hair of one of them with the scissors.

        They don't have scissors in their homes.

        I ran out of flour and was going to borrow some from Irma but when she
        opened her new bag it was "PROTEIN ENRICHED" meaning so buggy and
        wormy we just couldn't stomach it. I did sift enough of it to make one batch
        (four loaves) of bread.

     Ferry Crossing

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February 6, 1970

It is a warm day here I have a little sweat on my belly as I sit here writing. We
just finished lunch, and you are just getting up for the day.

I built a crate yesterday so that when we get ready to start to pack, it will be
ready. It is about 22 inches deep, 45 inches across and 70 inches long.

It will probably be pretty heavy but I didn't want so many small ones. We
won't start to fill it until after the kids come home on their spring break, which
will be the latter part of March.

I am thinking about taking off Monday and going south to a place called
Pandi. There is a Leprosarium there and the missionaries that are running it
asked me to come to look over their cattle, sheep and goats. They said that
they were having some problems.

It will probably take most of a day to get there, so I may stay 2 or 3 days.
After leaving there I may drive to Kumase to see an Agriculture project where
they are growing corn. I would like to get some good seed corn.

The chickens continue to do real well on eggs. We have been selling quite a
few. The old Hawk has gotten 2 of our baby chicks.

February 16, 1070

I am glad that you and Aunt Lillian will join us in Switzerland on our trip

If we pull this off it should prove to be a dream trip. Here is how I have it
planned. We will leave Accra for Zurich Switzerland August 1st and this is
where you would meet us.

I am writing to see about buying a Volkswagan bus that will seat 9. I think we
can buy it in Amsterdam delivered in Zurich for about $2500.00 at least we
will check on it.

I know I can save several hundred dollars over the US price, plus we will get
the use of it in Europe.

We would sight see around Switzerland for about 3 to 4 days, then drive to

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Munich (about 125 miles) Germany. I am told the roads are very good and
well marked.

From Munich we would drive to Frankfurt (250 miles) via Augsburg and the
Romantic Road. From Frankfurt to Coblenz (110 miles) then from Coblenz to
the Dutch frontier (140 miles).

We should get to Amsterdam around the 9th and see Holland for 3 days. We
might leave the VW Bus to be shipped to Houston and we would fly to
London on the 12 th where we would sight see until Saturday the 15th of
August, when we would climb aboard the
big bird and go home to the good old US of A.

It sounds pretty wild but I believe it will work.

I don't know if we can do it or not but I figure we should sleep for about $3.00
per night and eat for $2.00 to $3.00 per day.

I have checked the best I can and a double room at a second-class hotel
runs $5.00 to $6.00. They won't have a bath in the room but they will have
one pretty close by.

Usually breakfast comes with the room. It might not be ham and eggs but it
should be enough.

We should eat our largest meal at lunch and just snack at supper because
this is where Europeans charge high prices.

We can buy bread and meat and make sandwiches and eat fruit and milk.

At any rate I hope we can get by on $6.00 to $7.00 per day room and food.

Gasoline should not run much over $40.00 to $50.00. As I figure it we should
drive less than 1000 miles.

Dream --- Dream --- Dream.

February 17, 1070

I worked up at the shop today. First I welded a deal on to my truck that I
made yesterday. While I was on that trip down country the steel and rubber
bumper that takes the shock of the front wheels when you hit a big bump

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broke off so I made a new one out of scraps and a hunk of tractor tire.

I also worked almost all day trying to get a little Briggs and Stratton engine to
work. The motor was on a water pump. I finally repaired a pump for the
tractor and I have had it working since about 5 PM. I will go up and shut it off
at 11 PM, which is 30 min from now.

I killed and dressed and cut up 10 chickens this morning, so our deep freeze
has meat tonight.

February 23, 1970 Billie's thoughts

Clint is finishing a composition from Friday's lesson. Patty is finishing a Math
test. I don't know where Louis is or what he is doing.

We had an early breakfast and he left in the truck. So he must have found
something to do.

I've been sort of down for a while, not caring to see anyone or speak to
anyone. My back got sore so that didn't help any.

I was looking and reading in some magazines about beauty tips and new
clothes. I thought I could feel sorry for myself or get with it and get my self up
by the bootstraps.

So I am working on it. This morning I jogged up to the cattle guard. Patty and
Clint joined me. Then we went again at recess time.

I'm going to try to strengthen my back and stomach muscles, put on a new
face each
morning, and take a worthwhile project for the family every morning.

Tomorrow Patty and I are going to sew something new for her and try to get
something in mind, to sew for me. I'm down to nothing.

Louis pierced Patty's ears today.

February 25, 1970

It is a hot old Wednesday afternoon here and I can imagine that it is a cold
old Wednesday Morning in Tulsa.

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       Billie is checking over Patty's test and Patty and Clint are outside with the

       I went hunting for the first time in Africa yesterday and had a good time. We
       walked a very long way over rough ground. We were really tired when we got

       I bagged a couple of wild guineas (at least they ran from me). We scared up
       a big flock of bush guineas69 and it was pretty good shooting.

       I had a 12 gauge shot gun but the shell were real old and many would not

       February 26, 1970

       It was up to 100° in our dining room recently and doesn't go below 80° at

       I was working at the shop welding today, building myself a plow and
       cultivator. The material I was working on got out of balance and flipped up,
       hitting me in the face.

       I received a pretty deep gash on the bridge of my nose. I came on home and
       put a few drops of Novocain into it and put two sutures in it. The only difficult
       part was working backwards in the mirror.

       March 4, 1970

       I leave for Accra Sunday and I will check on the travel plans. I am told KLM
       may be a better airline to deal with especially if we might purchase the VW
       Bus there from Amsterdam airport.

       The way I have it figured, it will cost right at $3000.00 including everything to
       by the car and get it to Houston.

       It has sure been hot here lately. We are still able to sleep but it is really hot
       when we first go to bed.

     Bush Guineas

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I would recommend one of those books, Europe on $5.00 per day. It will tell
you about all you want to know.

You will want to travel as light as possible. We just plan on a flight (tote) bag
each. In fact I plan to see about them when I get to Accra.

It will be better if we don't have to check any bags, just carry it on board and
put it under the seat.

You mentioned what we would bring back with us. I don't think it will be
much. In the first place it would be expensive. In the second place, Africa has
taken its toll, so it probably is not worth much.

Besides I would like to start over 100% fresh and new

March 17, 1970 Billie's thoughts

Patty just took the monkey out for a walk. Clint went up the road to play.
Louis took off in the truck but I don't know what he is doing.

Yesterday morning he put new fan belts on the generator and took all
morning cause they are English made and had to be taken apart to get a fan
belt on.

In the afternoon he worked on Diane's car and got it running.

This morning he treated a heard of cattle for blackleg. No vaccine available.

Awuni (Ah-woo-nee) the boy that help me out is ironing a few pieces. He
sweeps and mops the house each day and dusts everything.

It looks good for about an hour. We also clean the kitchen well each morning.
I really appreciate the help. He does the wash about 3 times a week. The
sheets on our bed has to be changed every 3 days.

Patty would like very much to bring the monkey home but I just believe the
quicker we get rid of him the better.

March 22, 1970

Cary and Susan will come home next week and Dr. Goerner will be here
about a week from next Monday. We should know more about our departure

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date. I am hoping that he says we can go as soon as the kids are out of

I have been doing quite a bit of maintenance work around the hospital the
past couple of weeks. I plumbed and installed a new water pump and built a
cattle guard out of railroad track.

I also repaired a big autoclave at the Hospital.

March 31, 1970

The kids are already out at the swimming pool. It is about 9 AM. It is really
hot now. I went out there and rigged up a tarp over the pool for shade.

It is almost lights out time now 9:30 PM. We went out to a small village and
showed movies for them.

The kids are having a party out at the pool. They aren't swimming but are
playing LOUD records and having fun.

You won't know them they all have grown up. Susie is cloths crazy and
wants to fix her face up and all the stuff that goes with it.

Cary likes bell-bottoms and sure is a nice big young man. Patty is like a
tomboy but she likes bell-bottoms and sloppy cloths. Clint is right among
them and wanted to fight to keep his hair from being cut short.

April 7, 1970

It has not been as hot today. We had a reasonable night last night because
we had a rain shower yesterday afternoon.

We will take Cary and Susan to Tamale to catch the Airplane Sunday. Clint is
having trouble with a tooth so we will stay over night and try to get it fixed

I have been working on my flight schedule and have it now like I want it , so I
am sending it to Accra tomorrow. I hope they can confirm it soon so I can
send it on to you.

I have changed the departure date to July 29th Wednesday, which will get us
to Zurich that afternoon. That way you can up yours one day and arrive on

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Thursday morning.

Another change is to leave London Monday night (the 17th) or Tuesday
morning (the 18th). This will put us on the week days and
will give us the time we need to see Germany.

Also I am going to work through Pan Am, so there should be no problem on
coordinating flight plans.

I have decided to rent a VW Bus instead of buying one. This               should
eliminate that worry.

We drove about 120 miles yesterday trying to see some Hippopotamus. We
didn't get to see them, too many fishermen ran them off we were told.

The water in the river is very low we were told.

April 17, 1970

Received two Air Forms from you yesterday PO marked 4 th and 8 th. I
should know something definite early next week. I sure hope it works out just
as I have planned. I am sure we will have a ball.

In one of your letters you said TWA, but you had been saying Pan AM so I
am thinking you mistakenly said TWA. It won't make a lot of difference
because you can't do anything definite until I send you the flight numbers
from our tickets. I am sending the flight plans I gave to our business manager
in Accra.

As you can see I have asked for Pan Am 747 out of London, which should
be a real nice thrill to fly in the big plane.

I believe all our travel will be on the off days and the extra days will give us a
good look at Germany.

I am just about finished packing and should be sending the crates and
barrels to Accra for shipment in two or three weeks. Only about 100 days left.

I think it would be best for you not to worry too much about what I will do and
where I will stay when I return home. I know I asked you to look into it a little
but just as a point of information, not to make the decision.

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The way I feel now I just don't want to knock myself out like I used to and as I
imagine Milton is now.

The price you pay for the money is too dear.

Milton says that he is so busy he has little time for living.

This is what I hope to be able to turn my back on. I have lived that kind of life
and had the courage to turn my back on it. I may have to accept a less
affluent life, I don’t know. I have knocked myself out before and I could do it
again, but I don't want to.

The bulk of America lives on a 40-hour week and that is what I think I want,
even if it means less money.

I may well wind up someplace other than Tulsa or Oklahoma, I don't know
but that doesn't bother me. All I know is that most people now days out of a
week of 168 hours, work 40 hours and have 128 hours to sleep and use as
they like. That is what I want.

The time I have spent here in Africa has been interesting and I thank God for
it but at
this point, I don't feel like it is his will that I spend the rest of my life here. I am
sure he will lead us where he wants us to be and where we can be of future
service to him.

April 20, 1970

It is hotter than blue blazes. I worked up at the shop this morning doing some
welding. I sweated off 5 pounds but then I drank enough to put it all back on.

I took the stitches out of Patty's leg today and it isn't going to leave much of a
scar. I am sure I told you I had to suture a wound on her leg.

April 25, 1970

It is quiet as can be right now. That is the way it does when it starts to get
hot. The breeze blows all day, but stops dead at night.

Last night, was pretty warm. At least my feet got hot under the sheet but the
ravenous mosquitoes keep you under there.

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       I went out to the villages this morning and got back after one PM. We had
       service at three different places and held clinic at those three places and
       along the road as I got flagged down70.

       This afternoon I haven't done much, just rest and take a nap.

       April 28, 1970

       I made a fast trip to Accra and got last night about 10:30 PM.

       Last Thursday night at 2 AM we left to go to Accra. We drove straight
       through and got to Accra about 5:30 PM . It is a man Killing journey. and just
       about beats you to death.

       Dr. Ashworth was going so I got a free trip down and back.

       As strange as it seems I accomplished 100% of what I wanted to do, which is

       The flight schedule was all taken care of. Mr. Maddox was to send the night
       letter yesterday so I feel you will get it today.

       I got my international drivers License so that is taken care of. I do want you
       to bring my Oklahoma license with you.

       We will be in Switzerland right at the tourist season so we may have to
       scrounge to find sleeping accommodations for the price we want to pay.

       I still think we can do it. The trip should be a blast as the kids would say.

       I developed severe diarrhea Sunday night and had a pretty rough night even
       vomited about midnight. Was pretty weak all day yesterday on the bumpy
       ride home and didn't eat a bite for over 24 hours but I made it home with
       clean pants.

       I don't believe I have ever passed so much water so fast.

       I am ready to button up all the packing now. I finished the shopping I wanted

     Bush Doctor

                                                   Page 150
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        to do while in Accra.

        We had a nice rain last week and I started to plow. The ground worked real
        nice and I have the men out there today planting corn.

        It is over cast today so not quite so hot 93°in here in this room right now.

        I think I told you I but the VW bus is confirmed for $300.00 for 15 days.

        May 2, 1970

        It is Kentucky Derby day. I hope to get to hear it this evening on Voice of
        America It will be at 19:15 GMT or 7;15 pm

        It has been a nice Saturday. We had a dandy rain last night so we plowed

        I shouldn't say we because I didn't plow today. My gut has been under the
        weather since that trip to Accra and still has not straightened up.

        The tractor makes my belly hurt and I wind up having diarrhea again.,
        besides I had a little surgery on my left eye yesterday .

        I developed a small cyst on the upper lid a year ago last Christmas. It comes
        and goes. I had it worked on yesterday.

        The Dr. just raised the lid and lanced the under side and scraped it out. It
        hurt like the dickens, but didn't last long.

                                 Testimony beside a Goat71

        During our 16 weeks of orientation, we heard a radio speaker say in horror,
        that "one of the denominations is sending out Music Missionaries!." How
        interesting it would be to see this individual's reaction, when he reads that a
        cesarean on a goat was the occasion for telling an African man about the
        infinite love of Jesus Christ.

        Without any established pattern to follow, it has been necessary to take the

     Caesarian on Goat

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        mobile veterinary clinic and a deep yearning to share the love of Jesus, and
        "launch out" into the African bush country. Day after day I just leave home
        not going any particular place, just looking for places to serve. This
        procedure is about as close as I have ever come, to allowing the Holy Spirit
        to lead my daily activities.

        In my case, this strange mission method, leads into some interesting
        situations where Christian witness is possible. Some times worming a chief's
        horse opens the door; sometimes it is a rabies vaccination or removing
        screwworms from a wound on a calf.

        On a recent day I left the house, again not knowing where I was going. In the
        village I stopped to visit a minute with a man. While visiting, a young boy
        reported that a man nearby had a small goat that had been trying to deliver
        her kid for three days. I drove the mobile clinic to the man's house, and after
        the formalities of greeting, I was shown the goat. Normal delivery proved
        impossible, so I decided on a caesarean.

        My operating room was a mud hut, with a grass roof and no lights. A large
        audience soon assembled. In a few minutes on-lookers were watching in
        amazement, while I administered the anesthetic, clipped and scrubbed the
        surgical site, and made ready for surgery.

        After putting on my rubber gloves, and starting the surgery I had 30 to 40
        minutes of choice time to witness to this crowd. God even provided-- as he
        almost always does-- a man who knew enough English to interpret my
        words. The people listened quietly as I explained to them that I was only
        doing what God had allowed me to learn to do, and that it was God who
        performed the miracle of healing after I had opened the tissues and closed
        them back exactly as God had made them.

        The nanny goat was small, but God used her problem as an opportunity to
        tell people of this love.

        After performing the section on the Goat I visited for a while. Then I was
        asked to pull a couple of teeth72.73

     Bush Dentist
     Bad Teeth

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        On the way back home I stopped and harvested a few termite hills74 for my
        chickens. The termite larva makes dandy chicken feed

        May 5, 1970

        Billie, Patty and Clint are having school and I have just rested a little.

        It is now about 1:30 PM. I got up early (about 5:30 AM) and went over a mile
        or so and plowed a man farm for him. I may wish I had not done it. All his
        neighbors may come bother me, but I did it anyway.

        This fellow was hunting with one of these homemade guns, when it blew up
        in his hand75. It just about blew his left hand off. I may have mentioned this
        before. I went out in the bush and brought this fellow into the hospital in my

        He has healed up fairly well but of course he can't use the hand. This means
        he can't farm, so I plowed his farm.

        I imagine it was 10 to 15 acres. After I finished his place, I came back here
        to the house and ate breakfast. After this I went down to Alafia Tinga and
        plowed for the TB patients.

        I received my copy of the night letter I had sent to you, so I am sure you have
        received yours.

        I hope you could understand it.

        We will arrive in Zurich the evening of 29th of August. The flight from
        Amsterdam to London is KL119 on August 14th and London to Chicago
        PA59 August 17th, Chicago to Tulsa AA139 17th same day.

        We will send off barrels and things in a few days. I finished labeling things

        The house is looking a little bare with all the things packed and the rest being

     Termite Larva for Chickens
     Homemade Gun Explodes

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I have sold most of my cloths, except what I am wearing day by day.

The weather has cooled a little, with the rains but the humidity has gone up
so I am sitting here dripping with sweat.

Currently I am weighing about 170

Man 12, 1970

We received your excited letter yesterday and we all thoroughly enjoyed the
part about Aspirins and Tranquilizers. I had it figured, you would receive the
night letter the 28th

It does seem that time is flying by. I think that today is about 74 days until we
leave Nalerigu to go south.

I worked pretty hard today building another cattle guard out of railroad tracks.
One thing about, it no one will ever have to mess with this chore again.

I put another fellow plowing, so I could get some of these other things done.

I sold Cary's bed and two barrels yesterday. That only leaves Billie and my
bed yet to be sold. I think the mission may buy them to put in the journeymen

I think I mentioned about Patty cutting her leg. It might have been in Milton's

She was goofing of walking on those old Iron fence posts like stilts and
slipped and cut a deep gash in her upper shin. She beat it home and I had
her sewed up in just a few minutes.

May 18, 1970

I don't have any idea I can think of enough to say to fill up this paper but I
needed to use this kink of paper because I have an enclosure.

It is Monday and only 68 days until we leave Nalerigu for Accra. I am
thinking I had better have you go ahead and get the money for my traveler’s

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checks whenever you think the time is right. It may not be necessary to do it
until the last minute, but I better let you know how much.

I believe I will have you bring $1000.00 in traveler’s checks. In this letter I
am sending $382.45 so that will make you withdraw $617.55. I had hopes of
sending enough checks so you wouldn't have to withdraw any and I may
yet but I am not sure.

Some of the money for the things I am selling may not come in until right at
the last. I look for us to have a kind of black out on information right at the
last, because the last days I could send anything to you would probably be
around the middle of July and the last mail day we will have here will be the
23rd of July.

This would make the 10th or the 11th the last day you could send a letter to
us here at Nalerigu. You can send letters right at the last to Box 400 Accra
and we could get them there I guess.

This is mail day so I may hear from you today. I got a call from Accra the
other day and they want we to come down to Tema to help finish a mission
residence that they have had trouble with the contractor on.

I plan to go tomorrow to Tomale and stay over night, then fly to Accra
Wednesday. I might be there two or three weeks I don't know yet. Billie and
the kids could go but they are so close to finishing school we don't think it

I am trying to figure a way to turn the farm over to the people, so I won't
have to mess with it. We have had some dandy rains.

I fixed an inexpensive lunch yesterday that was not bad. You might want to
try it. I took a can of pork and beans and poured them into a casserole then
I sliced 4 - 1/4inch slices of Spam on the top. Then I took 1/3 cup of brown
sugar, 1-teaspoon mustard, 1-teaspoon vinegar, and one-teaspoon water
mixed and poured over the meat and beans. after I had mixed I had mixed
in some chopped onion I baked it in the oven for 20 minutes.

It was not fancy but it tasted pretty good. I also served hominy and garlic
toast with it.

I had to take time out to take my clock apart and work on it. I took the main
spring out of it and lubricated it.

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Well I had to take more time out and go weld a part that broke on the disc

Something is hurting my chickens. I don't know what it is. We have found 3
of them dead with bruises on them and one this morning with a badly hurt
wing. If anything is getting
them at night I haven't heard them squawk.

It would probably be best to get $50.00 travelers checks. Otherwise you will
be signing you name for a whole day.

I keep trying to think of all the details of our trip since we will (might) picnic
some, I was thinking we might need a knife to slice the bread, as I doubt if
they have sliced bread like we do, do you?

I do think that there will be plenty of places to purchase picnic supplies.
From what I have read we should see some beautiful Art and sculpture. The
old Castle and Churches should be just fabulous.

We will be in Switzerland on their Independence Day, which is August 1st. It
is supposed to be quit a day with bond fires on the mountaintops etc.

In Amsterdam we will take one of those glass covered boats through the
canals and see a windmill.

I think we can take a one-day drive that will cover a big part of the country. I
wrote to hotels in London and Amsterdam about reservations but haven't
heard anything yet.

May 20, 1970 Billie's thoughts.

Louis didn't have much of a birthday celebration, with him having to leave at
3:00 PM. They have asked him to help with some construction in Tema (
about 20 miles from Accra) of a mission house. He has gone down to see
what the score is and then he will know more of what there is to do and how
long it will take.

May 23, 1970

I am in Tema tonight sitting here with Cary watching Danny Thomas on TV,

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how about that.

I came down here Thursday, after arriving in Accra on Wednesday. The
past couple of days we have been cutting and installing glass in a house full
of Jalousie windows.

Each window has about nine blades and we were using heavy plate grass.
Cary and I both did the cutting of the glass and did a good job. We had very
little spoilage.

My legs are tired tonight from climbing up and down stairs. Nest week we
need to paint inside and install tile floors. I hope we can pretty well wind it up
nest week so I can get back to Nalerigu.

It is cooler down here and it has rained quite a bit. I won't know for several
days what mail we get up at Nalerigu, so if I did get something important, it
may take me a few days to answer.

It is kind of strange being out here in left field, away from home I lose track
of what is going on in the world. I haven't heard a radio since I left. I should
have brought my short-wave radio with me.

Cary has to go back to school Monday. I will either take him back to Accra
or some one else will tomorrow.

May 26, 1970 Billie's thoughts

Please don't worry about us getting along. We really aren't a bit deprived. I
am really glad it has worked out that we sleep in our own beds and eat out
of our own dishes, until we go.

Our food has lasted quit well and we sold a good amount that we were not
going to need.

I am hoping Susan and Cary get to come home from school on June 19 that
is when their exams are over.

May 27, 1970

This is Wednesday and I am still here helping on this house in Tema. I am
about through with the things I was to do, so I will probably go home in the
next day or so.

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                                   AFRICAN ADVENTURE

We have been laying floor tile the past couple of days. I took Cary back to
Accra Sunday evening. He was a lot of help and we had a good time

Just 61 days now until time to go. Last night a trader came by the house
here with a nice big carving. It is about 18 to 20 inches by 4 feet with an
African scene on it. I just couldn't resist buying it. This morning I built a crate
for it and took it down to the shipper here in Tema and by george it is on it's
way already.

Things just don't go well here in Ghana, I think I slipped one over on old WA
_ WA (West Africa Wins Again). All our things that are to go back to the US
of A, are here at the docks ready to ship out as soon as a ship is available.

The humidity is so bad here it is sure giving me fits. I have a fungus on my
crotch and I don't have any medicine with me. I just stay soaking wet all the
time. My eye is all healed now.

I am eager to get back to Billie and the Kids, sure don't like being away from

I think I lucked out on some shoes for Susan and Patty. A missionary here
had some extras that were to big or something so I bought one pair for
Susan and one for Patty.

I also scrounged some drawers for Billie. She was about to have a coming
out party.

May 30, 1970

Well I am back in Nalerigu. I got back Thursday night. I got a lot done but it
was too long away from home.

Today is Memorial Day for you, but just another day here in the bush. The
rains are making the African bush country green and alive. All the farmers
are very busy. I gave away my cornfields before I went to Tema. I still have
my peanuts and yams and both are growing well.

Yesterday I spent the day manufacturing a part for the disc harrow. This is
the part that I had go bad and no telling how long, if ever, it would take to

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        get a replacement from England.

        I found an inch round steel rod the proper length and threaded the end
        about 13 or 14 inches. The hardest part was getting it hot enough to bend. I
        finally got it finished. I was kind of proud of it.

        Clint was out early this morning shortly after 5 AM. I guess there had been
        some excitement. A young horse had broken loose and was being chased.
        Clint helped try to catch him. The horse ran through some fence.

        After catching the horse, they brought him to me for a check up. He was cut
        up but did not need suturing.

        June 1, 1970

        It has been a hot day today. I am designing and building a wheel76 chair for
        a man who is paralyzed. I worked on all morning, and again in the afternoon
        until I just got so hot I had to quit.

        Late this evening I repaired the tape recorder, and have been studying my
        maps and pamphlets.

        This was mail day but I didn't get anything. Oh we did get confirmation of the
        reservations for London. We have two four bed rooms at the Ross House
        Towers, for 38 shillings per person ($4.20 to you untraveled Okies).

        I was in hopes we could stay for about $3.50 per, but that will not be bad
        because it includes breakfast.

        Clint has about 10 day to two weeks of school left and Patty won't be far
        behind. Patty has really filled out since she has been home,
        She is afraid she is getting too fat but I think she looks good.

        Cary is a joy to my heart. He is an outstanding young man and I think you
        will be pleased with him. He is good looking and has a fine strong body.

        We had gooy for supper and it sure was good. We also had some slaw
        made from a head of cabbage from Tomale.

     Wheel Chair Project

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        To top that all off Patty made a freezer of Peach ice cream.

        I sold my short-wave radio for $130.00. I also sold my Rollicord camera for

        June 2, 1970

        I am tired tonight. We were so hungry for fresh meat that I bought a steer,
        this morning, and butchered it77. I went out to look at the steer about 7:30. I
        agreed to buy it for 55 Cedis. It was a black calf that I figured would weigh
        between 300 and 400 pounds, and dress out about 150 pounds. I paid two
        Fulani boys to walk him over here to the house. I guess it is close to a mile
        walk. It took them about an hour.

        I had about everything ready when they arrived, so slaughtered the calf and
        began butchering. I finished about noon with the butchering and brought
        the two sides into the house, and put the meat on the dining table.

        I was tired so I took a bath, because I was sopping wet, with sweat. After
        eating a little lunch, and resting, I started the cutting up process. Billie
        wrapped, while I cut it up. It was good meat so I got a lot of small steaks. I
        cut out some nice standing rib roasts, and Pike Peak roast. We got our
        half all cut up and in the freezer. I forgot to say, that I had made
        arrangements to sell half to Dr. Norman. Well about 4:30 PM I went up to
        tell him his meat was ready and he was still seeing patients at the Hospital,
        and his wife had gone to Tamale. So Billie and I decided to cut up their
        meat for them. I was getting pretty pooped by that time, but it went fairly
        fast. After we got it cut up, we took it up to their house.

        I had not agreed on any particular price with them so as it turned out there
        was 64 pounds of boned meat so I charged him fifty cents per pound which
        was a little more than half of the 55 Cedis.

        I figured it was worth it.

        Dr. Richardson wanted the liver so I sold it to him for $2.00, which made my
        75 pounds of meat cost 21 Cedis per pound.

        I gave the bone, lungs, spleen, and intestines to the Leprosy people and

     Fresh Meat

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they thought they had found a "MARES NEST".

I was pointing to various parts of the carcass and asking this boy, "do your
people eat this", finally after a while he said, "Dr., We eat everything except
the latrine".

I forgot to say that early this morning I butchered a turkey that was given to

I forgot to mention that the calf did dress out 150 pound of meat.

June 2, 1970 Billie's thoughts

Today has been an unusual day. Louis has been looking for a calf to
purchase and butcher. Today he found a 3-year-old beef that was the size
of our big yearlings.

He started at 10 AM and by noon he had the carcass on the dining room
table. Clint and Patty helped him with the butchering stage, cause I have a
weak stomach.

We ate a bite of lunch and Louis rested a few minutes. Then he cut and
boned 150 pounds. It took until 5:30 PM.

Dr Norman had spoken for half of the meat. Mrs. Norman had taken her
boys to the dentist in Tamale and Dr Norman was tied up at the Hospital. So
Louis boned and cut up their half too. They did wrap their own.

This should last until we leave Ghana.

We were coming back from the Hospital when Louis spotted a wild guinea
by the rest house. We drove by Diane's house. She got her shotgun and
shot the thing out of the tree.

The Ashanti tribe is large and is in the Kumase area. Their chief died a few
days ago after serving as chief for 30 years. When news reached Nalerigu it
struck fear into many people.

In times past (I don't know how long ago) the custom was for each chief of
the surrounding villages, to bring the heads of slaves to bury with the chief,
so they could accompany him after death.

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        Some of the male nurses at the hospital are from the south. This means that
        they are not of the Mamprusi tribe. One nurse called all his fellow workers in
        and locked the door.

        June 12, 1970

        This is Friday afternoon and I have declared myself a holiday. I worked up
        at the shop this morning completing another wheel chair. It is very hot and
        dry now so I have worked mostly in the morning.

        I have completed 3 wheel chairs now. They are pretty snazzy even if I do
        say so myself.

        They are much stronger than store bought. I made them out of 3/4 inch
        galvanized pipe and 1/2 inch iron rod welded.

        The Hospital has two paralyzed men that they would like to get to go home.
        Their families won't take them home because they are so had to care for.

        If I can get them mobile the might go home.

        The mission treasurer has assured me that he will convert any Cedis I have
        into (real money) when I get ready to leave Ghana.

        I am working on a deal to purchase travelers checks using Cedis.

        The VW bus is going to cost a little more than I had figured, but it is still a
        good deal. If we can go and see all the things I have planned out, this
        should be a dream trip.

        43 days from tomorrow we leave Nalerigu for Tamale. The Stove, desk and
        Iron skillets go to Tomale (sold). The deep freeze returns to Tomale (to Dr
        Morris) and the washing machine goes to Accra (sold).

        Billie is feverishly sewing clothes because soon the sewing machine goes.

        June 17, 1970 Billie

        We have had some excitement here. Day before yesterday Clint fell from
        the Red Berry tree in our back yard and broke his arm78. It was early in the
     Clint Broken Arm

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morning just after breakfast. Louis had taken his new wheel chair, he had
just painted up to the hospital.

Our workers had arrived. I had both of them come in to help me scoop sand
out of the house. Sunday afternoon we had a terrible ARIZONA type sand
storm and it comes through these louvered windows like there were no
windows there at all.

About that time someone yelled from the back door that Clint had fallen out
of the Red Berry tree. I yelled and ran and the first thing I saw was his
skinned nose, upper lip and mouth, full of dirt and some blood. I then saw
his poor little wrist.

All the while Clint was saying " Praise God" "Praise God" Clint was also
telling me not to worry.

I guess it is the first broken bone I have ever seen and it looked so terrible.

It was an epiphyseal break. I sent someone running to the hospital to get

Clint rinsed his mouth out and when Louis came we washed him up some.
We took him right on to the hospital. Dr
Norman was available at once and ordered x-rays, which were taken
immediately. The x-rays confirmed what Louis had said the minute he saw
Clint's arm and assured me it could be set and be all right.

Of all things Clint was the first to use the new wheel chair. We took him
down the sidewalk to surgery where Dr. Norman did an anesthetic nerve
block of a nerve beneath Clint's armpit.

He got perfect anesthesia. Louis held his upper arm and Dr Norman gently
pulled Clint's fingers with one hand and aligned the bones with the other.

It sure was good to see that little arm back to normal position. He put the
cast on and them Clint went back to x-ray in the wheel chair, to make sure
all was well.

Dr Norman had given Clint an injection to make him sleepy. As soon as we
got home he went right off to sleep.

Louis even shot a hawk from the porch and Clint never budged. The gun is

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       a shotgun (12 ga I think) that was left by the Donley's, that are on furlough.

       Louis has killed 3 hawks in the last few days. There is a nest in a huge tree
       by our house. We just set 3 hens on a doz. eggs each. We are interested in
       thinning the hawk population.

       Clint is doing well. The next morning his other wrist was very sore so he is
       very lucky to not have broken both arms.

       June 19, 1970

       Yesterday and today I have been making a metal brace79 for a young boy
       who is cripple from polio. He had a good lightweight specialist made brace,
       but it was getting worn so I rebuilt it and it was fine. But some boneheads
       from Accra came up here and ruined it so I am building one of my own
       design. I tried it on him this evening and it looked pretty good. Mine is a
       little heavier than the other one but I believe it will be stronger. I am welding
       it out of iron rod.

       It is Friday evening just before supper. I am sitting here at the dining room
       table listening to WNYW New York. The past few days about this time of
       day the reception has been real good.

       We get pretty hungry for music with the tape recorder gone.

       We had another one of those black clouds come up this morning. It looked
       like it would just pour rain but all it did was blow the house full of dirt and

       You can't imagine how much dirt can blow in so fast. These jalousie
       windows are terrible when it comes to keeping the elements out.

       There is just no way to shut the house up, so when the wind is over you just
       get out the broom and shovel.

       The people here need the trees for food and fiber so we really look forward
       to the rain; two trees they especially use are the Kapok80 and the Dowa

     Dahamani Leg Brace

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         Dowa. The Kapok produces a cotton like fiber and the Dowa Dowa
       produces a seed that makes a protein food.

       I neglected to say, "it was a false alarm" we got no rain at all.

       It is funny the people are all blaming the chief for the drought. The poor old
       boy has fed the crocodiles twice, and sacrificed chickens, I don't know what
       else the poor guy can do.

       We have been praying and that hasn't helped either.

       Our washing machine is about to give up the ghost. The motor started
       smoking real bad yesterday. It has smoked before however.
       I took the motor off and rigged it up on a 220 motor and we washed up a
       storm this afternoon.

       I don't know what we would have done if I had not been a scrounger and
       fixit man.

       We got a reply back from Amsterdam about the Hotel reservation ant it was
       full up. I am going to write the tourist people, like I did for London.

       Clint is doing fine. Can't seem to hold him down however, so the cast will
       get pretty dirty.

       He has been out playing with some little boys who brought a homemade
       airplane toy by for him to see82.

       June 20,1970 Billie's Thoughts

       Just wanted to tell you that Clint is doing real well. His only suffering, is
       when he can't do things for himself, like bathing, snapping his pants,
       washing his left hand for meals, which I do believe gets twice
       a dirty since he can use just the one.

       A man just brought in a dog that been partially scalped by a huge red
       monkey. They brought the monkeys head also. The dog also has two large

     Dowa Dowa
     Homemade Toy

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gashes in the side of the neck.

Louis's frustration is the lack of equipment and drugs, since he has packed
many of his own personal equipment and drugs are running out.

Louis will figure out a way, just as he redeemed my washer from having to
be thrown out yesterday.

He scrounged a motor from somewhere and cobbled up a working

It won't be long now. I can hardly believe it. We pick up Cary and Susan in 6
days. The stinkers haven't written for 2 weeks.

June 23, 1970

Friday a man brought his dog to me all chewed up by a big monkey. They
had killed the monkey and boy did he have terrible teeth.

He must have been a big one, I judge from the size of the head, he might
have weighed 40 to 50 pounds. The canine teeth were 1 1/2 inches long.

The dog had been scalped and a large flap of skin was hanging down over
his eyes. He also had a large gash in his neck, severing several large

I sutured quite a while. The fellow brought him back today. The head wound
looks real good and may heal first intention. The neck wound is seeping

I went out and diagnosed a couple of cases of Pleuro-pneumonia in cattle. It
was obvious that one would soon die so the people wanted to kill it and eat

I did not think the meat would be fit to eat, but the people would not be
denied so I told them that I would kill it and butcher the animal for them after
an autopsy.

As I was about stun the animal with a blow to the head, prior to slaughter,
they really got upset and wanted their holy man to kill the animal.

He was a Moslem and like the Jews he wanted to ceremoniously cut the

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       throat and bleed the animal to death.

       I went along with all this and after the killing I autopsied the animal and
       found the lung cavity, so diseased that it was impossible to identify parts.

       They finally agreed to let me destroy and render inedible the whole front end
       of the cow.

       It is going to be strange smelling cool air again. We got a post card from
       over in Switzerland yesterday. The card said it was cool and everything was
       clean and pretty.

       Stephen, my friend who named his baby after me came by with some of his
       fellow workers and gave me a going away present. It is a beautiful, FULL
       LENGTH KENTE83. It was very much a sacrifice for them because it is very

       June 24, 1970 Billie's thoughts

       We received earrings from home in the mail today. When I get back home
       from taking the mail to Gambaga this morning, Louis will pierce my ears and
       put them in. They are very beautiful

       Patty loves hers and I Know Susan will love hers also.

       Cary and Susan arrive in Tamale tomorrow. We will borrow a station wagon
       and meet them at the airport.

       We have been trying to write all the places like magazines, newspapers etc.
       to change addresses.

       I want to write Aunt Lillian now to thank her for the earrings. Our ears should
       be all healed by the time we leave. Clint is doing quite well. Last night he
       had an itchy spot inside his cast.

       It was miserable for him. He tried running a crochet hook in there but it was
       not long enough and wouldn't turn corners.


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        July 1. 1970

        I drove down to Nagbo (four miles south) this morning and treated a calf that
        looked like snakebite. Also had some lump jaw down there yesterday.

        The farm is looking real good84. There will be lots of corn and yams for
        someone to enjoy after we are gone. I have made arrangements for people
        to take over the farm.

        July 10, 1970

        About two more mail days and we enter the black out period. I figure the
        18th will be my last letter to you.

        Just two weeks from today we leave here for Tomale. The truck will be
        loaded pretty well.

        We must take our stove, washing machine, some pots and pans etc. The
        deep freeze goes to Tamale.

        I am also trying to get a car so some of us wont have to ride out on top of
        the truck. We have done it before but it is a long old windy trip.

        We got a bunch of things together Thursday and had a screaming sale. It
        was a mad house for a while.

        I let Billie and the kids do the selling. We put a price on everything with a
        tape. We sold right at $100.00 worth not counting some we sold privately.

        One thing I fully intended to tell you the last letter was that we are all fixed
        up with a place to stay while in Zurich. We have 6 beds the 29th and 8 beds
        the 30th just down the lake form Zurich at a small village called Thalwil

        I think I told you we sent a deposit for our rooms in Munich. I don't know
        where it will be but it will be in a private home and will cost about 10 Marks
        or $2.50

        July 12, 1970

     Billie Going Native

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       This is the next to last Sunday afternoon in Nalerigu. Patty and Susan are
       out back at the pool cleaning it out, getting ready to fill it with clean water.

       Billie, Cary, and Clint are taking a nap. I slept for a while then I got up, did
       the lunch dishes and decided to start a letter.

       July 17, 1970

       This is Friday morning and I am getting ready to go to Tomale to get Dr.
       Faile and his wife and daughter. They are returning now from their furlough.
       Cary is going with me today.

       This will be the last letter I will write. I had intended to mail one tomorrow the
       18th but now that I am going to Tomale, I will send it today.

       It is cloudy today and we got a nice rain yesterday. It was nice and cool last

       We will leave Nalerigu a week from today. We sure are getting excited
       about heading home.

       We are anxious to go but we are sad to leave so much undone that we
       would like to have done. This house85 and the surrounding land will live in
       our memories for a long time.

       It looks we will have at least one suitcase to bring with extra stuff in it. I
       thought we might be able to get by with the little bags but there are some
       things that I had not counted on, like the things that my Veterinary friends
       have given me.

       The day for our departure from Nalerigu was a day of mixed emotions. We
       had invested a great deal of ourselves in this place and it's people. It was
       now time to get on with our secular lives we had left behind.

       It was strange, we had experienced so much hot weather, and now the
       weather would be cool with rain.

       The furniture and appliances we had sold to people down country would go
       with us on the truck to Tomale.

     Nalerigu Home

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        It fell to Cary and I to ride up on top with the cargo to keep it covered and
        from shifting86.

        The strangest thing of all was the fact that Cary and I almost froze up there
        in the rain and wind of the journey.

        The Carlin Family's departure from Tomale Airport87.

     Loaded to leave
     Tomale Departure July 1970

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