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An interesting 3 weeks

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Hasn’t been much new to post the past little while, the saga with the moronic Ontario doctors continues as the uninformed “little tin god” at the nursing home is still insisting that absolutely no one with dementia should be allowed to travel, he sounds more like a cut & paste job from Google then an intelligent person! With the negativity from the quactor, head nurse + sales manager it’s sure looking like a conspiracy to keep from loosing the 4K/month they are charging her for merely adequate care by the unionized staff.

Fortunately “Angels of Flight” has their own in house physician who is knowledgeable on the process, coming to  evaluate her this week. Also TACA airlines has a direct nonstop flight YYZ-SAL which means not being subjected to homeland stupidity’s quirky rules.

Worst case scenario is expensive air ambulance but even this cost would only be equal to a mere 9 months fees in the home. Kind of makes one wonder when one full years care in El Salvador costs less than one month in Ontario! Not to mention the higher quality of care there.

Flew down to El Salvador, AA with a stop in Miami (1/2 price of TACA), ended up buying a house (that I found on El Salvador’s Independence Day) in Playa Diego for an unbelievably low (by Canadian standards) price, only a 10 minute walk from the beach. A relatively painless procedure, similar to that here except that your first property in El Salvador must be paid for in full (no loans with El Salvadorian financial institutions). However getting the money down there from a Canadian bank is a bit of a challenge as they refuse to take a Canadian check & are a tad finicky with wire transfers but perseverance wins out in the end & that’s all that matters.

Storage unit is emptied, W/C bus is loaded for the road trip, Peterborough ON (actually a decent, friendly place to live, of course it’s outside the GTA) to Playa Diego, La Libertad, El Salvador via (my bucket list) the Historic US Route 66, the “Mother Road” that wends it’s way from Michigan & Adams Ave in Chicago to Santa Monica Blvd & Ocean Ave in Santa Monica California.

Viernes manana it’s heading out on a 10-14 day road trip where I will be extremely happy to see Ontario in my rear-view mirror as I cross the Sarnia’s Bluewater  Bridge (the quicker to get to the US’s cheaper fuel). Then onto the windy city & Route 66, followed by a stop in San Diego, over to Nogales (safer border crossing), down west coast of Mexico to Guatemala, likely a couple days in Antigua before heading home to Playa Diego.

Mother will follow Nov 1st, on a 5 hr flight.

Such is the plan, at this point in time!!

Independent – Square Peg – Round Role!!

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

As any independent traveler knows, they are square pegs that just don’t fit in societies round holes.

While this can make trip planning anywhere from a tad annoying to downright infuriating (especially when dealing with the Melbourne office of Qantas), the rewards for sticking to your ideas can be amazing & in most cases cheaper than following the flock!

As an independent business owner for 30+ years, in a niche market of the school bus industry I prided myself on being a square peg & offering excellent service at fair prices. This worked well until the turn of the century when the “bigger is better” syndrome really took hold in Ontario’s school bus industry. The main reason (not publicly known) is the pure laziness of the top executives of the boards transportation departments which became blatantly evident (to insiders) with boards amalgamating their transportation departments (bigger is better again).

As one minor functionary told me one day, when I was being a thorn in his side, “Why should we have to deal with 65 small operators like you, when we can get it down to 3 or 4?”

That goal hasn’t quite been reached yet but is approaching fast. The sad consequence of this is that the students are being deprived (especially for sports & field trips) of quality transportation at the times they want/need it. Also the vast majority of school buses not to mention public inter-city bus transportation is foreign owned, most by Great Britain, with a US company picking up the pieces.

To make a long story short, I saw the writing on the wall, sold out & spent the next couple years traveling independently. This approach to travel made for great trips at a fraction of the cost the mainstream tourist pays & showed me that in other parts of the world small business is the backbone of the economy (even in communist countries), the way it used to be in Canada.

Also noticed vastly different medical systems & the way other cultures cared for elderly family members.

Two things that had become apparent before this trip & reinforced during it are:                       

1) most doctors practising in Canada’s Socialist medical system are inferior

2) for quality care & advise it is necessary to consult a private entrepreneur

So when seeking advise on medications, prior to taking my trips I consulted a private Travel Med Clinic, with satisfactory results.

When the nursing homes doctor informed me that my mother’s condition precluded her flying commercially, I proceeded  to check around with air ambulance services & private charter companies. The result being that, ironically, a reputable, local company right here in my town supplies the service mother requires & can obtain medical clearance for her fly commercially, accompanied by a RN escort at a saving of tens of thousands of dollars.

Sort of makes one think that the patients welfare is the last thing being considered in this country/province, while the money the doctors & nursing homes make off these unfortunate souls, is priority one. With any scare tactics that can be fed to persons responsible for their care is fair game!!

Guess there’s enough gullible sheep out there that believe the only way to cope with the elderly in Canada land, is to shove them in a home, that the loss of a few patients to the diligence of travelers able to seek out alternatives isn’t going to phase the corrupt system! 

Info Please??

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
I am in new uncharted territory here & need some information. With nearly 34,000 hits  on this blog, it’s possible that one reader has some information they could share with me. I would like to relocate my mother to El Salvador with ... [Continue reading this entry]