Journal, December 19, 1977 PM

I told Chico {Rodriguez} ‘no’ today and he didn’t make any further effort to convince me. I really respect Chico. He’s a hard-worker, a very useful person & perceptive, intelligent. Knowing he has a good deal of respect for me made it harder to refuse him, but I know it’s time I must start taking charge of my life.

<Sofia and I encountered a veritable Peyton Place among the Peace Corps volunteers in Santa Tecla.> It turns out Fred Tracy really went home for Christmas because he is all broken up over Marlene {Johnsjoy}. She dumped him & is now playing the field. She seems to be enjoying being a “Gringa {North American woman}” here, and the popularity that affords her with Salvadoran men.

One of Marlene’s roommates, Susan, separated from her PCV {Peace Corps volunteer} husband, and now lives with a local man. And the third girl in the apartment is presently in Belize with a member of the British mission in El Salvador, with whom she has been living for some time. All three of the girls are clearly dragging down Peace Corps’ image here, but what I really would like to know is if they were venturesome types when they entered Peace Corps or whether the Peace Corps El Salvador experience did it to them.

In the guys’ apartment in Apartamentos San Francisco we have three dudes who like to go whoring, never wash a glass or clear the table, and generally live like fraternity boys. Dave Quarles is still here, though he’s left Peace Corps and joined AID. He hasn’t changed any. He’s still good for an argument, and still reads books about the political situation here, & talks about how fucked up it is. The other two guys I knew from before, but just barely. They are still with Peace Corps.

<Poor Sofia had a rough plane ride up here.> Actually, the plane ride wasn’t bad, but she had a queasy stomach due to a combination of it being her first day taking the pill after her menstruation and the fact that we drank a lot of beer the 14th. <Anyway, we decided to discontinue the contraceptives (they’ve given Sofia a very hard time), and cut short a series of injections she was taking, in the interest of salvaging our vacation.> It has worked well. The 16th she was pretty good, and she’s been normal ever since. However, it does mean we’re back to the Russian roulette with the prophylactics!

1 comment:

D.W. Jefferson said...

I was way too hard on the female PCVs in this post. 40 years later, I apologize.

My guess is that after spending 3+ years in cultures that judge women's sexual behavior extremely harshly and men's not at all, I was just parroting that cultural norm. I'm sorry.