9.26.2014

Letter, July 21, 1975

Hi Jan,

I am going to stay & work on the cattle feeding trial, as of right now. I make that qualified statement because there have been some unbelievable hassles in connection with getting this project started, since I last wrote. The Peace Corps Agriculture Coordinator and the guy who devised the project & got it pretty well set up (a Volunteer) have had a personality clash about how the Volunteer went about setting it up (both agree on the value of the trial). The whole heated business struck me as very ironic, because no one even showed enough concern about the job they brought me down here for to see that they had something concrete for me to do when I got here! And now they are arguing about procedure when they have a project everyone agrees is valuable, and where there is all kinds of work just waiting to be done. Tomorrow we will have another meeting between the Episcopal Church, the government agency concerned with cattle and Peace Corps, which hopefully will get things off the ground. I have requested use of a vehicle to move my shit out to the experimental farm. Some farm, we have to build corrals, put up fences, make feed troughs, and make some silage, before they get their cows later this year! I will be staying at a beach house with two other Americans for the time being (Oh the hardships of Peace Corps!). I haven’t seen the house, but have heard it’s really nice. Now you’ll have to be sure to come down to visit since there’s lots of room for a tent on the beach, & they say that they sell good lobster at Acajutla, which is near where I’ll be! Did I ever tell you? A former Volunteer in my program who was terminated for “alleged” marijuana use hitchhiked back down here from northern Minnesota in less than 2 weeks (and his Spanish is very poor). I think you could make it just hitching and taking buses, but you should have at least one guy along. (Latin men get really strange ideas about women, especially “gringas” {female North Americans} traveling alone.) It would also help to have someone who spoke a little Spanish, obviously!

I still haven’t finished the report on the survey I did in San Isidro, things have been too hectic. Tonight for sure I have to finish, or very early tomorrow. “MaƱana” {tomorrow} is getting to be one of the most overused words in my vocabulary!

Have you seen the pictures I sent home? I am just as ugly as ever, but at least down here I am tall! That isn’t much of an advantage though because all the buses here are Salvadoran size, which means you can’t stand up straight inside them, and in the seats your knees are wedged against the seat in front of you.

I really miss the chance to play a friendly game of softball or touch football. I just never get a chance to here. You never see guys and girls playing together here either. The guys play soccer and the girls sometimes play a little softball, but more often don’t play at all.

All in all, things are looking up though. Looks like I’ll be busier than hell for a while so I won’t have time to complain.

See ya,

Dean

P.S. – It just hit me that I didn’t say a word about Miss Universe. They blew off a bomb in front of the tourist bureau in protest against it. I thought it came off well, but they’ll never get back the money spent on it, so maybe the bombers had a point.

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