Haiti seems safe enough to visit?

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 11/13/2019 - 14:33

Haiti seems to have some busy roads. That seems like an indicator that people use the roads. However, Haiti also has roadblocks, not sure if I'm reading this right but set up by not against protestors? That seems like a problem for getting around the country.


"Sustained protests, burning tires and impassable barricades."


Haiti still has cholera!

This story says that the protests are losing steam:


Looks like the government is defeating the protestors.

Haiti police removing protestor barricades

More Monte Cristi Thoughts!

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 11/13/2019 - 14:18

Finally, a night without much rain. Slept nicely. Hearty breakfast!

Still feels funny for me to have something of a routine, see the same places and people, have regular wifi and AC. I like this town of Monte Cristi, Republica Dominicana! Scenic, friendly.

I'm thinking of maybe going to Haiti around December 10. If it's dangerous or disgusting, then maybe a quick ten or so day tour of the larger cities. If it's safer or interesting, then maybe a month or so.

I think I may be an "explainer." For years I've wondered what my role is. I'm not a visual artist, an accountant, etc. I think I'm finding out more and more that I'm good at understanding complex things and putting them plainly.

It's so convenient in many respects to stay in one place for a while, instead of traveling. However, I'm already starting (as I had predicted) to feel somewhat ready to leave. Travel is so rewarding, it makes for consistently fresh experiences. I think it's worth the extra costs.

From now on, until my next development of this variety, I want to do more of a mix of travel and work. It's something I've been trying to do for a while. Now I feel more committed to it. Instead of travel first, fitting in work, more of a balance of work and travel.

Sitting in the shade throughout the hottest, sunniest parts of the day, I remember some of the mental travel adventures I've had, getting stuck way out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the day, having to ride through the sun. One more advantage of staying in one spot.

Despite so many comforts in stasis, the hardships of travel can actually be valuable in their own right. At least in hindsight.

I think it's important to maintain a mix of confidence and doubt. Without confidence, one won't go out there and take on worthy challenges that one can accomplish. Without doubt, one becomes too comfortable, taking things for granted. I think it's hard to strike an appropriate balance. It takes an ongoing commitment to awareness of one's self, one's environment.

I think it's important to ask tons of questions!

What do you think makes for success, in travel or in life?

Monte Cristi, Republica Dominicana

Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles: Another Session!

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 11/13/2019 - 13:52

Now working on the goggles some more!

It's fun and interesting to watch as the design evolves.

I'm now rerouting the upper part of the frame around the nose, so that it angles back something like an eagle's beak, to press back against the forehead. I feel that most glasses and goggles push down or back on parts of the face that congest the breathing. I'm aiming for a place that I feel may alleviate that problem. Still not entirely sure, about the theory or the design!

Much of this is new to me. I'm often unsure of what I'm doing. Hoping it turns out fine!

As you build, you gain skills and resources. You can reuse and build on these, so that each round you get better!

Here's some more imagery!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles & Annoyances & Lessons

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 11/12/2019 - 17:32

Another rainstorm last night.

Noisy day. Getting some work done.

A boring day in town. :)

Next, some more work on the goggles!

It can be annoying to start doing work, but once you get going you get into it, and there are often numerous benefits along the way, in addition to whatever direct payoff you were expecting.

Also, it's way harder to work without caffeine. :)

Doing computer work is in many ways easier and less fun than riding a bike through countries. However, each has its challenges and rewards.

Dominicans seem to like putting corn in places where it didn't previously belong, maybe even more than Americans do. There's a margarine here that has corn flavor, which I like, and I'm just trying a bread that has corn flavoring, too. I wonder what corn beer tastes like. Is that a thing?

Draft's coming along. I now feel that I have the approximate shape of the lens, for fitting the frame. Still, tons of fine-tuning there, plus broad brushstrokes stuff elsewhere, remains.

Many of the lessons that I learned from my previous drafting remain relevant for this draft. Much of the idea of the goggles remains, even though the details are quite different.

Here's some imagery!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

"Hey, that's kind of nice." My mental response on seeing a render. For much of this drafting process, I've found the model somewhat ugly. Glad to see it coming along!

More Monte Cristi Blogging

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 20:37

Still sitting in the same hotel restaurant, had octopus curry for lunch. Interesting menu.

Looks like some more thunderstorm activity today, then a while of the more common sunny days.

I now plan to stay here in Monte Cristi at least through this week, probably through next week, and maybe even for a while thereafter. First time in a while that I've spent a considerable period in one place. Also, usually it's a larger city or other place of interest. In this case it's a small town, more a place of convenience. The town seems nice enough. But I'm here more to catch up on work, repairs, etc., while waiting to see how the situation in Haiti develops. It's somewhat relaxing, and it feels somewhat bizarre, for me to be in one place more than a day or two in a row. I like it, but I think I'm going to get bored sooner or later. Definitely seems easier to deal with ordinary tasks when you're not constantly on the go!

A somewhat funny phenomenon here in Republica Dominicana. Often the food vendors are informal, just a person or family from a small building. Here, the price you see is the price you pay. No tax, no questions. Yet, go to a fancier place, like a hotel restaurant, and the taxes and fees add up to way more than one sees in the US. Quite a disparity.

The hotel restaurant here has some nifty looking table signs. The triangular pyramid style that shows drinks, but this one also has some "Call" buttons on top, not sure if they work.

Another day in my adopted town. I like it here so far!

Monte Cristi, Republica Dominicana

Preferences, weather, & more in Republica Dominicana

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 16:07

Monte Cristi strikes me as a quite typical Dominican town. The area around town has beautiful geography. The town itself has a standard set of shops.

Monte Cristi, Republica Dominicana

It's annoying to have so many things break. It's annoying to have so many noises. However, it's important to keep going in spite of the annoyances.

I think that Meso America is way more exciting to me than northeastern South America.

At the least, I do aim to go to the Haitian side of the border town where I'm going.

After that, I think I'll look at a few of the main cities, and some samples of the countryside.

I think I'll find a few things to like, but I'm not expecting to like the country overall as much as RD.

Each country has its appeals. I've been wrong in my predictions in the past.

"Compramos hierro viejo compramos bateria compramos oro compramos!"

The announcement blasting from the trucks in most towns throughout Republica Dominicana.

After a rainstorm last night, went for a walk this morning. Decided to try the hotel restaurant that I've seen a few times. On the breakfast menu, they had chivo (goat), so I tried that. That's the second place I've tried it in this town. I'd seen it advertised a number of times throughout the country, but up to here the places have been out of stock, or closed. This place was more flavorful but less tender than the previous place. This place also has it in a wine sauce, or fried, so maybe I'll return to try some more.

Much as the rain in the tropics can annoy me, it does produce mangoes and rice (not together!) and other delicious foods. Also, the rain is often warm, and it usually becomes sunny and warm and dry soon afterwards.

I like how in RD it's often hot during the day, so that after a pleasant morning and before a pleasant evening you can avoid the sun indoors, getting some work done.

Carrying on!


Yet more work on Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 15:56

Doing some more work on the goggles.

It's taking shape again, somewhat comparable to my previous draft, but also with significant differences.

I like doing work.

It's hard to get started, it's hard to know when to stop. It's often unproductive, but you have to take some chances.

It's fun to make stuff!

As I add and remove vertices, rotate/orbit the model, think things through, etc., the model becomes more real in my mind. I look forward to feeling the plastic in my hands, on my face!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

Some thoughts from the coast of Republica Dominicana

Submitted by eagle on Sat, 11/09/2019 - 15:02

Looks like Haiti is having class warfare.

Over a dozen killed, and hundreds wounded, in recent months.

Seems like poor people are protesting, politicians are having poor people shot.

Not sure how safe it is.

If Haiti seems unsafe to go, I think I still have enough time to get to a different airport, then fly to another country.

I'm going to study Haiti more in the upcoming days, deciding on what seems best. Any comments welcome!

I like the western desert of Republica Dominicana. I want to spend a while here. That would take going to Haiti, for another visa here. Also, I do want to see Haiti. Have to see how things work out.

Different schedule here than in temperate climates. Breakfast can be bigger, lunch is huge when people dodge the sun, small dinner when it's nice enough to go out.

Drinking is endemic. People drink beer or rum while driving motorcycles or pickup trucks.

The music is catchy, people dance everywhere. Same hits in each place.

Everything's destructive to something. You have to make sacrifices to get by.

There are ways through.

The longer you spend in a place, the more it becomes normal for you.

So go ahead to places you like!

Is a thing productive or pleasant? Seems like those are the two main things humans want.

Beach music more bouncy, country music more sad.

So much emotion. I can become addictive about almost anything, including feeling things.

Lately I've been feeling my usual sort of bittersweet.

So much music. So much scenery.

It can feel somewhat overwhelming, the things one experiences. I think that travel accentuates that.

I've also been feeling a number of frustrations, to go along with the accomplishments. Quite a variable period.

I guess it's important to remember the bigger view. There are going to be other sceneries, emotions, etc. So appreciate, yet also keep on going.

Hard to deal with addictive behaviors, since it's not always obvious that a behavior is addictive as you're doing it. There's a gray area, rather than a sudden switch from healthy behaviors.

We have some temporary friends/acquaintances, whenever we sit in a bar.

Overnight, I woke up two or more times with a stinging pain in one hand. I think a large insect had stung me. I'd seen one inside the tent the night before.

I'm not planning to go to Haiti before at least December, if at all. The situation on the ground seems worse than I'd expected. I won't have the readiness anyways until then. I'm now considering a shorter stint, as I'd previously thought before considering a lengthier tour. Maybe one to three weeks to see the sizable cities and a taste of the countryside.

The Haitians I've met in Miami and on other Caribbean islands seem decent enough. I like their food, and the geography of the country looks interesting. Still, it seems like a dicey situation.

Continuing to investigate!

After watching the sunset, found a place to camp away from the road. However, there was a body of water, and the land was swampy. Overnight, got attacked by numerous small insects, small enough to fit through the tent mesh. The alternative insect repellent didn't do much. From now on I plan only to buy the strong stuff, 40% DEET. In places where it's not as readily available, such as parts of the Caribbean, the next strongest stuff. It's insane that the Caribbean often has hard-to-find, expensive insect repellent and sunblock. I guess the people here hardly buy it. There are so many insects and so much sun, and the people don't have so much money.

"Good things come in threes, bad things come in fifties."

This weekend I'm planning to see more of this coastal area, then head back into town.

Rode to a small but beautiful park, el Morro. After a short while, rode back.

El Morro, Monte Cristi, Republica Dominicana

Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles & Post #1,001!

Submitted by eagle on Sat, 11/09/2019 - 14:49

Doing some more work on the goggles.

I'm now aiming to swing the upper part of the frame aroun a centimeter over the lower part, above the nose. This may look funny. The goal here is to apply pressure back against that more protected part of the face, instead of against the sensitive part of the face right above the nose. The latter location, where most glasses rest, applies pressure on the sinuses, making for nasal discomfort.


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles