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Ivory-coast Travel Stories, Page 3

Travel Electrical Problems

Travel Electrical Problems
Ivory Coast - Cote D-Voire

August 8, 2006, 6:30 AM Tuesday


I am cooking some water for a hot water dip shower. The connections just overheated and melted the multiple plug adapters and the plug on the end of the one-cup cooking device. I worry about telling people my techniques of travel sometimes because some of the can be dangerous in the hands of person with no natural mechanical aptitude.

The problem is adapters; there are too many adapters between the wall outlet and the electrical appliance. They converters or adapters create a joint; the joint is a place for a loose connection. The jumping or sloppy connection that eventually starts creates a problem and the connectors and the plugs need fixed or replaced.


Travel Electrical Problems


Banoua Hooked on Phonics

Banoua Hooked on Phonics
Cote d-Voire - Ivory Coast

August 8, 2006, 6:30 AM Tuesday

I am in Banoua, Ivory Coast, and I am Hooked on Phonics as an American commercial touts. This is a commercial that sells a tape, CD ROM or Computer program, I do not remember exactly, however the idea is to get a person or child hooked on Phonics.

Two Theories of Learning to Read
Beginning to read theories seem to apply to children, however really they apply in my way of thinking to persons learning a language. I have learned Spanish, and a little of a lot of languages. However, French will now be my second language I am going to learn. I am not playing around here; I am going to learn simple conversations in French. Thus, I am at the basics of learning.

Theory One - Associated Learning
Recognize the whole word and stress the meaning of the word, I suppose and listen to the word at the same time.

Theory Two - Phonics
The learning of the sounds of letters, or of groups of letters, thereby a person can see a word and sound it out, thus learning to pronounce.

Children can speak I suppose before they can read, thus when they hear a word the know what it means. They sound out a word phonetically, and then recognize the word they already know how to say.

I am different, I do not know the words, but often I can read a word, know the meaning because it is very close to Spanish, and however I do not know how to say the word or pronounce it. I read signs along the road; I want to learn how to pronounce. I try to phonetically sound out the word.

The problem I had with Spanish and now with French is the books do not simply and accurately in one location give me all the rules of phonics for the letters of French, and in Spanish it was the same.

My Spanish Rules, however not so completed:
http://www.hobotraveler.com/la_languages-spanish-pronounce.shtml

I am now making the same type of rules, however I am making with hindsight of knowing what I needed to do to learn Spanish. Therefore, I am able to learn French and explain to myself better for this second learned language.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/la_language-french-pronunciation.shtml

There rules, overly analytical explanations are for me to understand the methods my brain needs to learn a language. I am maybe lucky I do not learn words only be association and quickly. It forces me to learn the gestalt theories of learning and I can explain to the slow learners of languages better some small tricks to learn.

I consider most language schools for person who already speak the language and not for beginners. More of refresher courses, and not beginner courses, a way to be immersed in a language, not a good beginner’s course. The courses offered overseas are mostly jokes, not for the beginner, they work good for the person who has already taken a few coursed in their home country, but to learn from point zero is a joke. Not worth the time, they are too high and frustrating.

In the end, I believe a person learns by association 90 percent of the time. They hear a word, learn the meaning, and proceed to use the word. Sometimes the mispronounce for decades words they have learned from reading, nobody saying, you are saying this word wrong. Amazing how they can mispronounce words for years.

I was listening to a man say some word in Spanish the other day and was amazed how badly he pronounced them. I believe he never learned the rule of pronouncing Spanish, was pronouncing them as they would sound in English, easy for me translate quickly in my head, because I understand English, but rotten for a Spanish speaker to understand. Normally this person will only be speaking with persons that speak English better than they speak Spanish and will suck up too much for many money reasons.
The suck up problem here in Bonoau is driving me nuts, I want to learn a word, as soon as they understand my message, and they will not correct me. Of course, their brain is overwhelmed with trying to understand and to teach at the same time is multi-tasking of the brain. Not possible for most brains, to think of two concurrent courses of action at the same time. People have problems focusing on more than one goal simultaneously. I think I can focus on at least 5-15 goals simultaneously; however, the speed of the influx of data slows down the number. Leaning a language means, I can only do about three at the same time.

I was being hit up for money yesterday, made to feel guilty, trying to learn French, chatting with a pretty girl, looking for drink, all at the same time. I had four goals in one area or sphere to accomplish. The man who wanted money-needed diplomacy, he spoke English so was had to ignore diplomatically, I ended up just saying, work for money, and do not ask me for money. I also gave him five CFAs as an insult.


Banoua Hooked on Phonics


Banoua Internet Ivory Coast

Banoua Internet Ivory Coast
Monday August 8, 2006

I went to the internet, my basic reason for returning to Banoua from Aboisso and it was a big problem, cost 400 CFA per hour, I needed to use two hours. I was only able to open maybe about on page per five minutes. The CyberCafePro program totally blocked the ability for me to use my thumb drive, and then the stupid anti-virus or programs to stop programs stopped all progress. They were not a warm and helpful bunch, therefore I made zero progress. Nonetheless about 10 to 15 machines shared one connection I believe so the connection as almost worthless.

I experienced the same type of problem, I think with CyberCafePro in Paris, France, and Agadez, Niger. This program is not worth the time and logically ridiculous for an internet café. Anti virus programs, protection programs are to protect the programs and information on a computer. If an internet café has more than about two computers, it needs to know how to format and reinstall programs on a regular basis. There is not need to protect a computer that is a common use computer; it is anal to have this over-zealous protection in an internet café. It is relatively easy to format and replace the program. In addition, I was not even able to do clean disk, which is a major problem with internet cafes, the temporary files had eaten the memory of my computer.

I have been talking with Craig from Travelvice.com, he knows, understand, and knows a program that will image the computer and wipe the junk installed on a computer every night. I would think the French and Germans computers could be less paranoid and controlling and learn the more advance, and logical methods of Internet Cafes. When I am in Germany, I have to go to the Turkish owned internet cafés to use a computer system that works.


Banoua Internet Ivory Coast


Caolin Pregnancy Stone

Caolin Pregnancy Stone
Aboisso Ivory Coast



This girl is eating some rock like substance; the one boy translated the word Caolin in French to mean Granite in English. I do not think this is correct, I tasted a small piece, more like a soft piece of cement. It does not have much taste. I asked why,
- When a girl pregnant. -
I asked,
- Is she pregnant?-
- No -
He answered.
You never want to understand when traveling explanations, it is beyond the realm of want for me, I could go into depth on this issue, but to understand explanation given or reasons is at the highest levels of acceptance for me. I just accept, do not push much, and hope the answer reveals itself in another place. I have the question in my mind; the cognitive dissonance will eat at my brain. If I am lucky, a reader explains.


Caolin Pregnancy Stone


Banoua Ivory Coast

Banoua Ivory Coast
Monday, August 7, 2006
Banoua Ivory Coast

I have been a little confused on the name of this city. I thought I read it as Bonois, however it is spelled Banoua, Ivory Coast. I am more or less about one hour east away from Bassam. I returned from Aboisso to use the internet, now I am waiting for Sunday and Monday a National Holiday to end. It is the Day of Independence I am told of Ivory Coast. I was laughing, I said form France and I still not sure, as this boy did not seem to know. A Holiday and be a Holiday all your life and not know why.

It is smallish city, however a little more friendly than Aboisso, of course it was rainy in Aboisso, does not make for happy spirits. Both are nice and intriguing, however probably boring to most tourist as no obvious tourist attractions, avoid-people ways of travel.

Both Aboisso and Bonoua, Ivory Coast seem like good places to meet the locals, however still a little to large. I am thinking about Ayame.



I am in Banoua, I went East to Aboisso, then returned to Banoua to try to use the internet and send money to myself with WesternUnion.com
http://www.westernunion.com

I need more money in CFA to travel to Togo and Benin, in the event there are no ATM machines. I do not want a cash advance at a bank and will avoid this is at all possible; consider it a great way to be robbed.

Banoua Ivory Coast


Banoua Children Playing

Banoua Children Playing
Cote d-Voire - Ivory Coast
Monday August 7, 2006



Banoua Children Playing


Ivory Coast Culture

Ivory Coast Culture
Monday August 7, 2006, 6:35 AM
Banoua Ivory Coast

Interesting how a culture desires to force me down a path.

What is extremely annoying is when I as for a Hotel in any country and instantly the locals send me to the 5 Star Hotels they would never live in except to get married. They assume, and they have learned, foreigners do not live like they do, they are special, and they have special housing.

When, I ask for a Hotel, I say the price I want, if I do not say the price, they think only exclusive. I am in Banoua, just about one hour East of Bassam as you would travel in a station wagon taxi here.

I wanted to live near the Gare or Bus Station for a quick in and quick out of city, I am just here, or thought I was here only to use the internet. Hard to say now as I am a little immersed in the culture. I am thinking I need a two-day minimum policy for cities, not possible to learn a city in an overnight stopover, and two days is just pissing into the wind. However, better than one day by far.

I asked for the Internet, I should say,
- Cyber Café -
However, I am learning, and a young man of 20 finally understood the word Internet, then he and his sister walked me to what was a closed Internet Café. I started asking about Hotels and they took me to the same one I already turned down, then the second choice they had, I accepted. I am annoyed; there I just made a jump from 5 dollars per night to 20 dollars. It is definitely not local fare; it is tourist fare or wanna be Ivory Coast rich fare. I feel the tariff of a room is how the upper class guarantees they stay away from the lower classes.

I may be wrong on my idea of wanting to be in the center of a city, or my normal decision to be in the center of an old part of a city may need altered a little. What I need is an excuse to walk through a normal lower neighborhood on a regular basis until the locals get brave enough to start talking to me. In the center of the cities, here is the hawkers and the mockers, the social group who wishes to point and influence the others. On the fringes, in the small houses are the children who wish to enjoy life? The older men are great, the young bucks have watched MTV a little too much or the Ivory Coast version. The girls are flirtatious; they are an easy lead in to meeting the people.

There is a nice Gentlemen that is somehow part of the owners family to the Hotel Vallee where I am staying, paying 10,000 CFA per night. The hotel is nice and the young man wishes to practice his English. He then proceeds to introduce and also keep me away from sitting around chatting up the more streetwise girls. He has a relative who is living in Georgia, just moved to Florida, and talks very good English.

The man is polite, well educated, and is in love and not in love with his culture and country at the same time.

I enjoy learning about cultures; I am in the West African, Christian, Black Culture that is also been imported to the USA by slavery. There attitudes between the black persons of the USA and the black persons of Ivory Coast are radically different.

Anger and hate are learned, mean spiritedness is learned, it has to be tolerated by peers to exist. Anger in the American Black person is rampant, encouraged, and for sure not stopped by the other Blacks. Here it is stopped, not tolerated and nice.

I had a young man more or less attack me in the streets close to the bus station of Banoua. He, I am told was on drugs. He did this or wanted to do this intimidation thingy, by looking at me, seeing if I backed down. Backing down from minor problems is EXTREMELY dangerous. It gives permission to every bully on the block to take his or her turn.

Therefore, this young drugged kid, maybe about 20 years old. Stands in front of me, and starts reaching, and then banking over my front large backpack. I have both a front and a back bag. He was sort stabbing his hand at my face. I grabbed it quickly, easy to do; he was maybe drunk like, and was not so quick. However, he was tall enough to be annoying. I was tired, hot, not in the mood for idiots in the street, really wanted to clobber him for fun. Hitting or hurting locals is not a good way to make friends and be safe in a city. The locals were gathering it was become a sideshow; I was there long enough that the Military Checkpoint people or any type of police officer could have come and helped. No police to be found. However, as is the custom and a great custom in the normal countries on the planet. The locals know they have to protect the group. A man walked between the boy, and me then I started to walk away as he instructed. The boy came running as soon as it looked like the man was going to leave me, then another man, the first man and a few others started to corral the boy. I am not sure what finally happened to me, however a very large man walked with me for about 50 yards, I said thank you and he left.

The two men are what I think of as Heroes in the world. Neither had any desire to talk to me, did not try to talk with me. They seen a job that needed to be done and did it, a person needed help, and they helped. Not because they wanted to, but because it needed done. I was able to fend off this boy easy enough, but the weak of the society would not like, if a strong white male clobbered one of their weaker members. A person will never win by doing this; it is only at the end, when there is no alternative but to fight. If I had gotten into an actual fight, I would have got on the next station wagon and went to Aboisso again, therefore by pure mile stopping the group cultural mentality. There is a big person, little guy, cannot win world. The big righteous person is never right in the minds of the weaker. People are afraid of might, sometimes when the might is used to help, they love it, but when a person uses might to strongly it alienate people.

I am not here to love these people, I am here to enjoy these people, share their culture and enjoy myself. I feel zero compulsion to make them feel happy or in love with me, I will respect them and I demand respect, it keeps me safe.

When I get the eyes, the look, the who is in charge look, I try to give the push look, say hello, diffuse the look and move on, this is not a friend, and they have no goal of being my friend. This is about control, getting or being involved in control issues or with bullies’ leads to big problems. I see many people who will sit around and drink with the IN crowd, the boys in the know, the hip people. Just a great way to robbed when they turn on you, or you do not drink the way they want you to drink. I do not drink; therefore, this whole stupid cultural seen is silly.

I am always amazed how the guidebooks overly help people to have nightlife and drinking. The books need to do this, however the proportionate advice makes it obvious they are big drinkers. Drinking is dangerous in any country on the planet; a guide should give a proportionate explanation and always be saying, drinking is dangerous.


Ivory Coast Culture


Ivory Coast Military Checkpoint

Ivory Coast Military Checkpoint
Aboisso to Banoua Trip
Sunday August 6, 2006



Ivory Coast has more checkpoints than when I was in Iraq, they are very thorough, check the passport, do not understand and let me go on. No bribes paid. Hard to get this photo and dangerous or possible to sit around for hours answering quesitons for taking this photo if caught that it.

Ivory Coast Military Checkpoint