Journal, February 16, 1976 PM

Jan’s comin’ in 3 days. It’s really hard to believe! I think I’ll take her up into the mountains on that trip Conrad wrote about in the Peace Corps press - a sapphire in emerald setting. Then off to Costa Rica if I can win her over without being overbearing. Man I need to get down to Costa Rica & get my bearings. I was so fed up with El Maizal this morning that I was seriously considering taking a job in sociology (like Chico {Rodriguez} wants me to) and leaving them. It also occurred to me to hang on ‘til August and then go to the University {of Wisconsin - Madison}. I’m applying for the whole school year so it would be easy. I’ll keep that option open.

This afternoon Profy {Gomez} promised me bricks & wire to divide up the rabbits’ corral, so my attitude is fairly positive again. I went and got some maicillo {grain sorghum} for him in the pickup ‘cause he’s got a bad kidney. <I had a talk with the maicillo’s owner about his son in Los Angeles, how big the U.S. is, and having someone you care about far away (yup, I told him about Sofia).> He said he missed his wife & kids a lot when he had to spend 8 or 15 days away from them. We shared a feeling.

Jay just got back; he’s promised to make a balloon for the Patron Saint Festival in Metalio. He says the people were really excited about it. They said they always used to send up balloons for the festival, but people seemed to have forgotten how. Jay will enjoy showin’ ‘em how!

A guy in the tienda {store} asked me if I’d known a volunteer named Dennis Christen____, then recognized me & insisted he’d known me in San Isidro when I was working there. He’s an I.S.T.A. {Instituto Salvadoreño de Transformación Agraria - the Salvadoran government’s agrarian reform agency, formerly known as the Instituto de Colonizacion Rural} employee, and it’s no wonder I don’t remember his face with the number of them that drifted through San Isidro in the 5 months I was there. Anyway he gave me “saludes {greetings}” from Don Torribio. I told him I’d talked with Don Torribio since leaving San Isidro because I knew his granddaughter Morena. Yea, he says, “Que bonita la muchacha, buena {What a pretty girl, nice}!” I agreed with him and things went along. I had Morena pretty well imprisoned in a back corner of my mind, now she’s out and about again. I’d thought I might call her (keeping my promise to help her practice English) when I went in to pick up Jan. Between that promise & curiosity I almost have to.

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