story / editorial
how to destroy a company in a weekend
don't need a hurricane to destroy Bay Islands infrastructure,
damage businesses and threaten livelihoods. All
that is needed is take a denunciations and an eager
Fiscal convinced of a "crime in progress."
Tropico Telephone and Internet (TTI), a company
that took almost a decade to build, was taken down
in a weekend.
Launched in 1997, this telephone and internet company
had 1,400 telephone subscribers, but the bulk of
its business was providing internet to Bay Islands
and around 500 clients. TTI was only one of two
internet providers on Roatan and an exclusive provider
of internet to Utila and Cayos Cochinos. It provided
internet to Municipals in La Ceiba, Utila, Roatan
and phone service to La Ceiba police department.
For many Bay Islanders whether or not TTI committed
any crimes in their telephone division is almost
beside the point. They are concerned about the manner
of which the government went after TTI, and if something
similar could happen to them.
Even if TTI is found innocent of all charges, they
are out of business anyway. In two days practically
all their telecommunications equipment, infrastructure
has been confiscated or damaged and their competitors
are signing contracts with their disoriented customers.
The impact of the TTI shut down is hard to put in
numbers and the ripple effect is hard to predict
as the reputation of Bay Islands as a place to do
business received a black eye. "I agree with
the action, but I don't agree with how this was
done," said Mitch Cummins, owner of Paradise
Computers and a representative of Globalnet, competing
with TTI ISP. "It raises concerns for companies
like, or Globalnet, whether there is a due process."
TTI was accused of dumping illegal telephone traffic-
reporting international calls as local and cutting
out Hondutel from its share of the international
phone call revenue. TTI has a Hondutel sub operator
license, and became one of around 44 companies raided
by Hondutel and fiscales in the last eight months.
The results of the TTI raid had quite a different
The police came into TTI's La Ceiba's offices on
Saturday, January 6, during the company's annual
shareholder's meeting. Charlie Powers, an American
president of TTI with 25 years of managerial experience
at IBM, was arrested. Powers declined to comment
on the situation citing lawyer's advice.
Filling suspect's premises with dozens of heavily
armed police, ripping of sockets from the walls,
etc. was all standard procedure with dealing with
the 'fly by night' Hondutel scammers. While it was
a good show for mainland press, it quickly became
obvious that the bust was different then others.
The hell broke loose when well connected island
businessmen cried foul and TTI asked for a Conotel,
Hondutel's' controling body, ruling on the legality
of the bust. It was not quite what Mauricio Chimirri,
Hondutel's acting director expected.
According to Chimiri, the way TTI was shut down,
was because of Honduras' criminal procedures, not
because of Hondutel's wishes. "Unfortunately,
the country's law don't allow for any company to
take over operations of the facilities [of a raided
company]," said Chimiri. In Honduran legal
environment, the practice of taking over managing
of raided companies could create suspicion on foul
play and corruption. Hondutel would rather just
shut everything down then run the risk of being
accused of alternative motives.
According to Hondutel director, only with enterprises
providing "primary needs" like energy,
or water, the state would consider transferring
management instead of straight forward shutting
down and confiscations. There is no adjustment made
based of geographical location of the area affected,
or its economical impact on the area's economy.
According to Chimirri, of the closed down 44 pirate
operations and were also ISP providers. "There
were robbery of the state, we denounced them, and
equipment was confiscated," said Chimirri.
After raids in La Ceiba, a chartered plane took
Hondutel brass and fiscal against organized crime,
Marcio Suniga Ernan, to Utila and Roatan where Hondutel
raided more TTI offices and seized more equipment.
Over the two days Hondutel employees went from site
to site dismantling TTI's mostly ISP infrastructure.
"I called the Fiscal and asked if they could
go a different way about it [shutting TTI down],"
said Governor Arlie Thompson. "They said Fiscal
explained that the dismantling of equipment meant
to secure evidence of TTI committing crime."
The computer accounting files confiscated at the
offices could prove TTI's guilt.. According to Jurgen
Schaeffer, an independent sales man for TTI who
was with the company from the beginning, the telecommunications
equipment confiscated by Hondutel cannot be used
as evidence as it has no pertinent information on
calls made using Hondutel lines.
Hondutel's strategy was to act quickly, out of surprise,
and take down as many key and valuable microwave
transfer equipment as possible. They were able to
confiscate TTI equipment in the French Harbour Yacht
Club, Parrot Tree Plantation and Palmetto Bay.
Fiscal Suniga and Hondutel were taking advantage
of a loop hole in the law allowing them to act without
the judge's knowledge if a crime is in progress.
The confiscated TTI equipment was to be used as
evidence of the crime.
Gary Chamer, owner of Palmetto Bay Plantation never
saw Hondutel coming. They signed in at the resort's
gate and spent an-hour-and-a-half removing around
$3,000 of telecommunications belonging not to TTI,
but to Palmetto Bay. When Chamer realized what has
happened, he drove to Hondutel office to take back
his equipment. One of the several security guards
hired by Hondutel pulled a gun and pointed it at
Chamer. "This is not Nazi Germany. You don't
invade someone's property and take their property
away," said Chamer.
None of the Bay Islands politicians were informed
of the raid and the action quickly rubbed Bay Islands
businessmen the wrong way. "They came with
three truck loads of heavily armed men, intimidated
my guard and pushed through," said John Edward,
owner of Parrot Tree Plantation.
employee takes down TTI radio transmitter in Sandy Bay.
Hondutel and police returned the following day to confiscate
more TTI equipment, Edwards asked Hondutel representatives
to produce a court order. They could not. "The
illegality of how it was done was more important to
me," said Edwards. "They could have come with
one policeman, a fiscal and a warrant."
There was confusion whether Roatan Hondutel employees
could continue the seizures of TTI's property without
the presence of Fiscal, or judge signed documents. Roatan
Hondutel director Mario Lopez confiscated equipment
in Palmetto, before contacting Fiscal. The next day
Lopez was informed that confiscation without the presence
of the fiscal cannot take place.
Still, it wasn't Hondutel alone that was acting at full
speed. According to Governor Thompson, he has first
hand knowledge of TTI employees clearing Utila offices
and several Roatan sites and 'hiding' electrical equipment
right before arrival of Suniga and Chimirri.
To understand the motives of parties involved is not
easy. Chimirri, for example, has a history of confrontational
behavior, to say the least. A Honduran radio journalist
Octavio Carvajal left the country after being physically
attacked and threatened after Carvajal asked Chimurri
some embarrassing questions about Hondutel's construction
of a dam on the Lempa. "Chimirri reportedly grabbed
Carvajal by the throat, threatened him and told him
to shut up," reports Reporters Without Borders.
While Hondutel has problems with many of its licensed
sub operators, the company is far from perfection itself.
Its business practices have caused protests on Roatan
and on the mainland. Anecdotes about Hondutel's incompetence,
corruption and over billing abound. In one such incident
in January, pastor Perry Elwin from French Harbour connected
with Hondutel and within days received a bill for Lps.
1,500 for international phone calls. "I never even
used the line yet," said Perry, who confronted
Hondutel with the suspicious billing.
INDUSTRIES- DO NOT DISRUPT
are several key infrastructure and service industries
vital to the everyday and long term prosperity of the
Bay Islands. A disruption to the service they provide
would, and does have a ripple effect on the entire archipelago.
Electricity (BELCO, UPCO, RECO)
2. Fuel Supply (Texaco, Perosun, Shell)
3. Telephone (Hondutel, Tigo, Claro)
4. Internet Service (TTI, Globalnet)
5. Maritime Transport (Galaxy, Utila Express, Utila
customers could try to sue Hondutel for loss of income and
destruction of property, but even if they win they might never
get back on their feet. According to Felipe Danzilo, a Roatan
lawyer, winning a case against a government entity like Hondutel
is not impossible. "The lawyers appointed to defend them
are [made through] political appointments and [the lawyers
are] usually not very good," says Danzilo. "What
is difficult is the collection of the money."
While Hondutel's Chimirri remains sure of TTI guilt, TTI remain
silent "on advice of lawyers." The judge will get
to decide, but even if TTI wins its court case, the company
is unlikely to ever recover.
On January 13, after a week break, the confiscations resumed.
This time Roatan Fiscal Rod Ochoa Reconco accompanied Hondutel
employees. Again, according to Reconco, they seized TTI's
property to be used as evidence of crime and possibly as an
asset to be sold to cover the plaintiffs.
The strong case could be made for a more comprehensive approach
to TTI. The wireless internet systems that were in place on
towers though out Roatan, Utila and La Ceiba were worth many
times more in place than in a warehouse in La Ceiba. Another
company could have been asked to take over the management
of the TTI's ISP branch of business and, if it came to that,
Hondutel could ask for bids on TTI's entire ISP operation,
not just for individual hardware Hondutel confiscated.
Something even more valuable then TTI equipment were its customers.
As some of them gave-up on TTI a day after the raid, others
were willing to give TTI a chance to respond and fight back.
They waited in vain. "I was told that they would know
something on Thursday and when they didn't, I signed with
Globalnet," said Ariana Astorino, owner of West End Pura
Vida resort. Astorino had to take her laptop to Paradise computers
to send and receive e-mails confirming reservations. "We
didn't loose any business. We just had to work more,"
Others weren't so lucky as e-mails with reservations begun
bouncing from hundreds of TTI internet subscribers. 200 TTI
customers on Roatan and 150 Utila and 8 on Cayos Cochinos
scrambled to find ways of receiving and sending e-mails, making
international phone calls and in cases where TTI was also
hosting their e-mail addresses, finding new ones and notifying
their clients.Port Agency Agencia Naviera Del Caribe that
coordinates the coming of a majority of cruise ships to Roatan
was left without e-mail and resorted to sending faxes to communicate
with cruise ships. In some cases cruise ships couldn't confirm
their passenger's tours and individual travelers couldn't
confirm their reservations at hotels. Cruise ship companies,
airlines, tour operators, individual tourists and potential
investors lost some degree of confidence in the professionalism
and rule of law in the Honduras and Bay Islands.
The worse disruption to businesses took place on Utila where
TTI was the exclusive provider, except for a dozen dial-up
customers, of internet. To keep the island afloat and in business,
Paradise Computers has placed nine VSat and HughesNet dishes
on Utila. While all internet cafes on Utila shut down, on
Roatan internet cafés offering Globalnet connections
saw record numbers of customers spending hours and often coming
twice a day to send and receive e-mails.
On their part TTI was doing no damage control, or trying to
inform and reassure their customers. While TTI lawyers advised
the company employees to stay off their cell phones and talk
to no one, a sense of doom permeated their customer community
who had no one else to listen to, but their competition. "Even
if they were allowed to go back, it would take them four to
six weeks to organize everything," explained Cummins.
TTI's competition provided a badly needed service to businesses
dependant on reliable communication and tourism. "Now
that TTI is shut down we can cover all of the island,"
said Victor Garcia, Globalnet representative on Roatan.
Some pronounced TTI dead on Monday morning and begun buying
VSat and Hughes dishes, and setting up appointments for Globelnet
connection. Still others were trying to stay optimistic while
TTI representatives stayed silent. "We were with TTI
from the beginning. Maybe they'll be back in a couple weeks,"
said Nicole Brady. Brady, a manager at Coral Cay and a TTI
customer, had to send all her email in the morning at Paradise
Computers in Coxen Hole and after 8pm, download e-mails from
inbound cruise ships with lists of next day cruise ship passengers.
Palmetto Bay, like many businesses dependent on internet communications
for the existence of their businesses, was forced to switch
to other companies. Within a week of TTI disaster Navega,
a giant Honduran ISP stepped in and Palmetto signed up for
a $1,800 a month contract, a giant leap compared to their
$230 TTI bill. "I don't want for the same to happen to
investors a year from now," said Chamer who is considering
organizing a class action suit on behalf of the affected businesses.
While the issue of TTI guilt hangs in the balance, a more
key question surfaced during the crisis. What is the Honduran
government's responsibility to peruse their grievances without
hampering the livelihood and functioning of local governments,
or vast number of businesses and citizens?
There are businesses that are vital to the functioning of
communities. If, for example the government decided to shut
down a local Bay Island power company, but they would place
an oversight company in charge of the facilities. The question
is why this was not done in case of TTI, an exclusive provide
of internet, on the isolated Municipal of Utila.
ex-TTI customers fill the Paradise Computers internet café
to check and send their emails.
transport and communications services maybe less vital to the
functioning of communities on the Honduras mainland, on the
island archipelago these services are critical. No one has kept
the Honduran government accountable to ensure that they understand
The Honduran way of justice is quite different from expectations
of Bay Islands hundreds of foreign investors and residents.
Expecting anything more than what took place is unrealistic.
While asking is ok, it is unreasonable to expect the Honduran
justice to follow a higher standard while in the Bay Islands.
story / editorial
/ local news
The Dark Again by Thomas Tomczyk
RECO's inability to deal with deadbeat customers
cause a chain reaction that leaves Roatan without power
to Bodden, it was too late in the evening to find anyone willing
to "lend" RECO clean fuel. There was nothing to do, but
wait for the sun to rise. In the morning two generators were taken
apart, cleaned and finally "clean fuel" was borrowed locally.
While RECO should have at least 100,000 gallons of fuel in reserve
at any time, by the end of January it has only 30,000 gallons, able
to last around three days. Any weather complications, or supply
problems would turn this situation into a crisis over a weekend,
again. In fact, numerous hour long outages followed in January.
According to Bodden, RECO's biggest problem is having the cash to
purchase fuel. Currently RECO has Lps. 27 million in uncollected
bills. 5%-10% of this debt is owned by Roatan Municipality, 15%
by the central government by unpaid subsidy, electric bills to school
and medical facilities, and by far the greatest amount 75%-80%,
is owed by individual RECO clients.
The uncollected RECO debt jumped by Lps. 12 million, when during
May-September protests, patronatos discouraged individual clients
from paying their bills. "We are prepared to match 50% of the
debt of single consumers from May, June and July," said Bodden.
Although RECO is making efforts to collect money from its low end
consumers, a dozen of its individual clients owing tens of thousands
of dollars, remain connected and not bothered. That could soon change.
"Our biggest goal in 2007 is to collect 40%-50% of outstanding
debt," said Bodden.
While the RECO general assembly in October chose a new board director,
Evans McNab, it also voted on lifting the moratorium on disconnecting
un-paying customers, regardless.
Fuel adjustment, so hotly disputed during the 2006 street protests,
weren't raised for 14 months, from December 2005. "We are worse
off then a year ago," said Bodden.
To keep-up with the 15% annual growth RECO needs to constantly purchase
new generating capacity. While a newly purchased, rebuilt 2.2 Megawatt
Wartsilla generator is waiting at Hybur and, according to Bodden,
should be assembled by end of February, RECO is already eyeing another
purchase for 2007- a 4.5 Megawatt Wartsilla worth around $1 million.
Now if they only had the money.
On Sunday, December 7, an NFL playoff weekend, during a tourist season
in it's prime, RECO had no reserves in their tanks and was running
on 5,000 gallons of locally "borrowed" contaminated with
salt water fuel. "Our supplier [Hondupetrol] had problems getting
us fuel," said Clint Bodden, RECO's acting general manager. "We
were running low on inventory and didn't have time to let the fuel
settle to separate the water," said Bodden, who decided to let
the generator's filters do the job of eliminating salt water.
It was a gamble and RECO lost. In fact the entire island, filled with
tourist during the high season, lost. At 6pm two of the eight RECO
generators, including a 2.2 Megawatt Wartsilla became contaminated
and shut down. For the next 17 hours the entire island was left without
electricity: refrigerators defrosted, people missed their NFL playoff
games and evening church services were cancelled. "I threw away
[refrigerated] fish and our community had no water," said Maritza
Bustillo, a resident of Brick Bay, where an electric pump is the only
source of fresh water.
The darkness also provided an opportunity for criminals. On a usually
well lit dock in Dixon Cove an American was wounded by a shattered
glass, as a burglar fired a revolver during a robbery. The suspect
was apprehended by police.
Controlling the Clinic
board has repaired floor in the Oak Ridge Clinic building remained
closed in December and much of January
November 30, 2006, nurse Carol Bloom has left Oak Ridge Community
Clinic, the place where she worked and lived for nine years. "I've
done nothing underhanded or wrong," says Bloom who raised 3,000
Santos Guardiola resident's signatures supporting her staying at the
Oak Ridge Clinic.
While the dispute between several of the Clinic's board members and
Bloom has been going on, the people who suffered most were the poorest
community members depended on clinic's free services. Nurse Bloom
offered a weekly diabetics clinic and these people were left to fend
"We asked her to stay at the clinic, but move her apartment somewhere
else," says Pastor Abbott, member of the board of directors and
spiritual leader of the clinic. The demand wasn't feasible for Bloom
who worked at the clinic for free and supported herself with a monthly
$595 social security check. "It is impossible to get an apartment
and live in Oak Ridge for this amount," said Bloom.
"There were animals at the clinic and that is against clinic's
policies," said Pastor Abbott. Bloom did use part of the clinic
as her home and had one cat and her living arrangements gave the board
the grounds to ask Nurse Bloom to move out. "You can never trust
anyone," Lila McNab, nurse Carol's best friend, when asked about
the moral of the story.
It is unclear whether Bloom's residing at the clinic was a reason
or an excuse for the board to ask her to leave. One possible reason
is that the board of directors, while paying off the last portion
of the clinics mortgage, wanted to determine the direction and the
image of the clinic without nurse Bloom. "They wanted to control
the clinic completely," says Glenda Laurence, a long time clinic
Nurse Bloom was involved and operated the clinic since 1996, when
it was launched as a free employee clinic for nearby Nick Guarino's
Carnival Packing Plant. When the packing plant went bankrupt the clinic
property was taken over by BANFA bank and the clinic continued to
bank had no problem with keeping the clinic open as long as it was
free," said Bloom. The only money collected from the patients
The board disputed whether donations of medications and equipment
at the clinic were made to nurse Bloom, or the clinic. In November
2006, Coxen Hole judge ruled in Bloom's favor and Bloom donated all
the medications to the Pandy Town Clinic and stored the clinic's equipment
for future use.
The bitter end to nurse Carol's involvement in the clinic not only
divided the community, but was traumatic to Carol herself. On the
morning of December 12 she suffered a minor heart attack and was hospitalized
for three days. "Her entire life was focused on the clinic,"
says about Bloom McNab.
Almost two months after Blooms left, tempers have finally come down.
"We are not concerned about that anymore," said Pastor Rudolph
Abbott, treasurer of the Oak Ridge Clinic. "The bickering is
over," said Ben Rosenthal one of the clinic founders.
Nurse bloom took more then the medications and medical equipment,
she took her fundraising supporters in the United States who sent
as much as $27,000 a year for the clinic to operate. Her experience
in gathering funds, professional expertise and full time commitment
will be hard to replace.
Bloom already received offers of working at Pandy Town Clinic, another
clinic soon to open in French Cay and was promised land for a new
clinic in Oak Ridge by Roy Dilbert, a Pandy Town businessman.
While the board members plan to ask the government for a doctor practitioner
and consider adding a nurse to help him, the plans and funding remain
vague. Likely the clinic will no longer be free, but similarly structured
to the nearby Polo Galindo and Pandy Town Clinics.
Fortunately for Santos Guardiolans at least one tradition started
at the clinic is continued. The yearly, third in a row visit of eye
specialist doctor took place as scheduled. On January 9 and 10, Dr.
Darin Bowers and his team of ten volunteers treated over a dozen of
patients removing their cataracts.
with its state monopoly faces a dilemmahow strictly to regulate
its voip competitors
sub-operators infrastructure was to be limited only to the last few
kilometers to a customer's home. The sub operators were not allowed
to create their own national infrastructures and had to depend on
Hondutel lines for their 'out of town calls.'
That was the theory. In practice some sub operators found ways of
circumventing the system. A pirate phone company in Honduras may receive
payment from an international wholesale carrier of IP telecommunications
to terminate their phone calls in the country. Instead of 16 cents
that Hondutel would charge them, the pirate company would charge only
12 cents. The calls are disguised and charged as national phone calls
and Hondutel receives a payment of around 2 cents.
Honduras has one of the least inviting and 'open for business' attitudes
in the Americas. For example Honduras has the highest Skype-Skype
Out rate in Latin America of $0.364 per minute as compared, for example,
to $0.021 per minute in Chile.
Part of the reason for the widespread telephone piracy in Honduras
is the government's inflexibility to allow widespread availability
of VoIP and competition with Hondutel's monopoly. Several efforts
at privatizing Hondutel failed, primarily because of the exuberant
price demanded by the state. "The restrictions on VoIP strangulate
the country as no foreign business can operate here without efficient
telephone connections and the only way to get that is through VoIP,"
said a Canadian businessman from Coxen Hole.
In 2004 in Honduras, according to International Telecommunication
Union, there were twice as many cell phone subscribers then land line
owners. Changes and shifts in Honduras from land lines to cell phones
will not stop there. "By 2010, all voice traffic will be over
IP networks," said Tom Evslin, chief executive officer of ITXC,
the largest wholesale carrier of IP telephony traffic in the world.
Latin American countries concerned about the declining incomes of
their state owned telephone companies have imposed restrictions on
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)- the routing of voice conversations
over the Internet, or made them completely illegal. While VoIP to
VoIP phone calls are many times free, VoIP to land phone calls may
have a cost that is paid by the VoIP user. With VoIP growing and customers
switching to them from regular phones, a Honduran government tendency
is to regulate VoIP as they did with regular phones.
In Honduras, until December 25, 2005, Hondutel's monopoly was diluted.
Dozens of companies, including Tropico Telephone & Internet (TTI),
applied and received a sub operator license allowing them to issue
phone numbers and become a telephone provider to until then, a growing
and discontent number of potential landline customers. Until then
getting a phone number and a line required putting your name on a
list and waiting sometimes months or even years.
The Don Quijote of Buenos Aires
people ever end up doing something they spent countless nights dreaming
about. Ivan is doing just that, and doing that in the name of everyone.
Traveling across continents on a motorcycle is everyone's dream, from
a robber to a rich banker.
With long, blond hair and sad eyes Ivan is a traveling philosopher.
He exemplifies this Don Quixote spirit that lives in all of us. Like
the medieval hero he has impressed even Mexican robbers, who after
a brief attempt to rob him started a conversation about how it is
to travel on a motorcycle. The evening ended with the robbers inviting
Ivan for a beer.
30-years-old Ivan studied law at University of Buenos Aires and was
supposed to follow into his family's footsteps and become a lawyer.
His grand father was a lawyer, his father and brother are lawyers,
but Ivan wanted to be someone different.
In 2004 he flew with his Honda Trans Alp from Buenos Aires to Seattle.
And rode it north to Alaska and then headed south through Canada,
US and Mexico to Central America. Zigzagging south he supported himself
by selling post cards, tee-shirts and taking photos of tourists. Ivan
is not just a traveler, he has developed a philosophy of moving from
place to place. We caught up with him in West End where he is taking
a diver's instructor course.
I discovered having faith is trusting your road and your instincts.
You don't know where you are going to end-up.
Where am I? Everyone wants to know where you are going to
be in five years, in ten years. I fight with that. I think about
that, but most important for me is where I am right now.
am I going? I don't know where I am going to end up and that
makes my life more interesting.
your Instincts: I know if I follow my instincts and follow what
I really want every day I know I will be OK.
Many times I would arrive at a place without a place to stay, money.
Having desperate for getting something is not good. If you are flexible,
you might get much better things.
Travel: If I did this with a lot of money, staying at big hotels
and fancy restaurants, maybe I would never got to know one real
One of the best places you can get to in life is knowing that everything
is going to teach you something. No matter how difficult that experience
Someone left me a note on my website: 'never give-up because what
you are doing is not your dream, it's a dream of millions of people
and we can dream it a little bit with you doing it.'
What if feel riding my motorcycle I can feel nowhere else. I connect
with myself and
feel like a bird.
Its impossible to have happiness without suffering. We need to suffer
in order for us to really appreciate what we have.
I am building a really big, solid thing in my life. It is going
to help me in raising a kid, in having a relationship.
Happiness is constant suffering and constant reevaluating the things
Visualization: Best preparation I had was when before falling
asleep I would visualize difficult moments and how I would go thru
them. Best preparation was mental.
When I pray I don't pray for things going right, I pray to learn
Not? If you ask people what they would like to do they always
tell these really great things. Why do they don't do it?
Step: I am not so different from anyone else in the society.
That difference is the first step I took. That step is the most
difficult to take.
I sat family all together and told them about the motorcycle trip
to America I always dreamed of. My father said: 'OK. Let's go to
eat because our food is getting cold.' Nobody believed me.
You get many moments where you doubt yourself, but if you keep on
going you find that things are falling into place.
The worst enemy in life is fear.
Loneliness and recognizing your fears and the ability to confront
your fears is the key.
Sufficiency: Loneliness is the best and the worst thing in my
trip. Testing loneliness is great, but I don't know if I really
want to become self sufficient- to not need no one in my life.