22 Jul 1942, Ella Buuck's wartime diary
What an exciting day!
First of all we arrived near our destination at about 9 am. The shore line was beautiful.
After long anxious waiting we saw the ship which is to take us back. The biggest thrill of all was seeing the freighter with the American flag. We all cheered and most cried for excitement.
Finally our ship slowly pulled in front of the Gripsholm! The Conte Verde pulled into the space behind the Gripsholm. After quite some waiting (about 3pm) we saw American mail come aboard. I just couldn’t take time to run down to the cabin to tell Lorenz but instead, I stood in the queue to see if we had letters. We did, so I hurried right down to the cabin only to find that Lorenz had also heard and was gone to find it. Finally he came and we opened our letters from Dr. Brand ((Director of Missions for the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and their boss.)) Lorenz feels so relieved to have heard. Everything is already arranged for us at New York.
It’s most exciting. During the afternoon we watched activity on the street. The natives are a strange lot, black and shiny, all in tattered clothing. Their teeth shining, really most interesting.
While we were sitting on deck chairs we heard cheering and laughing. Getting up to see, we found that Lenny’s red wagon was the attraction. The baggage was being transferred and one black boy was pulling it along, smiling merrily.
The next excitement came just before supper when Mr. Pomeranke ((was he interned at Stanley?)) told me that some of our Mission folks were at the gangplank to see us. I ran all the way down the aisle and down steps etc. to get there, and there stood Rev. and Mrs. Klein. They told us that all the Kleins, Zimmermanns and Thodes are on board. What a gang of us going home! 30 in all. How thankful we are that all of them are safe. We shall have a lot to talk about.
We eat early and the exchange begins at 9 tomorrow. That will be still more fun. Then we hope to be able to go on shore after that.
Bobby’s cold is making him miserable. It’s loose but stuffs his head and he has 103 fever again. I do hope it will soon clear up.