Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
First off, rving news. We will be taking the trailer out this weekend. Just heading south an hour or two, no big deal but my wheels are spinning and I need to get out of here. Enough watering the grass and home maintenance. A never ending affair.
Now on to the big news. Wow, it has been one hellacious week pouring over the news on health care reform. It wasn't all that long ago that everyone in the U.S. was hollering and screaming about insurance companies and their high rates, abuse, and failure to pay for the big stuff. That was under Bush. So now the we have swung the other way and the same people who pissed and moaned about their high cost of health care, averaging 600 dollars a month, have either gone to Medicare and don't give a rat's behind or they are against the health care reform just because it is a democratic president who has come up with a plan.
What a huge embarrassment as the world watches Americans' antics on television via the town hall meetings. I'm ashamed of their actions. Bill O'Rielly, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh almost vigilantes attacking the government and attempting to spur a revolution. And don't think it couldn't happen! I believe rogue is the correct term for those three characters. If American Muslims were doing what those three are, they would be lynched and convicted of conspiring to overthrow the government.
If you remember correctly, GW had a health care plan that only covered 10 million uninsured at a cost of $102 billion over the next decade. That was in 2004. Now the number of uninsured Americans is at 40 million. Not taking into account rising healthcare costs and inflation that would be a total of 408 billion over ten years. Add to that the president's enactment of a Medicare prescription drug package as his signature health achievement. In monetary terms, the new policy -- was estimated to cost $564 billion over 10 years. Wow, now that is starting to total up and yet people are bitching about the added cost of Obama's healthcare plan. So it appears that in either case the cost of a healthcare plan comes out to about the same.
What about the abuse instituted by the insurance industry. Is it true that you can only buy health insurance from a company within your home state? That because of this competition doesn't exist in the insurance industry? As my good friend Jan Deaton died 8 years ago because she couldn't afford insurance. At a party she showed us a baseball size tumor that was under her armpit. She gave up, no one would help her until it was too late. She ended up with the tumor removed at our urging and some help from the American Cancer Society. Too late though, the cancer had spread throughout her body and she died in her sleep a short time after. My friend Sam who needed a pace maker implant. Insurance said no to the 75,000 dollar cost for the year so his physician offered to make him a cash deal of 40,000 dollars. What is that all about?
In Mexico we have a social system and some of you may be familiar with it. It has its good, bad and then the ugly. Most of the ugly is from a system that is run by a union that now promises its employees 130% of their salary as pension income. You run the numbers, it won't last, it can't. On the other hand the big abuser in our IMSS system is the population. We use the system as a doctor's office. The kid gets the sniffles and we take them to the hospital. The system if clogged, overrun and all those people traipsing through the hospitals takes its toll on the buildings and maitnenance. It was never intended for that. On the other hand, a good friend of ours has cervical cancer. I saw her medications and treatment. One medication alone has a cost of 2500 dollars a month, she pays nothing. They even deliver oxygen to her house which she now uses daily. Her battle is nearing its end but she has been made comfortable and had the option to continue to fight or quit. She opted to fight.
Juan had knee surgery a few years back. Not life threatening but needed a laser machine to perform the deed. He waited six months until they were able to gather 10 patients for the same surgery. The machine was delivered from Mexico City and all surgeries were performed in less than two days and btw, it was a complete success.
What is the healthcare plan really about? Saving the lives of Americans, reducing the abuse of the insurance industry and make the U.S. a stronger and happier place? I believe it is. We are talking about quality of life. The U.S. had a lot of money at one time. It doesn't any longer and when it did everything seemed to go amuck. Now we are left with a huge population addicted to drugs, addicted to disability payments, and a system that does not make people responsible for their actions; obesity, smoking induced lung diseases, diabetes, and the list goes on.
To end this, as I know many of you don't like the idea of reading someone's political opinion, we need to work together for a better life. That may require for some of us to give in a little, make a small sacrifice for the betterment of the rest. Let's not be selfish. Stop saying, "I earned mine and I'm going to get all I have coming to me". Be careful, that expression could come back to bite us in the ass in the near future. JMHO
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
- availability to return permit before it expires
- change of vehicle before returning to Mexico for another trip
You must physically return or cancel the permit before the 10 years expires. So what if you decide while back in your native digs to buy a new vehicle?
There is a form that you can fill out and mail in along with your permit paperwork and sticker but it is a lengthy process and very difficult to track. In the meantime, you cannot take out another permit with your passport until it has been cancelled. The Mexican Aduana now has a very sophisticated system which will track this information. The only other way around it, that I can think of, is apply for a new passport as the system is passport number driven. Unless you know that you will be selling your vehicle in your native country before leaving Mexico, I really discourage this 10 year permit. Besides, you have to stop to get your visa anyway, so while you are there get your 1 year permit.
Also, should you be here for the winter and would like to fly back to the U.S., by law you must take your car to an Aduana office where it is impounded until your return. Many people don't do this and if it were my motorhome, I sure as heck wouldn't take the risk of losing it or paying stiff fines for not following the rules.
What generally happens in the case of an accident, insurance issues, aduana, and permits is that many people don't realize how strict the law is. Once they have a problem, they sour on Mexico travel and then Mexico has a bad rap.
Follow the rules for a safe, fun and enjoyable memory of your Mexico travels. Better safe than sorry.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
So here I was in Oaxaca and as you could see by the pictures of the mountain roads it was a scary ride at 100 kms or more per hour. I guess I need to let people know I don't do that anymore being in my 50s and wanting to see my 90s. I saw many things that I had never seen before. The mountains of Oaxaca are beautiful, the food is a delight and the people the nicest in the world.
I passed through the area known as La Ventosa. This is along the Isthmus and the winds spin the turbines and create that ever addictive energy that we all crave whether we are on 110 or out in the middle of nowhere and want to use our rvs to the fullest.
The above pics make me proud to know that Mexico is taking steps to help save the environment and yet I doubt we will see electric cars any day soon as we rely so heavily on petroleum sales to the U.S.
Hotel Calli in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca.
Each of the campuses we visited were very nice. They belong to the COBAO state system of secondary and high schools. In many of the towns, Spanish is a second language as Zapoteco and Mixteco are their native languages. That makes English language learning their third language. It makes for an interesting classroom. I had a teacher in my presentation whose native language is Zapoteco. She comes from the mountains and teaches English. She has never studied in the U.S. and her English is impeccable. She loves her job and also loves preserving her culture and language.
Country life up in the mountains. Their homes are simple but beautiful.
We headed down to the coast stopping in Huatulco for lunch. Huatulco isnt what I had expected although it is luxurious, laid back and the seafood the best.
Unfortunately, I was on a work trip so it was "eat lunch and lets go". Off we went down the highway and headed for Puerto Escondido. Now this is a place I could stay for a couple of weeks. I know there are some rvers that hang out here along the coast and in fact I think Linda from Canada bought a condo in this area. I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived. Beautiful beaches, lots of surfers from all over the world and that wonderful friendliness of Mexicans.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
We went through fog, rain, and ice cold tempertures. It was beautiful. Giant ferns, elephant ear and Tarzan type vines.
We arrived in Tuxtepec safe and sound, had a drink and hit the hay for our work on Monday. Teachers are craving for new information, methodology and techniques to use in the classroom and most amazing they are interested in my course on personal finance.