Letter, January 9, 1976

Hi folks,

You should see my letter to Carla before you see this one, so I will assume you know all about what happened in Costa Rica. <I hope to go back down there in February with Jaime Olson to see Sofia again and give things a chance to develop.> (Don’t worry, I would never get married without giving y’all 2 weeks notice!) The Castillo Murillo family – the family I stayed with for training and again this Christmas sent you a card, in Spanish of course, so I am sending along the translation on a little notebook sheet. They would love to hear from you folks if you find the time to write a card (don’t write a long letter since they’d have to get it translated, etc.). They hit me for a picture of my whole family when I was there. Any help would be appreciated!

I am also sending home a roll of film – mainly of pictures I took in Costa Rica. I need copies of nearly all of them to give to folks when I go back, so I’ll give you a detailed list of what I took on the other side of this sheet. I hate to put you to the trouble of developing pictures and sending them back, but those I had developed here were really bad – poor color, scratches, etc. – and they never get it straight which pictures you want more copies of.

I’m slowly getting back into my daily routine again. I just didn’t want to come back from Costa Rica & now that I’m here I find it hard to get back into my work. Having had time to think about it & be away from it, I see clearly of how little value the work I’m doing is. I enjoy living on the level of the peasant farmers though, learning the language and their customs, but at times I feel severely unemployed. Actually, I can go beat my head against the wall doing field-hand work any time I want, but that doesn’t justify my being here either. Mostly I just feel part of a game called foreign aid which our country plays all over the world, and certainly wastes a lot of money doing, if I can generalize what I see here to other areas!

Here’s the rundown on the photos:

Copies for me
1) Looking toward Acajutla port from beach in front of where I live0
2) The beach house where Jay Hasheider & I usually sleep0
3) Sunset over the Pacific at Metalio & birds0
4)     "     "     "     "0
5)     "     "     "     "0
6) <Jaime Olson, Pilar Campos G. (his fiance), Mrs. Campos, Sofia,2
   sister Sofia's sister (near electric plant in San Antonio)>
7) Jaime & Pilar in front of the pools, Ojo de Agua swimming resort2
8) <Sofia’s sister, Sofia, Jaime & Pilar at Ojo de Agua>2
9) The Castillo Murillo family and Rita Klukazewski, a Peace Corps trainee2
10) <Sofia and her grandparents at their house in Alajuela, Costa Rica>2
11) <Sofia, her 3 sisters, Luis (a boy friend) and Maria de Los Angeles in2
    front of Ed Stoll’s House (New Year’s eve)>
12) <Same picture, but I’m in there (Sofia’s the one beside me)3
    & Luis is out>
13) Same folks & a few more, taken by a Spanish teacher I know (Jose)3
14) <The Castillo Murillo family plus Sofia, me, Sofia's sister, Rita & Dennis5
    (another Peace Corps Volunteer who stayed with them)>
15) Some neighbor girls, taken by Mrs. Castillo Murillo as a remembrance1
16) <The Castillo Murillo family plus Sofia, taken in front of their home>3
17) The El Maizal goats, featuring 3 new arrivals & the goatherd1
18) A picture in front of the main building at El Maizal0
19) Looking back at the shed & water tank from in front of the school0
20) Ox cart going down the road in front of El Maizal & Don Pedro in there0

That’s 28 pictures in all; hope it doesn’t break you! Send them in a letter or letters instead of a package because it costs a fortune to get packages out of the post office. I haven’t got your cookies yet, but a friend told me they wanted $25 to get out a package he received & he told them to keep it! What about my package, did it ever make it or get lost in the mail? If it didn’t come let me know ‘cause they gave me a receipt for it & I can go in and check up on it.

Well I hope everyone’s new year is off to a good start! Mine started off great, but threatens to bog down and be a lot like last – except for trips to Costa Rica for resuscitation!

Wishing you all peace and tranquility in the year ahead,


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