My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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LOS ANGELES, Monday—In the middle of last week our plans were arranged in Santiago, Chile, so that on the way home I could spend a few hours in Lima, Peru, and have the pleasure of seeing something of the city and meeting President Manuel A. Odria and his wife. After waiting a bit for the fog to lift, we got off and had a beautiful flight up the coast with wonderful views of the very high peaks.

This was the first real opportunity I had to chat with the wives of the members of our military delegation on the trip because they stayed at the hotel and I stayed in the Embassy, and while we frequently met at parties in Santiago we only caught glimpses of each other here and there.

After landing in Lima we were greeted by Ambassador and Mrs. Harold H. Tittmann Jr. and away to a private room for a newspaper conference. Following this interview with the press, some members of the Peruvian foreign office, Ambassador and Mrs. Tittmann and I drove through the residential part of Lima and visited a very remarkable new housing development, with playground and shopping center all complete. I was told that this was only a small beginning, as much more housing was needed.

Then we drove back to the American Embassy for a few minutes and I was glad of a chance to see the house which is one of the loveliest I have seen anywhere. It is painted pink and is set back among the trees. The garden around it lends itself well to outdoor entertainment. For the most part the woodwork is light oak in the house, though there is some panelling in dark walnut and mahogany. The rugs are Peruvian wool rugs, and wonderfully soft and thick.

In the course of the short time I had during the afternoon we visited the workers' hospital, which is for workingmen and women and paid for out of the social security fund that is collected from the workers, the employer and the government. The social security actually covers only the workers, but a man can insure his entire family by adding two or three percent per month to his original five percent subscription.

We visited also the only day nursery that exists in the whole city of Lima. The children are kept from 7:30 in the morning to 7:30 at night while their mothers are working. It is beautifully run and for the older group a nursery school is organized. We also visited a clinic for mothers and babies. In each group, I believe, the services were organized under either the Methodist or Lutheran churches.

At six o'clock we were at the palace and the Ambassador and I had a chat with the President, after which we all went to tea with Senora Odria. She had just returned from the United States where she had undergone some surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Many of the charitable undertakings in South America are in some way connected with our Point 4 program. We may provide the housing or the water or sewage system or some other necessary undertaking which is paid for from Point 4 funds.

Our plane was late in leaving Lima, so I dined at the Embassy. Once aboard, however, I was able to settle down for the long flight to Miami and as much sleep as possible.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL