Boat, 1945 Aboard The Boat, 1945
Photograph Contributed by Diane Possell

Left Cairo Wednesday evening and got into Abadan, Persia (at the mouth of the Tigres and Euphrates), the same night. 

Spent two days there and then flew to Bahrain Island.  Stayed there last night and came over to the job on a launch.

The company had everything arranged wonderfully for us. The first thing they did was to serve us a real American dinner and then they brought us our mail -- our first since leaving New York.  I read most of mine while bouncing along on the bumpy road leading to the ARAMCO camp (Arabian American Company) fifty miles away.  They were like food and drink, only better.

You were wondering on the 15th if I were on the job yet, and on that same day, I was still in Cairo wondering if I would ever see Arabia.  Rumors had us going by boat, plane or caravan.  Of course, we finally flew, which was the best way by far.  But we traveled at night so all was in darkness and all we ever saw were the lights of Baghdad.

Line Construction Line Construction in Arabia
Photograph Contributed by Diane Possell

It's rained off and on practically all the two weeks I've been here.  Cold, too.  I wear a sweat shirt, two outside shirts, a heavy jacket, my wool riding breeches and wool sox under my boots.  It really gets windy sixty feet in the air.

Each of us has our own native crew.  One of my boys, Umba, is a fine worker.  I'm even teaching him to climb the pole. I know enough Arabic to make him understand what I want done. Two of the ground boys send up material.

We were told so many things about what we could and couldn't write about in Cairo that it sort of took the heart out of my letter writing. I wanted to write about everything.

So far, all that I've done is work, eat and sleep!

The weather is warming up. We are having hot days and wonderful "Arabian nights".

We don't work on Fridays as that day is the Moslem Sunday.

The flies are getting very bad.

Now we are having wind storms that seem like blizzards.

We had to take the line truck and go into a native village this afternoon to remove a pole that was in danger of falling.  While working there, I saw several little boys and I asked them what they were doing there.  One of the older natives spoke up and said that the little ones cooked for the big ones.  You see, the village is made up of Arabian workmen and there are no native women anywhere in this area.

The last couple of days the air has been full of grasshoppers.  They are nice big fat ones, about two and a half inches long.  But today, with the air full of sand again, they're all gone.  I know where a lot of them went.  The natives caught them by the bagful, cooked them and ate them!  Some, they make soup out of; others, they just cook and eat like peanuts.  Nearly every native had his pockets full yesterday.  We saw several, if you can image it, catch them and eat them alive.

Ras Tanura Boat Boat in Ras Tanura
Photograph Contributed by Diane Possell

We had quite an outing planned for today. We had arranged with one of the coolies for a boat and thought that we might sail a little, fish a little and perhaps have a swim.

We started out about eight o'clock and took a truck to Ras Tanura, which is the sailboat anchorage.  However, the natives wanted more for the boat than we wanted to pay, so we started back.  Then we decided to spend the day on the beach, which we did; just talking and resting and being very lazy.  We took off everything but our pants and when we came home, we just carried our clothes and walked all the way barefoot.

By the time we reached camp, we were painfully burned.  They had nothing at the hall for sunburn so I smeared hair oil all over me and am now sitting here in just my shorts and feeling pretty miserable.

Yesterday, I had to go to the Italian camp to see about the lights.  There is only one tent with about twenty-five persons in it.  Outside is a small lean-to where they keep their utensils and do their cooking.

The Arabian language is very difficult to learn and I have found it easier to learn from the natives than from the book that was given us.

We have shows every night with the program changing about every third day.  We have seen some very good pictures, although some of them are quite old.

Line Contruction Line Construction in Arabia
Photograph Contributed by Diane Possell

My sunburn is still with me, and how! I haven't been able to wear my boots at all.  Working in the sand in my oxfords is very hard. If it were at all possible, I'd work in shorts, too.

This morning we awoke to the worst sand storm we've had yet.  The wind had been howling with a rare degree of ferocity all night long and when we looked through the window at dawn, we couldn't even see the recreational hall, which is only two hundred feet away.

At the breakfast table, we heard the news that Germany had surrendered.  At least, that was the word that had come over the radio during the night.  We were all terribly excited and elated, only to be let down later when we found out that Germany had "offered" to give up the United States and Britain.

When I came into my shower tonight, I happened to glance into the waste basket and there was a mouse.  We don't know how he got in there, but he couldn't get out.  We set him free after a while but he didn't seem the least bit frightened of us.  He's been running around the room and is practically under our feet most of the time.

On our way out to a job today, I picked up the mail and put your letter in my pocket.  I didn't have time to read it all day until we were on our way back about three o'clock.  I crawled up into the back of the truck, got as comfortable as possible and opened the letter.  Well, you can imagine my surprise when I found nothing but several sheets of absolutely blank paper.  Then I remembered that you had said that you would send me some to tide me over until stationery arrives. It was quite a disappointment, but thanks a lot for the paper. I really can use it.

We had a real treat tonight -- peanuts! There was a small box for each man and it really was grand.