2.24.2017

Journal, August 28, 1976 AM

I was alone in the house last night, but didn’t get here until 9:30. So it goes.

I spent the day at the A.I.D. Rural Development Office & Peace Corps Office yesterday. I found a whole stack of materials on regional development that I want to go through from A.I.D.’s library. Chico {Rodriguez, Peace Corps Agriculture Program Director} gave me an unsigned & undated report which he claims is the first proposal for agrarian reform ever submitted in El Salvador. It should be interesting reading.

I went to the A.I.D. / Peace Corps informal monthly discussion forum at 3:30. It is held the last Friday of each month. This month’s topic was small implements for the campesino {peasant farmer}. Two PCVs {Peace Corps Volunteers}, Jim Monachino and Ron Roffer, have pushed and finally won some little acceptance for a project in this country to promote the use of hand & animal-powered tools. They put together an outline which shows the basic direction they want to head with the thing. Then, to the meeting, were invited people from this country & other international agencies who have experience with and/or interest in small implements. The result was an interesting discussion of the subject, with many ideas and viewpoints expressed. The most impressive was the head of the Taiwan Agricultural Mission, who told how the Chinese have been using & improving hand tools and other small scale machinery for over 100 years, and how many of their implements might have application here. I talked to Jim & Ron over supper at Pizza Boom. They are enthusiastic, even rather loud (with the somewhat abrasive New York accent), but are doing their homework & know the problems facing them. They caught me on some points I knew little of nothing about. Jim says, “We’re covered.” The only thing is getting their ideas into the agencies here without losing their vitality. They are in no hurry; they want to prove their implements work first. That’s a sound strategy too seldom followed here, good field research.

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