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Chapter 8

What a great post! Obviously you are an experienced traveler and you have learned from your experience. I appreciate your sharing it. Where I live on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast the crime is not so severe as to necessitate all those measures, but it is good to know them and have the ideas and techniques at one's disposal if needed.

In Granada, Nicaragua I had an experience with street kids, like you warned of. After a local American explained of their plight I felt sorry for them and wanted to give them each a dollar. What a mistake! They didn't try to steal from me, as police were right nearby, but when they mobbed me for more, I smelled the strong scent of glue and knew what they would use the money for. It made me cry. From then on I only give food or sometimes clothing, not money.

I especially appreciate what you said about walking and attitude,"But since easy walking is essential for observing and feeling the world, the best compromise may be to relax and enjoy while remaining alert to constantly changing surroundings." We cannot be comfortable traveling and constantly watching our backs. I say, be alert, follow the rules you set out for yourself and then just relax and have fun.

I also agree with this: "You want to look tough, confident, and unflustered." The bad guys look for the vulnerable. If I feel threatened I just make the decision that I am strong, confident and protected by an invisible force field around me (seriously!). It works.

Finally, lets all do what we can to work toward a world where no one feels the need to rob or hurt another.
Lisa

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