Letter, January 8, 1976

Hi Jan,

What a shame! I wrote you a really beautiful letter, the words fairly flowed from my pen, but then somewhere between the telephone office and home I lost it and so here goes a second try. I feel almost my old cynical self tonight, so you may never know how eloquent I can be at my best!

What I got so eloquent about was my trip to Costa Rica - I enjoyed almost everything about it. My family from training received me like one of their own and I was pleased to be able to communicate much better with them than I ever could during training. They wouldn’t hear of me staying with anyone but them! Jaime’s fiancĂ© and her family are really wonderful people. I can see why he keeps going back to Costa Rica every chance he gets. They have set the date for November 20th and will go back to the States afterwards (he’s from Neenah, Wisconsin). The weather was perfect while I was there, the rains were just over with & everything was green, many plants flowering, and the weather cool and breezy (after El Salvador). I have to admit though, I may have seen Costa Rica a little rosier than it really was, because I fell in love while I was there. Now you know that’s serious because, like most members of our family, I don’t use the word love in normal conversation! It all happened so fast and so easily that my cynical side is still not completely sure it wasn’t a mirage or something. I guess when her first letter gets here from Costa Rica I’ll be fully convinced it’s for real. {some text not transcribed} I’m not ready to explain any more particulars of how it came about, or say how far ahead I’m planning, but the situation is dangerous to my bachelorhood (to sum up quickly)!

If you come down here in February (or any other time before about November), what say we hop a bus down to Costa Rica? It’s a nice place to visit! I may become the number 2 travel agent for Costa Rica in Peace Corps El Salvador (after Jaime Olson) before the year is out!

Thanks for the rundown on what other family members are doing and where their minds are at. It’s the next best thing to being there because our minds still run down many of the same paths. As to the guitar, I sold it to a Salvadoran - there should be a picture of him playing it at a party, if it turned out. I sold it at a loss, but he played it so well, it belonged with him.

I have two big favors to ask, if you got time. First, I need a U.W. application and financial aid form(s). I plan to apply for the whole year, but only go second semester after I get out of Peace Corps and go to Jaime Olson’s wedding. I still plan to study physics. As I told Jaime, I need to try one more round of intellectual study & if that doesn’t satisfy me, or at least hold my interest more than I believe alternatives would, I’ll be ready to think about going farming. Jaime & I have joked some about going farming in Costa Rica or Australia. He’d be the guy to do it with if I ever thought that’s what I wanted!

Second, I’d like you to give me a rundown, if you would, on the situation for U.W. students right now. Anything and everything, like the part-time job situation, tuition costs, housing & food costs, and what kind of atmosphere the University {of Wisconsin} projects now. I’ve read in the New York Times that lots of folks are studying, and heard somewhere that there were 38,000+ students at U.W.-Madison, so things must be crowded!

I really love hearing from ya!


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