Journal, May 16, 1976 AM

Morena wasn’t on the train or at the fiesta. They didn’t get a band for the dance, & that’s probably why she failed to come. Ismael Peña, who said he’d come, didn’t either, but I’ve had a good visit. I wouldn’t want to do it more than once, but one last meeting with some of the local folks is decent. The trouble is that the ISTA {Instituto Salvadoreño de Transformación Agraria or Salvadoran Institute for Agricultural Transformation} people I know are serious drinkers, but they treat me real fine and all. Chico Mendoza found me a girl to dance with for the dance last night, & later took me aside & told me she was “easy”, if I used a little tact. A real old fashioned frat. {fraternity} brother! I didn’t probe her virtuousness, but enjoyed dancing & talking with her.

I got pictures of Don Torribio & Doña Julia, of the grave of Don Pedrito, and a few extras thrown in. They had a good soccer game. San Isidro’s “primera” ended up in a tie with the opposition 1 to 1 in a game which, despite the score, was full of action. This year’s fiesta had a feature last year’s didn’t, an event in which local horsemen tried to take specially made up ribbons off a rope stretched across the road (above the level of their heads when mounted) using pencils. I wonder if it came down from something the early Spaniards might have done with swords?

The physical works of the irrigation project are going ahead. They seem to have all of the roads put in in this sector, and have leveled some good-sized hills. The local farmers are impressed by the heavy equipment being used, & the speed with which it does “impossible” tasks. One farmer said the crews had been working day & night and weekends during the dry season. The project will go ahead, damn the social upheaval & inequities that may result, and certainly will be a big long-run benefit for the country and for local landowners smart enough to take advantage of it.

An old joke was revisited upon me by one local. San Isidro has an enormously fat ISTA nurse working here, and while I was working here she was constantly after my body. One night she grabbed right ahold of me and tried to warm me to the task! I would have none of it, & the agronomos {agricultural extensionists} never ceased ribbing me about it while I was working here.

I slept (from maybe 2:30 to 5:30 AM) in the ISTA office. The dance this year was held right around me on the porch that extends about two thirds of the way around the “hacienda” {large farm or ranch} offices. I was pretty well obligated to stay for the duration of the dance!

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