Journal, March 26, 1976 PM

Today it was Jay’s turn to be angry at the El Maizal folks. Someone broke one of his special thermometers for taking soil temperatures, a $30 thermometer. Of course we will never know who broke it or how, since they are all like sly little children in such matters. I guess it is our fault. We North Americans just take a long time learning that you can’t trust anyone with anything, even to leave something that’s of no value to him, alone! And the general attitude among the most sympathetic of the people at El Maizal is, you should expect that kind of thing if you try to do something here. It’s very stifling to what little initiative I have left.

I went to Sonsonate this afternoon, to cash a check, and see about getting a tattooing machine from MAG {Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia}. I’ll try MAG again Tuesday. Nobody with authority to loan the tattoo-er was present.

I got a new "matata" {woven bag made of hemp} in the market, the largest and best made one I’ve yet bought. I gave my last one to Jan, to carry stuff onto the plane in Belize.

<I miss Sofia keenly today.> I have the urge to write her, but will wait. I need feedback. Lately all the negative aspects of having a foreign girlfriend have been in my head. The courting and marriage process will be expensive & time consuming. And there are no easy short cuts unless I hit upon a get-rich-quick scheme. Love is a hassle.

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