Journal, March 23, 1976 PM

I never did get to Guate {Guatemala City}! I got off the bus at Jutiapa, since it is 40 kilometers from El Salvador, and took another bus to the border at San Cristóbal. Once in El Salvador the bus service was more regular & reliable. You can cut El Salvador in a lotta ways, but it has buses going almost everywhere & lots of them (and often full to overflowing!). The blocking of the cross continental {Pan American} highway by the earthquake has really fucked up transportation between Guate {Guatemala City} and the northern part of the country.

The lighter side of that is that now Guatemala is in no position to assert it’s manifest destiny to annex Belize. It has enough problems trying to supply the north of its own country to say nothing of troops in Belize! Local jokes suggest Guatemala was punished by God for its evil designs on Belize, or that the British deliberately started the earthquake by setting off an explosion in a deep hole! As one Belizean told me, "The people thinking 'those white people very smart, so maybe do this thing'."

The goat lady is here with us in Metalio as is Mike Steppling (a PCV {Peace Corps Volunteer} from Sonsonate). Jay is having a good time with his latest woman, of course. She is already telling me what the goats need - she knows a lot about milking goats, obviously. She used to raise goats up in Washington.

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