6.19.2016

Letter, April 23, 1976

Dear Mom, Dad & all,

How is everybody? I imagine you’re all busy as heck with spring planting and all the school functions that pile up at this time of year.

I am sitting here sweating, even though it’s nearly 6 pm. April is when the sun passes over El Salvador and we’ll be lucky if it doesn’t fry us all! I got back from Costa Rica Tuesday night. <I spent the week of Easter visiting Sofia.> It was cooler there, and rained hard three different days – but only for an hour or so in the afternoon. That’s the way it should rain – an hour or so at 3 or 3:30 to cool things off & let you sleep well! <Sofia and her family are all fine, as are Doña Carmen and her family. Sofia has started classes at the university {Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica} and seems to like it O.K.> On Monday she started working as well. She has a full-time job days & is going to the university at night, so she is one busy little woman right now.

I’m sending the roll of film Jan started during her visit. I just finished it off while I was in Costa Rica. I don’t know what the first 12 pictures are on it, but I’d like one copy of each of #13 through #20 to give to the people in them. Thanks much for the photos from Christmas, they made a big hit with people in San Antonio {San Antonio de Belen, Heredia, Costa Rica}. Cameras aren’t as plentiful (or cheap!) there as in the U.S. so they prize photos even more than we do.

I have Spanish workshop next week, so I am doing a little grammar study today. <Since I met Sofia, improving my Spanish has become even more important.> She never criticizes, but it’s a bummer when I can’t express a thought or feeling I have. She knows only a few English phrases so far, so Spanish it is!

I only have 6 more months to go in Peace Corps. That’s good because I feel like I’m ready to move on. Peace Corps is tolerable for 2 years & you learn a great deal, but it’s not a career. I plan to go to Jaime Olson’s wedding in San Antonio, Costa Rica after terminating with Peace Corps in late October. <I’ll spend a month or so there helping with the wedding and of course spending some time with Sofia. Sofia & I have talked about getting engaged about that time – don’t be too surprised.> I’ll be back in Wisconsin in early December. Hope you won’t all disown me & someone comes to meet me! Hope to find a job in Madison & go to school at least part-time next spring. I plan to study Physics so will have to start with the basic courses. <If all goes well I could be getting married next year in August & bringing Sofia to Madison to live.> No formal commitments have been made yet, but formalities don’t mean much to me & we’re talking about it.

I guess I spilled the beans all over the floor didn’t I! I really had meant to keep all my thoughts guarded, but there they are in blue & yellow. <Sofia’s a very nice person, really.> There’s more chance she’ll say “no go” than I will. She has very strong family ties, never been far from home, and it’ll be a big adjustment for her. So we’ll see, right?

I plan to get about a pound of some Salvadoran red & black bean varieties to send home so I can try raising them when I get back. Are there any red or black beans commonly grown in Wisconsin? Here & in Costa Rica they are a staple of the diet, and I’d like to see if I can produce them there.

Take care,

Dean

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