Journal, December 8, 1977 AM

It wasn't until yesterday that we sent the box of clothes, books & other stuff off to Wisconsin. Yesterday I had to wear my suit pants, because the other 3 pairs of pants that are still available were all dirty.

<I bought Sofia’s ticket Monday, so she could prove to the people at Seguro Social that she really was leaving the country.> Otherwise they wouldn’t let her stop paying the "voluntary" insurance she's been paying. Little hassles. I'll buy my ticket when I get the cash coming to me at Peace Corps termination.

Today is a holiday, so I wrote my Christmas cards - most of them. I’m sending a bunch to people who haven’t written me for 6 months to see if I get a response. If not it's the last effort to keep the tie. It's tough to keep contact by mail, easy to lose interest.

<Tragedy has befallen Sofia's oldest sister. Her baby, who Sofia & I were to be godparents to, was born dead.> She was in critical condition for a while also. She is here {at the family home} now. Her husband got drunk when he heard about the baby, then went to the hospital and got them to give him the body. Last night he sent someone by to take their kids to "velar {look after}" the body. The 4 kids were brought to Sofia's parents' home when he left them alone. <Sofia's family sent the 16 year-old, but wouldn't hear of having the other, younger children take part in the "funeral." They buried the body today and the other 3 kids are still here {at Sofia's parents' house}.> Everyone here says their father turns crazy when he drinks. <They're lucky they have Sofia's goodhearted family to look after the kids.>

<Sofia's oldest sister is out of the hospital already, & arrived here about 11:30 AM.> She may spend the night or a few days. <Poor woman, about 35 years old and looks like 45.> She's been given a tough life, but wonderful sisters!

The 15th we leave for El Salvador. There's little left to do. I go to the dentist on Friday & should get my Peace Corps money. We kill the pig Saturday for an old-fashioned Costarican farewell feast Saturday & Sunday. <Tuesday we (Sofia & I) plan to go to Sarchí, to the ox-cart factory, to buy gifts & a small carry-on bag.>

I won't get to see Fred {Tracy} in El Salvador because he's home for Christmas. I wrote a letter with his Christmas card, trying to say some of what I'd hoped to say to him in person. Still there are people to see in El Salvador, and goodbyes to be said.

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