Dominican-republic Travel Stories, Page 9

Nightstand Lamp Made from 7up Bottle

I read one to two books per week; I spend about two hours per day lying in my hotel bed reading a book. I found a great way to hold my Travelers Reading Light; this is one of the best, because raises the reading light high enough for proper lighting.

Wow, September 17, 2000, almost 10 years ago I first wrote about how to make a reading light.
Andy's Travel Tips Peru Sept 17 2000

Photos of Travel Lamps
Here is a great link, I was using a Casio Camera that cost 400 USD, today the same quality camera would cost 25 Dollars, and be sold in a Dollar store. I need to add this travel tip to this page, but I just am not sure, too much new, with too much old.
Reading Light for Travel

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Sunday, February 28, 2010
By Andy Graham of
|  |  | Top Travel Site

This is my Apartment room in Sosua; there is one light in the center of the ceiling, as is the custom in room for 80 percent of the planet. I keep bottles of water next to my bed; I use them as weights for exercise. I was having trouble with my light, so I connected it to the top of one of the bottles.

I have a clip on light I purchased in Bangkok, Thailand, it works great. However, the bent coat hanger system from my travel tip of 10 years ago works well also and easier to find. I will one-day sell this small clip on light on this web site, I consider it an essential ingredient of making a great travelers nest.

Maybe you will say to yourself,
"I do not drink soda pop."

Well, either do I, but there is always a neighbor that feels compelled, obligated, to buy large bottles of something. You can take a foreigner out of their country, but you cannot remove their country from the foreigner. I do not think of myself as a foreigner, I am not from the USA, I am not from Europe, I am one of the true Global Citizens the liberal no nothings talk about, but do not understand.

I often debate whether it is possible to visit all the countries on the planet without being a reader, I think a person who does not read would lose the plot and go crazy.

Nightstand Lamp Made from 7up Bottle

Example of Habitat for Humanity House

Here is a photo of a Habitat for Humanity house in Solola, Guatemala. Because of the Haiti Earthquake, people have been asking me,
"What does a Habitat for Humanity House look like?"

As a result of the 8.8 Chile Earthquake, I happened to see an advertisement on CNN here in Dominican Republic for Habitat for Humanity; these NGO’s have some slick advertising programs outside the USA.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Saturday, February 27, 2010
By Andy Graham of
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This one is located in Solola, Guatemala on Lago Atitlan; this city is just up the hill from Panajachel, Guatemala.

Click here to read article: The house has a great view of the Volcanoes on Lago Atitlan...
Habitat for Humanity

I am not saying all Habitat for Humanity houses look the same, however this is one example.
Official Site:

Example of Habitat for Humanity House

Hackers are Starting to Worry Me

Hackers are people who sneak into other people’s lives and steal. A Hacker recognizes how you think, see your life configurations, and then takes advantage. The more Social Networks I am forced to join, the easier it is to hack into my life, steal my identity, or cause you or me a huge headache.

I believe, Hackers of organizations like,,,,, and Microsoft are inside people, the hacker was employed by these organizations or had a friend on the inside.

Hackers understand human nature, they know what the majority of people do, they can be relatively stupid, but see where the boss hides information.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Friday, February 26, 2010
By Andy Graham of
|  |  | Top Travel Site

10 Most Popular Passwords
"If you recognize yours, you may as well hand over your wallet or purse to the first person you see on the street."

1. password
2. 123456
3. qwerty
4. abc123
5. letmein
6. monkey
7. myspace1
8. password1
9. ink182
10. (your first name)

Why am I Increasing Worried
I can feel the Indians circling the Wagon Train, every time another person knows my group of friends; they are better capable of asking questions.

Andy is a friend of mine, can you tell me:
"Where he was born?"
"How old he is?"

This is the confidence game hackers or scammers are involved in, they get a referral without getting a referral. They take a referral, I know Andy, or I know you, or we have mutual friends and you transfer your trust of me onto the next person.

Am I Clever?
I believe I am clever, I believe I am smarter than the next person, but I am also clever enough to know, there is always a person more clever than me.

If you do something clever, keep it a secret, do not share it with your friends, and do not explain to them how clever you were, or you are not being clever.

Brute Force Hacking we see in movies, is a movie, this is rarely how it happens.

Hackers are Starting to Worry Me

Travelers are Obliged to Give Good Advice

Wade from said,
"We have no commitments because we are travelers, the only commitment we have is to help other travelers."

I knew what he meant, it is a rule I live by, Andy Graham of

 We need to give good, honest and transparent advice to other travelers, it is the rules of the road. I feel that if we do this one thing wrong, there is nothing in our lives we are doing right...
- Andy Graham

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Friday, February 26, 2010
By Andy Graham of
|  |  | Top Travel Site

Traveler Rules
This is not a rule on how to Travel, it is a rule on how to be a Traveler.

A girls from the Netherlands wrote me about eight years ago and said,
"Andy, stay pure."

I knew what she meant, I should not sell out and start making money at the expense of the other travelers on the road. A traveler does not go home to recover from the trip, they must stay safe, a traveler is going to solve problems, create solutions, we do not have the luxury of being a nitwit tourist. We must survive, earn enough money, and every time we save 10 dollars, we know we earned enough money for one more day of living outside the box generally called home.

Do you want to be a Traveler or a Tourist?
Are you a Traveler? or Tourist?

99.99 percent of Travel Writers are not tourists, they will lead you astray to make money, they are trolls living under bridges.

Travelers are Obliged to Give Good Advice

Camera Manual Download Travel Tip

Read the manual, this is maybe the best way to become confused with a camera. However, if you want to become one of the big boys, you need to be brave.

My first Camera advice is,

1. "Do not play with the buttons."
2. Only play with the buttons when you absolutely know what and why playing with them buttons.
(Same advice for a computer, do not play with things you do not understand.)

I purchased a Canon Powershot SX10 with a 20X optical zoom on December 2, 2008. This is one of the best Camera I have used, and about my 11th digital camera. I believe it is a little better than the Sony because it powers up, focuses and shoots faster. I buy about one camera per year, however this one may last me two years, if not three. I have owned Fuji and Olympus and truly was not happy, so do not send me recommendations.

Canon versus Sony Canon Wins the Race

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Friday, February 26, 2010
By Andy Graham of
|  |  | Top Travel Site

Download the Camera Manual Before you Leave
Finding a PDF manual is an act of God; I carried around the manual for a year, and then left it in the USA on my last stopover. Well, what do you know, the minute I am not carrying the manual, is the minute I need the manual.

Boy Genius From India Finds Manual
The focus has become a problem, I talked with Boy Genius, I was asking.

1. Can I defrag the camera chip on my computer?
2. Can I format this 8 Meg chip on the computer?

He is helping me to optimize the settings, I said, it would be nice if there were a way to click on the words and have the camera explain…
"What is IS Mode?"
He tells me, this is Image Stabilizing Mode.
"How would I know that?"
… Hmm, I need the manual.

Download Before
I think my really best advice would tell you to download the manual before you buy the camera. A digital camera slowly becomes junk, the camera needs reset, the software reset, many things I do not understand and do not care to learn need optimized. Therefore, to keep this camera functioning properly I need to read the manual, and un-adjust, what I adjusted, or to be a great photographer, I need to learn more… aagh, this resembles work.

This is the link to the Manual, maybe it will continue to work:

This is the link to the PDF Canon Manual, who knows if it works…

Photography Class
I would love to take a camera class, taught by a teacher that uses the Canon Powershot SX10 with a 20X Optical Zoom, and could explain all the menu options.

Wiki has something to say, but in the end, this is a game where we teach ourselves the rules.

Buy for 325-350 USD

Best Buys
I purchased my Canon Camera at Best Buys, I got the extended warranty, I believe they told me I could drop it and they would replace. Dropping cameras is a real problem, and seemed reasonable, so I tried it, and I hope I do not need the warranty. I normally do not buy the extended warranty, but I thought I could use this one for two years, and the cost would come to 150-200 USD per year.

The most important feature I need in a camera is speed, the camera needs to boot up fast, and focus, whereby that girl in bikini rolling in the sand is a possible shot.

Girls can walk fast, I spy the target, my mind registers, I pull the camera, and I take the shot. I am not just sitting around trying to take photos, I am reading my book, but I am aware.

Sosua Beach Dominican Republic

If you cannot download the manual prior to purchasing, maybe you need to find your local expert to help. When I am in Africa, lying in bed, inside a square concrete room, I need this manual, and when I really need it, Boy Genius is not on Skype, the internet is not to be found. Trust me, this is when you wish you had downloaded the PDF Manual prior to leaving, I recommend you learn from my mistakes, and take a different path.

Camera Manual Download Travel Tip

Perpetual Traveler Wade Shepard Interview

Wade Shepard owner and writer for the web site is interviewed . Wade explains his 10 years of perpetual travel, and how much it cost to travel. Wade, wife, and child are presently visiting Dominican Republic on a budget of 22 U.S. Dollars per day.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Thursday, February 25, 2010
By Andy Graham of
|  |  | Top Travel Site

This is good interview, Wade explains well how to get started, how much it cost, and how to live as a perpetual traveler.

Part 1 Video Below

If you do not see a video above these words, it is because you are reading by email, click here and maybe you can find it: Videos
Video Above

Part 2 Video Below

Video Above

Part 3 Video Below

Video Above

Thank you Wade, it is a pleasure to know you, I hope our roads cross many times as we travel around this small planet.

Andy Graham of in Sosua, Dominican Republic 2010

Perpetual Traveler Wade Shepard Interview

Economic Freedom Country Ranking 2010

Economic Freedom, whatever that means, here is a guide using these words:

World Rankings
Business Freedom
Trade Freedom
Fiscal Freedom
Government Size
Monetary Freedom
Investment Freedom
Financial Freedom
Property Rights
Freedom from Corruption
Labor Freedom

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Wednesday, February 24, 2010
By Andy Graham of
|  |  | Top Travel Site

Here is the organization that did this report, it has an .org for an ending, tends to make me feel free to do screenshots:

This link was created very badly, if it does not work, do it without that /index/ on the end, this is the type of link that breaks.

If you already have money, I think this freedom thing is way off base. If you are wanting to invest in other countries, then a reasonable scale.

Freedom to live and do as we wish prevails in countries that are two steps away from a military coup…

Economic Freedom Country Ranking 2010

John and Stan Mentors of Andy Graham

The man I am today, how does this happen, have you thought about it? Do you know why you are the man or woman you are today? I have a few mentors, and as I should explain, I appointed them; they did not knowingly become my mentors.

The most influential people in my life is my Mother and Father, they laid the groundwork, set up the moral, ethical and emotional infrastructure, then I have people who greatly influenced my life. However, the mentors lived outside the beginners box, mentors cared less, and they influenced me because I took what they gave.

MacGyver Travel Tips
I write these off the wall, outside the box, funky, sort-of stand-back-and-look for a while travel tips. I often ask myself, why did I think of that, what happens inside my brain that allowed it to innovate, invent, and search for answers to problems. It is the bundle of experiences, something to do with the Mentors, hardships, and the problems I have encountered.

I carried a Milled Face, 28 ounce, 16 Inch Estwing Hammer for years, and like a pair of shoes, I can judge a man by his hammer, and you are welcome to judge me.

The Roussel Concrete Construction Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana had a couple of mechanical wizards. The owner John Roussel, and Stan his number one gadget maker taught me a lot, they used to say,
"I can fix anything, but a broken heart."

This company makes equipment and tools, if they have a problem, the would make the tool to solve the problem. If I had a broken car, computer, shoe, idea, if I have a problem that needs a fixer, these two men are my mentors. It is not clear how they come up with ideas, but I know they are inventors; they were able to reach into their heads and pull out answers, while common people just stared at them.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Wednesday, February 24, 2010
By Andy Graham of
|  |  | Top Travel Site

I was a crew leader for Roussel Concrete Constructions, my normal types of jobs were:

1. Dock Levelers for Factories, and the walls leading down to the dock.
2. Doing the math, laying out factories to pour the footers for 20,000 - 150,000 square feet factories.
3. The carpenter, if the company needed something made of wood; I took out my Estwing hammer created something from nothing.

Stan is in this photo, John Roussel is not.

As my life goes one, I try to find my mentors, say thank you, hope they know they helped me along the way, I have about 10 influential people in my life, and a few new mentors also come along, life is always changing, and I continue to learn.

Thank you John and Stan

Note, when I think of crazy, only high steel workers are crazier than concrete workers… However, I am more of a farm boy, bailing wire, and binder twine, but that is a another story, and another mentor.

John and Stan Mentors of Andy Graham

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