Journal, April 13, 1976 AM

<Sofia & I did some serious talking last night.> {some text not transcribed} We talked about the details of the marriage ceremony here. She claims I don’t need a baptism certificate, but Jaime said he had to have one, so I still am in doubt. She says you have to promise to educate your children in the Catholic Church. I don’t think much of making that promise! <But for Sofia & her family a civil ceremony - or any ceremony outside THE church is not valid.> I can handle going through the ceremony. I see it as essentially a community certification of our relationship. But I’m not ready to embrace the Catholic religion (or any other institutionalized church) blindly. <I see the advantages of education in the Bible & the general system of moral values that a church advocates, and I don’t think Bible teachings can be that different in the Catholic Church than they were in the Congregational Church, but I don’t like Sofia’s single-minded belief that the Catholic Church is the only proper way for her kids.> I guess it’s because the Catholic Church has been the central institution of Latin American communities so long, the symbol of order & propriety. I should remember the power a church can have after the research paper I did on the Negro Churches in the South, when I was at A & T {North Carolina A & T State University}.

<Ironically, Sofia is only a lukewarm Catholic, but the marriage in the church, baptism & education of the children in the church, etc. is such an essential and invariant part of the community life here, I really don’t think she could imagine it any other way.> It’ll be interesting to see her reactions to a predominantly Protestant society, where religious activity & community activity are not so tightly intertwined.

We even talked about timing of the marriage. We’re both excited about an August wedding. The canicula is such a green, beautiful time here & we would get back for fall in Wisconsin. That would fall into line with my education schedule since University {of Wisconsin} classes start around the end of August. <Sofia could take semester courses only & thus break her studies in August without losing credits. Sofia has God’s own fear of Wisconsin winter - probably my fault - so this would give her a chance for gradual acclimatization.> Lord I don’t know how we’ll swing it financially, but I’ll work full time (at something!) and study when I can, if necessary. A semester & summer at school before she joins me should give me plenty of time to get something reasonable worked out.

The whole morning yesterday was a washout. Jaime & I couldn’t get visas or tickets confirmed, & must go back today. A couple of tactical errors in the Easter week rush, & you are out of luck!

We got back late for lunch, & I ended up eating at Pilar's 'cause Doña Carmen had an urgent errand to run. I just hung around there the whole afternoon then, & played cards & B.S.'ed. Don was over twice, & he's always got local gossip to spill. Jaime’s planning to have his folks stay at the luxurious Irazú Hotel, since its prices are not bad, cheaper than most other tourist hotels. It’s one of the best. His folks should find it to their liking. I’ll have to try to help him manage things. That wedding is going to be a big project!

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