Journal, October 24, 1976 PM (Sunday)

I spent the night out at San Vicente with Dave Quarles and Steve Baker, so I am just now writing. Dave talked me into going out to Amapulapa with the special train rented by the American Society.

It was easily the smoothest and most pleasant train ride I have ever taken in this country. They had the train all painted up, & all of the windows in the 6 passenger cars worked. There were no women with huge baskets or smelly campesino {peasant farmer} men in filthy old clothes snuggling up as close to you as possible. However, it was an expensive ride. 5 Colones for Peace Corps, which was only half the rate charged the American Society members, but still twice what you would pay for the round trip on a public train. Pop & beer were also expensive, but very cold.

More interesting than the trip was meeting some of the folks Dave knows. We ate lunch with some women from San Vicente. One girl is the home economics agent for the area. Dave plays the role of the jolly, generous Gringo {North American} perfectly and effortlessly, and so of course he’s a favorite with everyone. I think his manner is a good defense mechanism too. He never gets real close to anyone, has never had a “novia {girlfriend}” out there. He doesn’t seem to need to get any closer.

Steve Baker and I were talking about Dave this morning.

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