Sunday, 14 Aug 1983

Dear Mom & Dad,

I hope this gets there in time for your birthday. We also sent you 2 things (in one package) for your birthday. Angelique picked out the big thing & Steven picked out the little thing without help. Really. (I know you won't believe it.) Both came from Greece. I am also sending some pictures. I hope you get all these things by your birthday.

The two pictures enclosed were done by Angelique and Steven while they sat in my office on Tuesday afternoon waiting for Jeannie while she was at the orthodontist. Angelique really goes crazy with markers. Can you find her lion with knees?

I finally got the numbers for Pinetamare Clinic. I am there from 8 AM to 11:30 and 1 PM to 4 PM on Wednesdays, if there is ever a need to call me during that time. The numbers are (0823) 858-363, 858-584, or 858-983.

August in Naples is supposed to be real hot. However, it has been very nice lately. It is supposed to be real dry, but hasn't been too bad. About 4 AM Thursday we had quite an electrical storm here, with lots of rain. Our power was out about 4 hours.

On the tape, did you figure out that you could turn the balance knob on your stereo and hear just one of the kids at a time? Angelique was usually the loudest. We recorded it in stereo with Angelique having one speaker (really microphone or track) and Steven the other. They switched a couple of times, though. You do have a cassette player on your stereo, don't you?

There are lots of motorcycles here. Practically none of the Italians wear crash helmets. The motorcycles are a little smaller here than what you see in the States. There are also lots of mopeds. They drive these cycles even crazier than they drive cars. They are just as likely to pass you on the right side as they are on the left, even in very heavy traffic. There are often 2 or 3 people per motorcycle.

There were probably about 40 patients in the hospital at the time of the "fire." No, I still don't know anything more about what to do if there is a real fire. Better yet, what am I supposed to do if there is an earthquake at night & I'm in charge?

Friday night at about 8:30 PM there was an earthquake (tremor) strong enough to be felt in this area, but we didn't notice it. Several people, some even at Pinetamare, have mentioned it.

I tried to convince Jeannie to save her money and not put up curtains since we have shutters. But she says it will look more like home with curtains. I guess she's right. Steven's room sure looks better to us.

I called the man about the screens again on Monday. He said he would come Tuesday. He never showed up. We still have no screens up yet.

Remember how many flies and bugs we had in (as well as around) our old house? Well this house is similar. The same thing applies to dust.

Pompeii is about 45 minutes from here. Most of the drive is on a highway system like an interstate. I'm not sure how many miles. Yes, they are still digging at Pompeii, but we didn't go into that section. About 20% of the city hasn't been uncovered yet. Around 20,000 people lived there when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. The kids did not go to Pompeii or Mt. Vesuvius with us on the tour. The pace of the tour was too fast for the kids. We were warned ahead of time not to take them. We have found some good babysitters, so we went without the kids and had a very enjoyable experience. You must see Pompeii when you come.

We are not sure what month would be best for you to come since we haven't been here all the months yet. March sounds like a good month. It will still be chilly then, though.

Monday, I got my refrigerator hooked up to a transformer which I already had & it has worked just fine ever since. That's the way things are around here. One day something will be a big problem, then the next day the problem won't exist any more.

Wednesday evening we went to a birthday party which included supper. Carrie Moranville turned 4 years old.

Thursday we got a VCR. It is a Panasonic PV-1220M and will work in the States, too. (It will not record Italian TV.) It is a VHS. We have already written Diane and asked her to make us some Sesame Street tapes. When you get your VCR we need some cartoons, especially Smurfs. Also, the church here would enjoy tapes of some of the church of Christ broadcasts that are on Sunday mornings, like Roy Lee.

Please go to Wal-Mart, or wherever, soon and find out how much the cheapest tapes cost. Tell me how much it will cost you to get T120 and T160. It may be cheaper for us to buy tapes here and mail them to you.

We don't own any tapes, but have borrowed a few. Steven is enthralled with Sesame Street. Angelique watched the Strawberry Short Cake Movie 4 times in 2 days. Both kids seem excited, but surprised, that we can see programs in English on our TV now.

Yesterday morning we all went to the pool. I just couldn't believe how well the kids were doing in the water. Steven just giggles & kicks the whole time, even after he's tired. He'll even jump into the pool from the edge. Both kids wear small floatation devices on their upper arms. Angelique can do a few things without hers. Angelique can swim under water pretty well.

Last night we went to a party with supper. It was a reunion of our ICR class. That was the week-long class we took about Naples right after we got here. It was interesting to hear about what all these people have been doing since they've been here the same length of time we have. One military girl in the class went back to the States for medical reasons. One wife in the class went back because she couldn't cope with things here. But, we are doing fine and having a good time and intend to keep making the best of things!

This morning in church I had to lead singing. I don't like to do that without warning or preparation.

Tonight we had most everyone from church out to listen to a sermon tape. We recently got several tapes in the mail from Fort Smith & don't need any more for awhile. There were 10 adults and 12 kids - quite a houseful. We made all the kids eat outside. There was lots of good food. They were here from 5:30 to 9:30. Everyone helped clean up the mess.

We are going to start wearing white uniforms instead of these ugly khakis. I think that will give everyone a better impression of the hospital. It won't look so dirty. So far, the new C.O. is doing a good job.

Since it is so late, I had better say good night. I appreciate so much your letters. It has been one good factor in getting settled here.

We love you, too.


Michael, Jeannie,
Angelique, & Steven

P.S. Both Jeannie's mother and Diane have commented on how much they appreciate and enjoy getting copies of my letters to you.

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