Journal, November 8, 1976 AM

“And I just want to live on and on!” I was grooving on that tune through my 4 laps this morning. That’s what it’s all about for the living and thinking person. Writers write so they will be remembered through their works. Scientists develop theories to describe the universe so that they will perhaps be remembered as adding a given insight to our worldview. Politicians propose laws and programs which they hope will immortalize their names. Though so many of them are cynically power hungry that you wonder! I want to create something, too, that will prove me a useful human being who was worth having on this globe. Still, I don’t fell tremendous urgency yet. Perhaps I never will. {Walt} Whitman says you show what you are through your daily actions.

Yesterday I went to Metalio to say ‘Goodbye.’ El Maizal greeted me with lots of faces (Sunday is clinic day), but none I knew well. I took a hike around, and found some great legumes for my rabbits. They are getting some things done. They have a place built for the scale from AID, and, a building next to it that might be a milking shed, is under construction. They have a couple pastures fenced off that look pretty good. They filled the silo with maicillo {grain sorghum}, which made me feel good, though they could have put more in if they had heaped it up in the center. They have one huge female rabbit (a New Zealand White) that is simply gorgeous. Things are coming along at El Maizal, but slowly, and I don’t think my being there would have made them move any faster.

There being nobody to say goodbye to at El Maizal, I left my cuma {small curved machete-like tool} as a gift for Aristides and went to Metalio.

Don Tin was glad to see me as always. He called me Jay instead of Dino, just like always. He and his wife Reina are such good people, and their kids are so cute. The littlest girl played peek-a-boo with me all the time I was there and seemed to enjoy it immensely. I took a picture of the family group, minus the young son who was asleep.

Don Tin is a true hard working, self-reliant man. He has worked hard all his many years and never asked favors. What a contrast he makes with the last people I visited in Metalio, Don Adán and his family. Adán takes care of the beach house where Jay and I first lived, and where Jay is now living again. His wife used to wash my clothes. They live so wretchedly, in such filth, and look such physical wrecks. Yet everyone helps them out. When their children are sick, they appeal to Dr. Suares Castro, who owns the house Jay & I lived in. Everyone gives them things because they look to be in such desperate straits. I gave them my kerosene lamp and my water jug. Don Adán is so worthless, he does nothing except raise a little “milpa” {corn field}, and of course drink. I don’t think he’s been really sober in years. I took 2 pictures of the family. I don’t ever want to forget the contrast between Don Tin & Don Adán. Neither started with anything much in life. Adán has regressed.

In between the two visits, I ran into Don Santos. We had a good talk about life - women, wealth, politics. Both Tin and Santos lamented the situation in El Salvador. There is no work here, no chance to get ahead. And as Santos said, you don’t even dare say anything against the government, or two “agentes {agents}” will take you by the arms, put your hands behind your back and lead you off to jail. The next morning they will take you out somewhere and put a bullet in your head. And nothing will be heard about you again. The failure of the agrarian reform project shows how hopeless things are. The countryside is peaceful yet, but both Santos & Tin hint that it won’t last. This poor country! The paradise of Claudia Lars’ youth has been raped by the big landowners and industrialists, and by the campesinos {peasant farmers} trying to scratch out a living. I fear the path from its present unstable state to a more egalitarian & stable one (socialist or socialist / small capitalist) will be a bloody one.

No comments: