Haiti Travel Stories, Page 5

Verizon HTC Touch Pro II in Haiti

“… smartphones will soon be as important to business travelers as credit cards.”

I am doing free reviews of Global communication devices for Verizon. When I stopped in the USA on my last trip, I exchanged the BlackBerry Storm in on a HTC Touch Pro II.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- Tuesday, December 22, 2009
By Andy Graham of china-marbles.info


There are many operating systems:
1. BlackBerry RIM
2. Android
3. Windows Mobile
4. Iphone

2. Choose a Smartphone
1. Choose a Provider
1. Choose a Provider
2. Choose a Smartphone

I am saying make sure you prioritize

International Travel

I have unlimited internet access in 206 countries, and they keep rolling out more. The United Nations has something like 192 member, this is truly GLOBAL.

Iphone, BlackBerry, HTC, blah blah blah, we could debate, I am county countries. What does the savvy businessperson do when they get to Haiti, well, for me, I know I have a connection. I am not dependent on the Hotel, the Internet Café; I have it in my pocket. I have the HTC Touch Pro II, with Window Mobile

The Email or Data only plan is 70 U.S. Dollars per month. I told Kyle one the public relations people for Verizon.
“If I had a daughter, there is no way she would be gallivanting around the planet without one of these smartphones in her pocket. I want to know she has no excuse to not email me.”

Note, Verizon pays me nothing for these comments, do not be jaded, I truly love these smartphones. Verizon does give me the phone and service for free, this is nice.

Verizon HTC Touch Pro II in Haiti

china-marbles.info University Student Interns

I am offering internships to University Students.

Me, Andy the china-marbles.info trying to get a little girl to kiss me in Laos on the Mekong River, this is my life,
“a life less ordinary.”

I have been slow to admit this, however I cannot avoid reality. They asked Paul Theroux if he was a Travel Writer, he says,
“No, I am a writer that travels.”

I can accept that phrase; I do not mind being called a writer.

It makes me weak to say,
“Travel Writer.”

It makes me cringe to say,

I am not encouraged with the term,
“Travel Journalist.”

Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- Tuesday, December 22, 2009
By Andy Graham of china-marbles.info


I will stick with the master, Paul Theroux, and say,
“I am a writer that travels.”

Nonetheless, I cannot deny it, I am part of the media, whatever you call me, and I am one or more of these terms above. china-marbles.info is a business, soon china-marbles.info will celebrate it 10-year anniversary as an Internet site. I registered the domain name in January of 2000.

Member of Travel Webmaster Group
I have joined a group of 10-20 travel webmasters, I think the membership criteria in a nutshell is
“Travel Webmasters that make money.”
Hmm, maybe I need to chunk this down, they make money from advertising. They do not earn money making web pages; the actual pages make money, the same as a newspaper. This sounds strange, but only about 1 in 10,000 people can do this.

This group is great, one of the interesting things I have learned is two or three of them have University Interns working 15 hours per week for them. As I understand, these students earn college credits for helping. More or less my colleges offer students the chance to get real life experience, this is a win win situation, the student learn, while the webmasters are able to expand their earning base, and maybe these students become future employees.

I have thought about allowing wanna-be Hobos to travel with me for years.
Wanna-be Photographers
Wanna-be Writers
Wanna-be Travel Webmasters
Wanna-be Travelers

However, this could be a little too intense for me, or them, I am not sure many of them could hang with sitting around in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

These Webmaster friends local colleges, I believe the Journalism, Communications departments. (This makes me weak)

What I am saying, I am offering Internships to University Students. Do you know a Journalism Major, Communications, Computer, Computer Artist, or Anthropology Student?

Please send this link to the Student.

The fun stuff, many of these students perform task, like editing pages…updating Twitter, Facebook, writing Press Releases, the story behind this story.

china-marbles.info University Student Interns

Webmasters Think Collect Write Type

I was chatting on Yahoo Messenger with a friend in England; he wants to start a webpage. I said, it works if you can:

Think Write Type

It was one of them gut level, off the top of my head clear comments.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- Monday, December 21, 2009
By Andy Graham of china-marbles.info


I added the word collect, what a webmaster should do… is collect a lot of amorphous data, think about it, organize it, write about it, and the kicker.

You need to type, with 10-12 fingers if you have them and make one page per thought, do not clutter up the internet world with many convoluted ideas on one page. Funny part, everyone works hard on being clever, making pretty faces at people, and truly does not understand the basics. The fountain of never-ending money on the internet is called “interaction.”

Note, it is not called Twitter or Facebook, which is just promotion.

Webmasters Think Collect Write Type

Haiti Fair Play Driving School

I believe the seasoned travelers out there will enjoy this photo.

I fell over laughing, yep, as a person who regular walks along road in under-developed countries. I do believe, the drivers learn what is fair play.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- Monday, December 21, 2009
By Andy Graham of china-marbles.info


What is fair play for a driver in Haiti?

Anything and everything, they will do whatever they want, whenever they want, this country is wide open.

I am happy that Haiti has driving schools. I am happy that the Philippines have driving schools. Now if they had police who even minutely cared about the safety of people walking in the streets, it would be progress.

Hey you, “Respect the Zebra.”
Hey you, “I want to trust that little green man.”
United Nations, “Please teach your workers to drive.”

Haiti Fair Play Driving School

Factories for Haiti 2009

What marketable skills do the people of Haiti have? What marketable skills do the people of Africa have? What type of factory could be built in Haiti?

I think the formula is this:

Raw Materials + Natural Ability + Labor Cost + Shipping Cost
= A good location for a factory.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- Monday, December 21, 2009
By Andy Graham of china-marbles.info


What are Haitian people naturally good at? This is the million-dollar question of economic development. Maybe we can say,

1. Fighting with each other, maybe
2. Sports… I do not think so.
3. Music…. I do not think so.
4. Service Industries like Tourism: I do not think so.
5. Farming: Sadly, the whole world is good at this, however being a farmer is considered out of fashion, not cool, not the think to be.
6. Sitting on butt, looking at street. - Yes
7. Languages: Yes
8. Repetitious Work: Yes

Maybe I can say this for the Middle East, I am not sure they have a lot of oil, this is not really a good skill set, and maybe they are good at herding goats. I suspect when the oil runs out, the goats will be happy.

Factory Work
It is 2009; I would suspect that all the citizens of the USA who work in factories are saying.
“I wish I did not work in a factory, I would still have a job.”

Well, we truly screwed up the planet, by making subsistence farming unfashionable. This is happening by discouraging farming, by promoting mass production of food crops. We grow a lot of food; however, the people do not have the money to purchase it. I am not sure, urbanization has happened because of Televisions, Music and the Telephone. Everyone knows there is somebody having fun in the city, why would we want to hang out on the farm.

I believe the Haiti people have a natural desire to hand sand furniture, it somehow makes them happy. I do not feel that people like to learn or change, it is in many ways unnatural, and they do have a natural desire to be famous or fashionable.

The Encyclopedia Encarta says that 55 percent of the population of Haiti is literate, I would say closer to 20 percent, maybe less. I try to learn Creole here, a difficult task when I can never find a person to write down a word. Taxi directions are a disaster, they cannot read the signs.

They are good at sanding furniture, maybe those factories in the USA could send the wood down here to be processed, then send back furniture.

I enjoy watching people apply varnish or lacquer along side a busy road.

Haiti is a Caribbean style Island; by normal ways of thinking, it should have an active tourist industry. I cannot see this happening until about 10 years after the United Nations peacekeeping force leaves, it ever, and they do not naturally say please and thank you. Then again, none of the other Caribbean Island are service minded.

Fun stuff, interesting and an intriguing problem, and sadly, the brain drain is a problem. The minute a person can wrap himself around anyway to go to the USA, the leave. The rich, the smart, the educated try to go to the USA, anywhere but here.

I wish the world would stop focusing on feeding Haiti, there is a lot of food here, and the world needs jobs that make sense, not the fairy tale world crap, but jobs. It will get a lot worst, the world has pulled out of most countries since the end of colonization. They say to the country, do it on your own, you are free, the timeline started at about 1960.

Factories for Haiti

Micro-Business Direct Donate in Haiti

Maybe this is an idea to direct donate, which could really change the world. One person could come to Haiti and do this in one-month, then leave, all the money could go directly to a good cause.

There are too many organizations collecting donations. 90-95 percent of the money donated is used to support the organizations, they never solve the problems. I always am tossing ideas around in my head, trying to come up with a long-term sustainable solutions to human misery or mischief.

There is an old man who limps, walks up and down the street here; his job is to clean the trash around the school across the street. I see him limp-drag barrels and boxes of trash somewhere up the hill, this is not one of them I-am-enthused-with-the-human-spirit moments. He should be retired, sitting somewhere looking at them children in school, not working for the school.

I found this man sitting in front of the market in Petit Goave, see how he has no shoes. A child without shoes is normal, nothing to get excited about. However, when adults do not have shoes, this is the telltale sign of a more serious problem.

Misery and Mischief

This man above may have misery; I am sure the majority of Non-Profits represent mischief.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- Sunday, December 20, 2009
By Andy Graham of china-marbles.info


Being a Direct Case Worker

I seldom give money; however, there are times, when I am positive a person needs help. I stopped giving coins, I will give 1-5 dollars, enough to make a difference for one day, and I hope to give them one-day reprieve from worry.

I am the caseworker for a day, like the trustee in Stueben Country, in the state of Indiana, USA who makes a decision, does this person need help. My grandfather, then my grandmother did this job for my hometown, she knew the village, and could give money. She knew the village of Orland, Indiana; it was hard to baffle my grandparents.

As a direct caseworker, I am 100 percent sure, this man is nuts. I stood in one place, I waited for him to pass, and he is naked, talking to himself. The bottom line, he is barefoot, he is naked, he is talking to himself, and the worst, and he is so crazy he does not ask for money.

Yes, I can give these people 25 dollars and buy them a one-day reprieve.

What the world needs is jobs.

There are four major poverty problems in the world:

1. Jobs, there are not enough jobs.

2. Stupidity, the people all do the same job, here in Haiti, everyone is selling water in the streets.

3. Corruption, there is enough donations to save the planet, there is no shortage of money, and it never makes it directly to the people.

4. So-What Solutions - If you feed an orphan, it does not solve anything, it just makes another mouth to feed, and the problem gets bigger, it is not a solution. (A great way to make money.)

There are too many people selling the same products. There are three people in this photo with food on their head.

These photos are a dime a dozen, I could take them by the hundreds. This is an example of a business that has saturated the market here in Haiti. There are too many people selling the same products in the streets. If you think this is silly, the number of people selling water is 10 times worst, there are at least 30 people selling bags of water on the one block where I am presently located.

Where is the Hobo? I am on Rue Lamarre, in Port-au-Prince; I am staying at the Executif Inn, a small Hotel that specializes in two-hour room rental, a.k.a “Love Hotel.” This is not prostitution is a boyfriend, girlfriend thing, you know,
“Get a room.”

Why the Map?
I am writing this, because without a specific location, I believe you for sure should not donate. There is a need for who, when, where, what, why, and how. I had a person on the prior post to this one say, come visit. I got on the page; I have yet to find out where? The address should have been in the comment, with a phone number, or I tend to think, just another donation scam. Sounds good at first glance, missing true substance…

I do not want donations, I am making a point, do not donate to anonymous locations or people.

This man squeezes the Oranges stored in the bottom, puts it in a glass, adds some ice, gives you a straw, when people stop buying, he rides the bike thing to a different location. I have to hunt for these Orange Juice stands here in Haiti. I can buy a liter in the store for about 2 dollars, but for 50 cents, I can buy fresh squeezed, and no question, it is real, it is not sugar water.

There is a shortage of this micro-business set up in Haiti. While an oversupply of people walking around with food on their heads. There is no shortage of food in Haiti, the money is not distributed properly, some have, others do not, some need money, and others have too much.

What do you think?
How much does this baby cost to make? 100, 200 Dollars, maybe 300 without a hassle.

What the world needs is a redistribution of good ideas, it could be called micro-entrepreneurship, but in reality, there is just one entrepreneur and then 1000’s could copy. There are communities where there are too many juice stands.

I was thinking, maybe a person could have 5-10 of them made, then sell them for 25 dollars. This is a way to redistribute the wealth, however more important, a way to redistribute the good ideas. I see great ideas in Asia, great ideas in Africa, great ideas in the USA, but they are not shared.

Sharing of micro-entrepreneur ideas, micro-finance does not work en masse. Nevertheless, micro-business solutions could be sold at a loss. Jobs is the solution to poverty, subsistence farming was 100 percent employment, now we have an oversupply of merchants selling the exact same products.

Maybe the idea is this, make 5 Orange Juice stands, put up a sign to sell them, 1000 Gourde, or 25 Dollars, help distribute the wealth and jobs of Haiti, this could work.

Micro-Business Direct Donate in Haiti

Spooky Electricity in Haiti

I think ghost and demons are managing the electrical systems of Haiti.

There are two light bulbs in this photo. The one to the rear is bright, while the ceiling one is dim. This photo was taken in a Hotel in Les Cayes, Haiti that has a generator. The hotel has the electrical plugs connected to a different power source than the fan and ceiling light.

Normally in this situation, the electricity would completely stop for the fan and ceiling light. The fan did stop, but the light is still on very dim.

Brownout, Blackout, Dimming… not easy to explain.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- Saturday, December 19, 2009
By Andy Graham of china-marbles.info


I just returned to Port-au-Prince, Haiti from Les Cayes, the electricity here is even stranger.
In my past life, I had a general contractors license, I did an incredible amount of construction work, to say the least, my mind understand electricity, gadgets, electronics and toys.

It is exacerbating to write about electrical problems I experience while traveling. Readers will say,
“I never had that problem in Germany.”

I know, they did not realize what happened, the problems occurred, they did not cause major problems, and their minds did not recognize there was a problem. Also they believe problems do not happen in modern country, while they expect them in the under-developed countries. They think expensive Hotels do not have problems while cheap ones do.

The truth is, it is electrical problem are random, truly difficult to understand, they are in in all countries, however worst in older buildings. Hmm, you say your uncle rewired your house, that is nice, is he an electrician?

Port-au-Prince is Spooky

The last time I was in Port-au-Prince in the Executif Hotel, the lights would go out at night, day, whenever they wanted to, the complete electrical systems would stop. This would be coordinated with the streetlights, when the city block went off, so did the Hotel. Now, the city block goes off and instead of shutting off the Hotel, the power drastically decreases. One minute the fan is blowing hard, then it shifts into low gear, it is still working, but it is slower. The lights dim, sometimes it complete shuts down between cycles, then instantly starts in slow gear. I would like to think the managers of the Hotel flipped a switched. I know they are not that responsible, it is automatic; something is allowing this system to switch back and forth while still connected to the public utility company.

Normally, when the lights go off, you can hear a generator start, the gas motor takes off and the electricity is restored, not good, but there is electricity. There is no generator in this Hotel, this is a first, the city somehow allows the electrify to flow to this particular hotel, but at must lower voltage or intensity.

Note, electricity is suppose to stay the same, it is not suppose to dim, this is a death wish for electrical motors of fans, air conditioners and computers. That black box in-line on your computer cord is taking a beating…

In a country like Haiti, you can almost assume a window air conditioner is going to be noisy.

We burned up a couple of Hammer Drill by using 200 hundred feet of extension cords in the USA, which was another expensive lesson in Electricity. I now stick with 12 or 14 gauge wire; I make my own extension cords for my Hotel room.

Spooky Electricity in Haiti

Two Hobos Meet in Haiti

This is Andy Graham, the china-marbles.info, I am back. I spent the last couple of weeks in Les Cayes, Haiti and Mr. Hidalgo returned from Havana, Cuba to Port-au-Prince, Haiti yesterday on an Aero Caribbean fight, I came from Les Cayes by land; we met at the hotel and have been blabbing away in a mixture of French and Spanish.

I find it humorous, by land or plane; it still took both of us about 10 hours of sitting on our butts to arrive in the same location.

Map of how we returned to Port-au-Prince.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti Friday, December 18, 2009
By Andy Graham of china-marbles.info


I have returned to my same Hotel, called the Executif in the center of Port-au-Prince. This is truly a hotel in the middle of Haiti, no way to avoid being up close and personal with the people. As I tramped my way up the hill towards the Hotel, I needed to stop and say hello to at least 10 people, Port-au-Prince was happy to have the Hobo back from Les Cayes.


I am going to work up the Newsletter, publish all the photos for on the internet here for 50 cents per hour, not the 0 dollars of Cuba. Me and Boy Genius from India have devised a way to digest the Travel Journal post and send out the newsletter to the 11,000 readers easier. Therefore, I hope to resume the newsletter and give you the photos in the newsletter and not just selected ones.

It is nice to have the computer and camera back in my Hobo hands; I have been using my Verizon htc Touch Pro II, it has great global access, but not the same as a computer.

Mr. Hidalgo made a few videos, we will try to get them published, and he is flying to Bogota, Colombia soon. We are both expecting many nasty comments on his Cuban post. Funny, people who love a country like Cuba, do not ever want anything but love written, when the slowly discover the Travel post over time; they can make some nasty comments. Truly, readers do not want freedom of speech, somewhat ironic to me.

Bon Jour
Buenos Dias

Two Hobos Meet in Haiti

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