Sunday, 13 December 2009

Looking for the coziest place in the Grand Cayman...

Lovely Turtle Nest Inn, truly your home away from home.

I have found it, when I was planning a few days of snorkeling in the Caribbean.Many exotic places offered good deals, but what struck me about Turtle Nest Inn, after I have read encouraging views about it in Fodor,NYT and Trip Advisor was its size and location. There are only 11 self contained apartments, fully equipped kitchens,all conveniences, including free internet service. And, the deals that you should be able to get from Marlaine and Alain, the proprietors, include the use of a small car that you pick up at the airport on arrival. The Inn is only 10 miles from the airport and you drop off your car as you leave the island and fly home.
You do need a car to get into "town" and the famous 7 mile beach area, just to see how the huge and expensive hotels manage to look after hundreds of guests in each...The 7 mile beach is located on that part of the island, its public area is huge with the clearest water and sand in the Caribbean. There are shaded picnic areas with tables, sweet water showers and changing rooms, all free. Your car will be handy as you go to the supermarkets to pick up your provisions for the duration, and of course going out to dinners to the many restaurants in and out of town.
I have driven all over on the small island, looking for the best snorkeling, which I have found, as the good people of the hotel told me: right in front of my oceanview apartment!

The highlight of my trip was an afternoon catamaran trip to Stingray City at the outer reef. Our guide and stingray "trainer", Simon, a bag full of squid in hand showed us how to "embrace" the tame and playful stingrays in shallow waters, some of them weighing 50/60 pounds! What man and animal (and fish) will do for food! Their soft underbellies were a texture like giant portobello mushrooms, while the top part coarse and rough. So much fun playing with them. Before sailing back to port we had a chance to check out the reefs out in the open with our masks and pipes.

All in all, if you are looking for a wonderful, friendly inn, the Turtle Nest is it in historic Bodden Town on Grand Cayman. Bring your gear, books and laptop and have fun.

This is John and Donna, forever smiling and happy to see you and help you with any questions or requests.

Your own private beach, you may not see another soul all day here, perhaps another guest from Turtle Nest Inn.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

The care of your health in the US and other countries...

I have been blessed with relatively good health in my life journey through five countries and various forms of government...and health care.
In preparation for a visit with my neurologist I had been asked to get an MRI and a neck Xray. My experience of getting these two diagnostic tests today compel me to write, no, shout to the people of the USA: appreciate, dearly,and fight for retaining the highest quality of health care in the world today!Stop any effort to radically change the present aspects of US health care.

I am on Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield, premiums of both I pay every month.
My experience today:
I have been able to ask for the day I wanted the tests, whether morning or afternoon appointments, almost to the hour that I wished. On arriving, within 10 minutes the paperwork was completed and within 40 minutes my MRI was done, of which 20 minutes were passed in the actual chamber itself.Remember, less than an hour!
Then, I was sent to the next office for the neck Xray, but the total procedure was 19minutes from the moment I have walked in the office. With the films of these tests in my hand, right after they were taken, now I will see the specialist I have requested at the time of my appointment, secured for almost to the day and time convenient for me!

I have met cheery, kind and professional workers in both places, who made me welcome and feeling cared for. Total time spent for both of these sophisticated test was less than an hour and a half.

You may not be surprised about all this, but my state of reference for similar procedures embraces living in a communist country, in so called social democracies and a neighbouring capitalist country with "universal care or single payer" system.

None of those countries can compete with the present day
health care in the United States.Yes, the tests would have been completed perhaps in all those other countries,in some with run down equipment,in others with long fights for getting timely appointments, with crowded waiting rooms, overworked and unfriendly staff, long waits for the results to be communicated to the preordained specialist

Yes, there are aspects of health care that need improvement, in any country, but present day health care for the vast majority of people of the United States is superior to any in the world. That is my experience after having lived in one of the worse systems as well as in some of the more reasonable ones.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Climate debate, perspective and revealing video...

I have received an insightful blog and accompanying video on "climategate" on twitter and it is the best on the subject. Please read , but watch carefully all 28 minutes of the video, and then share it with all concerned people.