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Old 27-08-2014, 18:16   #16
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

We found different regions favoured different items. In the Marquesas we did some good deals on rope for flowerstone jewelry. In Vanuatu outer islands, school supplies were fantastic. There is no public schooling in the islands and all the parents wanted their children educated. National geographics and other similar magazines are greatly sort after as learning aids. Baby/childrens clothes, in fact any clothing is much sort after. Batteries of all sizes are treasured. We did not use money for the 4 months when we cruised the northern islands and in return we got fresh garden produce, carvings, laundry done, and traditional dances performed.

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PS - they all have sweet tooths so sugar and biscuits are well received when entertaining or giving traditional gifts to chiefs.
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Old 27-08-2014, 18:32   #17
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

Does anyone know of any general medical supplies that are popular for trading in the Caribbean and South America? I mean like slings, neck braces, dressings etc..
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Old 27-08-2014, 20:05   #18
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Re: Extra provisions for bartering

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Originally Posted by deanowens1966 View Post
We can bring thousands of pens and a lot of notebooks to the South Pacific.

d.
But arnt you just screwing over every local business? Flood the islands with pens and the stationary stores must go broke. Then when you finally leave the people will have nothing.

Like some ass friends of mine delivering blank page books to a school and demanded the class stop so they could be thanks for the largess of these great white cruisers... While the teacher trying to teach a lesson had to tell them that books can be bought 100 meters away!

Just because these people live on an island and have a income lower than ours you just cant subvert their economy because they are islanders, polynesian, black, or whatever.

Its 2014 not 1950.

Things you can do is shop in their stores, go to their restaurants, support the businesses that are there. If you can teach dont rip another persons job off them but offer a extra after school class etc. theres ways you can help without harming.
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Old 27-08-2014, 21:05   #19
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

MarkJ,
I never would consider doing harm intentionally and seeking 'Thanks' for doing what we consider as 'good' goes against our nature and it isn't what we are about. As far as 'subverting' an economy; if we are able to help someone who can't afford some luxury that helps them learn better, then we have done our part. We have no intention of disrupting classes as I have read that some 'great white cruisers' have done. I was following a blog where this was exactly the case.

We are not wealthy financially and we are still years away from our journey, but it is good to converse with those who have been there and have experience in the Islands of the South Pacific. When were you last there? I hear that the Marquesas are still fairly remote yet the people are warm and very hospitable. I'm look forward to our first views of Hiva Oa and then Fatu Hiva. Meeting the locals and really experiencing the history and cultures there is what we are seeking. If we are able to bring items that are helpful and sought after to the locals who then provide something personal in return, I think that only enhances the economics of an area. It also establishes understanding and broadens the experiences of all parties.
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Old 27-08-2014, 21:29   #20
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

Mark, I think there's a lot to what you're saying, and certainly it applies to many places.

I'm not sure if the OP meant items for gifts, 'cause in the So. Pacific, there's a lot of reciprocal gift giving, or if looking to make a profit.

I'd recommend buying the gift items locally, where possible.

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Old 28-08-2014, 00:02   #21
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

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Originally Posted by deanowens1966 View Post
I'm look forward to our first views of Hiva Oa and then Fatu Hiva. Meeting the locals and really experiencing the history and cultures there is what we are seeking.
Please don't think I am singling you out but this thread really had me doing head shakes back and forth.

On the one hand I thought, "How arrogant to think that the "natives" need our pens, beads and baubles."

Then I thought, "Oh. Gifts. Those that feel giving gifts to strangers is appropriate, let them have at it."

Then you post about experiencing the history and culture and I thought, "Great the 1,000 knuckleheads that passed through passing out Led Zeppelin t-shirts, glo-pens and subscriptions to "O magazine" totally messed up that cultural experience."

You have to go to some pretty remote freakin' places before you find barter economies. Maybe it's better, as Mark says, when you do come that you pay for your goods and services in cash. Then that person takes your cash and buys something in town and guess what? That helps the local economy way more than trading for coloring pens and chewing gum.

Just sayin' is all...
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Old 28-08-2014, 05:39   #22
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

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Originally Posted by deanowens1966 View Post
I hear that the Marquesas are still fairly remote yet the people are warm and very hospitable. I'm look forward to our first views of Hiva Oa and then Fatu Hiva.
First: my last post wasnt having a go at you specifically, but was a reply in general so I didnt mean to offend you personally

The Marquesas are beautiful.
By they are French Polynesia and quite wealthy.
The first thing that happened when we arrived on shore was the petrol station sells a special type of chocolate biscuit made in Australia (TimTams) that we hadnt seen since Australia.
Then the immigration police wanted USD$1,800 each bond CASH... So the first impression was beauty but a steady eye on whats a dollar.

The types of islands where barter would come into it would be the vastly remote, as the OP mentioned the bum bit of Papua New Guinea, or the remote islands on thr north of the equator. But they are very, very remote and a long sail so unless you were in the adventurous 1%...

Many islands that are as poor as might need barter (say Samoan remote islands) have no breaks in the reef so you cant get in and anchor plus its illegal to land.
Some places that are living traditionally may well want to be left living traditionally without sugar sweets given against the will of the parents to their children.

Remember that meme "Leave Only Footprints" maybe that can mean leave our goods at home
Leave none of our culture, none of our values, none of our goods??

As Anne said if we want to give a gift buy it in the islands shops... And the ALL have shops. But then if you give that gift to the island 'nare do well' all the hard workers miss out, so much care.

Remember too your history of the area and the way the early visitors used Cargo and gifts to persuade the locals.
Cargo cult - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Its all food for thought before you go.


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Old 28-08-2014, 17:32   #23
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

As for gifts for children, a friend learned to make boxes out of paper, more like balloons, actually, by origami folding. She took origami paper with her, folded up these balloon/boxes, and the kids played with them like balloons. ---and they biodegrade. May be better than the balloons we used to use for gifts for kids.

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Old 19-12-2014, 06:40   #24
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

I'm new but I have been reading your forum for quite awhile now. I couldn't help but think about a group of people that would be thankful for anything brought to their island. See, in Papua New Guinea they are very superstitious and also rather poor. I'm a member of another forum that's strictly for Ostomates. (people with stoma's) Anyway, there is a young man on there that has begun his own organisation in the hopes of getting stoma supplies. Because, there are NONE on the island. He says that he's met children with stoma's and their parents use medical tape and plastic bags instead of proper wafers and bags. I've donated all of the excess the VA sends me as others have done, but it's never enough. I'm pretty sure that if anyone drops off whatever they can collect, there would be a lot of very thankful people there.

This is the address if you wish to write ahead of time. I've never seen an email address for them however

PAPUA NEW GUINEA STOMA ASSOCIATION

P.O.BOX 475

PORT MORESBY

NATIONAL CAPITAL DISTRICT

PAPUA NEW GUINEA.

Anyway. I hope I haven't offended anyone or broken any rules.

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Old 19-12-2014, 07:10   #25
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

Rum. Lots of cheap rum bought in panama. The problem is making it last until you get somewhere it can be traded...............
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Old 20-12-2014, 06:59   #26
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

I'm looking forward to bartering when we go cruise, we have friends that is all they do when they cruise, barter with locals, fishermen, etc.

I think it's sad that people on here would suggest that bartering somehow harms the locals, and that you should go pay them for everything.

There are more ways to improve somebody's life, or bring someone joy, than just money.
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Old 20-12-2014, 08:08   #27
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

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I'm looking forward to bartering when we go cruise, we have friends that is all they do when they cruise, barter with locals, fishermen, etc.

I think it's sad that people on here would suggest that bartering somehow harms the locals, and that you should go pay them for everything.

There are more ways to improve somebody's life, or bring someone joy, than just money.
Well said!! I agree wholeheartedly.
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Old 21-12-2014, 19:27   #28
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

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some things can be plentiful here ,and at the same time valuable barter items at the destination you are headed to. like say fishing hooks barter for a side of goat kind of thing . is there a web site or something that has the value of goods in different areas of the world ?? I am looking to sail the south pacific islands from the BVI , so taking good barter goods maybe well worth the trouble of hauling it across the Ocean thank you all
Ask your country's consulate in the area you're going to, that question. They'll know exactly what to tell you.

My friend Dave tells of going up a major river in west Africa in the late 70s. They'd got in touch with the consulate and asked what they should take for gifts for headmen or whoever, and the consulate told them.

They went up this river many miles or so, passing clumps of mud huts, each of which was called a town on the map, until they came to the place they'd decided on. It was a bunch of huts, and one of the huts was the schoolroom, there was a trading post and things. They went ashore and introduced themselves to the headman, and presented him with....a few dozen notepads, pencils, erasers and a pencil sharpener. They were delighted! They called all the children out of the school, lined them all up and gave each wide-eyed child a notepad and an eraser, and in front of each child carefully sharpened a pencil and gave it to him. They had never had these things and could never hope to have them. They studied in school without each child having their own pads and paper.
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Old 21-12-2014, 20:08   #29
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

I have never sailed to a place ,read islands,that trading could be considered but have travelled to many poor countries in Asia and trading did not exist so buying anything from the locals was king.
We are considering the Louisiades as a sailing destination in 2016 and my current reading tells me those islands are quite dependant on trading with cruisers to get some of their stuff such as clothes ,pens pencils books etc. But I would seriously like to know how many other cruising destinations still carry on trading as a way to get our western stuff.
My wife just returned from a trip to New Caledonia and New Hebrides but no trading going on there in fact she felt like the financially challenged one.
As for taking lollies or as some call it candy to these places well I believe you really need to give that some serious thought before you inflict yet another western problem on these more remote cultures.
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Old 22-12-2014, 03:35   #30
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Re: Extra Provisions for Bartering

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Ask your country's consulate in the area you're going to, that question. They'll know exactly what to tell you.

My friend Dave tells of going up a major river in west Africa in the late 70s. They'd got in touch with the consulate and asked what they should take for gifts for headmen or whoever, and the consulate told them.
<snip>
I wouldn't tell anyone to NOT call the consulate for a lark but I wonder how engaging they will be compared to the 70's. My experience, not so much.

A lot has changed in the world in 40 years. Heck the only cheese we could get in Manila in 1981 was Velveeta (not cheese) unless we got it on the black market from Subic or Clark. Now you can basically get anything, anywhere unless you are seriously off the beaten track.

Barter or don't barter, spend or don't spend - personal preference and experience, I guess.

I would prefer to have "trinkets" to give away to create good will rather than anything to seriously conduct commerce with. Stuff for kids will endear you to the kids and create lots of good will that extends to the adults.
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