Letter, June 22, 1976

Dear Jan,

Your letters always bring me such joy! Now I know that even if I don’t lose all my hair from taking malaria pills, I still have a shot at getting a mutated form of yellow fever! But then, some friends have had malaria, & that’s no piece of cake either.

I have the day off today since it’s Dia del Maestro (Teachers' Day) - all government employees are off. I plan to do some work anyway though, go to a few lumber yards to collect price data for a study Natural Resources is doing. Tomorrow I leave for the campo {rural zone} to spend 3 days. We are going to pass a questionnaire to 120-130 fishermen who are members of co-ops in La Unión & El Tamarindo on the east side of the country. I should get a chance to swim while out there. Tamarindo is a popular beach & much safer than Metalío.

I have been having my hassles lately. A week ago last Thursday, I was involved in a car accident with the Peace Corps pickup. I was driving & all alone coming back from the east side of the country where I had helped another Volunteer deliver sorghum seed. Out in front of the airport a truck full of {live} hogs went to change lanes when I was right beside him in the left lane & hit me of course. He then hit a bus from behind & hooked my back bumper so I hit the bus too. Would you believe I no more got out of the pickup than a Guardia {National Guard} grabbed me, said it was my fault and tied my thumbs together behind my back! Only in El Salvador! When they discovered I was a gringo {North American} & Cuerpo de Paz {Peace Corps} they changed me over to handcuffs, but it was about 20 minutes before things were straightened out and they released me. God, what a scare. No one was hurt in the accident - we weren’t going that fast - which makes it all the more unbelievable what they did! It’s more or less in the hands of the insurance company now.

On top of that, last week at the Peace Corps conference, I broke my glasses playing football (American), so I took them in to show the doctor and it appears they were stolen out of the Peace Corps Office! I can’t find them anywhere & I’m pretty sure they won’t be found ‘cause I only went in 2 rooms after seeing the doctor, and I searched them thoroughly. I may have to file a police report in order to get them replaced - hassles, hassles!

I hope to go to Costa Rica for a week around July 4th. I’ll celebrate the bicentennial down there. <Another possibility has occurred to me concerning me & Sofia.> I might extend for another year in Peace Corps if they let me transfer to Costa Rica. <I’m antsy to get back to the U.S. and get into Physics if that’s going to be my career, but if Sofia’s goin’-a-be my woman it’s almost masochistic for both of us to be separated 6 months, get married & put noses to the grindstone.> Also, I’d rate a 30 day paid leave in the U.S. for extending. If I could take it over Christmas it would be A-1. I want a worthwhile job if I extend though. Vamos a ver {We’ll see}! You’re right about the companionship aspect. You never are as lonely until you know how good a loving person can be for you. I miss your conversation too!


Dean (the bean)

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