Letter from Pat Grunnet to her mom, dated July 1978


Will is over watching a Snoopy Cartoon show on the video-tape, so I’ll grab some time to write you another note. Sounds like you’ve been contacted by some folks who have left and who are trying to cause us trouble. Tim Stoen has really turned out to be outrageous. He used to dream up crazy schemes, violent, etc. and because Jim wouldn’t go along with them, he left. He and a few other people are causing all the furor. I’m sure you’ve heard some of the wild lies about us. Stoen has become so fiendish the church has decided to sue him for 50 million dollars. Instead of my going thru a long trip returning all the lies – why don’t you just come over and visit and find out for yourself?

You can come in by boat or plane from the capitol. You can clear up your doubts and then be able to speak up against the creeps that are saying all these things.

By the way – the U. S. State Department and all the officials here know of the lies and are in complete support of us.

Anyway – the kids are doing great. I’ve got my whole class individualized in Reading, Language, Arts & Math. They just go from one activity to another from 8:30 – 11:30 without even a recess — because they are so excited about being able to read and do math now. Some of the activities are active games & puzzles and perceptual-motor stuff as well as phonics, crossword puzzles, logic games, listening skill games & all kinds of stuff. We still need a couple of copies of each set of worksheets that go with each book (1-23) in the Sullivan Programmed Reading series and would LIKE to get a set of the accompanying story books someday. I think they run about $2.00 a book. Linda or Germaine could run off a couple of copies of each worksheet easily. We use plastic sheets & wax-lead markers to preserve materials. Also – didn’t you say that Germaine could copy filmstrips? We would like the set of Sullivan Filmstrips too if she could copy them – and anything else you guys could scrounge up.

The different shops we have, have been coming up with some wild brainstorms. They figured out a clothes dryer whose head source is from the outside stoves we use for cooking. They also built a horse cart from scratch. We’re making soap now and selling it around the region. We also have a brick factory that will allow us another building material besides lumber.

Oh—we had a new baby girl last week—that makes 13 so far – just a healthy as can be. Our nursery is super – different areas for different aged babies with the stimulation toys and sounds and textures that each needs. We are planning a new pre-school building with every feature you’d ever want. Lofts to climb up for doll corners & cubbies to crawl into and a library corner with pillows – shelves all over to science centers, aquariums, movable partitions, areas for water play, a sand table — and on and on – it’s like a dream come true. I can’t wait till it’s completed. They’ve got a top-notch program now – but the building will allow for even more improvement. We’ve been visited by the top officials in pre-school education and they raved about our set-up that’s in our temporary building.

Our anteater is about 4-5 ft long now and still a baby and growing. It was raised on a bottle & we weren’t sure it would ever eat ants – but it finally got old enuff and eats them fine now!

We just got two baby macaws that are so ugly—they are cute – also an owl out of a tree we cut down.

Write soon –

Love, Pat

p.s. How did you make it through the earthquake?