9.03.2016

Journal, July 7, 1976 AM

<I love Sofia.> I took her some assorted roses last evening; one of the most tangible fruits of Jaime’s {Olson} and my trip into San Jose yesterday. She’s a sucker for flowers like most women. They were especially fragrant (Ah!). I took up an English conversation book and we went through two units. <Sofia does pretty well on simple phrases & has a very good ear.> (When I pronounce a word she has no trouble imitating it.) It was fun; we made fun of the drawings in the book. After the lesson I told her how things went with Peace Corps Costa Rica in town. They would give us no security about getting jobs here. The director (acting) asked for a strong recommendation from John Jones {El Salvador director}, and said he doesn’t usually accept transfers. Juan Coward, the Agriculture PTR {program director} said he has 2 programs beginning in January which call for guys with our qualifications. However, he will try to fill the first with new recruits, and only if he comes up short at the last minute will he have a place for one or both of us. One program sounds especially interesting. Working through the U.N. {United Nations} experimental farm at Turrialba, 5 PCVs {Peace Corps Volunteers} will do experimental work with traditional multiple cropping systems in 5 different regions of Costa Rica. They will also collect socioeconomic data on the communities in which they work. Juan conceded that a person trained in Rural Sociology and with a farm background was just what he was looking for. He wants a strong recommendation from Chico Rodriguez, and a letter specifically requesting the chance to work under him. To deal with this situation I have devised a tentative plan. I will extend for two extra months in El Salvador (or until mid-December) and then terminate there with the understanding by all parties that my termination can be turned into a home leave if Juan calls me for one of his programs before mid-January. If Juan fills his programs and finds no place for me, I will already be enrolled in U.W. {University of Wisconsin-Madison} for the semester. I can consider other upcoming Peace Corps programs while I study physics, and if nothing comes through I’ll come to Costa Rica in the summer & look for work. <Sofia took in all that and only lamented that she couldn’t figure a way to visit me n El Salvador in September, and go home with me for a while in December.> She might succeed in the first. She’s making 1,300 {Costarican} Colones a month ($150), and says missing university classes for a week is no problem. She also says the company where she works has an El Salvador office, and maybe she could talk them into letting her be the one who runs up there to take their orders one time. Right on girl, I love your enthusiasm. It’ll be a long time ‘til November, & I’ll do all I can to help if she wants to come up. I just don’t see how I could finagle another vacation though. If they check over my passport I’ll already be in trouble, and I have to get that vacation in November! <Sofia understands, and is trying her best to devise a counter plan.> God bless her heart!

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