FOR THOSE RECEIVING CARBON COPIES OF THIS ACCOUNT, PLEASE ACCEPT MY APOLOGIES

BUT TO WRITE OUT SIX COPIES, ASIDE FROM TAKING A WEEK THAT I DONíT HAVE AT MY

DISPOSAL, MY FINGERS WOULD PROBABLY FALL OFF FROM EXHAUSTION AND EXPOSURE.

.....................

FOOL ON THE HILL

††††††††††† ďBud, ya son las cinco The knock on the door roused me with the realization that this

††††††††††† indeed was it. Groaning, wondering just what Iíd gotten myself into, I rolled over and

††††††††††† turned on the light.

††††††††††† ďGracias tia.Ē The night table was already laid out with breakfast, bread, jam, and a

††††††††††† thermos of cafť con leche, which I gulped unaware if I tasted anything until my burning

††††††††††† throat indicated that the coffee was indeed hot. Net T-shirt, turtleneck, wool shirt,

††††††††††† alpaca sweater, wind jacket, jeans (why didnít I get long underwear?), two pairs of

††††††††††† wool socks, and those clunky boots...I felt like a six year old kid whose protective mother

††††††††††† had dressed him for January in Duluth. ďWell, Iíd better get going if Iím going to

††††††††††† make it to the market in time.Ē and I headed out the door. It was two days before full

††††††††††† moon and cold in predawn La Paz as I walked toward the Mercado Rodriguez a couple of

††††††††††† kilometers across town. The truck was due to leave at 6, and since it was the only one

††††††††††† going to Mina Urania, I walked as fast as the thin atmosphere and my hammering heart

††††††††††† would permit, trying to reckon which of those clusters of lights was the market. A

††††††††††† concrete wall six feet tall blocked my passage, and I retraced my steps, still looking

††††††††††† for a taxi, or someone to give me directions. Down and around and once again climbing

††††††††††† the hill, I found the market, the truck and Milan, climbing into the truck just as it

††††††††††† pulled out.

††††††††††† Milan is taller than I by just a bit, blond, an alpinist of 11 years, the Yugoslavian

††††††††††† fellow that I had met on the truck ride from Coroico to La Paz three days previous to

††††††††††† this Saturday morning excursion. The truck made it about 5 blocks and parked to await

††††††††††† cargo and passengers, so we stretched and wandered about finding another truck going

††††††††††† to the mine earlier and bargained 5 pesos off the passage. Since the driver claimed

††††††††††† that he would arrive at 2:00 at the mine, two hours earlier than the other, and the pass-

††††††††††† age was cheaper, we hopped on and were off just at dawn. The driver appeared to be a

††††††††††† partial maniac, as we tore through the streets of La Paz, but as it was Saturday AM

††††††††††† and not yet seven there was little traffic. Passing Obrajes, Calacoto, Valencia and

††††††††††† Wecapaca, we headed out the south end of town, hunched low to keep out of the wind atop

††††††††††† the cargo of empty crates which filled the truck to the gunwales. The first stop at

††††††††††† Palaca was a relief after all of the bouncing, and an opportunity for a hot meal. The

††††††††††† fellow waiting on the tables couldnít believe that gringos like llajua (hot sauce) in

††††††††††† their soup and I had to go to the kitchen to get some, to the delight of the driver

††††††††††† and other passengers. After picking up a couple of passengers and cargo, we were once

††††††††††† again off, wending our way round the mountains whose precipitous drops were at times

††††††††††† no more than a foot away from the tires. We made a brief stop in Cohoni for a bottle

††††††††††† of pop, and headed down a narrower and lurchingly uneven road for the mine. Our intention

††††††††††† had been to reach the mine, get a hot meal, spend the night and head for base camp on

††††††††††† Illimani the next morning, but we arrived at the road which passes the base of the

††††††††††† mountain at around 1:00 so we jumped off and started walking.

††††††††††† Since 1963, when I first saw Illimani, I have had an affinity for the mountain, snowy

††††††††††† and dominating the city of La Paz. So when Milan suggested that we climb it, I was

††††††††††† eager, yet apprehensive. After talking with two guides, my fears as to the difficulty

††††††††††† of the climb were reduced to wide-eyed terror, and I set about arranging for crampons

††††††††††† and piolet (ice axe), and talked the folks at migracion into extending my visa a week

††††††††††† so that Iíd have time to climb. The guides had suggested that we go on our own since

††††††††††† it would have cost a small fortune to hire them (something like $50/day), which we had

††††††††††† intended to do anyway, and the whole trip cost us $8.25, including two hot meals on

††††††††††† the road.

 

††††††††††† Once off the truck, we walked slowly uphill across fields almost covered by the

††††††††††† short sparse grass that grows in altitudes above 4000m, and diagonally up a slope

††††††††††† of finely crushed and, thankfully, firmly packed rock, meeting the road as it

††††††††††† reached the pass between the hill, and the HILL. We passed a fellow sitting by

††††††††††† a roadside marker at the pass who indicated that the starting point for the trail

††††††††††† was just around the curve. Two or three curves later we spotted a place that met

††††††††††† the description given us by the guides, but it just didnít look right, so we went

††††††††††† further and lo, there were the three cabins that one guide had mentioned (the other

††††††††††† denied their existence), so we started up. Passing the huts, whose tin roofs lay

††††††††††† in a heap a bit uphill, we decided to try to make it to the visible plateau to

††††††††††† camp for the night. Up through a field of rock, gravel, and sand we trudged for

††††††††††† about two hours, one step per second in order not to become winded. We reached a

††††††††††† moraine at the foot of a knoll at whose base was a large amphitheater-like recess,

††††††††††† complete with overhang. Milan went to investigate while I stood about, doing

††††††††††† my best to breathe, and when he called, I cautiously picked my way across the slippery

††††††††††† flat rock chips, which slid rather easily, fearing that Iíd end up at the bottom

††††††††††† and have to start up all over again. The site was definitely better than the

††††††††††† plateau which had been about 50m above where I had waited, but here we were more

††††††††††† or less protected from the elements, and had a fairly level place to sleep, albeit

††††††††††† rocky. We set out our ground pads, and climbed immediately into our sleeping bags

††††††††††† in order to conserve body heat, ate a cold dinner of meat and cheese sandwiches, and

††††††††††† waited for dark, chatting a bit, but mostly listening. Jets, rocks rolling and

††††††††††† bouncing down the hill (not very far away either), wind, occasional crashes of who-

††††††††††† knows-what origin, and silence. We could see the lights of La Paz in the distance,

††††††††††† the autopista climbing diagonally to the alto, and propping my back beneath my head,

††††††††††† hoping that the rock ledge overhead remained firm, I tried to sleep. My heartbeat

††††††††††† and rapid breathing sounded like drums and cymbals to me as my head raced

††††††††††† with fears and anticipations, and just plain wondering if Iíd make it. Two or three

††††††††††† different occasions I was ready to call it quits, but succeeded in thinking myself

††††††††††† out of it. The wind blew in from the northwest, our open side, bringing a mist of

††††††††††† snow, as if to say, ďthis is a mountain, Jack,Ē and between snows and rocks, and the

††††††††††† moon in my eyes, I slept fitfully until morning.

††††††††††† Just before dawn we awoke and started breakfast - oatmeal with lots of sugar - merely

††††††††††† rolling over in the sleeping bags, not wanting to get out until the last possible

††††††††††† moment. We packed up only what we would need for another night, planning to be back

††††††††††† down by the end of the following day, and left the excess in a stuff sack under

††††††††††† a small rock ledge, and set off on a full day of climbing. Crossing the moraine

††††††††††† was easier this time, whether I was more courageous or less apprehensive, and we

††††††††††† started up past the plateau (which would have been an awful place to sleep) and

††††††††††† through another rock field. Curious rocks, these; they are broken off flat, i.e.

††††††††††† in strata, and are slippery not only unto your feet but unto themselves. After

††††††††††† clambering for a couple of hours we finally reached the snowline. Donning crampons

††††††††††† we proceeded up, following alongside previous tracks - my crampons kept pulling off

††††††††††† or twisting and I had a bitch of a time trying to get them to work. So up along

††††††††††† the ridge rock plunging down on one side, and a massive show field full of crevasses

††††††††††† on the other, we worked our way up to the nido de los condores (condorsí nest) where

††††††††††† I dropped, took off my boots, and planted myself in my sleeping bag with my boots,

††††††††††† in order to warm my toes. We made some tea after scooping out a little kitchen about

††††††††††† a foot deep in the snow, and I drowsed while the snow melted and the tea brewed.

††††††††††† After fortifying ourselves with the rest of the bread and meat, and tea (even though

††††††††††† we didnít feel like eating), I replaced my boots and devised a new means of strapping

††††††††††† on crampons, made necessary by a strap that broke, which proved successful.

††††††††††† 2

††††††††††† The ridge that faced us looked narrower and infinitely steeper than the one we had

††††††††††† climbed, but this was no time to back down. Periodically the mist (clouds) would

††††††††††† sweep in, but we could still see where we were going, thankfully there was no bright

††††††††††† sunlight or we probably would have gone blind and been burnt crisp. After climbing the

††††††††††† seemingly interminable ridge we came upon a level area, drifted deep with snow, with

††††††††††† what looked like the remains of somebodyís camp. There was a 2 ft. steel post pro-

††††††††††† jecting from the snow with a red flag, or remains thereof, attached, in an area where

††††††††††† it appeared that three tents had been dug in. Looking up, the peak didnít look that

††††††††††† far away, but I knew for certain that it was at least another 800 vertical meters

††††††††††† above us. The tracks ended abruptly at a round coll whose pitch must have been 45O,

††††††††††† but we still had to climb it. To me it appeared to be almost vertical, but the guide

††††††††††† had told us that there were no slopes greater than 60O, so you take your pick. Virtually

††††††††††† no snow covered the ice with only a thin crust, beneath which I could see ice as blue

††††††††††† as Paul Newmanís eyes. Undaunted Milan walked slowly up, but still not trusting either

††††††††††† my balance nor my crampons, although they proved secure, I picked or rather drove home

††††††††††† the piolet, and cautiously inched my way, clinging like a fly, to the hard ice. It

††††††††††† couldnít have been more than a 20 - 30m rise, but it felt like I was climbing forever.

††††††††††† Then, instead of finding another plateau as we had expected, we were faced with a hill

††††††††††† 10m wide and sloping sideways, not as steep as the coll but a climb nonetheless (or

††††††††††† should I say allthemore?). As if that werenít enough we could see the peak, so near

††††††††††† yet so far. Onward, ever upward we pressed judging that we had about 2 hours of

††††††††††† light, when at midpoint in the hill, the top being judged as the point where the

††††††††††† degree of slope changed, we came upon a crack (crevasse) which Milan went to explore.

††††††††††† He shouted for me to come down, so I started in, twisting around ice ledges, to find

††††††††††† the crack widening and dropping steeply perhaps 50ft. to the bottom. Well, those 50ft

††††††††††† and their subsequent scaling proved to be the hardest climbing I had yet done. Whimper-

††††††††††† ing, I got past one twist that hung-up my pack for a while, jumped down to some

††††††††††† loose snow (any looser and Iíd have had no problem reaching the bottom rapidly) and

††††††††††† twisting and slipping I made it to another squeeze spot which, in order to pass, I

††††††††††† had to belly down to the ice and hope that my tenuous hold on a small (3in dia.) ice

††††††††††† chunk didnít give way. As I poised one foot on the snowdrift below, my handhold

††††††††††† broke and luckily my weight and balance were above that lone poised foot which dug into

††††††††††† the snow. I quickly planted my other foot and lay listening to my heart pound jack-

††††††††††† hammer fast and hard while trying to catch my breath, which at 6000m is no small

††††††††††† feat. From thence it was like climbing down a ladder to the floor, which was drifted

††††††††††† snow, loose only next to the icewall of the glacier. Shortly we stamped out a

††††††††††† flat area, breathing hard with the slightest exertion, laid out my rain

††††††††††† poncho, and the foam pads and set to melting snow for food. Stretching out my bag

††††††††††† I thought only in getting my frozen feet out of their equally frozen leather prisons,

††††††††††† and for the first time since the winter of Ď77, I felt like the clumps at the ends of

††††††††††† my legs would have to be amputated. Using my boots to secure the edge of the space

††††††††††† blanket, without which weíd have frozen (or at least have been awfully cold), I tried

††††††††††† rubbing, slapping, and generally agitating of my feet, trying to get long since ceased

††††††††††† circulation regenerated. Mike, one interesting note in the effectiveness of the

††††††††††† alcohol stove: Iím not sure whether it was the altitude or the cold, or a combination

††††††††††† of the twain, but it seems that the stove consumed a lot of fuel in order to first

††††††††††† warm up the apparatus to full burn (incl. holes), then to warm up the pot, melt the

††††††††††† snow and bring it to a boil; you may want to take that into consideration before plun-

††††††††††† ging into production. It took about 3 pints of fuel to cook avena once, quinua once,

††††††††††† and tea twice. Back to the saga... Into the heated water went quinua, a nutritious

††††††††††† grain grown in these high altitudes, and after about an hour of cooking, we forced

††††††††††† the food down as we were not very disposed to eating due to the altitude. Realizing

††††††††††† that my boots werenít getting any warmer sitting in the snow and cold, I stuck them

††††††††††† in the bottom of the sleeping bag in order to keep them somewhat warm through the night.

††††††††††† However, since the only thing between the snow and the bottom of my bag was a thin

††††††††††† rain poncho, they remained frozen, and when I tried to stretch out during the night,

††††††††††† my feet in the vicinity of the frozen leather, became cold as well; consequently, I

††††††††††† spent an uncomfortable night curled up, in a cold sleeping bag, inside a glacier. I

††††††††††† shivered as often as I was awake, seemingly every fifteen minutes. During one of the

††††††††††† early wakeful moments I witnessed a thunder and lightning storm, with high winds and

††††††††††† lots of snow, some of which would drift down to us well below the surface. I couldnít

††††††††††† help but wonder what would have happened if we had been forced to sleep outside. There

††††††††††† was a constant glow entering through the crack, and we couldnít tell if it was night,

††††††††††† or day without climbing up to peek, so we remained in the dark (sic) until we were

††††††††††† certain that it was morning. When I awoke in the AM having to relieve myself, I

††††††††††† found that my boots were rigid and I had to walk on my toes because I couldnít get

††††††††††† my feet into the boots. So while snow melted for tea, I lay on top of my boots in-

††††††††††† side the sleeping bag in an effort to warm them sufficiently to get them on. Fuel

††††††††††† consumption being what it was inside the ice, we opted for tea instead of avena, or

††††††††††† both, just in case we wanted to cook later; we were at the end of the fuel. Then

††††††††††† came the tricky business of putting on boots and crampons without puncturing anything

††††††††††† and staying warm at the same time. By the time my first boot was on and the crampon

††††††††††† firmly fixed, my toes were cold, so that by the time I got the second boot on, I had

††††††††††† to take the other off and warm my toes because they hurt so badly. But in getting

††††††††††† them back on again I realized that I was in the midst of a never ending cycle and tried

††††††††††† stamping my feet to get the blood moving. ďWell,Ē I rationalized, ďat least when you

††††††††††† start walking theyíll warm up.Ē Wrong. The stamping didnít help much, itís about

††††††††††† 4 1/2 feet from my heart to my toes, as the temperature drops(sic) and either the

††††††††††† blood was cold when it got there, or it didnít matter anyway, but my toes remained

††††††††††† COLD. So, gritting my teeth, I encumbered myself with pack and started out, which

††††††††††† proved to be trickier than getting down, as handholds broke when I exerted my weight.

††††††††††† You canít drive an ice axe into glacial ice with any degree of success-- it just

††††††††††† chips away, the axe wonít sink in. So perilously perching on a drift, I grabbed

††††††††††† what seemed to be a solid chunk of ice and swung my left knee up to a ledge 3 1/2 ft

††††††††††† above my feet, and with the toes of my crampons scratched a tiny hold in the ledge.

††††††††††† Now what? There were no handholds, and my ice axe was stuck in a hole, down behind me

††††††††††† and to the right. Feeling my hip pop with the effort, I levered myself with left

††††††††††† knee and toes, hoping that I could pull the axe out just by the cord that way

††††††††††† around my wrist as I reached for a chunk of ... what? air? Luckily the swinging

††††††††††† motion put most of my body on the ledge and my fingers found a small knob of ice, while

††††††††††† my right leg dangled and I wiggled the axe free. Cautiously I transferred the axe to

††††††††††† my left hand, dug a bit of a hole and jammed it in. This part of the glacier being

††††††††††† close to the surface (2-3m) received a certain amount of sunshine and beneath a layer

††††††††††† of snow the ice was similar to a honeycomb. Thankfully the ledge didnít give way

††††††††††† until after Iíd gotten my other knee up, feet planted, iceaxe dug in, and was twisting

††††††††††† around to maneuver my pack through the small crack down which weíd entered, but by

††††††††††† that time I was out. Whew!

††††††††††† Once out, I took a look around and felt the almost foreign sting of driven snow in

††††††††††† my face, as the furthest I could see was 15- 20ft. ďOh, great. I suppose this

††††††††††† climbing nut is going to want to go for it,Ē I felt tired and cold and there didnít

††††††††††† seem to be much sense in going up, as were smack dab in the middle of a blizzard

††††††††††† at 6000m. We thought it out and decided to give it an hour to clear up, as any later

††††††††††† than that and weíd never make it down by nightfall, but where to wait? There had

††††††††††† been a level part somewhere below we thought, where we could leave our packs during

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3

††††††††††† the ascent. I donít know whether it was better judgement or we just talked ourselves

††††††††††† out of it, but by the time we reached the more or less level part, which wasnít as

††††††††††† level as weíd thought, as I wiped the frozen snow off my glasses we decided not

††††††††††† to go for the summit, even though it may have been above the weather - which it wasnít.

††††††††††† A wise decision for two reasons: going up, and going down. There was a dangerous

††††††††††† zone where judgement relied on visible signs, and since visibility was limited, we

††††††††††† wouldnít be able to see if we were indeed close to the right path.

††††††††††† ďWhat a shame,Ē I thought. ďI finally get my crampons to seat well on my boots, and

††††††††††† itís not worth doing it. Besides, weíre at 6000m and itís just a hop, step, and jump.Ē

††††††††††† But like itís not Iíd have gone one step too far and over the other edge winding up, or

††††††††††† down if you prefer, in the Yungas. So now it was thigh building, downhill, braking,

††††††††††† letís-not-fall-on-our-face time. Iíd have done the Tungurahua slide but for the pre-

††††††††††† cipitous drops with no way of stopping before plunging over the edge into oblivion.

††††††††††† No doubt youíve heard of Oblivion, Bolivia? The crampons were holding nicely, staying

††††††††††† on my boots, but it was still treacherous going due to the recent snow covering

††††††††††† glaze ice, and pitfalls such as crevasses. Downhill is relatively easy since you

††††††††††† arenít working so hard and donít need so much oxygen, so I had a much easier time of it.

††††††††††† Milan was having amoeba problems and had to rest frequently - what a sorry pair we were.

††††††††††† My toes felt as though they were a solid block at the end of my foot but surprisingly,

††††††††††† not cold. (I understand that frostbite feels that way) The recent snow had drifted

††††††††††† high on the ridges so we walked low closer to the drop, but not wanting to rely

††††††††††† on loose snow, and not knowing what was underneath. My mountaineering expertise had

††††††††††† grown appreciably during the expedition and although I remained cautious, I didnít

††††††††††† feel the need to cling to the hill as on the way up, which made descending a veritable

††††††††††† treat. The final snowfield before the rocks seemed so wide and gradual that

††††††††††† I nearly ran down, relieved to be approaching the bottom. The rocks were covered by

††††††††††† a layer of snow, which made them even more slippery, but I was going down anyway, so

††††††††††† other than the usual fall-and-break-your-head precautions, I relaxed and let slide

††††††††††† which made the going much easier. Finally we dropped down past the rocky pass onto

††††††††††† a moraine, and having divested myself of the crampons before the rocks, I skated

††††††††††† down the small loose gravel covering yards at a stride. (a style which we had earlier

††††††††††† named the Tungurahua slide after the volcano we lived beneath for a month in BaŮo,

††††††††††† Ecuador - ask Mike for details on that trip, I was home with a case of exploding guts)

††††††††††† There were three heavily loaded fellows heading up, and checking my downhill plunge, I

††††††††††† stopped to chat with them. They had brought enough provisions to wait 8 days for an

††††††††††† assault on the peak, which must have meant another trip up to the upper camp, I would

††††††††††† surmise. I told them of the post with the red flag which seemed to me the best place

††††††††††† to camp ďup thereĒ, and wished them good fortune, and skated off down the moraine

††††††††††† to the more level rocky part, and finally to the three huts, where I removed the long

††††††††††† woollies that I had borrowed from Milan (who luckily had two pair), while he recovered

††††††††††† the stuffsack of left-behind goodies. Taking the opportunity, I filled a canteen

††††††††††† with freshly melting snow water from a drift on the rocks above the field of llama

††††††††††† droppings - delicious.

††††††††††† We didnít talk much as we walked up and out, taking the shortcut sliding down the

††††††††††† loose soil after the pass, and down dale to the road to the mine. For the first time

††††††††††† in the past two days, I was aware of my thoughts, which were mixed with regret

††††††††††† that we hadnít been able to get to the top, relief at being down where I could breathe

††††††††††† almost normally, and satisfaction at having climbed to 6000m sndm (sobre nivel del mar)

††††††††††† (or, above sea level for you gringos). We looked for a place to eat, and thought

††††††††††† about spending the night at the mine, when we spied a truck heading laboriously

††††††††††† up the hill perhaps 5km away. So, in short, we caught it back to La Paz. I tried

††††††††††† not to think of the road with every sideways lurch of the truck, and managed quite

††††††††††† well. We entered La Paz through the ďValley of the MoonĒ, an area of eroded sand

††††††††††† whose spires and valleys elicit images of moonscape - especially under full moon,

††††††††††† as we saw it that night.

††††††††††† We arrived Monday night at midnight, itís now Wednesday night and my toes are still

††††††††††† numb, but those popsicle toes are a very small price to pay for the experience of

††††††††††† climbing a mountain - my first mountain, other than a volcano - without a guide, no

††††††††††† ropes, minimum equipment, and even though I didnít make it to the peak, I did make it

††††††††††† to 6000 meters, thatís almost 20,000 ft. Would I do it again? Not this week, but

††††††††††† I certainly would give it my best shot in fair weather. Iím just crazy about that

††††††††††† Hill.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -----------

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Wed 11/VII/79

††††††††††† Miguelito mi compaŮero,

††††††††††††††††††††††† Just a short note to say that round two is on for this week. I hope all film

††††††††††† processing and developing is going well, 100 - 125 good ones sounds fair to me. Iím

††††††††††† heading for Cuzco within the next two weeks, and you can write me in Poste Restante

††††††††††† there or at the Embassy in Lima, as Iíll check mail there both going north to the

††††††††††† Cordillera Blanca, and south to Chile. From what I understand, prices in Perķ have

††††††††††† jumped in the last couple of weeks, and there may be a civil war there soon if the

††††††††††† govít doesnít do something to allay the ire of the citizenry. Elections are over

††††††††††† here, and although the final tabulations arenít in, Silas is in front, Paz close

††††††††††† behind, and Banzer bringing in the third with less than half of what the others

††††††††††† have. Nonetheless, Banzer will be the deciding factor in the parliament, whomever he

††††††††††† thrown his support to will be head honcho. There are rumors that Siles has brought

††††††††††† in 300 cuban mercenaries armed to the teeth, and Paz has his forces, and of

††††††††††† course ex-military Banzer has the army with him, supplied with a recent shipment of

††††††††††† modern deathdealing instruments from the USA. August 6th is when the govít is supposed

††††††††††† to be turned over, but who knows what all of the itchyfingers poised on the triggers

††††††††††† have in mind. I hope that Iím out before it happens.

††††††††††††††††††††††† I finally get the money for my check tomorrow. I was at the BofA today but

††††††††††† they didnít wait on me for a half-hour during which time passed the hora de caja, and

††††††††††† I have to return in the A.M. But I saw the order and I watched the official sign it

††††††††††† so Iím almost certain that IT will be in my grubby paws almost two months after it

††††††††††† was sent.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Thurs.

††††††††††††††††††††††† I got the bucks, but the creeps took out $30 in commissions between Cochabamba,

††††††††††† La Paz, 1% for the checks and 2% for US$. What does it matter? Iíve finally received

††††††††††† the money that started out from the States in April.

††††††††††††††††††††††† I sent a couple of letters to Mpls. this AM and will be sending greetings to the

††††††††††† folds in LaC. this afternoon. Since Jane wrote explaining her plight, the total is

††††††††††† three short, but Leslie and Amy ... Well, Iíve got 5 letters to go so Iím signing

††††††††††† off. I hope the photo situation keeps developing, drop me a line in Cuzco, and Iíll

††††††††††† keep you posted on whatís happening here. Maybe on my return to Bolivia later this

††††††††††† year I can send another shipment of film, what thinkst you? Keep your feet warm, and

††††††††††† your spare socks dry.

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Norris