3.12.2015

Letter, January 12, 1976

Hi Donna,

I don’t have your address, so am writing you at home. I appreciate your writing me because I really hear very little about what you’re doin’ from Mom. For example, I knew you were in technical school in the Rapids {meaning Wisconsin Rapids}, but no one told me what you were studying or what kind of a career you were shooting for. When you get to be a dietetic technician you can try to analyze my diet – rice, red or black beans, white cheese, thick cream, a little meat, sometimes plantains or other vegetables, pop or "frescos" made of tamarind seed coating – lots of luck! Seriously, it sounds like you’re doing O.K. Hope you enjoy your on-the-job in Merrill. It should give you a pretty good idea what it will be like day-to-day on the job.

My mind is really ticking away since I got back from Costa Rica! I want to get my job here straightened around and headed in a positive direction. Today I filled out an application for the U.W. {University of Wisconsin – Madison} for next year. (I applied for all year but only figure on going second semester, after I get out of Peace Corps.) And I’m trying to stay out of San Salvador & save money so I can go back to Costa Rica in February! I don’t suppose you can see any logical connection between those 3 things, but I’m working it all up into an elaborate master plan which I expect to spring on the world when I finish working out the fine details!

I took a long ride on my ten-speed bike yesterday. I can really get off on just truckin’ along looking at the countryside & it’s great exercise too. I rode up to a beach called La Barra de Santiago which you have to get to in a little launch {boat} over some marshy backwaters. The ride in is beautiful, but the beach is littered with trash – too popular with the average guy! I can be fussy about where I swim since I have the ocean at my front door, and this beach has only private "ranchos" {beach houses} so it isn’t crowded & is very clean. I love watching the sun go down over the ocean so much that I took 3 pictures of it one night (they are in the roll I just sent home).

I’m reading my first book in Spanish – other than a translation of "Profiles in Courage" that I read some time ago. The title would translate as “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and it’s by a Colombian author. It’s a very entertaining book – which is good because I am always having to look up words in my 2 dictionaries (Spanish-Spanish or Spanish-English) and that can be tedious.

Well, I hope things continue to go well for you, and I’ll be lookin’ you up to say "hi" in another 10 or 11 months when I reach Yankee soil again! Hope I don’t have to wait ‘til then to hear more from you!

Take care,

Dean

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