Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Friday, June 5, 2015

It's all in the numbers

Before we carry on, I wanted to bring up a very relevant comment from yesterday's discussion that was made late in the evening so you may not have read it. And I bring it up because all of this discussion about travel "safety" is relative.

And this comment gets across exactly what I was trying to. Although those who think we are "innocent travelers who have the blinders on" will probably never get it...

Reader "Shadowmoss" had this to say...

I lived in Honduras from September 2010 to February 2013. I was a mile away from the horrific prison fire that happened in Comayagua during that time and didn't know it happened until I heard about it at work. I never had a bad experience while I was there, and I lived off post as a civilian contractor to the US military there. I admit that the few times that the soldiers were locked down on base, and I drove out to go home for the evening it was a strange feeling. However, I just didn't wear jewelry, carry a big camera, go out at night alone, and I dressed like the locals (basic daily work clothes for the most part, just not touristy flashy stuff). I found most of the people there to be very friendly and willing to help. In fact I wondered if a person who didn't speak much English would get nearly as much help in a mall or cell phone store as I got from whoever was able to speak English enough to fill in for my poor Spanish. While I was there the Peace Corps pulled out of the country citing it as too dangerous a place. Turns out from what I was told by one who stayed down there to live was that some of the younger volunteers would go out against the guidelines, and were in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessed an armed robbery once too many times.

I want to go to Colombia very bad, and will follow your blog with great interest. If Colombia is like Honduras, it is more dangerous to be a local and potentially involved with the social/political undercurrents than to be a visitor who acts with respect and some modesty.

To those of you who don't understand risk, it's all about the numbers. Even in these "dangerous" countries, the vast majority of people live out their daily lives without a problem. Higher than 99%. More like 99.99%! As another reader mentioned yesterday, you have a higher chance of being killed in a car accident in the U.S. or Canada than you do being murdered as a tourist in Colombia, Mexico, or Honduras.

And yet, you all hop in your cars every day, don't you?

Anyhow, on to other things.

We have doctors appointments! The little town of Cabri (pop around 400) has it's own medical clinic and full time doctor. He's originally from South Africa, so it will be interesting talking to him when we go since we spent almost two months touring part of South Africa. He's got a really good reputation with the locals, and everybody has something good to say about him.

When we received our Saskatchewan Health Cards the other day, I figured we should probably get checkups. Other than an emergency room visit for a concussion five years ago, I haven't been to a doctor in about ten years. Canada's medical care may be "free", but there's no need to waste the resources of the system.

And apparently the resources are well stretched as it is. Although we were accepted as patients, they're booking full physical checkups for 2016. So we'll go for the initial consultation and maybe just get some blood work done for now. Ruth's appointment is June 22, and mine is July 7. But at least we got our foot in the door!

My mother had to make an appointment with a specialist. She gets to go see him in December. Emergency visits are treated quickly, but if it's not an emergency, you wait for months...sometimes years.

10 John Wayne DVD's for only $16 at Amazon.com...

John Wayne Film Collection - Amazon.com USA

And in Canada, a neat little Bosch rechargeable drill at a great price...



19 comments:

  1. ........Or you could live in a bubble and never leave your house.
    I choose to explore and adventure :) I'm glad you do too!
    As usual, am happy to come along for your travels through your blog!

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    1. Yep, and it seems like lots of people live this way, figuratively speaking of course! ;-)

      We do too, travel opens up your mind to many things and to other cultures which gives us a better understanding of people from around the globe.

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  2. You are one of the very blessed not to have to see the doctor for 10 years. That is amazing by anyone's standards.

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    1. We do work hard at it though by eating well, getting exercise, having enough sleep, I know that doesn't stop you from getting diseases or sick but we think it goes a long way. I tend to get a cold once a year and Kevin probably less than that, we do feel very fortunate.

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  3. We agree with Shadowmoss 100%. Don't dress as a tourist, don't flash money about, and don't go our at night.
    We spent 3 months in Mexico, loved every minute of it and never felt threatened at any time. The only reason we don't go back is because we can spent much less money by staying and exploring the southern states. By not having to pay for Mexican vehicle insurance, the extra miles and toll roads. Plus we pay for camping in Mexico and use membership parks and free BLM land in the southwest.

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    1. There is no problem with going out at night depending on where you are and what you would be doing. We have wandered around many Mexican cities at night but only in certain areas, again you need to know your surroundings. We certainly do not go out driving at night in Mexico, and even in Canada and the U.S. for that matter, depending on the circumstances.

      I am glad that you at least made the trip down once and know for yourself that it is a wonderful country, that the media makes out to be worse than it is.

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  4. I use the car accident example all the time. Not only in Canada and USA, but pretty well everywhere in the world, the most dangerous thing we do is drive. Think about it - we get into a vehicle, drive at speeds that will maim or kill and, no matter how cautious we are ourselves, we have no idea who's in the vehicle coming toward us in the other lane. Are they stressed, tired, drunk, drugged, ill, emotionally unstable, angry, depressed, suicidal, or momentarily distracted? What are the chances they are at least one of those? In one hour on almost any road, we will encounter hundreds of vehicles if not thousands. Strangers in vehicles (oncoming traffic) are AIMING a seriously dangerous weapon striaght at us. And yet, we all do it, and pretty well every day without thought.

    No one is going to pound that information into us like they do the small percentage of danger of travel to foreign countries. If we stopped driving or even spent some time thinking about this, the auto companies might crap their pants!

    In short. I agree. It's all relative. Traveling abroad is MUCH safer than commuting a half hour to and from work every day.

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    1. You have hit the nail on the head with this analogy, we have used this example before but not quite as well done as yours. :-)

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  5. Hubby has waited several months for an abcess on his foot to be surgically relieved (it's under a vein so family Dr not willing to do so). In the old days people dropped books on their foot to pop them. He did that once and it worked. The Dr even told him that might be an option. His foot is now fine. I hate people who go to the Dr all the time for no good reason. Now if only Drs were willing to refill prescriptions without having to physically see people - that is a gigantic waste and they could easily ask a few questions by Skype or telephone just as easy.

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    1. Hop your hubby's foot gets dealt with soon. I do like our healthcare system better than the U.S.'s but there is still lots of room for improvement.

      My Dad has told us about the prescription thing as well and what an inconvenience it can be, especially for older people who have a harder time trying to get to their doctor's office. We haven't had to experience this ourselves because we don't have any prescriptions but yes, you would think there could be an easier way to deal with it.

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  6. This is not about travelling in your Europe but I think is also relevant. We boondock and love, just like you and Ruth. The number of people that ask us about feeling safe can really wear thin. It got to the point I was feeling spooked and didn't want to do it but oh, how we both miss it. I got to thinking how much of a mind set it all is. Why does paying and staying in a park, sometimes with very few people, make you feel safer. Someone can stop by and take something from your site and who stops anyone also coming in at night. Also, the false sense of security of having a camphost. Do you really think he is going to come running if a guy was at our door with a gun. Anything at anytime can happen and if we live our life in fear, how many wonderful things we will miss. We are always aware of our surroundings and take precautions but this winter we are going to live what we love doing the most boondocking. Thanks for writing your recent blog, it was timely

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    1. Yep, we love boondocking and have never felt unsafe anytime that we have done it. We definitely prefer it to staying at most campgrounds. We have come across some campgrounds that we love but they aren't like your typical squished in, crowded kind of campground. We know what you mean though by people asking about the safety issue that it starts to make you second guess your decision but then again these are people that just aren't comfortable with it and wouldn't even try doing it. And yes, campgrounds can give you a false sense of security at times. It always amazes me how some people leave all kinds of stuff outside their RV but would never do this at their home.

      I am glad that you going to go back to boondocking this coming winter. There are many sites out there on the internet and on facebook that can give advice on boondocking and places where you can stay. They will set your mind at ease.

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  7. Glad you guys are blessed with good healthy bodies and hopefully your checkup results will be a testament to all your good clean living! And as for travelling in foreign countries, no matter where, looking like a "tourist" is the best way to get mugged, no matter what country you are in. My bro in law got nailed in a fancy neighborhood in Italy. Go figger. But the big expensive camera around the neck, the sport coat slung over the arm, the gawking and referring to brochures and cellphones, and wandering around looking lost was not much help blending in either. Someone from overhead squirted something down on his head, and someone else came to his "aid" a bottle of water and towel While they held his jacket and camera, he wiped off... and poof, they were gone with his jacket and glasses and hotel key and camera!


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    1. We do feel very fortunate for our good health, then again we really work at it.

      Yep, it doesn't matter where you are, whether a rich neighbourhood or in a second or third world nation, anyone can get mugged anywhere. Normally when we go into cities in Mexico, Guatemala, any of the African counties that we have visited we just take our small camera, again it depends on the situation. We NEVER have it hanging around our necks in full view when we are walking around, to us that is a very big No No. I have heard about that scam before, especially in Spain. Certainly need to have your wits about you, wherever you travel too.

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  8. Oh I "get it" and understand risk. Next....

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  9. You guys know how we live here in Mexico and have been here since 1985, We've boondocked, traveled by rv, bus, car, airplane to all of the Mexican states for work, we live in or near a city with 4 million people and at one time was ridden with cartel members. Bad things happen to bad people and people who have little to no common sense.

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    1. Yep! There are a few bad apples out there that will ruin it for others but that is the same everywhere. Do your research and be aware of your surroundings and don't do stupid things and chances are you will have no problems and lots of great memories.

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  10. We have lived and worked all over the world, and even lived all during the 90's in the Former Soviet Union where the Communist threatened our lives constantly. We just had to decide to cast fear out the window and live our lives carefully and enjoy....regardless. We do not regret one minute of it. Actually the most scary place now to us is right here in the USA. And our greatest memories? Comes from the years we lived in the Former Soviet Union.....:-)

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    1. That would have been a fantastic experience and I am glad that you were able to overcome the fear and enjoy the experience. We have never been scared in the U.S. but it certainly makes you wonder when and where will the next shooting happen! Nowhere is entirely safe!

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