Letter, May 9, 1977

Mom, Dad and everybody,

It looks like the rainy season is setting in here. It rained both yesterday & today in the afternoon. We’ll be fortunate if it continues to rain regularly, as water is being rationed in many parts of San Jose and the central valley. It’s been so dry the western part of Costa Rica that there wasn’t much of an avocado drop. Other fruit trees gave meager harvests also.

<Saturday Sofia, three of her sisters and I went to visit an aunt of theirs in Orotina.> Orotina is on the western side of the country, in the lowlands and it is hot! It reminded me a lot of my first worksite in El Salvador. Despite the drought, there were oranges, mangos, “nances” {a local fruit, also from a tree}, and avocados, and we carried a lot of fruit back with us. <Sofia’s aunt and her husband have a little farm where they raise a little bit of everything.> Most of the land is in pasture, and they have a few Brahman cattle.

<Sofia was born near where her aunt and uncle live, and some of her older sisters lived most of their childhood years there. Sofia showed me the house she was born in.>

May 11: I’m so busy running around these days, I got torn away in the middle of this letter & didn’t get back for 2 days. Would you believe the people at the church somehow screwed up in copying Mom’s name and it ended up Patty Jean Geise in the official records in the Register of Deeds Office in San Jose? So it goes. Today I took them a copy of my birth certificate and they promised to correct the error. I hope they get it straight this time!

I’ve been doing a little cooking lately. I made banana bread in the electric fry pan twice, & it came out excellent both times. I made 2 batches of cookies without burning a one! I had bad luck with my first attempt at corn bread, but the second time it game out good. (I got some pre-ground corn that they had done a toxin test on at the lab!)

I’m sending 2 rolls of film in a separate package. I don’t know what all is on them, but if there are some particularly interesting shots, send me a copy. Otherwise, hang on to them & we’ll see them when we get up there.

<Sofia & I got stomach parasites on our honeymoon!> So it goes. She has got some medicine & is curing herself, but I have to take 3 more stool samples before Peace Corp’s doctor will give me medicine for mine. Such is life under government bureaucracy.

Take care,


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