Journal, September 10, 1976 PM

<Sofia sent me a real epistle this time.> I swear, the more I learn about that chic the more she frightens me. She’s so much like me. She was responding to a real pessimistic letter I wrote some time back - said she loves me of course - but she leveled with me & said she really does want to continue studying. She says she didn’t want to say so until she was sure she was capable of it. Now with her excellent first term marks, she’s confident. She says she’s willing to live the student life of depravation & work in order to study & have me. (Poor misguided lass!) She doesn’t like the possibility of me shuffling off to the States to study for a semester if Peace Corps doesn’t come through with a job offer. She’d rather we married in January or February, and went together or I don’t know what. She doesn’t trust me alone on my own turf; scared of the competition of the gringas {North American women} must be! Just about everything she says makes good sense. My going back alone for any length of time is a bad alternative. I think Peace Corps will come through though; I’m counting on it.

Nestor Gonzales, the boss of the Atiocoyo project when I joined it almost 23 months ago, solicited my help today. ISTA {Instituto Salvadoreño de Transformación Agraria or Salvadoran Institute for Agricultural Transformation} is starting to carry out (at long last) the relocation of people from the San Isidro area to put them in conformity with the legal minimum parcel size of the project (7 manzanas). Since I interviewed nearly all the candidates for relocation (143 family heads) during my study of a year or so ago, Nestor wants me to have a talk with ISTA’s sociologists to orient them concerning the situation in the region. I’m game, though it means I’ll have to work my butt off this weekend typing up a good Spanish copy of the study, and making an outline of the points I want to make in my discussion with them. Luckily Chico {Rodriguez, Peace Corps Agriculture Program Director} stashed away some of my drafts & working papers from the study, so I have ample materials on which to draw for a presentation. Nestor wants to do it next Friday.

<Sofia again, if I have been searching for a “sign” or a “turning point” in my relationship with her, this letter has to be it.> She’s said it, we seem to want the same things in life; primarily to study, learn, better ourselves (superarnos) and we love each other - care about each other. She wants me, but can’t play the waiting game. I simply can’t go off and leave her for a while, put it on the back burner. If I don’t get the year in Peace Corps Costa Rica, I might adopt her preferred plan to get married in January or February. I could work there for a year in something or other, and maybe even take first year physics at night at the University of Costa Rica. It doesn’t really matter where I take the basic courses, I don’t think.

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