Journal, December 25, 1975 AM

Well, I never had a Christmas Eve like it, and may never again! In the afternoon Jaime and I stopped by Basico to say ‘Hi’, and drop off a card from the Campos Gonzalez family. Skip invited us for a drink with the staff who were still around, and afterwards we picked some oranges and grapefruit, & got a lift to La Terminal with Ed Stoll. We drank & B.S.’ed with Clarence, a new Spanish professor from Limón, and with Tom and later a friend of Clarence’s as well. They kept buyin’ and we kept drinkin’, and shot the whole afternoon. I was feeling really buzzed when I got home! Clarence is a “humanist” (his word), and an insightful social observer – fascinating to talk to – and he spent some time in Appleton, Wisconsin near Jaime’s home! He says El Salvador’s gotta just explode some day – when and how who knows, but he’s as incredulous as us over the situation there.

So about seven we ate supper (No. 1), and we made some popcorn (of which I ate three-fourths, and Rita most of the rest!). I was hungry & still flyin’ high & even a shower hadn’t helped. The head was just startin’ to settle down when Don Fabio showed up with 3 bottles of liquor, half buzzed himself, and started pouring us rum with Champaine chasers! He was funny drunk for once, and we had a good time B.S.’ing. About 9 or 9:30 we had our Cena Santa {Holy Supper} (No. 2) of rice, chicken & tamales – delicious but I was getting full!

Then we got invited over to the neighbors to dance, the place Nat Leisure {a Peace Corps trainee in my group} used to be, and drink all kinds of weird stuff that never tasted the same two glasses in a row. Talked with two more trainees, & danced a little. Felt amazingly straight, but I knew it wouldn’t take much to put me over the brink again! Doña Carmen and Don Fabio were dancing & having a good time together – que raro {how unusual}! They’re arguing again this morning! The family went on home but Rita was gettin’ into the music so we stayed, & they gave me the key. Felipe had dropped by on his way around the neighborhood, so when everyone was asleep on returning home, Rita decided we should truck over to Jaime’s (at about 1 AM). We found them up and lively, and gettin’ ready to eat! – God forbid! So we ate a little more (No. 3), and had a decent Guatemalan wine. What great people! That little bit of wine put me over the brink, & my head was spinning. Along with being dog tired it was a weird feeling. About 3:30 we stumbled on home. Merry, merry Christmas!

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