Journal, November 29, 1976 PM

I don’t know if having my journal here in the lab desk is such a good idea. I left it here Friday, and that was more than excuse enough for me to not record anything until today. I was running all weekend anyway, so I really don’t expect I’d have written anything coherent in any case.

I’m now officially engaged. <Sofia has the ring on her right hand and is “feliz como una lombriz {happy like a worm}.”> I guess I am too. It was a pleasant engagement party last night. <Sofia’s sisters are a real troop of workers when it comes to serving drinks & “bocas {snacks}.” They also were the life-blood of the party, dancing & flirting with the men.> {some text not transcribed}

I had one major surprise. <After we had gotten the first round of drinks passed out, & Sofia & I were discussing logistics of making the engagement announcement, she said, “First you have to talk with Dad in private, OK?, and get his formal approval!”> I had half expected something like that earlier on, but I thought they had let it pass. <Anyway, she cleared everyone but her Mom & Dad & us out of the kitchen, and I said, “Sir, I want to marry your daughter Sofia.”> He said, “Con mucho gusto {With much pleasure},” and the deed was done. I think he & I were both forced into the formality by the two women then present. He doesn’t seem any more a lover of formalities than I.

Soon after, I had a small surprise when I went to open the champagne and the cork hit the ceiling, and bubbly went all over the floor (exactly as we’ve all seen it do in the movies). I hadn’t thought to leave the champagne in the refrigerator ‘til the last minute.

<We made the toast with bare shots of champagne for all, and I slipped the ring on Sofia’s finger without formalities in the aftermath.> Jaime made the toast, and I don’t remember a word of it.

<The last little adventure of the evening was a reckless ride to Heredia with Sofia’s sister’s boyfriend who was more than semi-drunk at the wheel of his VW {Volkswagen beetle}, and the return at a snail’s pace with yours truly driving, hitting every pothole and killing the engine once. The car has a very weak battery, so Sofia & her sisters had to push to get us started again.> The seat was too far forward for me {some text not transcribed}, but I crawled back to La Asunción and parked it.

{some text not transcribed}

Jaime & Pilar {Olson} gave me a bottle of brandy for my engagement. They still seem to be honeymooning. They livened up my party with little stunts & making faces. I continue to marvel at how they get along and compliment each other. They both put a lot into just entertaining each other. And they’re such good friends to have.

<At the height of the fiesta {party} Sofia led me out the back door, ostensibly to show me “their farm.”> “Mucha bulla {A lot of noise},” she explained when we were alone, then, “Sabes que no nos hemos besado en todo el día {You know we haven’t kissed each other today}?” <She is something, this little woman, Sofia, something very special.>

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