Journal, November 24, 1976 PM

I feel so serene and content with my life today that I hardly believe it’s me. <Last night I went with Sofia to register for the University in Heredia, and it was just a very pleasant evening. The registration took no time at all since Sofia’s sister’s boyfriend works in the University’s administrative section, and he got the girls’ forms to them without them having to stand in line or anything.>

<Sofia pulled the favorite trick of the locals on a tourist, on me.> She told me to get off {the bus} at the stop in from of the Siemens store and, as it turned out, the store no longer says Siemens anywhere on it. I ribbed her about it, but she told me I was supposed to tell the bus driver to let me off at Siemens, and then there would have been no problem.

The engagement party is going to be Sunday now. There was a conflict with Alexandra’s graduation, but now it’s all worked out, so full steam ahead. I guess I’m in charge of the drinks, and they are going to handle the food. I want to make punch.

Wedding planning is already moving. <Sofia has a list of who she wants to invite, and we hashed over some possible “padrinos {godparents}” and “amigos {friends}.”> I’m going to write to ask Fred Tracy to be my best man. He’s the last one left of our original pastures and forages group, and I’ve a lot of respect for him besides. I hope Marlene {Johnsjoy} and he can both come down, though it’s a lot to expect. I don’t know who’d be my second choice.

<Sofia’s older sister made me supper last night.> In spite of the fact that I seem to be eating a lot here, I also am skinny. Of course, at Doña Carmen’s the standard fare is rice and beans, and the cafeteria where I eat lunch is only a little better. You always get a piece of tomato, cabbage salad, a thin tortilla and meat or cheese with your rice & beans.

Yesterday I out figured Renán {Molina}, my lab partner & teacher at present, on a math problem, percent humidity of a sample of rice in 2 stages. He wouldn’t accept the reason for the discrepancy in his answer and the calculator’s from my explanation though. Like so many people (e.g. my Dad) he is more inclined to rely on an authority than on his reasoning powers. After his boss (and mine too), Dr. Miguel Mora, confirmed that it was indeed necessary to make a correction such as I had suggested, he took a good look at the correction formula, and then explained to me why it was essential. I try to be an attentive student, but at times it costs me. Renán is a very patient instructor though, and I think we’ll get along well. Today he commented that I have a lot of shoes, very observant! <I’m wearing a pair Sofia had been storing for me, and it’s the fifth pair of shoes I’ve worn to work in 7 days.> I have 5 pairs & it’s a lot, but shoes were cheap in El Salvador & are less so here. I should get by a year with those I have.

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