8.15.2016

Journal, June 28, 1976 PM

Tomorrow I’m off for Anamorós and a few days of “roughing it” with Jaime {Olson}. Steve Pamperin is going out that way so he has promised to give me a ride as far as San Miguel. I have to help him do some tests on 2 pasture plots on the way though! We leave at 6:15 AM.

<I got no letter from Sofia today; my last letter from her is stamped June 8, and I am vaguely disconcerted about the fact.> I have no real reason to doubt that it’s just a “routine” mail holdup, but what if? It will be reassuring to have Jaime tell me Pilar has written him & confirmed she knows we’re coming & all. <If she knows, Sofia knows, and I’d hope Sofia would write me if she didn’t want me to come.>

<I bought shoes today (ADOC “hush puppies”) and a bauble for Sofia.> The bauble is to be hung on a leather thong Jan left here & put around the neck. It’s kind of big for a bauble, but I hope it looks all right on her. I can never find the thing I really want when gift shopping!

I’ve ordered a pair of glasses from La Joya to replace my stolen ones. I have to pay 31 Colones because Peace Corps will only pay up to 100 Colones to replace glasses. I’ll have to take good care of these new ones! No wearing them for football games!

I only got prices from one lumber yard today. I got bogged down in the glasses bit (I had to talk to John Jones {Peace Corps Director} & Dr. Zavaleta.), and in checking on my bus pass at the Public transport Office. My bus pass wasn’t ready, but I’m taking Russell’s {Soules} & Jaime’s out to them. And after hunting down their office!

I treated myself to a good lunch at the vegetarian place Restaurante Florida. They always have good torts, stuffed peppers and other “rare” vegetable dishes from here, yet the atmosphere is like a rural comedor {restaurant}. Go up and pick out what you want, etc. They have excellent “frescos” {fruit drinks}. I stopped by DGRD {Dirección General de Riego y Drenaje}, my old work place, to see if they had printed up a good copy of my study. I had trouble finding the Project Atiocoyo folks. They’ve been shoved off in a corner on the 5th floor. They have also switched “jefes” {bosses}, but Ing. {Ingeniero or Engineer} Madrid (a Colombian who is a special consultant for the contractors) is still there, & we had a good talk. He cited my study on a couple points in a report he sent to BID {Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo or Inter-American Development Bank), and right now he wants a copy of the study to send to them. He says there are copies around and promised to get me one.

He says San Isidro is embroiled in problems (political & administrative), and that the relocation of farmers has been indefinitely postponed. He doubts they’ll ever do it. He says ISTA {Instituto Salvadoreño de Transformación Agraria or Salvadoran Institute of Agrarian Reform} isn’t doing anything and doesn’t even keep control of the people renting or buying from them. We agreed that only the name was changed from the ICR {Instituto de Colonización Rural of Rural Colonization Institute}. The inundated part of the iceberg has not been touched. (I personally would recommend dynamite rather than a chisel for restructuring that agency!) That’s such a problem in this country; agencies become fiefdoms. You can form them, but it’s politically impossible to abolish one or even combine two! Outside of the San Isidro sector though the project is doing OK says Madrid. It’s a year or so behind, but the abundant rain this year should help their selected farmers in Atiocoyo and Nueva Concepción pay off BFA {Banco de Fomento Agripequario or the Agricultural Development Bank} and make some money.

Ed’s {Shiffer} seriously considering getting an $800 operation done on his back. The doctors say it’s the only way he can be sure not to have recurrences of that Sunday when he couldn’t even get out of bed. It comes at a bad time with a possible job with Foster parents Plan in Colombia pending. I think his best bet is to do it right away if he’s going to do it, & hope the Colombian opportunity doesn’t materialize for a couple months. There’s supposedly a top specialist here, & he could take some of his Peace Corps vacation days & just sit around here. He’s got me & the neighbors to look after him!

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