Journal, October 16, 1976 AM

“Today’s the day you hear the mice say, today is the day of the great mouse ball.”

Actually today is the day of the “despedida {farewell party}” for Jaime Olson, David Quarles and Edward Shiffer. I will have good reason to celebrate too. Yesterday I received a telegram from Costa Rica (through the embassy, U.S. State Department, unclassified) saying they want me down there by November 15th. John Jones {Peace Corps El Salvador Director} has seen it too, so it looks like all systems are go! They also want me to talk to some professor who is coming here the 19th or 20th of this month, about what I don’t know.

Right now, I just moved Twitchel, Steve Hays’ “Lora” (large parakeet), off my clothes rack and outside. He was starting to chew on one of Jaime Olson’s shirts! I moved him out onto a ladder, but he’s flown down, and now is pestering me, trying to bite my bare toes. He can say a few words already (he’s young though full-grown), like burra, lorita, culero and carbon (the last two of which are Spanish vulgarities).

We played basketball again yesterday, losing by either one or two points in a brutal, completely uncontrolled game. The team we played has absolutely no sense of sportsmanship. I saw one guy punch Mike Shank (a clear-cut boxing punch), and then when Mike got upset he turned and played the innocent babe, only self-righteously indignant of being falsely accused! I shouldn’t play in games like that; it upsets me too much. I even got into the game end argument a bit and it’s not my custom. I can’t believe that grown men (most in their late 20’s and early 30’s) could be such general pricks. In a league that is just for fun, no prizes, in every little action on the court, they try to antagonize. They knock the ball away after they make a shot. They play with the ball and then set it down where it is or bounce it off their head in your general direction when a foul or turnover is called on them. They systematically beat on anyone who drives the bucket or gets a pass inside. Even in American football you can’t get away with punching, slapping and elbowing like that. And then they go bitching to the referee every time you turn around it seems. I’m simply not going to play with that bunch again. As Mike says, it brings out our bad side too. I’ve gotten worked up again just writing about it. Twitchel is going through his entire repertoire of words and whistles.

There was a “pregnant party” for Holly & Mark Roddy last night. I was in the mood for a few drinks & had them, plus great food. There are lots of good cooks in Peace Corps El Salvador.

<Sofia wrote too.> We’ve got our signals crossed. She says she’s expecting my phone call the 20th. Actually that would be better. I’ll be about to talk to that professor (or whatever he may be) from Costa Rica by then.

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