A reader sent a nice attaboy letter to me today, telling me she watch my videos and traveled along with me for an hour, in the signature was the quote.
~~ Some people never go crazy. What horrible lives they must lead. ~~I want to know the origins of this quote, who in a brief moment of clarity first wrote it down; it is how I feel today.
I will enter Ivory Coast soon; I need to carry the equivalent of 1000 Dollars in West African CFA with me into Ivory Coast to be safely funded for travel inside the country. The small war between two politicians in Ivory Coast is causing banks to close, import / export problems, there is a siege in process by the outside world. Well, that is according to the press, my job as an Adventure Traveler is to learn the truth, the world news organizations lie more than a used car salesman.
Bah called me from a different telephone number inside Cote d’Ivoire, she says she has lost her cell phone. When an African woman talks about cell phones, I think about money, it is a triggered a response in my brain. The call was right before Valentines Day, therefore buying her a new cell phone would be an easy gift solution.
"--- hmm what is the money situation in Cote d’Ivoire?"
Note, that hardly a day of my life goes by here in West Africa without a women asking me to buy them a cell phone, this is not Bah, she does not ask for money, she really lost her phone.
Western Union Sign in Ivory Coast (Everywhere Visa is NOT)
I started to tell her,
"I can Western Union money to you."
I stopped, because I remembered Western Union charged me 25 dollars to send 100 dollars last time. This is a 25 percent cost of money fee, this is the type of leak in my budget I avoid, a type of cost overrun that causes a Travel Budget to explode. It is not the big expenses that get me in trouble, it the continuous little extra fees on top of the normal fees, the not-included-in-price costs.
Ghana West Africa --- Thursday, February 17, 2011
I need to escape from CNN brainwashed news.
On and on and on it goes, and my mind suddenly realized, I need to read the World New about Cote d’Ivoire. I Goggled Cote d’Ivoire then clicked on the news button.
There is almost no correlation between what is said on CNN and reality. I am being mean to CNN, this is the whole world of News, I read many news sources, and while reading I search for hints and clues to possible real problems, Presently, I am making a checklist of problems that I need to have anticipated solutions ready, I do not want be surprised.
Ivory Coast’s financial system is grinding to a halt, with bank closing and the stock market halting trade as the West African nation’s political crisis drags into its 11th week.
I defined Adventure Travel to exist, when it is possible you could die. A group tour is not normally Adventure, it is just exciting,.
10 Most Dangerous Countries Of 2011 By Andy Graham
Read my Adventure Blog: Adventure
I could get killed by people, or I could die skydiving of an airplane, which type of adventure travel one is more dangerous?
Accra, Ghana West Africa --- Wednesday, February 16, 2011
My List of 10 Adventure Travel Countries
"Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."
"So what do we do?"
"Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well."
"I don't know. It's a mystery."
--- Quote from the Movie "Shakespeare in Love."
I took a Tro Tro (Van) from Ho, Ghana to Accra, the distance from Hotel room to Hotel room in time was five hours. Three to four hours of travel, time is my target goal, I do not enjoy making jumps longer than this, and the decompression time is seldom worth it. It is wise to pose the question to yourself,
"How can I enjoy the next day when I just spent 25 hours on an Airplane?"
Visa to Liberia
Ok, yes, I have changed my mind, I will return to Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast); with the plan too travel by land to Liberia, then onto Sierra Leone, the Gambia, and Senegal etc. The small civil war in Ivory Coast has become a stalemate, my prognostication is both sides of the argument will continue to kill key members of the other political party, and after about a year, there will be a power sharing plan developed that allows a fake democracy to exist.
(Jeter la constitution.)
Strategies for Travel
Foolish travelers stick with the plan, even after it is obvious their planned itinerary has been disrupted. Long-term readers know I regularly become a liar, what I said a Blog post two weeks ago may never happen. I refuse to allow a prior travel strategy to be hard-coded; all my plans are 100 percent flexible. There is always some new information in my head bouncing around, trying to find footing, or in the end, maybe I discard as not feasible.
Example: I believe there is a World Malaria Day conference on March 25, 2011 in Europe somewhere; it would be great to attend. If you look at this map, I have spent my last 12 years of travel in these areas; my street knowledge of Malaria is first level.
--- Please help me, I need to know, when, where, what, how much? World Malaria Day?
If you truly want me to go, send 1000 U.S. Dollars, this is my Airfare cost as a private concerned citizen who believe he has true on the street knowledge that can save lives.
Accra, Ghana West Africa --- Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Are you a Traveler?
Before I forget, Stephen P, the man who has been talking to me about malaria and plastic bags in West Africa on Skype.com gave me a new way to separate travelers from tourist.
"You’re a traveler when you have had Malaria?"
He said his brother keeps asking him,
"Have you had Malaria?"
I added to my ever-growing FOR FUN list of the differences:
Travelers versus Tourists
Tell your Ghana Friends to claim the 150 Cedis price in Ho, Ghana
I hid a Tigo Cell Phone yesterday in the Tarso, Hotel, the person who finds it will have a new cell phone and the chance to win 150 Cedis GH or 100 US Dollars. The contest started yesterday, nobody has claimed it, and in a new twist, to settle disputes on the YouTube videos. I am going to give the 100 Dollars to the first person that goes to the Tarso Hotel with a Tigo Facebook phone, and records the Phone, the Hotel and themselves in one video and sends me the YouTube.com link.
First Person to send link, read this, the first person to send link to YouTube.com video, so if you have friends in Ghana, this is an easy 100 Dollars. Read the details: Hobo Scavenger Hunt
Travel Tip - How to know which clothes in your packed backpack are clean?
Video of One Minute Passport Photo in Africa
Time has no meaning, however, not always easy to accept.
Remove the Plastic Garbage from this Stream and it would be Beautiful.
I Traveled to Accra Ghana to Apply for Liberia Visa
Win 150 Ghana Cedis or 100 US Dollars by finding a cell phone, then making a YouTube.com recording who you and the cell phone inside the Tarso, Hotel in Ho, Ghana.
Help a Ghana person win the equivalent of one months salary by Sponsoring a Hobo Scavenger Hunt, click on above.
Read the Hobo Scavenger Hunt rules on how to win and claim your money.
I have hidden a brand new Facebook.com / Tigo Ghana cell phone inside the Tarso, Hotel.
The phone needs to be activated in the winners name.
Ho, Ghana West Africa --- Monday, February 14, 2011
I travel from Ho, Ghana to Accra today.
Ho Ghana Scavenger Hunt Starts today Monday February 14, 2011
Two people I know got married yesterday in the Tarso Hotel here in Ho, Ghana. It is where I am presently living; therefore, there was no way avoid attend the wedding.
The Ghana Wedding Couple
Ho, Ghana West Africa --- Sunday, February 13, 2011
One of the wedding gifts, it was not clear; it appears all the gifts were given from the man to the women. The people who attended the wedding did not bring gifts, although there was a dollar dance, using mostly one, two, and five Cedi Ghana notes.
Peace Corp Ghana
A Peace Corps Volunteer man came down from some city he said is the highest in Ghana to visit Ho, and walk around. He by chance ended up watching the Wedding in the Tarso, Hotel. I teased him,
"Marmot Backpack, the worlds most expensive Backpack."
We talked; he was raised in Elkhart, Indiana, which is about 50-60 miles from my home in Orland, Indiana or close to Angola.
I put a Google Map here, I am mostly playing, and I want to see how well it gets through all the MailChimp.com newsletter sending service API and if it shows up centered showing both Elkhart and Orland on the same Map. I zoom in or out, and the embed code does not follow correctly or maybe it does?
I found, if I ask for directions, then the two cities were included better.
Randal was a good person, timid, said he lost 75 pounds here in Ghana in the six months he has been here. I tell you, West Africa is a great way to lose weight. Although he said the Peace Corps administration told them, the women would gain weight and the men would lose. I thought about it, the men I meet here in Peace Corps are thin, and the girls are pleasingly plump, and just not so pleasing.
Peace Corps Statistics
He told me that 50 percent of Peace Corps volunteers were over 50, I think this are way off base. I asked him about his present group of about 150, he said there was maybe five, I am trying to recall his words, and for sure he is not the speaking for Peace Corps, so do not take this as being perfectly accurate. I just know, of the Peace Corps I see worldwide, the majority of them are less than 27 in age, although if you included the administration than I am sure 50 percent are over 50, or close.
Generally, of the boys and girls they feed to the Lions here in West Africa, the ones the place in small village are young. the older ones, the administration or management, driving around in the 4-wheel drive Toyotas… (Why not buy American, I am sure we pay too much anyway?) are older.
I think Africa will be a good thing for Randall, it will help build confidence, and toughen him up, and he is right, Africa does seem to fatten up the American girls here. Hmm, interesting idea, a Father could encourage his son or daughter to join Peace Corps to Be a Man. I do not want women to be men, I want them to have fortitude and know who they are. I think of a few ways to do this, send to boot camp, two-a-day football, work construction, maybe high steel or concrete, work on the farm, and keep the boy out of working at Taco Bell or McDonalds.
Then, it would be hard for me to say, do not work as a nerd at Best Buy on the Geek Squad or at Barnes and Noble bookstore. I have to admit, the idea of having children seems scary, there is too many crazies being accepted as normal in today’s world.
There is balance needed, too much of anything and a person fall off the edge, loses their emotional footing and end up never understanding the plot of life.
Note, anyway I do, working on the Internet and writing is wimp work, but traveling to Africa is not for boys, this is the balance.
Google Alerts Bet
Peace Corps volunteers are using Google Alerts to find new posts; they spend a lot of time playing and normally find pages with the world Peace Corps in them.
Google alerts is a great way to monitor subject, for example, I have the alert,
"china-marbles.info," whenever a person writes about my site, I get a notification, it is not perfect, but semi-ok.
Cost of USB Wireless Modem in West Africa
I am paying roughly one dollar for 50 Megs of transfer, as best I can guestimate, the cost in Guatemala and Honduras as about one dollar per 125 Megs. This means a video cost me about 50 cents USA to upload, a Blog post is about 10 cents, and talking on Skype for one minute is about one cent, with video about two cents per minute.
Use a Cell Phone to Load a USB Wireless Modem SIM
I have used a USB wireless modem now in a few countries; you should never leave the office without knowing exactly how to load on more time. Yes, these will work in the bush, however can you load in them in the bush with more credit?
The way that seems to work the best, is to take the SIM out of the Wireless Modem, and put it into a local cell phone, load up the time, and then put back in the USB Modem. This means you must be carrying a small-unlocked phone with you or you are out of luck, that USA phone is going to be heartache, or like having a second mortgage payment.
Using a USA Cell Phone Abroad
If you have a cell phone, and you use it all the time in the USA, it appears you need to remove the SIM card out the USA phone prior to traveling around the world. If you do not, the phone calls could automatically follow you, and just the calls going to voicemail could bankrupt you.
I am carrying extra load time card in my pocket, if the phone runs out of time, I want to just load on more time. The downtime of finding another card could cause business problems with a prepaid card. With the card in my pocket, I know I always have time, I do not have to check the balance, and I know I have some balance if needed.
Ghana Wedding Video
Weddings, I suspect readers can relate, food, weather, telephone, this for sure is something all readers do, not off the mental map of understanding. I will be monitoring this video on YouTube.com to see how many people view.
Videos of Hand Made Bricks being made by Three Ghana Boys
Ghana Wedding in Tarso Hotel in City of Ho of Volta Region
Ahh… the sigh of understanding and insight into why people fear the travelin man.
Maybe I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel, maybe people think I am a Monk or Hermit. I suppose calling myself a Hobo does seem a little too independent. It would not be a red-letter day in my life if I heard my son say,
"Dad, I am going off to be a Hobo."
Recently I had some health problems, women problems and confusion, why, because I am normal person living a normal life. However, readers want to blame travel, they tell me to leave Africa, to go to a safe place, to come home. Please try to understand, I am wealthy man, I am in the game, I am engaged in life, I am alive, I am not coming home, I am a wealthy man.
Monk talking on Cell Phone in Lhasa, Tibet, part of China.
Travel Has Made me Wealthy
I have so many close friends it crazy, because I left home and traveled the planet, I have 30 close friends instead of the normal five or six, and I am a wealthy man.
I have people tell me,
"Andy, you live the dream."
When I hear comments like this today, I am not happy, there was a times when these romantic notions made me proud. When I first started on this perpetual travelers journey 13 years ago I was happy to live the dream, it gave me a sense of pride to escape from America.
I now understand the longer version:
--- "Andy you live the dream, but I am not going to do it."
It took me a few years to realize what happen, on hindsight, I realized that when I left my family, friends, and job, many people were angry with me, there are few of my close friends that are no longer friends because they are angry with me, I believe they feel,
"Andy, why did you desert us?"
"Andy, why did you leave us?"
-- "Stay gone."
Somewhere in this song, is the secret story of a travelin man?
A Few Old and Close Friends Never Stop Making Snide Remarks
When I return home to visit, these are good friends, close friends for years that start with small cutting and hurtful remarks, in a way they are saying to me,
"Why do you come home and remind me you left me."
"If you are going to leave me, then stay gone."
"I am not an Orphan."
Do we have abandonment issues; are you afraid of being alone?
Monks live together, they are not alone
There are so many misconceptions about my lifestyle, I did not leave my friends, I am still with them, I am always part of a bigger group, I am not a lonely traveler, I opened the door to the world.
Ho, Ghana West Africa --- Saturday, February 12, 2011
Monks have a connection, they are connected to people, they have friends, normal lives and the life is not about giving up life, it is about opening up our lives to new worlds.
Monk Playing Counter Strike War Game in UlaanBaator Mongolia Internet Cafe
HOW I AM CONNECTED ON A NORMAL DAY?
Johnny the Private Pilot Called from Dubai
I got a text message on my local Ghana cell phone.
"Turn on the TV; Mubarak is going to resign as President of Egypt."
I am in Ghana, he is in Dubai, tomorrow he could be anywhere and so could I, however the world is small, and we became friends in Sosua, Dominican Republic.
Mark in New York Calls
Mark calls my Skype.com USA number, which forwards to Skype, then forwards to my Ghana cell phone number. I can see his name on the cell phone panel.
"Hey Mark, what are you doing?"
"I am on the way to the winery."
"What are you doing?"
"I am sitting here with Bah, watching bad Ghana TV soap operas."
I had the phone to my Ivory Coast girlfriends, she is somewhat amazed, talks a few minutes with Mark, I have introduced Mark to Bah, and Bah to Mark.
Johnny said; turn on the Skype video, so I can see her.
Mom Talks about Taxes
I call my mother, she has accepted I am not very far away, she instantly says,
"You need to do your taxes."
"Ok, Hello Mom, how are you?"
Just as if I was next door, she wants to remind me to do my taxes. I ask her about the freezing weather in Indiana. She ask a little about what I am doing, but she knows, I am ok, I get off the phone, call my Accountant in Florida, check with him, then call her back,
"Send the paper to Jack, the address is the same."
Morning Meeting with Boy Genius in India
Every morning I have a business call with my coder and friend in India, normally we talk over Yahoo Messenger, we spend a lot of time talking about Iphones, Smartphones, and all the new Mobile toys, and then sometimes we talk business.
I did not become a Monk, when I took off traveling, I opened the door to the world, instead of staying home, I went out to meet with some friends.
Work from Home People are sometimes Orphans
What start this story is funny, I was reading how a business allowed employees to work from home, work independent and on the second page, I read this:
"The key criteria was that laptops, and their users, were no longer to be treated as "orphans of the enterprise network" with a subset of the features available to desktop users, Doyle says. Instead, they were to become extensions of the enterprise, with the necessary applications, connectivity, management tools, remote control and security."
John Cox the Writer of the Above Quote
I want to thank John Cox for empathizing and making business and real live accessible by writing in a adult and insightful way about real life.
Nobody wants to be told to leave home, go out and make money, we are broke, this is what a Hobo did, it was a post war, depression time, they took off looking for work, and some of them ran away from home.
The world is connected, when was reading this page, I was doing research on my Mobile Office page, a page explaining how I stay connected, and often I am more connected than you are to my friends and family.
8 Dollars Hotel in Ho Ghana - Tarso Hotel
If you think you have financial problems, think about this, there is no way I am having any problems paying my mortgage or rent. I have a private car that takes me from my door to wherever I wish, it cost me 1.50 cents here in Ho for my Chauffeurs, it is called a Taxi, not parking problem, no maintenance, and I have as many on call as I wish.
Does the song make you want to live?
I live in Paradise, one little problem and people say,
"That is not Paradise."
I think to myself, you have arrived in Paradise when you do not dream about leaving, who is dreaming about leaving, me or you?
Often the food I eat would be called a delicacy and only served in Fine Cuisine restaurants, as an exotic food, to me it is just normal life. When was the last time you ate "Lait Caille?" and spoke French with he waiter, I did it last week.
Travelin Man, Beautiful Loser --- I am Not a Monk, Orphan or Hermit