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Kiva Loans

Gosh has it been that long since I last posted?

Anyway, to celebrate a nice little milestone at work, on my payday I decide to make a “specialty food” donation to Kiva.

First loan is to a cheese maker in Georgia. Georgia as in the European country, not a southern U.S. state.
This family has one dairy cow from which they make cheese and yogurt to sell, and they are hoping to buy another cow.

Next is wine. There is no winemaker at this moment, but find this 60-year-old lady making vodka. “Zoya is from the village of Akhasheni, Gurjaani District. This district is well-known throughout the country for wine-making.” Bet the wine specialists won’t know about that!! Or hmmm… did I finance a grandma’s moonshine operation? LOL

Next is for a coffee seller in Peru. This guy is not exactly a grower, but his machine is just look too curious to me, I can’t help picking him among other coffee growers. I wonder what it is for?

And last but not least, some chocolate from Ecuador! A loan to a cocoa bean farmer. Glad to be able to get a new country for my portfolio.

It’s definitely a splurge for me, but hey it’s in good cause!! And never has donation/lending been so much fun and give me such a high. I thought of trimming out one, but when I look at the pictures I just can’t. Moreover, reading about these borrowers really make me realize how much I have, or how different our living standards are. A family with one dairy cow borrowing to buy one more. An old lady making vodka at her house. It’s so different from what we are used to, huge industrial operations. It feels good to go back to the root, to see that human connection.

If you are curious, please check out Kiva!

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Sites I Like

 

Cute Dinoz Contest

Having a lot of fun at dinoparc. Go Dinoz Stronghold!!

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2010 in Anime/Manga/Toy, Sites I Like

 

My Favorite Tote

Have been wanting this since I first saw it.  The cutest tote I’ve yet seen.  What’s keeping me?  The price… especially when I have been getting free reusable totes left and right, I wonder why I should be paying over $20 for one.  Because the cartoon is brilliant, of course.   I always like Angry Little Girls, since it s beginning as Angry Little Asian Girl.  And one day when I get a big fat paycheck I may just decide to spurge on that…

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2009 in Anime/Manga/Toy, Sites I Like

 

My Thanksgiving Turkey

Meet my turkey, Rhonda:

Rhonda, my turkey
Rhonda, My Happy Turkey

Yup, my turkey has a name.  I “adopted” her at Farm Sanctuary, a beautiful haven for abused farm animals that have the luck to be rescued.  I’ve visited their farm at New York and it’s truly paradise like.  It has been my Thanksgiving  tradition (about the only tradition I have) for a few years. 

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2009 in Animals, Sites I Like, Vegetarianism

 

Becoming a Loan Shark

silk weaver
 
Just want to share a site I’ve found: www.kiva.org. I found out about it from Bill Clinton’s book Giving (which happens to be a bookring).

It’s a non profit group that offers microloan to people in developing countries. Each request has a picture and a story about why they need the loan. You may have a farmer in Peru wanting money to get more seeds, a woman in Pakistan wanting to start a grocery store, or a driver in Azerbaijan needing a new car. Each loan unit is $25. They usually will pay back the money in 6 months to a year, after which you can used that same $25 to loan to another person.

I’ve never been to a donation site that can be so much fun and so addictive. I mean, if I stay on there I could donate my life saving away! I like the intimacy that you see the faces of people that need help, read about their lives and how they changed with the loan in the journals. It’s kind of fun to scroll through the pages and find the one whom you feel kinship with. (Imagine lending money to someone in the same business as you are halfway around the world!) 

I also love how the pictures also give me a glimpse of lives in other countries.  I get to see how a grocery stand, a hardware store, or a beauty salon looks like.  I wonder if the little music store (really two metal grids with CDs and DVDs hanging from there) are selling bootleg copies??  So, yeah, you can loan money to support illegal activities.  Or tell people you have stake in a drinking bar in Sudan.  There are loan request for internet cafes and cellphone stores too, if you like to go hi-tech. I am a bit ambiviant about all the grocery stores and their Cokes and Pepsis.  But then who am I to deny anybody a cold bubbly drink on a hot day?  Or a motorcycle instead of a bicycle?  The world is flat.  However, with the variety of budding enterprises, you are likely to find something that you can support in accordance with your value systems and beliefs.
What I like also is the fact that your money can be re-invested when the loan is repayed, so your $25 can be “recycled” and go on doing good. To me it sounds better than a donation!  Kiva warns that there is a blue-moon chance a loan can go default, but the way I look at it, I’ve donated plenty of $25 to non profit organizations and I don’t expect to see the money back anyway.
Check it out, it’s totally cool.  I’ve made a commitment to make a new loan every two months or so from now on.
 
 
 
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Posted by on June 6, 2008 in Sites I Like