Journal, May 8, 1976 AM

I have a double-edged assignment from Marques as of yesterday. He wants me to continue working out a budget for the milking shed. But I got to talking with him about the reasoning behind starting the cattle project in the first place. I told him I thought the administrative people (i.e. Freddy Salguerro) started “projects” dependent only upon what they could get money from somewhere for. Heifer Project gave them goats & rabbits, so they have goats & rabbits. Now they got money for cattle, so they want a cattle project. They haven’t stopped to consider the effect of a cattle project on the self-sufficiency (in the short run) of El Maizal, or the need for a cattle project in terms of its usefulness in training their students. I got him to agree with me that a cattle project seems ill advised at this stage. Now I have to write up a report defending my position.

I also stopped by to chat with Chico Rodriguez before leaving town yesterday. He is all ready to go on the socioeconomic study of the upper Rio Lempa watershed. They apparently will expand from one tributary to the whole thing. He says the head of Recursos Naturales {government Natural Resources agency} has agreed to help him work on it now, even though the project doesn’t officially start until August. He will help me too, says Chico. Chico says at the least he wants me to talk with Recursos Naturales’ sociologist once a week or so to exchange ideas with him.

I cooked up my first pot of rice for lunch at Steve Pamperin’s {apartment}. I threw in a pound of rice and 3 cups of water, and it was more rice than I could eat. I left Steve some. Steve got back from Metap├ín just as I was leaving, so we chatted a while about El Maizal. He too agrees that El Maizal is not ready to manage cattle.

I took the slow bus (by way of Izalco & Armenia), and didn’t get to Metalio until nearly 5 PM. Jay was making another paper balloon & up for talking meteorology, politics, etc. Sometimes he goes on & on upon some speculations of his that I could give a shit about, but he stares right in my eyes, pleading for & demanding my attention, so I have to listen. He cleaned out the kerosene stove, & I made tea. I put vegetable oil on my sandals to soften the leather, & I read the {New York} Times while he smoked dope & listened to short wave {radio}.

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