Another week and the war will be 19 months duration. How can it be that as much as been taken out of our lives? We’ve got to make it up somewhere, somehow. Some of the lines from [Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s] Sonnets from the Portuguese still haunt me, I should not allow myself to be so sentimental, and why not!… I hate this life more an more each day. I’m restless and no matter how or what I eat I can’t gain weight—I guess I never will until we regain some semblance of normality. I’m skeptical about the future of this camp and I hope and pray that things work out, it can certainly be one helluva mess if 7,000 are dumped here in a lump.
..It rather amused me today when Kenny Edwards came to me and requested that I remove the name Margaret Nestle from the list of those whose presence was desired here. Apparently Dr. Leitch has advised someone that conditions were going to be quite primitive in the new barracks and suggested that a person not have his wife come up with the first group. Denny even intimated that there were to be open urinals, horror of horrors! These fools have believed that these barracks were going to be furnished like a New York apartment. I don’t suppose they’ll be too bad, but with all the speculation, no one has actually seen the plans yet. Everything we know about them has been told us by the Contractor. On the other hand, I believe they will be fairly up to what was described, but from what I’ve observed, descriptions become well garbled…
That’s the date in 1941 when I became actively conscious of Manila and the Philippines. I went to Vesper service and heard Fonger deliver a very excellent little sermon. I don’t remember the text but it had to do with the Psalmist during one of the captivities and one of the Epistles of Paul to Timothy, re: Don’t forget you, Jerusalem. He hasn’t much of a delivery but, profound sincerity. I told him I enjoyed it. I guess I didn’t accomplish much yesterday, really have been down in the mouth—there was a show last night and it was excellent. Bill and I made honey this morning and went to see Mr. and Mrs. Curran this afternoon; this is their 31st wedding anniversary.
General Hamada made his official visit to the camp this afternoon. I wish he’d come early enough for camote beans and meat, which I think we’ve had every noon, except one, since we came here—three meals per day! Stew every night except beans and pork that have been served four times, I believe.
I’ve succumbed to a passion for reading and study of a kind. I’m keeping the monitor job for a while, Safety and Order. I may withdraw from it later, I have 6 students signed up for an Introductory History Course. I will myself take Spanish, Accounting, Literature and Economics. I hope you arrive on the scene before another six weeks has passed.
Another day—’Tis said that the barracks will not have concrete floors as advertised, the kitchens will be adequate and possibly 600 invalids and old people will be allowed to remain in Manila. Considerable antagonism to the Hitleresque method of promulgating the Camp Penal Code and I expect there’ll be plenty said at tonight’s meeting. I’m glad we had the shack at Santo Tomas, but when we settle here (if we eventually do), I want to have things to do and you without making existence so complicated that we spend all day at it.
Things moving along as usual, some general is due to inspect the camp today, 16 planes went south this morning and the paper has an interesting item now and then. Keep looking toward your house directly behind us on the hill and wishing that we could be enjoying ourselves there. Had coffee with Lee yesterday afternoon, he is going to teach a composition course and I loaned him your book.
One of the odd facts about the camp is that no one has the correct time. An ancient alarm clock in the Gym is set by the chapel chimes everyday but it certainly varies. It doesn’t make much difference anyway. Played ball this evening for the first time. I was full of stew but we won anyhow 2-1…
I’ve worn the socks, couldn’t resist, they are perfect for size and feel wonderful. Darling, I hope you and your father can come up together with the first group; that maybe within the next few weeks. I wonder for how long? We’ll have a lot of living to do and I want to get started on it. The food here is an improvement over Santo Tomas despite the wood fires and semi-open kitchen. I suppose ifs the smaller group. Bill and I fill up on fruit besides. I love you.
Those new socks [probably knitted from string.]—wonderful! You are a darling! I’ve been hoarding sugar but I guess we’ll use some on the mush for a while. Salt and coconut milk on mush, a half-spoonful of sugar in our coffee and calamansies in our tea at night has enables us to save about a tablespoon of sugar a day for the past few weeks. We’ve brought what we could but save it for the time you and Polly will be here.