Letter, August 9, 1974

Dear Mom,

Here’s wishing you a very belated happy birthday! Sorry it took me this long to write, but with classes, etc. and have also not learned enough Spanish yet to get some envelopes. By the time I get this letter mailed you can rest assured I will have learned where they sell envelopes.

Has Jan come home from Canada yet? Did Bruce & Tom go out for football or are one or both of them planning on going out for volleyball? I have been playing volleyball (the name’s the same in Español!) at Basico during lunch hour this week.

The food here is O.K. and I have not experienced any diarrhea yet even though I drink the water & everything. I have to admit though that arroz y frijoles (rice & beans), the staples of the Costarican diet, get pretty monotonous.

The last half of this week and for the next 3 weeks I will be having intensive Español lessons. They are giving us the equivalent of 2 years of college Spanish in 10½ weeks. With the agriculture training too it makes for long days. I usually get up at 5 or 5:30, eat and walk about 2 miles to Basico. We have classes from 7:30 to 11:30 and 1:30 to 5:30. Then I go home, eat, study, perhaps go to the cervecería for a cerveza {beer} and then go to bed by about 9:30.

The mother, señora Maria Gonzales, in the family I am living with is American by birth, but you wouldn’t know it to talk to her. The only one who speaks any English in the house is one little girl (also Maria) who is studying it in school. There are 4 girls and 2 boys in the family and the father’s grandparents also live here. The “Don” is in the hospital now for an operation, but we don’t communicate well enough for me to know what kind of operation.

Heard today that Nixon resigned yesterday. I think he saved the Congress a lot of hassle and the country some more months without effective leadership. It will be interesting to see what the civil and criminal courts do in his pending cases now that he no longer is “immune” from all but the impeachment process.

Hoping Y’all are well & happy,


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