January 7, 1939
Dear Dad, etc.:
Mr. Human came into Caracas late yesterday afternoon and seems to be in excellent health and has already lost quite a few inches off his waistline. In fact, the belts he had with him were too big and the first thing he asked for was one of the belts that I had brought along. As yet, he does not know what I will do immediately but in time I will have to learn the locations of different towns and the road conditions surrounding them or connecting them.
If possible, I would like to have you send or wire me $15 or $20. The worst of it is that that amount down here is equivalent to about five or six dollars up there. It is at least three times as expensive to live here, perhaps even 4. I sent a letter to Cecilia yesterday but that was before Mr. Human arrived and I had to borrow the money for the stamp so I sent it by regular mail. Therefore it will probably be a week or two before it arrives. In it I finished the details of my trip down here and described my idea of Caracas. The weather here is like April or May, quite cold at night and during the day it has never been hot enough to take off my suit coat.
For your information or anyone else’s, the trip down here cost me $30 plus the $25 given me my Mr. McCarter which totals $55 and multiplying by 3.2, the current rate of exchange, makes it about 176 Bolivars in Venezuelan money. At that, I got off pretty cheaply because I met a man on the boat, Frank Da Costa, who hails from Brooklyn but has spent most of the last eight years here and knows the people and how to get the most for the least. These people would take the shirt off your back if you gave them half a chance.
I still can’t make myself understood but everyone says that in three or four months I will be able to converse in Spanish fairly well.
I am staying at the Palace Hotel now but Mr. Human says he is going to try to find a nicer place to stay where I can unpack my things and come and go without too much trouble or expense.
I may not see Dan for a month or so but eventually, I was told, I would work out in the field with him to help me with Spanish.
Oh, yes, if you send the money by wire, send it to All America Cables, Caracas; if by letter, to apartment 484, Caracas, in care of INTERAMERICA. I am fine.
Lots of Love,
Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.
On Monday, I will continue the story of the life led by Dan and Lad in Venezuela along with letters from Grandpa to his two sons, so far from home.