Letter, July 25, 1976

Mom, Dad and everybody,

I’m sorry to hear about the big drought up there. They even had an article about it in Time Magazine. It must really be bad & here it’s raining like mad as I write! Will there be any oats at all? God I hope it’s rained by the time you get this letter! If not it will look like a Martian landscape up there. (Isn’t that Viking mission {the NASA Viking space craft was in the news at the time} amazing – the precision planning that must go into such a feat!)

I had a nice 4th of July in Costa Rica; I went to a picnic at the U.S Ambassador’s residence. It was nice, like a small town affair, but the president of Costa Rica spoke also (in almost flawless English). Jaime Olson asked me to be the best man for his wedding, November 20 in Costa Rica. It’s going to be a big affair, sounds like, with his folks coming down for it and all. I’ll have to buy a suit, but it’ll be much cheaper here than in the States so it’ll be a good investment. <However, stuff for the wedding, and a ring I plan to buy for Sofia about that same time, are going to require that I have you send me down some money from my savings.> I’d like you to take $500 out of my passbook account and send it down (as a certified check) as soon as you can. I want to have the money in September in case I get a chance to go up to Guatemala and buy a couple things. I put $400 away last year when I had no expenses, so I’m not really spending much that isn’t Peace Corps earnings anyway.

Another thing. I’m trying to get an extension / transfer to spend a year in Peace Corps in Costa Rica. If I do, I will be home on “leave” for 30 days during December & January. If I don’t, I’ll be home in December looking for a job & getting ready to go to the U.W. {University of Wisconsin – Madison} for spring semester. I have applied to U.W. and told them to send everything to Friendship, so anything you get from them for me, open it, read it, & if I have to do something or sign something, send the form on to me. I’ve had lousy luck corresponding directly with them. They insist on sending things by ground mail which takes 1 to 2 months. I just got a notice of a loan payment due which they sent May 15th! I have no idea what became of my other U.W. application, the one for this fall.

Anyway, I expect to see the land of milk & honey again come December – even if I freeze my butt off! I really do miss all of you, but December’s a long way off, so I better not think about it.

Mom, could you send me a ballot for the November election? I don’t want to miss my chance to vote & I’ll be here until December for certain now. Boy that business with Bobby Veeder is a shock. How’d it happen, was he drunk? That sounds like something I’d read in the papers here!

Well, take good care of Lisa’s darling { A cow named Lisa had a female calf. } – who’s the father? I hope ole Belle is still around when I get there in December. I hear “Hoard’s Dairyman” {a Wisconsin-based magazine for dairy farmers} ran an article on how much dairy cattle have improved in Costa Rica in the last 10 years. That true?



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