Planning: Plan Your Verk and Verk Your Plan!
“PLAN YOUR VERK AND VERK YOUR PLAN!” More than 50 years ago, on the first day of my 6th grade Manual Training Woodworking Class, my teacher, Mr. Gross, proclaimed these words of wisdom in his very heavy Jewish accent. It took me a few minutes to figure out he meant “Plan your work and work your plan!” I can already hear you screaming, “But, I like spontaneity!” Well, of course you do, and so do I. Give me a chance to explain and you will see what I mean.
Before you begin the development of your plan, these two baseline ground rules will help ensure YOUR SAFETY:
Stay away from the larger cities, and Stay away from the extreme remote areas.
These places are where you will likely encounter the most danger.
Now, just some of the basic questions to consider before heading to Central America:
- countries do I wish to visit?
- is my time constraint?
- do I wish to see along the way?
- kind of experiences do I wish to explore?
- do I need to do in the way of vehicle preparations?
- about the health considerations?
- about insurance, including vehicle, medical and emergency evacuation?
- if I get really sick and must leave my RV behind, how do I get it home?
- documents will I need?
- do I need to know about safety and security for both my person and my RV?
- do I need to know about border crossings?
- kind of language skills will I need?
- about all the adverse stories I hear concerning the banditos/police and mordidas (bribes)?
- about communicating back to the United States?
- about the different currency issues?
- do I need to know regarding the food and water issues?
- is the availability of gasoline, diesel and propane?
- if I actually get robbed?
- many rigs/travel companions should I invite? (You will find this question the most difficult.)
- do I find information sources?
- do I find out about road conditions?
- much money do I bring?
- much will it cost me each month?
- do I find out what kind of weather I might encounter?
- much and kinds of clothing should I bring along?
- do I get my mail?
- can I minimize the possibility of being robbed?
- I take my towed vehicle with me?
- I bring my pet along?
STILL THINK YOU DO NOT NEED TO PLAN? The following is a true story. In 1966, or thereabouts, my job involved building nuclear power plants. At the time, I lived in Southeastern Connecticut and the Company Headquarters were in New York City. Right after New Year’s Day the boss requested I come to headquarters for consultation regarding the job. A co-worker, who had a reputation for drinking, needed to pass through New York City on his way to Texas simultaneous with my scheduled trip. Since our routes coincided, we decided to ride together in his automobile to New York City and he would proceed to Texas by himself to his new job. To make a long story short, while on the drive to New York City I asked about his planned route to Texas. He told me he didn’t know what route he intended to take and, as a matter of fact, he didn’t even have a map! When I inquired how he thought he might find his way to Texas, he proclaimed that he would simply follow the afternoon sun which settles in the Southwest! Can you believe it?
The ending of this story belongs in the unsolved files. HE DISAPPEARED, NEVER MADE IT TO TEXAS, AND NOTHING WAS EVER HEARD FROM HIM AGAIN! TRUE STORY!
I tell you this story because I do not want you to disappear and never be heard from again! So, how do you avoid a similar tragic fate? Remember my opening words at the beginning of this article? PLAN YOUR VERK AND VERK YOUR PLAN!
Disclaimer: The author in no way can guarantee your safety in Central America. After all they are Third World countries and not without danger or the possibility of death. You go at your own risk. The author is only suggesting that with some planning, common sense and caution you may minimize your potential dangers and be rewarded with countless cultural experiences. 🙂