Today in My History

2000: No Entry
Where the Heck is Australia?
2002:  The Awkward Dismount
2003:  Fire Breathing Dragon
2004:  Writing Down the Bones
2005:  There ARE Perks
2006:  It's a Long Way to Sacramento
2007: Organizational Paralysis
2008:  If I Had a Noseful of Nickles
2009:  I'm Not Feeling Well
2010:  Adjustments
2011:  Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead

2012: ...and so...
2013: Back Patent Leather Shoes
2014: Today at Logos
2015: Saturday 9
2016: Slowly, Slowly
2017: Hands
2018: What's Up Doc?

Theater Reviews
Updated 5/1
"Pajama Game"

Books Read in 2019
 Updated 4/21
"In Pieces" 

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updated 7/16

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The story of the Pinata Group
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Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

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2 May 2019

I had a message this morning that two of my Kiva loans had been repaid and so I had money in my account to make another loan.

Many of my Kiva loans have been to people who are raising livestock, or who are from countries where I already have some connection.  (I must have loaned enough for a small cattle herd of my own by now!)

My latest loan was different.  Anna is an experienced agronomist from Ditak village, Armenia, where she lives with her husband, son and daughter. The family owns a farm where they keep pigs and bulls and cultivate cabbage. Thanks to the sales of agri-products, they are able to sustain their living. Anna and her husband always search for ways to improve the productivity levels of the farm.

Having this in mind, Anna applied for financial support. With the provided loan she plans to purchase new seeds and high-quality feed. This will help to keep the farm at a productive level so that they can increase their agri-business income.

Anna and her family are full of hope to achieve their desired outcome so that her son can get full support in the pursuit of his dream of becoming a well-known musician.

Anybody who wants a loan to help her son become a musician (well known or not) is OK in my book!

I first heard of Kiva in the early 2000s from Al Gore, who was describing micro loans in interviews about An Inconvenient Truth.  I love Kiva because each loan is $25, which is eventually paid back, so you can use your original $25 over and over again.  My $25 is added to a bunch of losns by other donors to make one big loan.

Over the 15-20 years I have been involved, I have made 71 loans to people in 27 different countries.  I tend to go for either livestock or oddball things like Rose in Uganda (photo at left), who wanted a loan so she could buy and sell gin.  She has four children of her own and is caring for two others.  No wonder she needs gin.

A check of some of the loans I have made give an idea of what attracts me to someone seeking a loan.

I made a loan to a woman in Uganda who wanted beauty products for her beauty salon.  The first of my Compassion sponsored children who left the program left to open a beauty parlor in Uganda.  I couldn't loan to her, but I could help Annita.

One woman from Kenya wrote, in her thank you that she was using the money so I could expand my business, earn some income and contribute to cleaning up Kayaba of flying toilets.  I was intrigued and looked it up on Wikipedia, "A flying toilet is a facetious name for a plastic bag that is used as a simple collection device for human faeces when there is a lack of proper toilets. The filled and tied plastic bags are then discarded in ditches or on the roadside, or simply thrown as far away as possible."

I also loaned money to an elderly woman who needed the loan to help rebuild her roof and I've made loans to a few women who are trying to pay their children's tuition.

A woman in Indonesia used the money to help build a sanitation facility for her family, as did Teresia in Nairobi, who learned about Fresh Life Toilets through the sales associates at Fresh Life and is determined to join the movement by acquiring one Fresh Life Toilet..

Osmiry in the Dominican Republic needed a loan to help buy a truck as she does long-haul delivery jobs for dry goods.

Kellen in Uganda, who sells juice and water, wanted to build  a home for children.

Rebecca, a professional woman from Kenya, who is helping to care for the four children of her two deceased siblings asked for a loan to help to buy medicine for her paralyzed father, as she is the only employed person in the family


A widow with 9 children wanted a loan to help with her beekeeping business.

I chose Maria Daniela from Nicaragua, who is a grocer, because of her weight problem.  She is the owner and administrator of several business which include: cutting up pork, sales of chicken and mass consumption products like rice, sugar, beans, oil, candy, bread, vegetables, detergents, etc. She also sells milk products and offers delicious curds, cheese, boronas [a type of bread], and sour milk [a milk product similar to buttermilk]. Maria Daniela has had this business for more than 19 years and makes her purchases from distributors. In addition, on weekends she sells pork that is already cut up as well as her delicious nacatamales, for which she is well-known. One of her dreams is to enable her little granddaughter to get a good education and to be able to have a higher income. The objective of this loan is to invest it in working capital, principally in wholesale chicken.

Vera also has weight problems.  She sells clothing and flowers in Ukraine.

Agatha is a bread maker with 5 children in Kenya.  Another Agatha, in Ghana is another bread maker.

I chose "Karen" in the Philippines because my sister's name was Karen.  She wanted a loan to buy fertilizer and insecticides for her rice fields.

Megi in Georgia wanted a loan to buy "wine trees."

Mukombogo is a widow in Kenya who has raised poultry for 15 years.  She also has seven children, three of whom are still at home, and wanted a loan to buy chicks and chicken feed so she can eventually have time to spend with her grandchildren.

Margaret is a member of a group in Uganda who wanted a loan to complete the house she has been building for her family for the past seven years.

I even made a couple of loans to people in the US.  One of the few men I loaned to sold baseball caps and is one of the very very few who defaulted on his loan.  But Yolanda makes pesto and sells it from her house and hopes to buy bulk inventory and expand her business.  One must encourage pesto-makers!

Ivone is from Mozambique and is a widow with six children, who also sells various goods and wanted a loan to help pay for things like oil and beans.

Luisa in the Philippines has a store and wanted a loan to help her save money so she can send her seven children to college.

And how could I not loan money to Atta in Ghana, who sells donuts?

I chose this woman in the Philippines after I saw her photo and read why she wanted money.

Dulcisima is 67 years old and lives in Sinacaban. She is married with 8 children. She has a motorcycle repair business and earns approximately $230 each month doing this type of work.

She has requested a loan to purchase materials for her motorcycle repair business.

I'm so glad I found Kiva.  My original $25 has done amazing stuff.  Over the years I have made one or two other new loans, but this entry represents only some of the loans I have made and I have not spent as much as $100.  So many ways to help people around the world that don't cost a lot of money!


part of my cattle herd, these in Albania


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