11.30.2014

Journal, December 24, 1975 AM

They really weren’t kidding in El Salvador when they told me tamales were the big food for "Navidad" {Christmas}. Same thing here! I had three yesterday & believe me there’s no tamale like a homemade tamale!

Ah, what a life! We went to Ojo de Agua yesterday morning & really enjoyed ourselves, just relaxing, swimming, swinging & boating. I was really feelin’ my oats, as they used to say way back in Wisconsin, and even did a yoga headstand and a backbend! {some text not transcribed}

Journal, December 23, 1975 AM

Went into San Jose yesterday, & was floored by the prices of stuff. They are about as high as I remember prices being in the States a year & a half ago! Felipe, the current Peace Corps trainee in Pilar’s house, says prices have shot up incredibly in the U.S. since we left though, so maybe things are a little cheaper here than there. You can’t tell the Gringos {North Americans} from the natives in San Jose, and some of the Gringos are adopted ticos {Costaricans} too so the central part of town has a very North American atmosphere. I bought a couple gifts, & had a banana split for old times sake.

<Got a bus to the San Antonio turn off {from the main highway between San Jose and the airport}, so decided to look up Sofia’s house.> I asked directions of the right dude apparently, because I found it with no problems! {some text not transcribed}

Got my presents wrapped, & set to go last night, and then went for a beer with Jaime & Pilar. Pilar is such a fireball it’s unreal. She doesn’t say anything so profound or even humorous, but her laugh is so infectious you can’t help enjoying being around her. She just can’t quit ribbing Jaime about the fact that my eyes are bluer than his! Hit him with it on the way home, “Dino, no traigas tus anteojos mañana!” { “Dean, don’t wear your glasses tomorrow! }

Journal, December 22, 1975 AM

Haven’t officially started this thing, & I already missed writing in it one night, but maybe mornings are better anyway!

Read some more of "Cien Años de Soledad" yesterday morning. I’m getting so I can read through it at a semi-reasonable pace, & don’t look up so God awful many words. Lucky it’s a funny book, & thus keeps the attention.

Poor Rita {current Peace Corps trainee living here}, Doña Carmen came down hard on her ‘cause she’s going over to Pilar’s house, & have a drink with Felipe on Christmas Eve. <She got the whole line about how Sofia (my penpal) was from a bad family whose kids make fun of the Castillo Gonzalez family.> Small town scrapping at its worst, & they try to put her (& me) in the middle. But I just won’t let it excite me at all.

Beer has really gone up here – to 4 or 5 Colones from 3 to 3½ when I was here 14 months ago. Jaime & I had a good talk over beer – same themes as usual, how things were & are back home, & how much he likes Costa Rica & his future in-laws. Going to set the wedding date while he’s here this time. Hope it’s early in November ‘cause I’ve pretty well promised to come but will be anxious to hit the road by then!

Bullshitted with Rita about pot, religion & a bunch of other stuff last night. Nice chic, but I almost think she’s got the same problem I got; went into the wrong field, & doesn’t really want to go back to school to change. Or maybe it’s just general restlessness – bummed out by the idea of taking on a steady job, & just watching life fly by without doing all the things (some you haven’t even found out about yet) that you’d like to do before you’re too old. But folks like us should be fun to talk to at least, right?

11.23.2014

Journal, December 20, 1975 PM

So why write a journal in the first place? I hope I never get to the point of going back and reading it all over again – what a waste. That means I must be writing for someone else to read some day, & share my ideas or experiences or whatever. Maybe if my need to communicate in some way what goes through my brain day by day will keep me writing.

Went to my first church service in a long time today, a Catholic mass in San Antonio de Belén. The ritual really bums me out, always has. Reminds me of zombies or robots when people mumble answers to mumbled questions without thinking about what they’re saying. However, it’s really not as bad as all that, because they don’t take it too seriously. My tica {Costarican} sister and her friend giggled next to me through it all. Constant ritual indoctrination just becomes a routine, boring but cherished for its sentimental value. It doesn’t take over our minds.

{some text not transcribed}

Journal, December 19, 1975

Wow, is all I can say about my reception in Costa Rica today! Pilar and her mother met us at the airport, and Doña Carmen had come to meet me too, but missed us somehow. She was real upset, & came over to Pilar’s to take me “home”. We talked like never before, & she stuffed me with food like old times. <Then I went to Pilar’s & Sofia’s graduation party (typing school).> These Costarican girls are so fresh & so direct they’re really refreshing. If they like you they say so, and they aren’t on as tight a leash as Salvadorans are.

But you have to watch out because they’re marriage minded, and what in hell would I do with a wife, going back to school like I plan to?

This morning I’m still impressed with the extreme amiability of the Costarican people toward Gringos {North Americans}, they almost fight to be your special friend, & get more attention, & are so emotional! As Jaime said last night, his fiancé’s family treats him so well, it’s better coming home to them than going home to Wisconsin.

Images, December, 1975

Fabio Castillo, Marielos, Fabio Alberto, Orlando and Carmen de Castillo, plus {Peace Corps trainee} Rita Kluzusji {back} at the Castillo Murillo house {in San Antonio de Belén, Costa Rica}.

11.21.2014

Journal, December 18, 1975

Since I have not yet officially begun this journal, I feel no obligation to be consistent in what I write as yet. But on the other hand there’s no reason to wait ‘til January 1 to begin when I’ve already bought the book. I am in Managua, Nicaragua tonight, on my way to Costa Rica with Jaime Olson. Going through Nicaragua, and seeing immense, well cared for fields of cotton, sugarcane & banana trees has brought up an old internal conflict. Unquestionably, big haciendas {farms} can employ the latest technology, & if well managed, out produce the same amount of land in "minifundia" {small} holdings, but that still doesn’t justify people like the Somoza family, virtual owners of a country. Medium, commercial size farms use land most efficiently, but what do you do with all those extra people? Same problem as in El Salvador, & no solution short of political upheaval followed by land reform. And no assurance land reform will be a panacea if it leads to generalized minifundia. On to Costa Rica, and a little respite from such heavy stuff! Jaime’s fiancé has found me a penpal, & now Jaime is foreseeing a blossoming romance before I’ve even met her.

On the journal, I hope to carry on indefinitely (beginning January 1). I take a healthy dose of cynicism from Mark Twain who said that a completed journal was of great value. (I have begun journals before, twice, unsuccessfully.)

Letter, December 8, 1975

Hi folks,

Thanks much for the fotos {photos} of the Indian corn. They made a big hit with Morena’s family (look at the fotos to find out who Morena is) because our "Indian corn" looks a lot like the white or flint corn they grow here. The corn here is characteristically very tall and often has purple {coloring} in stalks or ears! The native or "indio" corn here (which I’ve seen once in the mountains) looks just exactly like ours, with multi-colored kernels & everything. They say it makes good tortillas, so maybe I can make tortillas from Indian corn when I get back (once I learn the trick to it)!

How did hunting come out? It’s about time someone in the family landed a deer considering all the hay & corn they mooch off us! We had a good Turkey Day football game with campo {rural} PCVs {Peace Corps Volunteers} beating city PCVs & embassy Marines 25-24! Afterwards we proceeded to eat & then drink too much, but it was great! After eating rice and beans, turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits & pumpkin pie are just unreal!

Before I forget, I got your film & from the last film I sent home, I’d like two copies of any pictures of my Chinese friends & I that turned out, one for each of them. I’m going back up to Atiocoyo to see them some weekend & will take them up. The tall Chinese guy is a real philosopher, says if a person wants to have the best of everything he should have an American (U.S.) home, eat Chinese food, have a Japanese wife, and keep a French mistress!

I’m sending home a bunch of photos I took here & had developed (mainly because lots of folks wanted copies of some. Never again! As you can see the quality of some is rotten. Some where I had them make more than one copy came out in different colors in the copy, & then they didn’t give me the same copies I requested in all cases! I explain each picture on the back.

Sounds like the corn was pretty good, and $8.60 {per hundredweight} sounds incredible for milk, though I’m sure all of your costs have been climbing even faster. The rainy season stayed until the end of November this year; much different than last fall when it hardly rained after Oct. 15. Actually, so much rain hurt the bean crop, which in many cases sprouted on the vine due to the dampness, & the coffee producers were crying because the downpours were knocking nearly ripe coffee beans off the trees. I never feel sorry for the big coffee producers any more though since I learned they don’t pay income taxes (which producers of other crops do) even though coffee is the country’s major export!

I’m leaving Dec. 18 for Costa Rica. I’m going down with Jaime (Jim) Olson, a fellow PCV & Wisconsinite who has his fiancé down there. He met her during training, & just kept liking her company more and more! She’s a native Costarican and a secretarial student. Anyway, I’m going to keep Jaime company, see the family I stayed with {in training}, & meet a girl Pilar (the fiancé) & Jaime buffaloed into writing to me. I’m looking forward to the trip. Costa Rica is going to look even more beautiful after being here a year. Hard to believe they have no army there when the army is so big & brazenly evident here!

Well, hope your holidays are happy!

Dean

P.S. - New Year’s resolution for Donna, Bruce, Tom, Carla & Merna. Write me once a year to prove you’re alive!

Letter, November 18, 1975

Dear Mom, Dad & all,

I sent y’all a “surprise” package November 10 by ship & land, so thought I’d better get my butt in gear and write you what I sent before I forgot. They told me it would take about a month to get to you, so hope it arrives before Christmas! Well here goes with the mailing list { The package included gifts for my 7 sisters, 2 brothers and David, my sister Mary’s spouse }:

There are 2 Guatemalan handycraft shirts for Bruce & Tom; they can fight over who gets which. There are 2 wool carrying bags, also from Guatemala for Donna & Carla.

The Don Quijote & Sancho Panza, which are wrapped in the shirts (careful), are for Jan. Watch out for Quijote’s spear, it would be easy to break.

There are 4 handbags; the 2 plain ones I intended for Merna & Marcia; the one with brown trim & shoulder strap for Mary, and the really simple woven one for Joyce. Tell them I won’t get mad if they swap. One thing though, the 2 necklaces made from coffee beans & other native fruits go with the simple woven bag since it was cheaper. Don’t remember where I put the necklaces, but you’ll find ‘um, hopefully in one piece.

The piece of hand-woven cloth from Guatemala is for Mom. (If the other women of the family like it & want some, I’ll take orders, ‘cause it’s not that expensive & I live only a half hour from the Guatemalan border.) Be careful, because there is a fragile shell necklace wrapped in the cloth. The lady at the market where I bought some of the stuff gave it to me special for my mother, so hope it don’t break in transit!

I got leather belts for Dad & David, the longer one being for Dad. Hope they fit, as I’m pretty skinny right now, I may have underestimated the waistlines of people eating good Wisconsin food!

Hope those trinkets get there in good shape. If so I may send some more stuff before I leave here. It’s pretty cheap sending stuff by boat, providing they arrive & in one piece!

I’m getting psyched up right now for Thanksgiving. We are going to have a big feast, with all the stuff us “gringos” eat for Thanksgiving. We’ve also got a touch football game planned between the rural (campo) PCVs {Peace Corps Volunteers} and the city PCVs, and will probably get in some volleyball, softball & basketball as well as “highball”. Do you realize I’ve only played with a football once in the last year, incredible!

Just got through with my annual medical checkup from Peace Corps. I have some protozoan swimming around in my intestines that the doctor gave me pills to kill. I also have round worms & will get wormed next time I’m in town {meaning San Salvador}. Other than that I’m O.K., no tuberculosis or malaria, although some friends tell me it looks like I’m starting to lose a little hair from taking malaria pills every week. I think they’re just kidding, but once the dry season starts, I’ll stop taking the pills since the danger of malaria is less then.

Saw a guy from Janesville {Wisconsin} off last week at the airport. He put in 2+ years in the same program I’m working with now & now he’s headed back to Wisconsin. Hopes to earn some money & buy a little farm. Maybe I’ll visit him when I get back.

Another Wisconsin guy leaves this week. He’s from Osseo and his father grows Christmas trees, so he’s been to Skyline {A local ski hill near my family’s farm.} (for some tree growers convention), and knows the Ginters { The Ginter family owned Skyline Ski Area and a farm near ours where they raised Christmas trees. }. I expect to see him some day as he’s going to be studying at UW-Madison {University of Wisconsin – Madison} next year & I plan to go back to school when I terminate with Peace Corps.

You meet some really fine people in Peace Corps, but they sure seem to come & go in a hurry! Will send you folks some pictures I’ve taken recently once I get done showing them around here. They include one of what’s left of the group I trained with.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Dean

11.14.2014

Images, November, 1975

Working on the silo {at El Maizal demonstration farm}, taken from {the} ajonjolí (sesame) field.

Me with my beach bum tan, in front of some awful short & pathetic looking sorghum {at El Maizal}.

Old silo filler like Dad may remember. We used it yo fill our silo at El Maizal. The crop in the background is called ajonjolí and is the plant sesame seeds come from.

The three-quarters filled trench silo, before we put dirt on it. That's my water jug on the side, & the bare field below is where we cut the sorghum from.

Don Tin (short for Augustín) and Jay Hasdheider, a fellow PCV {Peace Corps Volunteer} in the "comedor" {small restaurant} where we usually eat in Metalío. Don Tin is a real character, & has been all over El Salvador & Honduras working.

Peace Corps office in San Salvador. University students had painted the slogans before we moved in, so they aren't aimed at us especially. ANDES is the radical student organization, & UR-19 stands for 19 persecuted leftists in Uruguay.

Brand new market in the capital {San Salvador} into which hundreds of venders moved from the streets last summer.

Letter(2), October 24, 1975

Hi Jan,

You are fourth & last on my list of letters for tonight, so I’ve run out of fresh & clever things to say (as if I ever had any!). That book about the campaign in ’72 sounds interesting. I haven’t got the book you’re sending yet, but will sure find time to read it. Right now I’m reading my second book on the history & current political & economic situation in El Salvador. It’s really informative, but dense & thus slow going. Unlike the other {book}, it offers no historical solution to El Salvador’s present problems. However, it points to a cool headed & cold hearted ruling oligarchy of hacienda {farm} owners & industrialists, who very rationally manipulate the country’s politics (with help from the, so far, very cooperative army) to suit their interests. In a small country like this with no inaccessible “hideout” areas for guerillas, such a “marriage” between oligarchy & army could last a long time unless the army officer corps “radicalizes from within” such as happened in Peru & Portugal, and no one here is optimistic even about that.

Where did you come up with the name Jerusalem Cherry plant? I called those plants Christmas Candle plants, but Mom started calling the fruit cherries, & now you’ve derived a whole new name for the plant! Even if it is more appropriate, I refuse to accept it, but am glad to hear the plants are doing well!

Some day when I get my butt in gear I’m going to send Mom a piece of woven cloth I bought in Guatemala! If you like it I can get some for you & Joyce. It isn’t really expensive, & I will get up to Guatemala again when things aren’t so hectic. Really hope you make it down in February. We could run up to Chichicastenango, Guatemala on {a} Sunday for their big market day. They really have some beautiful stuff, though it is heavily visited by tourists so things aren’t so cheap.

I’m trying to get my sorghum chopped, & the silage made, but there is so much hassle involved! I guess whenever you have to depend on others in a job, instead of doing it yourself, it’s like that! God save me from being a manager of other people!

I really do incredibly little swimming in the ocean, but I did climb a coconut tree the day before yesterday (da-dá!). It was small, but it was a start. Went fishing in the ocean & a river mouth Monday night with some friends. It was just past full moon & beeeeeautiful, just like early morning. I went in just my undershorts, & nearly froze my butt off! I don’t see how Salvadorans sleep in hammocks without a blanket or anything. The difference between the boiling heat of day & the brisk nights is really noticeable now that I’m sort of acclimated here. We didn’t catch much fishing, but it was great to see how they throw the nets & all.

Wishing you well,

Dean

11.13.2014

Letter, October 24, 1975

Dear Mom, Dad, & all,

Glad to hear things are going along on schedule there. I’m sure going to have a lot of catching up to do when I do get back up there, what with ya’ll changing cars and selling cows & replacing them, and the remaining family at home dwindling fast. I haven’t really pictured in my mind yet what Bruce would be like as a college student & he’s already well into his first semester (shucks I couldn’t even picture him as a highschool senior!)! [If you show this to him, I bet he’ll write me.]

Things are moving along here too. That sorghum we planted is ready to cut & the silo isn’t done yet (because my boss insisted on making it out of brick & that takes time). We plan to fill silo Tuesday if everything works out. We are going to use a chopper loaned by a government experiment station & make a demonstration out of it (hopefully). It’ll be a relief to get that silage made & get on to buying cows & building the milking setup! Things go so slow, but enough problems come up to make life hectic anyway!

Day before yesterday I finally succeeded in climbing a coconut tree! It was a short one, but my pride of accomplishment was not diminished! I drink quite a bit of coconut milk to boost the nutrient content of my diet. It quenches the thirst & comes in a vacuum sealed container untouched by human hands (extremely rare for food in El Salvador).

I rode my bike to Acajutla (18 kilometers) 3 weeks ago. You can really go distances on a 10 speed & it doesn’t wear you down because you shift down going uphill & take advantage of downhills by putting ‘er in high {gear} & pedaling like mad! Acajutla has modern port facilities & a few modern homes & the rest of the town looks like any other campo (rural) town, except for a disproportionate number of curtain-fronted bar doors & “street ladies”. The port used to use a lot of labor, but they have mechanized it all now, putting another section of the population out of work. They seem at times like they’re trying to take the industrial and export-farming sections of the country & make them just as modern & mechanized as the U.S. & Western Europe, and leave the peasant farmers, the unemployed & under-employed to fend for themselves (& there are a lot of them). I really don’t know what’ll come of it all.

We have pepinos (cucumbers) now at El Maizal and I’ve been eating my share. They put them in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator (peeled), then eat them half frozen with salt & lemon-squeezings on them. Pretty good, but hard on the teeth if you get a well frozen one! Tonight we had fried fish for supper (another PCV {Peace Corps Volunteer} & I bought it at the next town & the place we eat at fried it up) and boy was it good. I also get small shrimp from the marshes near the ocean at the place where I eat now & then. I’m really getting into seafood, great protein source!

Well take care,

Dean

Images, October, 1975

One year in country celebration at Ron & Nancy Shiflet's in San Salvador (October 11, 1975). Back row: Nancy, Ron, Charley, Diego & Russell; Front: Mike, Dave, Jaime & Fred

Fred, Russ & Mike feeling pretty buzzed at our celebration for being in country one year.

Silo at El Maizal with the 2 "engineers" plus Rufino & Adán. { The field of forage sorghum that will be used to fill the silo is in the background. }

Letter, October 12, 1975

Hi folks!

Yup, I finally got around to sending you another roll of pictures. This roll stretches over a long time span & I didn’t keep a record so it’ll be pretty much “pot luck”. The last 3 pictures are of the farm where I am working now: First some people threshing rice by hand, them me & another guy working in the trench silo we’re building, then a shot of the main set of buildings at “El Maizal”. The thing that looks like a sawed off vertical silo, isn’t. It’s a water holding tank for irrigation. You just don’t see vertical silos here.

I also tried to take some pictures while I was in Guatemala, but it was cloudy & I doubt whether many turned out. The first part of the roll, if memory serves me, should show some pictures of a party in San Isidro shortly before I left there. Any thing else that turns up in those pictures you’ll have to ask me about!

Tell Carla I’m sorry for accusing her of being 15 years old. I was thinking about something else when I wrote her that card & somehow I got it in my head she was turning 15. Tell her she’s got another year of childhood left before she has to start husband hunting! A friend of mine in San Salvador also celebrates her birthday the 19th, so we’ll see if we can’t celebrate a little for Carla & Dad as well.

Last Saturday the 9 people from my training group who are still in El Salvador got together to celebrate being here a whole year! Actually it won’t be a year ‘til the 17th, so we were anticipating a little, but as one cynic commented, you couldn’t get a plane ticket home before then anyway! Really doesn’t seem like I’ve been here that long (but my grammar has sure suffered!). We did some drinking & talking and had a good old time.

Got a letter from Marcia letting me know she’s still alive and working again. { My sister Marcia was badly injured in a car accident, but had mostly recovered by this time } Seems like it’s mighty hard to keep a Jefferson off his or her feet very long! Only person I haven’t heard anything from in a long time is Merna, but Jan wrote me saying she seems busy & happy; guess that’s a good way to be.

When you get to picking corn, let me know how it yields, etc. Corn is such an important crop to the small farmer here & such a staple of the people’s diet that they’re always asking how the “cosecha de maiz” {corn harvest} looks back home. I’ve told them, of course, we grow corn too, which always seems to reassure them that the world isn’t so different elsewhere.

So long now,

Dean

Letter, September 28, 1975

Hello Jan,

I’m approaching the halfway point of my 2 years in El Salvador; October 17 I’ll have been here a whole year. God it don’t seem like it! Looking back, the time seems to have gone awfully fast, possibly because most of what I’ve done is so forgettable! Anyway it’s all downhill now, or so they tell me!

I bought myself a bicycle to use on my work site. It’s an English made ten-speed, and it really goes on the paved road. Not quite so good in loose sand & gravel though because of the thin tires.

Sounds like Joyce has got herself a real machine there! My boss has a ’56 Austin, and he spends half his time monkeying with one thing or another on it to keep it running. Hopefully hers is in a little better shape!

If you are really serious about losing weight, I have the perfect solution for you. Come to El Salvador, & live in the campo {rural areas}! After eating rice, beans & cheese 3 times a day for a few weeks you start losing weight for pure lack of interest in food! I weighed myself yesterday, & only weighed 167 pounds. I haven’t been that light since I graduated from highschool, & I feel real good (except when the diarrhea gets me now & then).

We are building a milking shed for the farm at El Maizal, as soon as I can get the plans laid out properly. Some guys from New Zealand, who work with the Agricultural Development Bank, gave us the idea for a neat & relatively inexpensive system. It will be a help to them if we build the shed with their plan also, because then they will have one in the country to take folks to, & show them how it works, etc. Also we’re goin’ a be makin’ silage soon, & I’ve gotta get the people going to finish the silo so we have a place to put it. The sorghum plot is really poor though, very spotty, due to an excess of rain, & poorly drained soil among other things. Oh well, you have to just plug along anyway!

Looks like the Badgers {football team} got their balloon busted right off the bat! Maybe that’ll mean Elroy Hirsch will pack up and head for Hawaii, & Wisconsin can look for a more modern minded athletic director (I understand Jack Scott is available!). College (semi-pro) athletics are so messed up I think maybe they should try starting over from scratch, with no scholarships, & emphasis on student body participation.

Well, that’s all for now.

Take care,

Dean

11.01.2014

Letter, September 21, 1975

Dear Mom & Dad,

It started raining here late in August also, and it’s been raining pretty regular ever since. They call the 5-7 day periods of almost constant sprinkling or rain “temporales” here & we’ve had a couple now. I got your last letter by way of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It must have been put on the wrong plane somewhere along the line. Anyway it arrived and the pictures of the oats & the combine were really beautiful. However, I hesitate to show my Salvadoran friends that big combine. They’ll be sure to think I come from a family of “ricos” then!

Did you get my card from Guatemala? Was up there for 3½ days over the weekend of Central America’s independence day (September 15). It was so much cooler there than where I’m used to, that I wore my denim jacket almost all the time I was there! I shudder to think what it will be like coming home in mid-October (1976) if it already seems cool in Guatemala! Actually the main difference is the altitude, Guatemala City is up in the mountains and the climate reminded me of a mid-western U.S. city in the spring. People wear jackets & sweaters! You almost never see sweaters in El Salvador.

They grow apples up in Guatemala, which made me feel even more at home since apples in El Salvador are a strange foreign delicacy only the rich can afford in any quantity.

The rural people in Guatemala still use a lot of homemade woven clothing, much like their ancestors, the Mayans, used. I talked to a PCV {Peace Corps Volunteer} from Guatemala and he told me most of the rural women speak little or no Spanish, using only the Indian {Mayan} tongue. He says he has learned to understand the Indian’s language somewhat, but doesn’t try to speak it. What a difference from El Salvador where everybody speaks Spanish, and seemingly everybody wants to learn English!

I want to go up into northern Guatemala and see the ruins of Tikal, the very best of the ancient temples of the Mayas, when I get time. Tikal has only been unearthed by archaeologists in the last 30 years & is being acclaimed as one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. I’ll let you have my expert opinion when I see it!

Am trying to buy a bicycle to use in my job. Another PCV is selling one for ¢275 ($110) and I intend to buy it if possible. It is a 27 inch ten-speed like Tom’s, but not built quite as “heavy”; it’s a Falcon. It’s a good deal considering the price of bikes here (they tax them heavily for some reason), and it will save me a lot of time. Work is going so-so, with much to get done and little time to do it.

How about letting me know what the balance is in my Golden Passbook account {a type of savings account offered by the local bank in Friendship, WI}? I was taking stock of my present financial situation the other day, and what it’ll be when I get out of Peace Corps, and I couldn’t remember what I had in that account when I left (It has been over a year so I guess that ain’t so terrible). Well, take care of yourselves & get some work out of Tom & Carla when you can!

Dean