Journal, March 29, 1976 AM

Yesterday was a scorcher, and just when I was ready to take it easy for the evening, along comes Jaime with 2 Salvadoran buddies from Anamoros, and a full bottle of Tic Tack {Salvadoran liquor similar to vodka}. I really hate being put in that situation. Nearly always, when you are with Salvadorans, and they are drinking, they obligate you not only to drink, but drink exactly as much as they do. And at the least they want to get drunk enough so they can just barely stagger home & fall into bed. I was lucky, they had all been drinking at a soccer game and were way ahead of me, so I was able to match them beer for beer, & drink a shot of Tic Tack too without really getting wasted. I got bloated on the beer though, and started yawning because I was exhausted, and this offended one of the guys, since they were ostensibly trying to show me a good time, and I wasn’t enjoying myself enough to satisfy him.

I took 2 aspirin before retiring, and don’t have a hangover as of yet. Sometimes they sneak up on you after you’ve been up a couple hours though!

I left Metalio after breakfast with Jay, who was bound for Sonsonate. I did some shopping in San Salvador, & then hit Peace Corps Office. I hit the jackpot on mail, as I expected after more than 3 weeks. <Sofia had 3 letters waiting for me, and there were also a letter from home (with the long-awaited Costa Rica photos), and one from Bob & Fran Redman.>

<Poor Sofia!> I was worn out when I left Costa Rica, from catering to her & Jan both for a week. Apparently it showed. She wrote in her first letter that she felt I was very distant from her at the time of my departure, that she had done something wrong, etc., and that was why I was acting like that. God, I didn’t mean to leave that impression, it was just the fast pace of doing something with Jan & then something with her. They both got more rest than I did! And being with Jan was especially taxing because we tried to do & see a lot, and I always had to do the asking & explaining, & the extra running around. <By her second letter Sofia had let that lie, but I’ll have to write her about it and try to explain.> She’s too perceptive for her own tranquility, like me, reading much into people’s actions or appearance.

In the afternoon I went to Ismael Peña’s home for a long delayed visit. He wants badly to study in the US and is trying everything he can think of. I have my doubts about him making it. You need either money to completely finance yourself, or an impressive academic record. He has neither. However, he has work experience in his field of interest, irrigation, and seems willing to sacrifice in order to study. I translated a letter for him, so he can send it to the Rockefeller Foundation to ask about their scholarships. It’s a long, long shot, but he really wants to keep trying.

<He gave me a US map in Spanish which I’ll take down to show Sofia & Pilar.> It has Wisconsin clearly marked, and you can even see the Castlerock & Petenwell flowages near home! It took me ‘til 5 or so to get away from Ismael. He’s like LeRoy Heitman, up home, loves to B.S.

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