Monday, 9 May 1983
Dear Mom & Dad,
I can't figure out where to begin. We are doing fine. We are getting very tired of living in this hotel, however. Even the kids are bored with it. Jeannie & I are tired of eating out, but the kids seem to like it.
All last week, Jeannie & I went to ICR (Intercultural Relations class), where we learned about Naples. Wed., Thurs., & Friday were the most fun because we rode buses & trains & saw many interesting things in and around Naples. We got to eat a lot of fantastic food. The Italians do know how to cook! Come see & get fat. Jeannie & I tried octopus & squid, but didn't really like either.
We went to Galleria Umberto. You can see a picture of that in your Encyclopedia Britannica under "Naples."
We found a house. It is about 15 miles NW of Naples. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the hospital by taking a toll road which is similar to an interstate. It is on the east side of Lago Patria (that's a lake). The house is about 200 yards from the lake with no houses between it & the lake. There is a real pretty view out the back balcony. We are very pleased with the house with the exception of the small kitchen. We will send you pictures of the house & a floor plan after we get settled in it. We might be able to move in by next week.
We found a car today. Jeannie insisted on an automatic, which is difficult to find here. It won't be ours for about a week. It is a Fiat 131S. It is a 1976. It is in pretty good shape, but will require a little work on the body. I am getting it for $1500. The nicer cars are more expensive and all seem to be standards.
If you haven't sent those papers from New Orleans yet, please do it soon.
We have no idea what is going on in the news. So if you hear that someone was killed in Italy, you can assume it wasn't us & we won't know that you are concerned.
Saturday, I took the kids to the movie to see "Bambi." Jeannie went to wash clothes, but there was no water. So she waited till Sunday afternoon to do them. It's about 3 blocks or so to the laundry. She had to make 2 trips to bring them back after they were clean. I stayed here while the kids slept. She had a busy Mother's Day.
We went to church Sunday morning and met most of the rest of the members. I can't really describe where we meet except that it is small. Perhaps I can take a few pictures of it & send you. Sunday night we went to the missionary's house and listened to a tape of a sermon sent here from the States. That is the typical Sunday night worship service. We ate pot luck afterwards.
Tomorrow I will start seeing patients again. It is about time. It has been about 6 weeks since I saw a patient.
I think this is the longest we have all been well since I can remember.
Shortly after we got here, Steven started getting impetigo on his chin. We have about got that cleared up.
Steven is starting to talk more & more. He answers every question by shaking his head real hard & saying "no." It seems he has cut several teeth in the past month. He is about to stop chewing on everything, including his hand. He can sing lots of songs with a little help. He has become much better at walking up & down stairs. He gets lots of practice on stairs around here & we have to watch him constantly.
Angelique hasn't changed much. She still talks your head off. She hasn't had a chance to learn Italian yet. She tried very hard to learn to read this afternoon. She couldn't understand why it would take so long if she were trying so hard. She begs us to ride the elevator every time we go up & down the stairs in the hotel, though we are only one floor up. Steven thinks the elevator comes just by hollering "elevator." Anywhere he sees an elevator, he starts calling it, thinking it will come.
You all take care. We love you and think of you often. Write & tell us what is going on in Arkansas, or even the U.S.A., for that matter.
Happy Mother's Day!
Michael, Jeannie, Angelique,
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