8.25.2014

Letter, October 19, 1974

Dear Mom,

I’m just dropping you a line this time to let you know I arrived safely here in El Salvador & am commencing my work. Yesterday I was officially sworn into the Peace Corps (wow!). They made kind of a big deal out of it for P.R. reasons, even had a picture of us in today’s paper. I was going to send you the clipping right away, but they don’t let you send stuff in these letters, so maybe later. At the swearing in ceremony I met the head of the Bureau of Irrigation and Drainage and also one of the head guys in my project. Tuesday they are going to take me out to see the project. They are apparently just starting to build the irrigation ditches & the dam and stuff this dry season. They don’t even have offices set up in Atiocoyo (the city where the project office will be) so all the people are commuting from San Salvador each day. I am going to be spending at least a month here in San Salvador myself and commuting with them. At least that’s the way it looks right now. I sort of have to design my job as I go.

Today I went with Harry Brokish, a Wis. Guy from DTS {short for Delta Theta Sigma, a fraternity for agriculture students I belonged to in college}, who is in charge of {agricultural} extension here in Peace Corps, to take three of the regular field volunteers out to their sites. We drove about halfway across the country so we got to see a lot of the countryside. There are some really magnificent volcanos. Hope, to get pictures later. We saw some of the huge cotton plantations in the valley of the Rio Lempa. They use crop-dusting planes to spray the fields and tractors & the whole bit. It is a different story with the small ganaderos (livestock farmers). We saw some malnourished kids and some corn planted on slopes steeper than the “expert hill” up at Skyline {a local ski resort}! That is no exaggeration.

More later,

Dean

P.S. – Please send those books when you can. Again they are by Glass & Stanley and Hays & Winkler and should be either up in the boy’s room or at Stevens’.

Gracias!

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