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Date: November 16th 1943

NOVEMBER 16, 1943

Dear Bernice:

Am sitting here a'shivering and a'shivering. Have to go to bed on off-duty time to keep warm. The days are nice outside, warm in the sun and a fallish tang to the air. Last night I had three blankets on. Haven't yet put on my flannel pyjamas, but soon. Your nightie I haven't worn, but it will sure serve well now. These stone houses are so damp. Not a spark of heat anywhere, not even hot water pipes as we have no hot water. I guess, though, if that is all we have to put up with we are lucky indeed.

Had my afternoon today. Caroline and I went downtown to the PX. Bought some gum, shampoo, a comb, and two pairs of men's cotton socks to wear in my sneakers. Saw a small ivory bust mounted on a cedar base of a Senegalese woman. It was lovely, and of course elephant ivory. The price-7,000 francs, or one hundred and fifty dollars. Would you like a couple?

I received a nice letter from June last week. She certainly seemed to be enjoying her work. I must write Eva again.

The Xmas packages are arriving in abundance. I have mine put away now until December 25. Rosie and Caroline open theirs as they come, and are trying their wills on me to open mine. As I write these things, it seems I have written you this stuff before. I did have pictures (photos) sent me of Helen and Win. They are lovely, especially Win's. She will love it. She looks stunning in her uniform, and really pretty. I have a package from Gladys; her friend Agnes; Clark; Mrs. Nodwell; a cousin of Win's; Beatrice Lockhart; Dudge's Mary; Scott. Had a nice box of Fanny Farmer's chocolates from Gladys (for now). June said you had sent one, but so far it hasn't arrived-but there is plenty of time. Rosie bought some lovely pointsettias, and they are on the table here beside me. They are huge. I never saw such big ones. The leaves are five inches long, and three and one half across. The blooms are as big as a plate. Flowers grow so well here. Never did see such beautiful roses.

Sunday some of us-eighteen in all, doctors and nurses-went to a town about twenty miles from here, via truck. The excursion was to an Arab market which is held every Sunday, and is called the souk. What a dirty place, but very interesting. They each ply their trade there. The tinsmith has his lot on a grass rug; the herb man; the fruit man. They slaughter cattle there, and sell the meat. Just inside the gate against the high white wall, several women were squatted doing the mending as it came along. The amusing part of that was they were using Singer hand machines and American thread. There were many barber stalls. The children all have their hair cut-rather, shaved-except a long sprig on the side that is left so they can be pulled up to heaven if they die. Now, the doughnut man stole the show. He had fires burning under kettles of fat. They evidently were raised doughnuts. Now this is where the hand certainly was quicker than the eye. He would grab a piece of the dough, and watch as we did we couldn't see him make the hole-but a hole there was when he threw it in the fat. Then there was the medicine man who cured all ills. Saw one man being bled for headache. The poor devil looked as though his head was much worse when the job was finished. He cut the back of his neck many times on both sides with a razor. Then put suction cups on which had long pipes on which he sucked. One of the doctors said he is a surgeon, too. Allah wasn't forgotten, either. One went around chanting and soliciting alms. The whole thing was quite a sight. Donkeys, burrows, camels, dogs, and Arabs. We went to the beach for a while after. The sun was nice that day.

I must hurry this up, as the girls are nagging me to get ready for the movies.

Rumors still going around about our moving, but when or where I'm sure no one knows. Not very busy.

Guess I got to go, so good night.

Love, Frank