Letter, November 25, 1976

Dear folks,

I had about forgotten it was Thanksgiving today until I went by Peace Corps Office here in San Jose and found it closed. Now I am waiting in line at the Pan Am {Pan American Airlines} office to see if they have my return reservation from Wisconsin confirmed yet. Looks like I’ll be home for Christmas if my visa comes through in time! I’m scheduled to leave here December 10, arriving in Madison about 7:30 or 7:45 pm. I think it might be best if I can get Jan to meet me at the airport and I’ll run a couple errands in Madison Saturday morning before coming home. I want to go to the University Book Store and see Gert Verberkmoes {the cook at Delta Theta Sigma fraternity house when I lived there} (remember her?), etc. I’ll write Jan too!

<Sunday Sofia and I are throwing an engagement party.> We already have the ring. We are talking about a March wedding – like March 4th (a Friday). Think about that, and I’ll give you the hard sell on why I think you should try & come when I get home. It’ll be before planting season.

I talked to Jim Olson’s parents when they were here for his wedding. They said I should be sure and bring you (Mom & Dad) up to visit when I’m home in December. Jim & his new wife Pilar will be up there too after about December 20th, so maybe we can go up and see them between Christmas and New Years. They really enjoyed their stay in Costa Rica and fell in love with the people of San Antonio {de Belen, Heredia}. They just couldn’t say enough about the hospitality. The Olsons are really good people, farm people.

My work here is pretty interesting. I am working in a much more sophisticated environment than in any of my jobs in El Salvador. I work in CIGRAS {Centro de Investigacion de Granos y Semillas}, the national grain and seed research center of the University of Costa Rica. My two top bosses are PhDs who studied in the U.S. One has a brother who studied at U.W. {University of Wisconsin – Madison}. There is a guy in my lab who is being exceptionally good about getting me oriented to my work. He’s also invited me to go fishing some time. They have trout in the mountain streams and lakes here, & of course there is lots of salt-water fishing on the coasts.

One gets so much more of a positive attitude about life living here. There are still virgin lands here & so much natural beauty, population growth is being brought under control and the government is civilian. However, because they are better off you find people more like in the States – putting so much importance on cars, clothes & other material possessions. I guess it’s human nature to be greedy, and especially in a decidedly capitalist society.

Anyway, I got here, no problems, with my bike & everything. I hope and plan to be in Madison the 10th of December, and home probably the next day. I’m so busy I have had to write in installments.



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