Journal, November 30, 1976 PM

Manuel, the administrative assistant, called from Peace Corps Office this morning and said they had received the necessary papers from El Salvador to get my plane ticket. Looks like I’ll have no hassles with going {home} unless my Costarican temporary residence visa fails to come through in time. I’m going to stop by the Office this afternoon and see if they’ll give me my December salary in cash. <I need money to pay rent to Doña Carmen, and I want to give Sofia some money soon, so they can get started making the wedding dress. One of Sofia’s sisters is going to make it, since she does a lot of sewing for other people anyway.>

Jaime {Olson} says he figures his wedding cost him $800 or thereabouts. That’s a lot of bread, but one can’t be chincy about his wedding. Presumably, it’s a one-shot deal! I finally got to rap with Jaime & ask that question, among others, Sunday at the {U.S.} Ambassador’s Thanksgiving Day dinner for Peace Corps. Pilar & Nuria also went.

I met a few PCVs {Peace Corps Volunteers} there & decided that they are another varied and interesting crew, like those I knew in El Salvador. They have more jocks here (sports programs), and more women because of nursing & swimming programs. Rita {Klukazewski} was there. She says I have to invite her to my wedding.

I had a weird experience at the dinner. I saw a guy who was a near perfect ringer for Dale Kranz, a fellow I knew in F.F.A {Future Farmers of America, an agricultural youth group} and at U.W. {University of Wisconsin - Madison}. I looked and looked, and finally had to go over and tell him about it. His name is Jim Hamilton, and he’s been in Costa Rica for 8 years. He’s an ex-PCV. Even his voice was enough like Dale’s that it was freaky.

<Sofia & family did all the shit work of cleaning up after the party.> I feel like a worthless bum. <I got to Sofia’s last night, & she handed me 60 Colones which they got back upon returning the two cases of pop. Her sister’s boyfriend took them back to Heredia in his car.> That sure was easy, I said to myself! I can imagine the mess left after the party - goo, spilled drinks & dirt on the floor, half-full cups of liquor all over, “bocas {snacks}” being eaten by flies & ants. <It reminded me of old times back at Delta Theta Sigma {fraternity} to hear Sofia describing it.>

<Poor Sofia, she has reservations about marrying a man with aspirations to be a physicist.> The only thing worse would be a mathematician, she says. Although she’s good in math (her own judgment), she hates it with a passion, so much she says she thinks she’ll study philosophy instead of psychology because I told her there was chemistry & biology (& therefore math) involved in psychology. Her mind is still open though. High school math bored me too. They make it sound so cut & dried. Plug in the formula & crank it out, as Mr. Koleck {a high school teacher} put it.

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