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  #1  
Old 12-12-2006
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Trading with the Natives

Does anyone have any pointers in regards to what items are best for gifts and trading when visiting distant lands?

I was attacked by swarms of extremely friendly natives on the Islands off of Panama recently. They wanted to trade or sell me their wares, and I was taken aback to discover that 'reading glasses' were the most sought after item. Unfortunately, I had mine on at the time, and was intimidated into handing them over - for a nice Mola. Luckily I had back-ups.

They also sought fishing hooks, sewing needles, and candy. We don't fish, sew, or eat candy, so I ended up trading away and giving away things that I needed.

There must be some experienced 'traders' out there who will have some advice on how to handle these uncomfortable situations?

P.S. Anyone need a Mola? I've got ten.
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Old 12-12-2006
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Hey Capt. Cook!!!

You’ll be popular if you give the “natives”:

Inflatable dolls, ipods, laptops, mirrors, chocolate, baseball caps, miniature Macgregor, lipstick, NBA shirts, old Time mags.

Plan on bringing some natives as trading slaves?? If so, maybe a few TV’s and GPS.

Last edited by Jujuca; 12-12-2006 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 12-12-2006
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Bring a digital camera and printer and hand out pictures!
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Old 12-13-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jujuca
Hey Capt. Cook!!!

You’ll be popular if you give the “natives”:

Plan on bringing some natives as trading slaves??
Exuuuuuuuuse me.

OK then. Let's call them "indiginous peoples."

According to the United Nations, the term "indiginous peoples" is both fashionable *and* the official PC lingo to describe those who dwell on little islands off the coasts of Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela.

See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples
http://www.indigenouspeople.net/americas/southam/

P.S. In fact, my name *is* Cook: Phyllis Cook. And I am a decendant of Capt. James Cook, who was murdered by "indiginous peoples" in 1779. Small world, eh?

(They killed him because he wasn't equipped with fish hooks, candy, or sewing needles. And he wouldn't buy a Mola.)
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Bring a digital camera and printer and hand out pictures!

Or, if you're pressed for space, I've heard a polaroid is often greatly appreciated.

It might not be practical as a gift, but I once showed my binocluars to a kid in rural Guatemala and within five minutes almost the whole village had turned out to have a look. Felt awful taking them back.

So maybe magnifying glasses or something. Those are pretty cheap.
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Old 12-13-2006
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When you are in Colon go to the Commercial center, where there are big shops that sell nice and cheap items, including reading glasses for 1 usd, t-shirts and other caps and so for the same price. They make cheap and appreciated gifts for them. They are also looking for magazines of every kind, so if you have old ones that you do not read anymore. We had very good experience in San Blas, and never felt uncomfortable there or in Amazonia.
Cheers
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Old 12-13-2006
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sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
About anything you can find at your local dollar store. The photo/printer is a good idea too. The "value" in the gift is determined by the receipient, and if reading glasses you paid a dollar for are not available your return gift may be much more valuable to you. BTW, pick up the fish hooks and line anyway-you need them, if just for your ditch bag.
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