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Purely Dominica

Purely Dominica

window view of Calibishie in Dominica

Once you’ve selected Dominica (or any other country) as your place of residence, you must decide where in it you wish to live. Do you like the city or the countryside? We prefer the latter and were willing to forego ability to pop in quickly and easily to shop, attend an event, etc. But we also noticed that people who had nicer houses and things living near a city had to fence their yard; have guard dogs, etc. That’s not for us.

You also have to choose between the interior (mountains, possibly cooler and wetter if in the east, or hotter and dry on the west side), or the coast. And if it’s to be the coast, Atlantic or Caribbean (you can have both in Scott’s Head or Capuchin). We prefer the views of waves against rocks, so we chose Calibishie in Dominica’s northeast Atlantic coast.

The first thing you must do when shopping for land in a village is let it be known that you won’t even speak with anyone who can’t show you the title document for the land. That’s because any deal for non-titled land will probably break down once the caveat is published and people come out of the woodwork to lay claim to the land or its prospective sale proceeds.

Then you have other decision points:

  • How good will your view be? Remember to consider how it will be if anyone builds nearby.
  • What is the lay of the land? Is it too steep? (Think about landslides, erosion and strenuous walking about.) Is it too low by the sea? (Think about storm surge danger.) Is it in a river valley? (Think about flash flooding.)
  • What is the soil like? Is it sand, clay, or rocky?
  • Is it on a road?
  • Is it on or near electrical power? (You’ll want an emergency power source anyhow. I could – and later may – write an article about electricity issues.) Note that if it’s not on or near power, land-line telephone, cable TV, and high-speed Internet access won’t be available either. Or, are you prepared to go with solar or wind, or hydro power of your own, and cell-phone Internet?
  • Is it on the “pipe water” line? (You should have an alternate water source. A rain cistern is a must. Proper planning will provide water pressure at least at some taps in the house, or you must have an electric pump – see the point above.) Or, are you prepared to live with only cistern or river water?
  • Will you live among other expats, or become a villager? There are huge social consequences.
  • Will you have the requisite personal and building security?
  • Can your building have the right layout? At 15.5 degrees north latitude the sun passes north of vertical from May through August, and south of vertical the rest of the year, and the trade wind normally blows in from an easterly direction; and controls the slant of driving rain.

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There is no denying that the rise of the computer coupled with the increasing availability of high speed internet in the Caribbean, has made one of the most significant impacts on our lives in the past few years.

I know for sure that would be lost without mine and I’m not alone…a survey earlier this year, research shows that 84% of responders stated that they were “more dependent on their home computer now than they were just three and a half years ago” and that 65% of them spend more time with their computer than their own spouse. 🙂

Ever since I realised that my chronic eye strain was getting worse to the extent that I couldn’t actually see straight on my screen when I was tired, I’ve been trying out different ways to limit the time I spend on my laptop. It’s not an easy task to come from work, (where I spend 8-9 hours in front a computer screen), update this blog in the evenings, and stay in touch with friends and family.
So just how can you overcome your computer addiction, claim your real life back from your virtual one and step away from the screen?

Here are 3 of the most effective ways I’ve found work best…

Time yourself

The first step in reducing the amount of time you spend in front of your screen is to get an idea of just how much time you do actually spend there.

In some cases, this may be a real eye-opener. For example, I estimated that I spend an average of 4 or so hours at my laptop every day after work and on weekends it close to 10 hours each day. To this date I can’t remember the last time I turned on my television set. Not to long ago II had no choice and disconnect my cable TV subscription.

Once I realised this I started to keep a much closer eye on the time I spent doing specific tasks on my computer – aimless surfing, blogging, chatting, etc. Doing this helped me deduce that a whopping 35% of the total time I spent on my laptop was really not that productive – instant things I could address to help cut down my computer usage.

Plan specific activities away from your computer

If you don’t plan specific activities for whilst you’re away from the computer, then you are much more likely to fall into the trap of aimless surfing or playing Solitaire when you have spare time to kill or just need a break from the work.

Planning something specific to do when you take a break from the computer will not only give you some structure to this time, it can help you structure your day more efficiently as a whole.

Uninstall and remove unnecessary programs

This might seem an extreme solution but it’s also an effective one. Removing all the programs, services, tools and software that you don’t use for your work means that you won’t be tempted to spend unproductive time on the computer in your breaks or when your work is done.

Unplugging from the internet is the other biggie – reducing that temptation to spend an hour surfing aimlessly – and when you do go online to achieve a specific task, try using your time tracker to give yourself a limit and help focus you on the task at hand.

So if you’ve noticed yourself spending absurd amounts of time on the computer and thought about cutting down, try these tips and let me know how you get on.

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A few months ago introduced a new VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) service called .

I have taken sometime to speak to a few people about the new service and to my surprise very someone I spoke to had some great views about the service. I started asking myself this question (why is cable & wireless is offering this service?… wouldn’t they loosing money with their fixed land lines. I will try to talk with someone at marketing to justify the logic behind this service.

After glancing through the Netspeak website, found that is a great new way to make and receive phone calls using your broadband or high speed Internet connection instead of your standard phone line. People are not aware that Netspeak allows you to have one free USA/Canada telephone number, which mean family and friends can call your USA/Canada number at local rates.

Extra Benefits:

  • Enjoy tons of Great Features you would get from your normal telephone account for no extra charge.
  • Real time billing, anytime through your Web Account Management
  • Quick Access to local Emergency Services through Netspeaks 911 Emergency Feature
  • Unbelievable Rates to International & Regional Destinations

Here’s what you need:

  • A Cable & Wireless Account Number
  • A working Broadband/high speed Internet connection of 128 kpbs or higher (recommended 256 kbps / 512 kbps for users who want to access the internet and use NetSpeak at the same time. Xnet on Demand packages are not recommended with this product.
  • A C&W NetSpeak Plan and a C&W NetSpeak Box
  • Electicity and an Ethernet ADSL Modem & Network Card (for those who want internet as well).

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