11.21.2014

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

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