Dominican-republic Travel Stories, Page 17

Brett Conrad Birthday is January 23

I received a Yahoo Birthday Reminder telling me Brett Conrad is having a birthday. However, let me think, January 28, 2010 will be the 10th year of

Brett died in 2007

Thank you Brett, I owe you.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Wednesday, January 20, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Before Boy Genius from India, there was Brett Conrad, another coder trying to drive me crazy, full of clarity and confusion, a religious kid full of dreams. He grew up, got married, and had a child while sharing our friendship.

This is Business
I am never sure what that means; I think my business is personal. I do not have workers, I have friends. Unfortunately, many workers never become friends, this is the inherent problem. I respected Brett, he was a person I am happy to call friend.

Say hello to the good Gods Brett, I am doing my best to avoid talking up close and personal.

Andy Graham the

I know many of you are thinking about Haiti, Brett is real, it would be better to say hello to your real friends, donate to them your time.

Brett Conrad Birthday is January 23

10 Ways of Beating the USA Machine

10 Ways of Beating the USA Machine

The world is one big machine, I know people want to escape, leave, they want freedom. How can you fight back against a cultural machine that eats you up and spits you out. How do you leave the nine to five, and stand on the other side of the fence looking in at the inmates?

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Tuesday, January 19, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Consumerism Own You
You volunteered to be owned by the company store, just like coal miners who worked all week and spent all their hard-earned money at the company store owned by the mine. You never get ahead; you are caught in a viscous circle of never-ending spending.

1. Separate wants from needs, you do not need a microwave, you want it.

2. Say no to all questions, it is when you say yes, the machine has you.

3. Stop using your credit card, use only cash, spending money will become real.

4. Take your paycheck directly to the bank, or have it auto deposit, remove the temptation to spend it.

5. Carry only your budgeted money, a true budget has a ceiling. I carry 10 dollars in my pocket, when it is gone; I finished spending for the day.

I study the best, these books helped me to escape my own culture, it was my own thinking that had enslaved me to the machine. I finally realized, stop blaming the machine, and take responsibility to get out of the box.

6. Walden

7. Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, please concentrate on the 30 list of ways people fail.

8. How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life by Alan Lakein, you want to learn to be effective.

9. I'm OK--You're OK ~ Thomas A. Harris, this book will teach how to say no, it will show you how people hook you, snag you, and put you into the cage. It is your responsibility, you volunteered, stop being a volunteer victim.

10. Follow the leader
Find proven successful people, not wanna be successful people selling books. Find people who give you knowledge, because they have the time. Copy, emulate, follow, do everything this person does until you know why they do it, then branch out and improve.

You need to find a “Smart Person,” who has truly beaten the system, who has escaped, then hang around with this person. This person will be offensive to you, you are by nature going to reject them, they are outside the box, and the other 99.99 percent of the world wants you to conform. You for some reason want to be like this person, you cannot reject, that is when you lose.

Strangely, taking a break, a pause from life, traveling to a foreign country, even though it may be paid for with credit, does allow you time to look back into the machine with objectivity restored. If everyone of your friends says you are crazy, then you are on the right path.

Of course, I would say, read the Andy Travel Journal, I would hope this is obviously a solution. This is the problem, the obvious solutions are overlooked. I have escaped the machine, this is my life, I live anywhere I want on this small planet, third rock from the sun. I do not care if my spelling, grammar, typing is correct, because I own my life, you do not.

10 Ways of Beating the USA Machine

Travel Hotpads and Potholders Travel Tip

Travel Hotpads and Potholders Travel Tip

Who in their right mind is going to carry a Hotpads and Potholders in their Backpack or Luggage?

I carry a matching pair of pot holders.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Tuesday, January 19, 2010
By Andy Graham of


The art of travel is not buying gear; it is thriving in an alien situation without losing stride.

I have a Traveler Rug; I have written or referred to this many times. I accidentally burned up my cheap, made-in-China towel; I call a Traveler Rug in the Philippines. I have been searching for a 100 percent nylon dishtowel Haiti and Dominican Republic.

China need to send more low-quality products to Haiti and DR, because a Hobo wants to buy a 100 percent Nylon Towel, they dry fast.

Travel Hotpads and Potholders Travel Tip

Haiti Volunteers Need to Buy Travel Guidebook

Please forward this email or post to Haiti Volunteers. The Doctors, Nurses and Volunteers need to know how to travel from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Doctors and Volunteers need a city map to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Because I was in Haiti, these people have been talking to me on, writing emails and asking for explanations, the number one thing I find myself saying is:

Buy the Lonely Planet guidebook to


Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Tuesday, January 19, 2010
By Andy Graham of


I feel there is probably a need for people to rent SUV’s in DR and drive people continuously from the Santo Domingo Airport to the Haiti Border, return and do it again.

I make money from that link, but I do not make money from the Lonely Planet download links.

Haiti Volunteers Need to Buy Travel Guidebook

Do NOT Pencil Me In Travel Tip

You will not pen me in... I am Afraid of People with schedules, they want to help me. I am around many Expats here in Sosua, Dominican Republic, one well-intended person from New Zealand said,
“What is your goal?”

My brain went crazy; I start to look for the soapbox. I was going to start preaching. Luckily, I have slowly over time learn to keep my overactive mouth closed.

This is not why where are here.
… you have lost the plot.

This man is a great guy, he has all the best intentions, not that simple…

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Monday, January 18, 2010
By Andy Graham of


My mouth fell open; I had no idea what to say, what is my goal. This is a foreign phrase in my world, only uses with selected people. Yes, I have goals, but I keep saying to people.
“I am a Traveler.”

If you are overseas, trying to escape from the nine to five,

Do not say:

1. I am too busy.
2. I have too much on my plate.
3. I will pencil you in.
4. I have a busy schedule.
5. I need a job.

If you have no time, you have no time for life.

I will think to myself, you have lost the plot, you still have not figured out why you planned your escape. It is possible to be extremely successful, even wealthy, without tying yourself up and feeding yourself to a culture of crazies going nowhere fast. I earn more money per year than half the citizens of the USA do. The goal is to be smarter than the machine, to work the least amount possible, and make the most amount of money. It does not take a genius to work 16 hours a day to make a fortune, the challenge in life is to work 2 hours per day.

I think wealth comes when you get rid of the schedules, you can open your eyes and see the path.

Do NOT Pencil Me In Travel Tip

No-see-ums Noseeums Attack in Dominican Republic

Eight solutions to No See Um listed below, these little insects I cannot see are leaving welts on my body. This is not an annoyance, it is full-fledged problem. They attack just before and after sunrise or sunset, this means the boys who sleep to noon are in better shape than I am. I am never clear why, but they like my ankles, this DR variety will also go for my love handles.

These no-see-ums are attacking in full strength before I have time to apply insect repellant. I wake up around 4:00 to 5:00 am according to country, jet lag, diurnal sun adjustments, how late I stay up and all other reason: anyway I do it, I wake up about seven hours after I fall down.

Note: I paid a model above for this photo; I actually have a six-pack abdominal section, but need to keep the groupies to a minimum and do not show my photo. There is a traveler code, we need to help other travelers along the path, we make sacrifices, and I have my dues paid for the next 100 years.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Monday, January 18, 2010
By Andy Graham of


I had the same problem in Haiti, but it was drier, it has rained everyday for a week here in Sosua. I so nor talk about weather much, I cannot control it, I must accept it. Again, I think it is possible I am in small eco-system that has more rain than other areas, this is not the same as Haiti, and it is wet in Sosua, DR.

Noseeum or No-see-ums, who really knows what they look like, I cannot see them.

No See Ums


1. Stay in bed until about 1-2 hours after sunrise.
2. Go in an air-conditioned apartment one hour before sunset.
3. Wear long pants, socks, making sure, that you get out of bed you are dressed for winter, even though you are in the tropics.
4. Put on this full strength insect repellent with DEET as you get out of bed.
5. Sleep in a mosquito net.
6. Spray down the room with Arabic style mosquito spray, this stuff will kill everything. I know I can buy it in Togo, West Africa.
7. Do not sit in an open air bar watching the sunset.
8. Stay so drunk, you do not feel the welt, and it goes away before you sober up.

The solution is insect repellant, if you can apply before they bite you. The Haiti - Dominican Republic version of no-see-ums is especially nasty. I am now worried about dying from toxins in the Deet, this crap will remove glue from a tabletop.

I think if you stopped the rain, it would also stop the no-see-ums.

Malaria Theory
I have a theory, I believe people who belly up to the bar in tropical areas contract Malaria more than people who do not drink. Insects are always a problem an hour before and after sunrise or sunset.

No-see-ums Noseeums Attack in Dominican Republic

Expatriate English Blinds me in Dominican Republic

How should I explain this travel tip? I was blinded; I became deaf here in Sosua, Dominican Republic, I could not hear the local talking. There is a great Expatriate Community here in Sosua, that appears to have it clubhouse in Rocky Hotel and Restaurant.

This place is great, I rolled into town, it was raining, and this Hotel is the Center of the Backpacker Universe, in a country with almost no Backpackers. (Funny how these clubs are always at the cheaper Hotels.) I tried to get a 25 Dollars room, (aagh) but the Hotel was full. I used it as my staging area to find an apartment for 300 dollars per month. However, after talking for just one-hour to the Expats hanging around the common table. I was willing to commit to paying an apartment for one month. This was a first in 12 years, I do not commit this easily, unless I know I can enjoy the place.

No Conversations in Haiti
After being in Haiti for two months, I was starved, I needed to talk, I emotionally needed to talk in a normal fashion, and the Creole language of Haiti had isolated me for too long.

I joined the Expats Clubs; I became Cultural Blind to the Dominican Republic people.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Sunday, January 17, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Cultural Blindness
Cultural Blindness ignores cultural differences, holding an expressed philosophy of being unbiased, and perceiving all people as the same, I forgot we are different. Pretty much, I just accepted Sosua and stopped searching or trying to learn about the local Spanish-speaking people who live in Sosua, we were all the same, why would I need to talk with them. I did not ignore them, I just did not seek out conversations, and I was having conversations with the convenient people.

Water Problem Caused by Earthquake
I have water problems in my Apartment, in the afternoons, the water stops. I thought it was just normal shortages of water in Sosua. Moreover, it could be that, I do not expect the locals to tell me the truth, which would be naïve.

I turned on the water last night, there was no water. I turned on the water this morning in the shower, no water. I have water in the sink, but not in the shower. I want to fill up that bucket, use my water heater, and then take a dip shower. My apartment does not have hot water, but that never stops me, I always take hot dip showers.

Wife of Freddy Filling Buckets
I was typing on the computer, trying to avoid watching CNN talking about the Haiti Earthquake. I could hear buckets being filled. I wrapped my beach towel around myself, walked out and I see there is a queue of water buckets waiting to be filled. What was happening, the lower level faucets had water, but there is probably not enough pressure to make it rise to the shower spout.

Freddy does not like questions, so I have not asked him about the water; he already got frustrated with the questions about the intermittent electricity. Therefore, I asked his wife,
“What is the problem with the water?”
“Que esta la problema con agua?”

I truly do not like explaining, I speak Spanish.

I always carry this five-gallon vegetable oil container, it is essential gear.

She says,
“The earthquake broke a big pipe on Monday.”

Six Days of Blindness
I have been blind for six days to the real lives of the locals in Sosua, Dominican Republic. I was assuming it was normal water problems. I had not talked enough with the locals; I was using only the network of Expats for my knowledge of the area.

I have known for years, Expats can be oblivious, almost in denial of what is happening in the lives of the locals.

Truly the expats normally believe they know more than the locals, why would they inquire. Normally there is a huge hole in the vision of Expats; they wish to remain blinded to the situations of the locals. They truly just want to live in their modern little island they make, inside the Dominica Republic.

I try to avoid this, trying to say to myself, if I have the desire to make everything the same at the USA, I should move back to the USA. The value of being an expatriate here is to cut my living expense in half, and enjoy the beach. However, normally the goal of expatriates appears to build little islands of the developed world inside another country.

If you do this, you will become blind. I did not realize the earthquake in Haiti caused a problem with the water lines for six days, I was blinded.

Expatriate English Blinds me in Dominican Republic

Haiti Orphans in Earthquake are OK

I know one group of Haiti friends is alive, the map below shows the center of the Earthquake near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The orphanage I visited ran by Jasmine and Greg Martinson appears to be ok, as best I can understand, everyone is alive. There were about 35 people in the orphanage house living I visited in Leogane, Haiti. (I lived in three areas close the Earthquake, and I am still trying to telephone them.)

Quoted from Orphans Page:

Cortnie Higareda said on 2010-01-15 21:05:23

… I am Greg's daughter. Yes, they are ok. We have not heard from them personally. But from a man that was there visiting when the earthquake happened. They got all of the children out, and no one was hurt. Their house is still standing, but too damaged to enter. They are living in their yard. From what he last told me, a shipment of food and clothes was delivered. He said that they had food for months. Water, I do not know about. BUT, they are alive and well!
(I was ed by the family of the man visiting.)

Haiti Orphans

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Saturday, January 16, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Map of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake -

This means, I hope and I pray, that my little friend Roadie on the right is alive. I am Andy Graham, the on the left.

Haiti Orphan Photos

Haiti Orphans in Earthquake are OK

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