Letter(2), January 3, 1975

Dear Jan,

Sorry I forgot to tell you about getting the books (if I did, I don’t really remember). I have already read Travels with Charley and really enjoyed it except the part about Wis. Made me homesick! Also read Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography which was really interesting. He went from London’s slums to being a multi-millionaire within about 6-7 years, but instead of becoming an archconservative was a socialist as much as he was anything. He got in trouble with U.S. authorities for advocating U.S. entrance into W.W. II to form a second front & relieve the Russians. He was more or less chased out of the U.S. in the “Commie” scare of the early 1950’s.

I wouldn’t worry about sending glasses. I have my extra pair & P.C. should pay for fixing the others. Lots of luck with your practice teaching and your trip to Florida. Find out for me what kinds of dangerous snakes inhabit tropical rivers. I have been going swimming in the nearby Rio Sucio {sucio means dirty, but this river was reasonably clean near Atiocoyo} each afternoon with a guy from the Taiwan Mission who speaks a little English. Yesterday some guys told us there is one kind of dangerous snake around here!

Just was talking with another volunteer who says he’s going to have his dad fill out his tax return under power of attorney. I wonder if I might be able to do the same. Since you’re going to get this letter at home anyway, maybe you could ask Mom about it? I can send my statements of earnings from the Peace Corps up there and they will already have my statement from the bank and my W-2 from my job at the U. {University of Wisconsin - Madison} so it should be pretty easy to fill out. I figure to come out about even on federal, but I don’t know about state tax. I may have to sign a power of attorney form for them to do it too. If Mom thinks it’s easier, they can send the stuff down here & I’ll fill it out. I wonder what the State would think of a Salvadoran check?

Bruce should get going if he wants to go to school next fall what with financial aid deadlines and all. If he wants to go to Madison I know some people he could talk to about majors & careers & stuff.

Got over the “dysentery” in pretty good shape, but I have lost a little weight since I’ve been here. I’m down to 172 from 180, but feel very good at this weight. I think I was getting kind of fat before. Now I only have to worry about “tortilla belly”. It’s hard to get the protein you need here. There is lots of rice, and frijoles and tortillas to fill you up, but they are deficient in protein. I do pretty well though. When they butcher something at the comedor {small informal restaurant} where I eat I always get a big piece of meat.

Lots of luck with your practice teaching & the coming semester and all.

Take care,


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