Journal, November 12, 1977 PM

<November 4th Sofia & I moved out of Lolita Gonzalez’s “Casita {little house}” in Santo Domingo and into her family’s house.> She and her mother wanted it this way and economically it’s a help. Ni modo {Nothing for it}! I’m discovering, however, that the situation demands tremendous self-control.

<First of all it must be noted that I have to be wary of expressing displeasure, or anything that could be so interpreted, to anyone but Sofia.> They are very sensitive & I’d hate to upset or offend them.

<Then there’s Ronald, who lacks a playmate his age and therefore drives everyone crazy by trying to interact with everybody all the time. Ronald has been dedicating generous amounts of his time to Sofia & I since we’ve arrived, since we are “new” and have lots of strange “tiliches” (playthings) to check out. At times Ronald is fun, but he is so used to having his own way & so full of the devil, that he tries the patience.> I’m tempted constantly to try to teach him some discipline, but I can’t. His parents “spoil” him & I am not ready to try unilateral disciplining of a kid who’s not mine.

<Sofia’s folks get up at 4 AM without fail & sometimes start talking in bed as early as 2 AM. Sofia's dad reads the newspaper aloud.> He is doing so now. I can’t blame him since the fact that he reads at all with the formal education he received is amazing. Our presence in the house makes sleeping accommodations inadequate, though no one complains of course. <One of the girls has to sleep in the same room with Sofia’s parents. The other night it was her next older sister, and her dad was giving her a hard time, calling her names (affectionately) that she considered beneath her dignity.> The exchange reminded me of Dad & Merna squabbling as they always used to when he tried to “bring her down to size.”

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