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

Slow Songs in Monte Cristi

Submitted by eagle on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 15:31

Camped by the beach!

Bathed in the sea.

Slow morning.

Looks like Monte Cristi is a small town. Still not sure exactly how long I'll stay here. At least through the day, maybe through the weekend, maybe even another week or two.

Often I find it hard to get started for the day. Once I'm into a day, seems like things often take on a course of their own. Then it becomes much easier just to push through one challenge after another. Often it's the first steps that are the hardest.

Each day is so full of choices!

Found a seaside restaurant with gorgeous views. Would be nice to have a camera to take photos. Also, as usual, wifi seems to have issues. Trying a new breakfast dish, fried stewed ham with fried plantains.

The province I'm in borders on Haiti!

The road I'm planning to take out of town follows the border. In fact, it looks like the road IS the border for a ways!

I want to get to the border at the nearby town of Dajabon, in the neighboring province. However, it's so near, that I may stay here in Monte Cristi longer.

In that border town, the Dominican side looks compact and orderly, the Haitian side looks more expansive and disorderly.

Haiti looks poorer (duh), more risky, but having some interesting culture and geography.

Sitting in a bar, loud music blaring, people drinking and dancing!


Thoughts in Republica Dominicana

Submitted by eagle on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 15:29

Probably spend a few days, maybe even a few weeks, in the Monte Cristi area. Recharging, financially, logistically, psychologically, etc.

It feels funny to return to spending a few hours in a row on a computer, online, in shade. Seems like lately I've spent hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, largely outdoors!

Things change.

I like intellectual challenges, athletic challenges, etc. Even learning to appreciate social, emotional challenges!

Each day brings with it different opportunities.

Go out there, grab yours!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles: Another Session!

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 20:20

Continuing to work on the goggles, I'm figuring out the dimensions, again.

Tough work, to get the sizes right. Still not sure how I'm doing on that front.

It's a pleasure to get some work done!

After a bunch longer on the goggles than I expected, I traced out the lens shape again.

As much as I'm a file hoarder, I note that I don't often return to older files. Still, comforting to have the backups.

This version of the frame is coming out leaner and meaner than the previous one. Still messy, tons of work to do. It's exciting to watch a bunch of lines take shape. Looking forward to assembling more of the frame!

As of now, here are a few snaps of the design process, the rough frame shape (still an early work in progress!), measurements, and more!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!


Monte Criste, Republica Dominicana!

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 17:16

Megagrammeter (n.): moving one kilogram one kilometer. I rode my 100 kg bike at 10 km/hr, for a thousand megagrammeters per hour. After an hour I rode a gigagrammeter!

Rode to the town of Monte Cristi!

Tons of beautiful desert. Smooth ride. The bike I traded for works way better for me. It's far faster, easier to maintain, more fun, etc.!

Weird desert, with banana trees and rice paddies!

Getting into town, had a rice-based meal. Then quickly found AC & wifi. Now going to work!

Asking people makes things way easier, especially in Latin America. If you're like me, often preferring to figure things out on your own, then it's extra worthwhile to figure out how to ask for help instead of just doing things your own way.

Looks like I now have a very small area in which I want to prepare for Haiti!

Since I still don't have a phone (maybe get a new one here in Monte Cristi), here's a picture from the internet:

Monte Criste, Republica Dominicana