Journal, April 9, 1976 PM

It’s been a memorable day. Poor Jaime {Olson} almost got left by the Tica Bus. He was waiting in the restaurant in San Miguel where we always stop to eat breakfast. But today the bus was running late & the driver didn’t even slow down. I recovered from the shock of realizing we actually whizzed right by where Jaime had to be waiting (I could picture his look of disbelief & utter despair in my mind!), and went forward to talk to the driver. He was late & in a bad mood, & wasn’t going to turn around, but a group of Girl Scouts from Guatemala started chanting “Que regresemos {Let’s go back}!”, and got the whole bus to go along. Thanks to them we went back. Then Jaime wasn’t there! As it turned out he had run after the bus for more than a kilometer, & after a minute, came running back. When he boarded the bus panting he was already a celebrity! The Girl Scouts were chanting his name. Ironically, I had been thoroughly disgusted with these same girls shortly after we left San Salvador, when they began fairly shouting some of their favorite cheery songs while I was trying to read. Just like Girl Scouts on an outing in the U.S.!

The incident of us forcing the driver to go back for Jaime broke down the tension which usually separates bus passengers, & we talked at length with the folks on all sides of us. A truly remarkable phenomenon! Jaime lent his cards to the Girl Scouts. They invited us to sit with them at lunch, & we had to show them pictures of our “novias {girl friends}”. We rapped with 3 North Americans and 2 Costaricans who were all traveling together - extremely nice people! A girl from Nicaragua who lives in San Salvador started up a conversation with Jaime, & ended up giving me the names of several good books by Central American authors. What a breakthrough a small crisis can be!

We had the bottle of marañón wine on the road and 5 bottles of Victoria beer with supper, & I’m still under the influence. Another look at the pictures from Christmas in Costa Rica, & I will retire fully primed for my arrival there tomorrow. <Limber those long arms up for a strong embrace Sofia!>

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