2.24.2017

Journal, August 21, 1976 AM

We left Santa Tecla at 6:10 AM, on the dot for El Salvador! It was an enjoyable trip. Both seeing the Forest & Conservation District at Metapan, and eating a picnic lunch & drinking some vodka & pop with the folks from the office, were pleasant. The district is located in the Río San Jose watershed, and used to be a hacienda {large farm} by the same name. DGRNR {Dirección General de Recursos Naturales Renovables} headquarters is the former hacienda mansion – a 3 story “split level” affair on a ridge above the river, which they claim is over 300 years old. If that’s true, it’s a remarkable house, well-constructed. They’ve done some good things in the district, like massive tree planting, zonification by land use, setting up a saw mill, terracing to grow vegetable crops. But they still aren’t realizing the potential of the place as a field lab. They have transplanted apple trees (from the U.S. rather than Guatemala!) 3 times. They are horribly stunted, but still had quite a few apples on them. They have tried producing potato seed, but can’t always get the chemicals they need at the proper time, so they haven’t gotten far.

I went with Hector, Francisco, Roberto Campos, Maria del Carmen, Oscar Nuñez and Sandra. Francisco turned out to be even more boorish when he’s drunk than when he’s sober, but the rest were all pleasant to be with. Oscar N. turned out to be a real wildman and tremendously funny when out of the office. He entertained us all. Sandra too surprised me in how much she loosened up. She is so tough-looking I have to control myself around her. Another surprise, little skinny Sandra is all of 23 years old, divorced, and has a 4 year old son! The world is full of surprises.

Jaime {Olson} & Diego {Cox} are here. They got in last night after I got back from Metapan. We went out so they could eat, in the middle of a big downpour. I had gone out for pupusas {Salvadoran snack food} earlier in the evening.

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