Ivory-coast Travel Stories, Page 9

Ivory Coast Internet

Ivory Coast Internet
Internet is easy to find in Ivory Coast, however I think either my host or the blogger.com system is blocking the publish. I have to do many workarounds.
Ivory Coast Internet


Andy of HoboTraveler.com
Daily Diary or Travel Journal

Africa is a Long Way Guide Away

Africa is a Long Way Guide Away

I am thinking and observing, I really need the latest version of a guidebook to access and not this six year old Lonely Planet, I have a copy of the Lonely Planet Africa, however it seem just about worthless, I do not even have a hotel in Abdijan, Ivory coast listed, I have no essential hotel to sleep in, what good is a guide with no hotels.

I found only one hotel listed for the whole country in the Lonely Planet Africa for the country of Ivory Coast. This almost deems the book worthless as a guide, the History and Culture is not going to keep me safe, however a taxi to a safe hotel will keep me safe, where I can learn the culture and the History. I suspect that 99 percent of the books are never used for actual travel, thus they are really servicing their readers better.

If I could read French, I could buy a French… I can read French, I will maybe try to buy a French guide.

However, anyway you do it, a paper guide is a little difficult to carry, I would need 12-15 guides and about 10 kilos of weight in books to carry in Africa to travel West Africa. The internet to me it the solution as I could then pick and choose pages to print.

I have the history and culture notes in my encyclopedia Encarta on my computer. I need Hotels and Maps of cities to traverse West Africa. I do recommend a person buy a guidebook, it is silly and dangerous not to have a guidebook.

However, the path is obscure, many travelers I am sure wish to exaggerate the adventure about explaining the problem in an over zealous way. ATM and Bank Machines are everywhere in Abdijan Ivory Coast, I also seen many Mercedes Benz and a very large grocery store with a fresh food or deli area.

Africa is a Long Way Guide Away

Ghana Embassy in Ivory Coast

Ghana Embassy in Ivory Coast

GPS Coordinates:
05 Degrees 21.534 North
003 Degrees 59.250 West

Something to do with Pacco and down the road from Total Gas Station. I guess you would tell the meter taxi, they seem to be honest, Embaseeee day Ghana. Cost from the Gare de Bassam is about 2500 CFA for Taxi. I then paid 500 CFA to get from the Grand Bassam to the Gare de Bassam or Trenchville in a collective Taxi or a person with many persons inside.

I suppose for a one way pay through the nose price of 20,000 CFA or 40 dollars USA, you could get a two-way round trip taxi from the Grand Bassam to the Ghana Embassy, however not much good as the wait may cost you a fortune. Trechville is a better starting point. Pronounced TRASHville.

The Ghana Embassy was in Plateax Deux of Abjidan as my six year old West Africa Lonely Planet said, however the guard at the door told the taxi how to go to the present location of the Embassy. I asked for the address of the Embassy on a business card and the girl gave me here name and telephone number, I think it was helpful.

I applied for a Visa in the morning and received at three in the afternoon the same day. I needed 4 photos, and needed to pay 15,000 CFA: CFA Franc or about 30 U.S. Dollars good for a one month entrance. Problem was I needed to say when I enter the country, however I think or as I understand from the nice girl is that if I enter on the August 4, 2006 as I wrote down, or if I entered on 15 of August, I then still have 30 days. I will target close to the date of the 4th because I need about a 2 week window or 14 days.

I was or am going to apply for a Visa with Benin, I think the rules of Visa Entente apply here, if I have a Visa to one country, it then applies to 4 countries.

Four Countries
Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, Niger,

Ghana speaks good English or it is a primary Language, it may be a better place to get my Benin Visa, however if they give me a hard time, I am committed, it seems better to try in the Ivory Coast, if they make life difficult, or are not willing to discuss this multiple country Visa, then I will try again in Ghana where the English is more prevalent. I am not sure how long the multiple Entry Visa is for, but believe it is for 90 days. Time issue are a problem as it dictates I must leave a county or repeat the Visa application process and a pay again.

Some American Missionary girl said they applied for a multiple entry Visa for all of the West Africa countries. I think she did not understand the question and was only explaining how she got a long-term Visa for Ivory Coast. It is annoying the advice, I almost never trust any advice without hearing them tell stories of feet on the ground. I want to hear the person, NOT A LOCAL, here it needs to be a non-French person explaining how they traveled through multiple countries and how they attained the Visa. So far, I have only met a couple of people that have only entered Ghana. Nobody has gone onto Benin, Togo or Nigeria. There are no tourist so far to meet, I hope or believe when I enter Ghana there will be tourist. I doubt many multiple country travelers.

I had an interesting conversation with the Missionary Girls, the one said lived in a house almost like the USA, however before the NGOs pulled out of the country for fear, they lived like Kings. She said they went parties and there would be black people carrying around silver platters offering food.

I only have seen United Nations, the big white Toyota Land Rovers so far, the buy-a-village cost to purchase vehicles.

One day, 15,000 CFA, 4 photos later, talked with Rosy and life is good with a one-page taken or needed on my passport, I have a Visa for 30 days to Ghana that says I am entering on August 4, 2006.

There is a bus from the Embassy of Ghana direct to Accra for 20,000 CFA I think, and the plane trip would cost around 120,000 CFA - I THINK. I guess the trip by bus is about 6-7 hours, and would guarantee a quick pass through the border. I am planning so far to make a two-three day trip from Abdijan to Accra. One stop in a small city in Ivory coast and maybe two stops in cities to sleep in Ghana. A three night stopover to sleep trip, this is in my opinion the only way possible to get a clue or to attempt to understand a culture, you stop and live in small cities or villages. Also the most dangerous way of traveling…. hehehe

Ghana Embassy in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast Human Development Index

Ivory Coast Human Development Index

July 29, 2006 Saturday
Ranking of Development:
173 Ivory Coast or Cote Divoire without the Pronunciation Symbols.
127 India

HDI or the Human Development Index is a report by the United Nations, I have the PDF file of the 2004 report and am not sure if there is a newer in existence. These are times when I wished I had an internet connection 100 percent of my life.

I would say the opposite ranking should be applied, it feels to me and as I have observed development of nations, that the Ivory Coast is leaps ahead of India. I suspect biases come from factors that exist in a country, however on the whole are a minority issue. A disproportional allocation of value to the specific existence of certain types of development. It would be easy to say because India has nuclear technology and many computer technology persons it is more developed than the Ivory Coast. Then of course, I have not traveled much in the Ivory Coast yet, it may take a leap down once I leave the populated areas.

I see the HDI as a guide, extremely lacking in most areas, however a guide nonetheless. I know I am too sensitive to manners, and consider manners more important than technology or even roads and water. Water, though is better so far in the Ivory Coast than in India.

A lot of the HDI I believe comes from reports generated by the country in question, therefore the will skew the answers to whether they want to receive money on aspects.

But in the end, I would say the Ivory Coast is more developed than India.

Ivory Coast Human Development Index

Learning French in West Africa

Learning French in West Africa
July 28, 2006 Friday 5:56 AM

English is destined to be in the next and succeeding centuries more generally the language of the world than Latin was in the last or French is in the present age.
John Adams (1735 - 1826)
U.S. president
I need to learn French to walk around in West Africa, or at least to say hello and small talk about the place. It is amazing how little the English language is used here in the Ivory Coast.
I was talking with Christina however in French, and Adama the somewhat manager of the Hotel, I asked earlier,
- Checkout? -
Almost a universal need to know word in a hotel in my mind, however there are a couple of factors. The people do not move in and out of the Hotel that much thus maybe there is not a need to check out. Plus when I asked Christine the number of English speakers staying in the Hotel per month she said,
- Cannot ask for months -
- Need to think in Years -
She says there is only about 3-4 per year that stop in the Hotel, however a few come on the weekends to hang around the beach bar, pool, and socialize, but only for the day. I guess they work in Abdijan.
French is the dominant language in many countries of West Africa or Africa, it seems to doom them to poverty in many ways as the language of business is English for sure, unless you think paying Paris prices is normal on the planet.
Whatever the case, to mosey around in Africa, it is best to have a good grip on French. I have broken out old files I have on learning languages. I have many databases and pages relating to how to learn a language. I find it immensely beneficial to create list, type, create, and quantify and qualify about language. It is the energy exerted towards the language that in the end makes me learn. I need it rammed down my throat.
I am a dictionary carrying, ready to learn person, I have the dictionary, piece of paper, I will start summing my words learned daily. A word is like a shoe, it needs to be put on, thus I go walking around. Some word invade my space, I try it on, I translate the word, then hopefully I try to make sure I am pronouncing the word correctly. Then I try to use it. I will eventually own the shoe.
Yesterdays word was - Jeux - it is I hope means to play. I was reading a sign for a hotel and it says,
- Piscine Plage Jeux -
I think this translates to Pool - Beach - Play, however there is some conjugation thingy going on with the word Jeux, it is not just Jeu that is play, however I am slicing and dicing, I am confused, the clarity will bring me the language.
I really screwed up, I could have purchased a CD Rom to learn French in Thailand and listened to the French, I will search for a place to download some small talking format on the internet.
Learning French in West Africa

West Africa Visa Planning

West Africa Visa Planning

I am trying to plan a Visa attainment path, I must be careful I do not get the Visa too early and have the Visa dictate when I travel or leave a place. On the other hand, I do not want to wait until the final country and get locked into a embassy, in somewhat corrupt countries the like to put a person between a rock and a hard place. If they know you have no choice, it is easy to get a bribe. Example, I was in Mongolia and was trying to get a Visa to Russia, they lady said,
- You are from the USA, therefore you pay a lot. -
I said, in the end,
- Who cares about Russia, it is cheaper to fly to Thailand, then fly to Europe and enter from the other West end of Russia. -

I am trying to gather in a one view method where I could get Visas. The guidebook is not written like a tour of West Africa, it is only written like you was going to one more country to visit or maybe just left or right, above or below. It does not seem, it could, and I have not found give an itinary of many countries. Guidebooks are not good at explaining multiple country trips, best for one country trips.

Map and list of countries that maybe I can get a Visa for, do not use this only for information, I have found many Embassies that are not included above.

I have removed the countries that do not apply, the path is somewhat chosen, thus I only need the countries before the country, not after. I am making a big green box when I get a Visa in that country.

Note, am really hoping the Visa Entente allows me to go to Benin, Togo and Niger with one visa, and thus I would not need to get three Visas.

West Africa Visa Planning

Writing Skills

Writing Skills
July 27, 2006

I am laughing as I read and write more, I see that putting a quote on the front of writing is a good lead in and lends credibility to a persons writing. I often think it is a way to hide as I can find a quote to support any position. The other writing toy is to use a conversation with another person to blame what I think on them. I see James Michener and Paul Theroux both doing this technique superbly. Another way to say something and avoid the heat, or hate mail.

Writing Skills

Saying Hello to African People

Saying Hello to African People
July 27, 2006 Thursday

I am in the Grand Bassam, a small strip of land that has the ocean on one side and what appears to be a river on the inside part. I believe the waterway is sweet or fresh water, and then outside on Gulf of Gunea would be saltwater.

Grand Bassam Map

There is a place called the Ancien Bassam, it is less than a five minute walk from where I am staying and may be less, if I move hotels. The one I am is not a good value in my reasoning.

Nonetheless, I walked early this morning to the Ancien Bassam, I feel bad, I have no collaboration that I am actually looking at the Ancien Bassam, however, for sure there were many people awake and sweeping the sand. It is somewhat a setting of home, with sand streets. Some of the main one are hard or tarvy, however the inner sanctions are sand. Nice in a way, I said hello or Bon Jour in French to the people I met. They look around, say hello, and seem astounded I said hello.

I think the people are playful and happy, however not accustom to some white man saying hello. I enjoy this type of situation, the astounding nature of the value of a Hello, spoken in down home Indiana way is powerful.

I just give them the melt you smile, and say,
- Bon Jour - (Bohn Jure)

Oh, they are a happy lot, I wander if none of the people in the hotel walk around and say hello. I am in a Hotel that maybe has room for about 50 people or more. I have not seen any white people, however I can smell them, they must exist, probably on the weekend. People are said to come to the Grand Bassam every weekend from the big 3 million plus city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

My instincts tell me very few of the tourist go and mingle with the locals, unless of course to buy a girl, in a I can buy you way.

I really like the French for one good reason. They teach a country to make Baguettes, I enjoy a Baguette in the morning. I had my first fix today.

I have worked on a couple of the locals in the Grand Ancien area and will continue to walk by and say hello. I think I can get a longer conversation going. It is amazing how tall they are, after the short of Asia, this is fun, the women are so big, and round, in a very good way.

I tend to think any woman after age 30 balloons, this is why so many culture where them big skirts. Here they have this very long ankle length clothing, very bright in colors and would cover up any tusk bearing Ivory Coast person. Some are large, larger, and largest.

Saying Hello to African People