9.26.2014

Letter, August 9, 1975

Dear Jan,

I called home last night for Mom’s birthday, and from the sound of her & Dad the Georgia doctors really scared the shit out of them with their reports on Marcia’s condition. I guess the Nashville doctors and Marcia’s friends were a lot more reassuring since they didn’t seem to be overly concerned when I talked to them (Mom & Dad). I sent Marcia a get well card & am sending her a gift with a guy I met here who goes to college near Nashville. Keep me posted on her condition. I’m still not clear on how serious her injuries really are, and if some may be permanent.

It was great to talk to Mom & Dad & Donna & Bruce & Carla. I dialed them direct & it was just like calling from down town (except the bill!). Carla’s voice has changed some I think; at least I had trouble recognizing it, & they tell me Tom is getting taller and thinner by the day. Bruce sounds like his same old self though. Sounds like Donna may be getting things together with vocational school and all; I hope so.

We had a fantastic meal last night at a friend’s home, in honor of a guy who is leaving today. We had big T-bone steaks like you only have at home, even in the States, with baked potato, French onion soup, salad and garlic bread, plus strawberry cheesecake for dessert. The food was so rich compared to what I usually eat, that I had the runs this morning. I don’t get that much meat in a month in the campo {rural areas}.

I’ve been making hay, & digging a hole for a silo, & planting forage sorghum all this week, in spite of the fact that half of it was Salvadoran vacation time. I am down to 170 lbs., & in the best shape I’ve been since I entered Peace Corps. The work doesn’t always go well, but being busy keeps me from getting restless, and thinking about going home. Swimming in the ocean after a day’s work is really great too. I found out last week that the place I swam the first few days (right in front of the beach house) is a big “hole”, and thus the most dangerous place on the whole beach. Now I go to one side where there is a sandbar, and the beach slopes off very gently out to where the waves break. It is much nicer riding the waves, & the undertow is nowhere near as strong. Today someone told me there were lots of sharks near the beaches of Metalio (my town), so I guess if it isn’t one thing it’s another.

Hope you enjoy those blueberries & blackberries. I try not to think too much about foods I can’t get here since it makes me homesick! Last night another Volunteer from Wisconsin mentioned fudge, and my stomach twinged. I had forgotten even to miss fudge until he brought it up. Oh well, it’s a big, bad world out there!

Hang tough!

Dean

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