Letter(2), July 25, 1976

Hi Jan,

Thanks for the airline refund. It came at a good time as I’m finding it impossible to save any money right now. City living is expensive, especially when you have friends that want to go have some beer, see a movie, eat out, etc. Jaime Olson has been in town for most of a week and stayed with Ed {Shiffer} and me. We always do some drinking when he’s around, he’s a true Wisconsin beer drinker!

I’m sending a newspaper clipping that might interest you. The place where I trained (We went out there one day didn’t we?) is being converted into the new campus for Costa Rica Academy. If you could land a job there you could live in San Antonio until you got your bearings. I know it’s about impossible this year, but maybe next.

If I am successful in my most recent gambit, I will be spending a year in Peace Corps in Costa Rica starting in January. When I was there for the 4th {of July} I talked to the acting director and the head man in agriculture. They weren’t too encouraging, but I think there’s a good chance they’ll find a place for me. The people in El Salvador will recommend me pretty highly I think. If I extend & get vacation leave I’ll be home for Christmas. A real urge to see the family, some friends & just familiar territory is buildin’ up in me! I’m applying to U.W. {University of Wisconsin-Madison} for the spring term to have an alternative in case they don’t allow me to transfer to Costa Rica.

<Sofia is fine, by the way, working as a secretary for an underwear firm – of all things – and going to the U. {National University} nights.> Her youngest brother had a broken leg when I was there though. Jaime asked me to be the best man for his wedding, so it looks like I’ll have to buy a suit & God knows what all else. Sounds like it’s going to be a big old wedding. I’m not overly enthused about it yet, but I guess I can stand to be a best man once in my life.

I haven’t got a Honduras hat yet, but expect to eventually. Things are tense between “them & us” right now. Soldiers and civilians have been killed in border clashes and the OEA is trying to arbitrate. I’m sure smuggling between the countries continues though so there should be hats around!

I want to get up to Guatemala and buy at least one blanket and maybe more if I have money. I plan to take off some weekend in September or October. I’ll go to Costa Rica in November for Jaime’s wedding (it’s the 20th) so, if you want something special from either place, send money!

Work is going well. I’m writing up part of a study of fishermen’s co-ops. Jay {Hasheider} says El Maizal may finally get their cows, but they have no crops planted yet. I hope to go visit Don Tín and everyone during the August holidays.

Tell me about the presidential race and important state and local races. The attitude here is that Carter will win easily & most Volunteers favor him because he seems morally astute and he’s an outsider – bound to change things! What’s your impression of Mondale?

No more run-ins with the cops! That was a sobering experience. Without the umbrella of U.S. Embassy protection a person is at their mercy.

Take care,


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