4.23.2017

Journal, October 2, 1976 noon

The old mind is working at a snail’s pace today. Yesterday I went through three fiestas, getting home this morning at about 3. Still, after 5 hours sleep, I’m in pretty fair shape, but slow.

First of all there was the AID monthly meeting in which Doc. Eisenhower presented his final report on the mineral research program he has gotten going here in El Salvador. The results of their first tests indicate that it could show phosphorus deficiencies are occurring in even well managed herds where the proper mineral supplements are not fed. I’ve been looking for the opportunity to write down what a remarkable pair of people Art and Lila Eisenhower are. Art is a veterinarian of course, and rented out his lucrative practice in Arizona to join the Peace Corps. First he went to Afghanistan, where he says he nearly died from eating improperly handled food. Then he came here, serving over 3 years all told. He’s extremely competent, unquestionably the best & most experienced field vet. in this country, and that includes a U.S. AID veterinarian and one from England, who also makes 10 times what Doc. {Eisenhower} does! I suppose he did it for the new experiences and the challenge. He’s a scrappy little guy. You’d never get him into AID with all the politics and bullshit involved in it. Peace Corps made him available to El Salvador.

Lila teaches English plus all types of needlework, including something called macramé! She’s at least as energetic and indomitable as her husband, & still a very beautiful woman in her late 40’s or early 50’s.

They are just down-home folks too. Lila makes a mean banana cream pie, and Art likes to talk about the Portuguese farmers in California & Arizona, and their common remedies for the ills of their cattle.

Forgive the digression. Dave Hughes (of AID and Recursos Pesqueros {Fisheries Resources}) won the “rifa {raffle}” and gave us all a few hits off his bottle of Old Forester. Boy is that smooth whisky! I had 3 shots and some beer & about a half hour later I felt my head a spinnin’.

Jaime {Olson} got talking & drinking with Ingeniero {Engineer} Bará (head of Ganadería {Cattle Farming}), and we had to leave him when we went to Peace Corps {Office} to get Jim Monachno’s shirt for him. Russ Soules got married at 7:00, and with the running around, eating and dragging Jaime away from Bará, we were late.

Luckily it started a little late. John {Jones, Peace Corps Director} & Chico {Rodriguez, Agriculture Program Manager} were there, which was nice. Both missed Steve Hays’ wedding. The priest was relatively brief and good, not a hardliner like the one Steve Hays had.

The reception somehow never loosened up and got comfortable like the one after Steve’s wedding did. I was a little disappointed, but there were lots of folks to talk to.

About 12:30 we went to a fiesta in the center of town, celebrating 2 years in country for 15 or 20 volunteers from the group in which Mike Shank & Steve Hays came. There was beer on tap and I had a few, until I got so full & sleepy that I was ready to head for home. I hitched a ride with Art & Lila, cooked me some frijoles {beans} & went to bed.

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