Journal, August 8, 1976 PM

I have to take some time and write a little about today, even if it means losing precious hours of sleep.

This morning I wrote a note sitting on my cot in Kikilita {beach house #2}. Since then I went swimming with Jay in the ocean & estuary. That took up all morning. We didn’t take Modesto {the caretaker’s son} over to El Maizal to see the doctors. As it turned out, the friend of Dr. Suarez who “evicted” us from his rancho {beach house #1} for the last two nights, is a doctor, and was already in the process of prescribing stuff for Modesto’s leg. Relieved of that burden, we decided it was high time we hit the ocean. We were very cautious though. We rode a few waves, but came in farther when it got choppy. Swimming up the estuary from the mouth was great. We had an aiding current because the tide was coming in, & you could just float right on up stream. We arrived back at Kikilita after noon. I was really burned, sleeping is going to be painful tonight.

Good old Don Tin gave us lunch on him today, & Santos was there to send me off too! I got a picture of Santos, Don Tin & Doña Reina with me before I headed out. <Don Tin & Santos promised to serve as judges of Sofia’s fitness to be my novia.> If she comes up I will of course take her to Metalio.

I took the slow bus in and made it by 4:30. As I was chopping my carrots to throw in the rice for supper, over wander Dave Quarles and Gary Forest. They wanted to go to a 5 Colones movie called “Emanuela”, but my budget said no, & I talked them into “3 Days of the Condor” for 1 Colon here in Santa Tecla. We were not disappointed by the picture. We all came out of it numb. It was very well done, & too, too believable. Gary says it’s based on a book written by a former CIA person. It got us discussing the sinister side of our U.S. government, & what (if anything) can be done about it. Make their operations public, make them accountable to the people, but there is value in their contingency plans & hypothetical “game playing”. No answers.

Then comes the view from the personal standpoint. How much, as a person of conscience, should I have to do with a government involved in such things? It comes back to the quote I have by Reinhold Niebuhr in my little book. Paraphrased: We have to keep risking our integrity to try to solve the problems which confront our civilization, but we must never give in to the “ends justify the means” adage. We must always use the most humane and just means possible. So we have to get involved with our government, or we will deserve fascism.

But government is always a dirty business, attracting so many ambitious men. One can devote too much energy to it, and waste life struggling in a hopeless attempt to make the system follow some model. It’s not for me.

After beer, popcorn and some tamales (provided by the “dueña” {owner} next door), Dave began talking about his travels in Europe. On $500 he spent 10 weeks in Europe, Turkey & Israel. He did it by living in youth hostels, having an international student card, and hitching. What a chance to see places, know cultures & meet folks from the world over. Why didn’t I do it? No vision, I’ve been going through life with blinders on. Ha, and now I plan to get married and add the yoke! So many things have to be relegated to “maybe someday.”

Tomorrow it’s back to the job, oh dull life. More self-discipline is the answer. Study calculus, Dino, make a useful person of yourself! Forget the writing dream, you have nothing to write about yet. Leave it for “if all else fails!”

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