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Old 04-02-2009, 07:42   #16
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I bought some little tool sets on sale at Harbor Freight for about $12 each. They had metric and SAE sockets, screwdrivers, spark plug socket and various other tools. These were well received. Fishing tackle is also good. This was in the Carribean. I don't know much about the South Pacific.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:59   #17
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Just one more thought about taking goods into a place and giving them away. What happens to the poor old trader whose buisness has just been crashed because a rally of 100 well meaning cruisers has been to the islands ahead of him on his route?

Is it breeding a welfare society?

Is it fair on a community to receive when the next one without the nice anchorage goes without?

Which kid gets the present? The most needy? Or the fastest to get to your boat? The friendliest? The islands little entrepenur whose going to on-sell it?

Maybe its like the sand. We should just leave transient footprints?

Is giving really screwing with their economics?

If you give 50 exercise books does the teacher stop the class and introduce you? Does that waste the kids education time more than the donation is worth?
Mark - FWIW I think it depends on your cruising plans. If you are going to drop hook in the remotest of areas, notebooks and things like that may be appreciated. Especially if you plan to stay a while. If you are following the path more trodden, the places you anchor will not need charity. They will simply need your business.

Don't forget Indonesia is predominantly muslim and conservative and anything you plan to give away should be appropriate.

We trade a lot with fisherman. They appreciate good quality rice in exchange for fish. Japense and Thai rice is of better quality than a lot of the local stuff.

Most popular anchorages in Indonesia will be full of people selling all kinds of stuff at very inflated prices.

You also have the advantage of buying in more popular anchorages in Indonesia and giving away or selling in the more remote places. We were in Indonesia over Christmas and you can buy t-shirts all day long for about 2-3 USD. Lesson books? Almost free. Ballpoint pens and crayons? Forget about it. Buying that stuff in Oz for transport to Indonesia is a dumb idea.

I ahve been living in Asia almost 30 years and have had very little cause to give charity to anyone. Street kids and stuff I might give some coins or chewing gum but that's about it.

I have friends who have cruised more remote pacific islands and that can be different. But same drill. I wouldn't buy in Oz to give away in Oceana. Buy in asia where it's cheap.
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Old 04-02-2009, 13:32   #18
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Cigarettes worked great in the Sea of Cortez mexico, but that was 1986.... I once traded a pack of cigarettes to a shrimp boat for about a 2 gal bucket of large prawns in an isolated anchorage. I did the same thing though with about 3/4 of a loaf of fresh baked bannana bread also.....
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Old 04-02-2009, 13:33   #19
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Pencils and paper were good also (for the kids) in remote areas.
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Old 04-02-2009, 13:40   #20
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Hello:
What things have you taken with you as you cruised to give to local people? What things other than money did you wish that you had more of so that you could give it away? I have heard of people taking T shirts and cigaretts but are these the best things to give away?
Thank you.
Pacific Ocean and South China sea? Mmmmm. Not been there by boat (yet?)....but spent a fair bit of time over the years in mainland South East Asia with people of various economic backgrounds. Not to say my experiances are right, just how they have been for me.........

Not a big one for giving anything But as already said being nice goes a long way

Fair enuf if someone earns it then I won't screw them into the ground on price just because I can - well, at least not over sums of money that does not mean much to me.

Responding to hospitality on the other hand is both a trickier and easier one - easier cos' you do know the person and circumstances at least a bit better, trickier because any gift should be appropriate in type and value. The odds are that the folk you are talking about are poorer than you. You know it. and they know it. IMO just plain rude to state the bleedin' obvious by throwing a gift at someone that they could not / did not respond to value wise or says in dayglo orange letters "I am giving this to you because I think you are too poor to get your own". Poor people do have pride.....indeed IMO would undo the purpose of the gift, it's the act of the giving the gift that is important. FWIW putting some thought into the gift goes a long way and / or something from "Home" (the West) especially if branded as such (no matter that maybe made in a Factory just down the road - but ideally not easily available - just down the road ).

Of course I am not talking about remote hill tribes whose last encounter with the outside world was a Missionary in 1873 For that I figure yer get to make your own rules.....but most places in the world have at least some access to "civilisation" - even if they have prioritised their money from Pencils into food or Beer, don't mean they can't get pencils if wanted.

Tipping on the other hand is a whole different ball game - to me really payment for a service rendered. Not a gift.

As a broad rule of thumb, I would only even consider getting a gift for someone if the relationship was such that I would sit down and eat with them - which incidentally is a good way of thanking someone. invite them for a meal at somewhere socially appropriate / comfortable for them. Or Mc D's .......or onboard? If I wouldn't have them onboard to eat, I would ask why I was buying them a gift........sometimes things abroad are much the same as at home.

Yeah, Xmas at mine is a barrel of fun
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Old 04-02-2009, 13:45   #21
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Whenever I go to Belize I take flashlights that DO NOT need batteries. Either the windup or the shakers.
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Old 04-02-2009, 13:57   #22
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Oh, yes, didn't I read a few years ago where a boat took a huge box of bibles to give out on the way.............

............... and got arrested in some country for trying to convert the locals!

Hope the kitty had bail money
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Old 04-02-2009, 14:11   #23
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One of the problems cruisers face is that they have a different sense of ownership due to their culture than the financially poorer villagers (especially in the South Pacific). View the giving of gifts as payment for anchoring in their front yard and catching their fish, landing on their beach and walking on their land. In Fiji it is pretty much obligatory to offer sevusevu (gift of Kava) before being allowed in the village. Whenever we enter another culture we should make sure we respect their values as we would expect them to respect ours in our own countries.
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Old 04-02-2009, 17:28   #24
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Whenever we enter another culture we should make sure we respect their values as we would expect them to respect ours in our own countries.
Spot on, Pete

We are doing this cruising stuff to learn about other people, and the sea too and the fish and animals therein.



Mark
PS We just hand fed some dolphins! I'll put a piccy up as soon as Miss Madame get them off her camera.
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Old 04-02-2009, 17:43   #25
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Our moto: We never give anything for nothing in return...it promotes a beggin culture that can be turned into a business.

Buy local services, local arts or exchage gift. If I feel the urge to give, I shall give to schools.
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Old 04-02-2009, 20:03   #26
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MarkJ

But I can tell you, they still love stuff that says "Made in America". One thing that might be easy to pack would be small American flags, sew on flag patches, Tee shirts with the flag.
You mean they still make things in America. I spent two months trying to find a hatchet that was made in America Ok rant is over.

I bought a bunch of soccer balls. Deflated they don't take up too much room. When we go to Mexico we'll hand them out to kids. If I get real ambitious I will have a brand made up that has our boat name on it and brand each of the balls.

I think pencils and paper will be another thing that we bring. Lady C I like the idea of fishhooks.

Playboys and cigarettes used to be a big thing in Mexico but I don't think I will do that anymore.
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Old 04-02-2009, 20:04   #27
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I'm not the world traveler ( yet ) that many here are. But in those countries that I have been visited, I have always tried to learn some of the language and try to greet people in their own language. I've really been surprised by the reactions. Some people will start talking a mile a minute at me thinking I know what they're saying. When they catch on that I know about 10 words, but I'm trying, they'll try to teach me. A willingness to appear silly trying to learn a language makes people smile.

I've also found that there's a few things that break all language barriers, Good Food and Music...People are always eager to share both..........to name two...:-)
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Old 04-02-2009, 21:28   #28
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Tempest,
Your sincere attitude makes you a worldly traveler. Wherever you go with an open heart you will travel well.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:24   #29
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Oh, yes, didn't I read a few years ago where a boat took a huge box of bibles to give out on the way.............

............... and got arrested in some country for trying to convert the locals!

Hope the kitty had bail money
Good call Mark.

It is technically illegal to proselytize and attempt to convert Muslims in both Malaysia and Indonesia. Churches can hang out a shingle and people are "free" to come but no Hari Krsihnas in the airport - (Is that a good thing? - LOL)

Also no porn at all in Malaysia or Indonesia. Not a good plan. Cigarettes while unhealthy are an OK idea. However cigarettes are dirt cheap in Indonesia. Most countries also have duties on alcohol and cigarettes so they could make life sticky for you if you start distributing off the boat.

Soccer balls are a good idea. The kids love stuff like that and you give one and 22 kids get to enjoy! A bit expensive but...
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:55   #30
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Some observations:

As reported before, don't give something for nothing, or you will create problems for the people in your wake. Trade for services, fish, vegetables, fruits, or local crafts.

South Pacific is the land of the t-shirt and shorts--they have a very inefficient distribution system, and the used t-shirt which cost you less than a dollar at the Salvation Army thrift shop would cost them $15-30 in the village. They would much rather have the shirt than the dollar, and most of the kids are wearing rags or nothing at all.

Don't give booze. Many of the aboriginal societies have had no or limited exposure to alcohol, and they will not stop drinking what you give them until it is gone. Then they will go home and beat the wife and children, or swim out to your boat for more, or worse.

SE Asia has a much more efficient economy, and money is more appropriate.

Your time and expertise are appreciated anywhere. I still have fond memories of the days I spent in Fiji, helping patch up a boat and outboard which had washed up on the shore, installing a homemade mini-hydro plant in a waterfall in Vanuatu, and fixing sewing machines in Tonga.
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