P.O. Box 1214



April 22nd 1975.


Dear Folks,

                        Ta for your letters, and the one from Helena that you sent on to me. Before I forget, did you get my birthday cheque to Rosie and Mum?  You don’t make any mention of it. I’d like to see the Karachi photos, but you’d better keep them, in case there’s any hassle here. As I said before, they’re funny about photographs and cameras.


                        One other point you mention—if you’re not sure where I am in the world, letters to me c/o the London office will always be sent on to me by Terri. I use the London office address for my bank. Anyway, it looks like I’ll be here in Mog for a few months now.


                        There is virtually no booze anywhere, as I think I said before, and no American cigarettes, so I’ve given up boozing, and I’m even thinking of giving up smoking. The weather is horribly humid, it’s hard to imagine English weather.


                        Work is going very well for me. I’ve made a couple of field trips, of which more later, but I’ve spent most of my time working on the ComMand. Had a lot of problems, because we’re expanding it to a much more powerful version, and whenever you take a working computer system apart, add lots of new bits and pieces, rewire it and plug it in, there are always lots of things wrong. However I think today I’ve finally fixed everything, and the system is working ok, much faster and better.


                        We are starting up a new crew here, and they’re really out back of beyond. I went out on Monday, to check things out, came back on Saturday. It’s two hours by the light plane to the bush airstrip north of Mog, then four hours by Landover through the bush. After that you come to the camp, a few tents, trucks and trailers out in the middle of nowhere. The Bushmen are very shy, some of them haven’t seen a white man before. There are three guys out there—an Irishman, an American, and a Pakistani, and they were saying that when the convoy first came through, the people were fleeing in panic, thinking strange engines of war had invaded.


                        The birds are beautifully tame, there were two fawn/yellow and blue birds building their nest in one of the trailers quite happily, about four feet from where I was standing, talking to one of the guys. It’s very peaceful out there. Pretty primitive, too. Only local water, which is dusty-brown, and tastes gritty and bitter, but is ok. I’ll probably be going back out when some more people and equipment have arrived.


                        The Area Manager here in Mog is a goon, but most of the other guys are ok. In the staff house we have two cassette players and a record player. My chess is improving again, now that I’m practising when I get the time. What happened about my cassette recorder, the one I put in for repair in Paignton?


                        I see things elsewhere are a hell of a mess, as usual. Cambodia, Vietnam, the Middle East, unemployment and raging inflation at home, and then a budget which is going to make life unliveable. Wherever I go when I quit this life, I don’t think it will be England, not to live.


                        Pleased you got your holiday booked for the first week of June. I’m sure it’ll be hot in the Channel Islands then. Send me a card. Helli seems pretty well. She’s been working as a coding clerk in a computer office for an oil company. Strange coincidence. She seems at the moment quite happily married. I haven’t yet had time to write to anyone else except Sharon. She’s also well, and tells me Paignton was packed over Easter.


                        Yvonne’s still flying, is she? She must be becoming quite an experienced pilot by now. Unlike Ethiopia, they won’t allow me to fly here, in fact only Somali pilots are allowed on all flights except the one jet, which has a British crew, because there are no Somalis qualified to fly jets.


                        Anyway, I’ll finish here, and get this out tomorrow. How’s Rosie doing? No mention. I’ll write again maybe in a few days time. How about a letter from Rosie and Yvonne, too. In this place you really look forward to letters. So, so long for now, write soon,


                        Love David.