Friday, December 28, 2007

Catching up

A few things happened over the last few days. I got my name on the front page of our local paper - above the fold. It was my 4th interview for Obama. Its been a long primary....
The paper also made the Obama blog. That was fun.We've been working on the Kiva office in second life in the non profit commons. I blogged about it here. The opening party will be next Saturday, Jan 5th 10:30 - 12 pacific time.

I organized my charities for tax purposes. I also went through and made sure I donated to everyone I wanted to this year, and wrote checks to several charities including Accion, PATH, skeptic society and planned parenthood.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness

Someone posted on an Obama list about an older couple with many cats and dogs who aren't doing so well in Iowa. So I asked for their address and send them some animal food, and then sent them some cheese and beef stuff from Hickory Farms. (all purchases made through igive so Kiva gets money). I hope it makes their lives a little easier.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Kiva anniversary to me

Today is my one year Kiva anniversary. One year ago today I found Kiva. My how my life has changed!
I spent hours today organizing our new Kiva in SL office in the Non profit Commons. We're going to have our party Jan 5th 10:30-12 sl time. All are invited . There will be door prizes. Now I have to plan my first party!

In honor or my anniversary I made 3 loans - two have Julia's in them. The Julian Amuge's Group in Uganda is part of a new MFI (new to Kiva). The Julia Ramos Ayme's Group in Ayacucho, Peru. They will invest the money in cinnamon, mushrooms, cloves, noodles, milk, rice, sugar and sodas, as well as wool, dyes and threads. All of these woman have a dream that their children will receive a good education and become professionals, that their businesses continue to grow, and that they will have happy family lives.

I also made a loan to Flor del Lago Panajachel Group in Guatemala. I just love helping those large groups. Me and piles of my kivafriends!

I made a loan to Kusirikuy Group in Peru a few days ago and forgot to mention it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

kiva, kiva in sl

I made a kiva loan to Efui Essénam Tamakloe in Togo, he wants to get a market stall for a used clothing business, so he can make enough money to finish his education in IT. I hope he succeeds.

Other great news - we got our kiva in second life office today in the non profit commons. I gathered all our displays and am awaiting group membership so I can decorate. And then to plan the opening party...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Running and running and running

So it seems politics can take all your spare time and more. I have been working on doing whatever I can for the Obama campaign and its left me little time for blogging or secondlifeing. There is a fierce URGENCY OF NOW. Everything we do RIGHT NOW really helps, where they won't matter at all in a few months. less than 3 weeks till the first primary (Iowa) and less than 40 days till our primary (Feb 5th). And after that it will be over. Almost all of the delegates will be assigned by Feb 5th. I am actually predicting a landslide, but that's because I see how hard we have been working and how much the Obama campaign is so much more together than any of the other campaigns.

Tonight I am running a phone bank in Monrovia, California and I'll be tabling in Pasadena on Saturday. And in my spare moments I'm doing data coordinating for our CD and processing volunteers.

I did choose a loan for our Kiva Shopping Club, and then made a personal loan to the same place. Its to a OCOSINGUENZAS 3 Group in Mexico; a group loan to various people.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Kiva credit

I had a kiva credit and couldn't resist this loan. Rosa Maria started on her own, ten years ago, with the hope of bettering herself and earning enough to provide for her everyday needs. She wants to buy soft drinks and probably other things for her store.

Rosa Maria Romero Perez is in Leon, Nicaragua and the loan is for 6 months, total of $325. 7 other people helped fund it. Kiva is so cool, we can all come together to help this women

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Food Banking for Obama

I spent 7 hours or so helping distribute food at the Los Angeles arboretum. Our Obama group met there again (and will make it a yearly event).

More pictures on my Obama blog.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Obama and Kiva

Monday I volunteered at the Obama event at Universal CityWalk, I was an usher. It was a lot of fun. Been busy working on the campaign this week, only a few more weeks till the first primary in Iowa.

Made a Kiva loan to Natalia Quispe Quispe in Peru. I was attracted to this loan 'cause of her beautiful weaving, and her business - its by the bus station. I think she can do very well and I'm excited to help.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Verónica Enríquez lives in Guayaquil, Ecuador is on her second Kiva loan - With the help of a Kiva and Mifex loan, Veronica was able to make a small store in the front of her home where she now sells all types fruits. This is my first lender that I can tell is a second Kiva lender. How cool.

Looks like Kiva is swamped. I'll have to post the other loan later.

Monday, December 03, 2007

My 300th kiva loan

Late last night I made my 300th Kiva loan. I think this loan really signifies how much Kiva can change someone's life.

The loan was to Amelia Sánchez in Equador. Amelia runs an eatery where she sells lunches and snacks. She started the business four years ago, and she has one of her sister’s help attending to her clients. She lives in a cane house.
She would like to use part of the funds to buy additional food products such as rice and sugar. She would use the other part of the loan to buy tables and chairs, which would help her provide better accommodations for her customers.

She borrowed $675. For that small amount (to us), she will be able to move her business to the next level, and earn more profit. Without this loan, it might take her years to save this much money. And that's not a good way to do business.

So next time I'm in Ecuador I'm going to look her up.

Changing people's lives with Kiva.

Among the many qualities of the clients of ComUnidad del Tul (term that Friendship Bridge uses to describe a Communal Bank), there is one that is worth emphasizing – the harmony that exists between the two different ethnic groups: Mayas Kachikeles and ladinas (descendents of Europe), that constitute the group. It is remarkable to see women that belong to different cultures work, organize themselves and get along so well. This characteristic particularly stands out when the Board of Directors, which consists of ladina and Maya Kachikel women, work together in a harmonious and effective manner.

The great majority of these women were weavers before receiving their first loan through Friendship Bridge. Many of them helped their mothers embroider huipiles (traditional Guatemalan dresses). However, with the loan they will receive from Kiva, our clients have chosen to change their path toward a more prosperous one.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


"tout le monde savait qu'on ne pouvait pas le faire. Un jour quelqu'un est venu, et il ne le savait pas. Alors, il l'a fait..."

Saturday, December 01, 2007

group loans in kiva

There seems to be more, large group loans on Kiva. I lent to one today - Trinity Women's Lending Group is asking for over $3800, but each business will only get a portion of it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kiva loans

Armandina lives in HUANCAYO, Peru and wants money to buy supplies for her embroidery business.

I joined many Kiva friends in the 25,000 loan - to Plamen Borisov in Vratza, Bulgaria. I think 27 of the 30 lenders are Kiva Friends.

I couldn't resist this loan this morning to the Hortencia Group from Ixtahuacán. Sololá, Guatemala. The women will primarily use their loans to buy raw material in order to make typical dresses and in order to purchase and sell them.

Canvassed for Obama this morning. Knocked on 48 doors.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Kiva loans

Alejandra Chambilla lives in her own house on Severo Aparicio street in the Nuevo Potosí neighborhood of La Paz with her husband and children. She started sewing when she was very young, originally making "aguayos" (multicolored ponchos) with the help of one of her children. Then she began to make jackets and sold them to friends and that is how she made herself known in the clothing market. With the funds loaned from Impro, Alejandra bought sewing machines and now makes warm-up suits, jackets, etc. The loan she seeks now is to increase her raw materials and buy another machine as the whole family works in the business now.

Julia Mercedes Zarate Manuel Arévalo in the district of La Esperanza, the province of Trujillo and the department of La Libertad, Peru.

Currently Julia has a store in which she sells gifts, toys, writing supplies, etc. She is a member of the community bank "Santa Elena II" , through which she received her first loan of 100 Peruvian sols ($33) with which she bought office supplies to add more variety to her inventory. With this loan from Manuela Ramos for 800 Peruvian sols ($266), which will be repaid in 6 months, she will buy decorative items and toys to replace the merchandise that was stolen a short time ago and additional products that sell well during the holidays.

Delia Cristian Bautista is also from Peru. Once a week she travels four hours outside the city of Ayacucho, Peru to the “ferias” (rural markets) to buy the products which she brings home to sell to her urban community. The products she buys and sells vary, however the one thing she always sells is cheese. She loves the specific type of Ayacuchano cheese which is white and has a very strong taste salty, made from cow’s milk. The cheese is made in small blocks which she loads into her three buckets to sell. Along with cheese, when animals are available in the markets, mostly sheep and pigs, she also brings these home to sell the meat, a more profitable venture. Delia has many regular clients that depend on her for their weekly supplies of cheeses and meats, she explains, and she delivers these products straight to their doors.

VINCENT OKOCHI OPIYO is a 33-yr-old businessman, married with two children. Both of his children are too young for school. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. He was not able to attend high school due to lack of school fees. Vincent works as a bicycle repairman at the Maweni estate, which is about 20 minutes drive from Kongowea town on the northern side of Mombasa city. For the last 6 years he has been serving the people with his expertise and perfection of a skilled repairman, and these have earned him a lot of customers

Monday, November 19, 2007

latest kiva loans

I've been repaid on a few loans and had some Kiva credit. I had time to make loans but not blog about them.

Rose Kawala
wants to buy a new sewing maching to start a sewing school to give girls a trade. She lives in Nansana, Uganda.
The Wofunira Development Association Group is also in Uganda and I'm helping Robinah. She and her husband have the Fairy Star Electrical Center. They are an electrical retailer and wholesaler. They provide electrical wire, switches, panel boxes for electricians, and light bulbs such as energy-saving fluorescents for homeowners.

Elvira has a beauty shop in Managua, the capitol of Nicaragua. You can just tell by the way everything is so perfectly lined up that she runs a great shop.

Matilde Idme Jara is an artisan in Juliaca, Peru and wants to expand her stall.

I have a few more to catch up on posting, but I have to run.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Food Banking

Yesterday I helped box food for the holidays for local shelters. It was fun, I was with some friends - local Obama supporters I'm volunteering with.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Patriotic Guard Riders

The Patriotic Guard Riders are a national organization of people who honor our fallen soldiers. The are mostly motocycle riders throughout the country who have banded together, to counter the protesters at our soldiers funerals. There is a group of crazy people (all in a big family calling themselves a church) who protest soliders funerals because they are homophobic. It doesn't make sense, but its appalling to think that they hold signs that say horrible things like 'thank god for dead soldiers' and the grieving families have to deal with them.

So the Patriot Guard was formed to make sure each soldier who returns home can be buried with dignity. I really support what they are doing and its great how organized they have become from grassroots. The photo gallery on their site is very moving. Really shows the true cost of the war.

It was great - I sent the link to the site to a biker friend of mine asking if he'd heard of them and he told me his dad was a local captain! They are very organized.

Monday, November 12, 2007

kiva loans

Olimapeta Leilani Kamis. She just finished school and is staying home to look after her baby. She thinks that it is better for her to develop a small business at home to not only use her time but to earn money to help support her family. She applies for the amount of $300USD and will use the money to buy all the ingredients needed for the business, such as the flour, dripping and a new big frying pan.

Rose Kawala lives in the rural village of Nansana on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. She has a tailoring business. During the day she has a sewing machine set on the concrete entrance to Debby’s Salon, located on the busy highway .

Robinah. She and her husband have the Fairy Star Electrical Center. They are an electrical retailer and wholesaler. They provide electrical wire, switches, panel boxes for electricians, and light bulbs such as energy-saving fluorescents for homeowners.

Unknown identity - person from Iraq who wants to buy a sewing machine and fabric to make clothes.

Sorry for the cut and paste, trying to catch up quick. Still trying to heal and be off the computer.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I noticed that our loans to Mexico had slipped to 8.9% of my Kiva portfolio, so I searched out a Mexican loan.
Bertha Ibarra Vazquez has a jewelry business and wants to expand it. She lives in Santa Catarina, Nuevo Leon.

kiva and ribs

Turns out I have a rib that popped out of place. Its back, but still very sore. I need to do more Yoga/less typing.

But in the mean time I found a few cool Kiva loans - Kossi Atsou in Togo has a beautiful sewing machine and tailor business.

I also found a loan to one of my fellow Julia's, Julia Apolinario in Equador for her new office supply store.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I have to be brief, I'm not supposed to be on the computer - my repetitive stress injury is acting up and I should be resting.

But I have a few new Kiva loans - To Julio in Guayaquil, Ecuador for his bread baking business.

And to the
Nacoj Women Group in Guatemala to start their business selling traditional weaving.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Julia's and tailors

Found a Kiva loan to a Julia - Julia Njambi Kamande sells fruits and vegetables at a local market in Kenya.

Amina lives in Lebanon and is a tailor, and this is her 6th loan.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

kiva and time

I apologize once more for not updating this blog more regularly. I have been very busy with the Obama campaign, spending 4-5 hours/day. (and 3-4 meetings a week). I am the volunteer data coordinator for our local Congressional District, so I have been busy learning about all the databases, cutting canvass walks and phone lists, entering our results, processing volunteer info, and more. I am hoping that I will get more time after the learning curve, but the campaign keeps introducing new tools and I am finding it all ever so fascinating.

For amusement and something different, I have been making displays in Second Lif
e for Kiva, in anticipation of our new office. I've also been working on some other Kiva in SL goals, but I realize I probably won't have time to work on them until after the election. 96 more days. (CA votes Feb 5th).

I have a few Kiva loans to post,
Efendiyev Yagub has a shoe store that he started himself with little capital, borrowed a bit and is now borrowing more.

This morning I found this loan, and a wonderful write up. I am so happy I can help these people.

The women of the communal bank “The Tulips” are very charismatic. These women have an unequalled spirit. A confidence and a hope was reflected in their faces during the pre-credit meetings (four informational sessions that are given to potential clients of Friendship Bridge in order to help them administer their credit and their business in the best manner). The average loan that each one of these clients will receive is $264 in six payments.

During their childhood and adolescence, many of these women worked as artisans, since the majority of indigenous women are taught the art of weaving traditional clothing as children. In addition, many of them have worked as housekeepers in their respective homes. However, these women, along with the help of Friendship Bridge, are no longer going to follow that path, since they have opted to become successful micro-entreprenuers.

These women have been becoming micro-entrepenuers for a long time; however, they have not been able to get ahead in the the field of their respective businesses due to a lack of capital. Thanks to the credit that they will receive, the women will be able to invest their credit in distinct economic areas. For example, the credit will be used to buy clothing in bulk and resell it, to buy wholesale materials for making “huipiles” (traditional Guatemalan dresses), to buy chickens and pigs and begin a livestock business, to buy flowers in bulk and sell them during the day of the dead (a traditional holiday in Guatemala during which you show respect for relatives who have died), to buy wood wholesale in order to resell it in the villages, and finally, to buy rice, milk and chocolate and to strengthen a coffee break stand.

The dreams of these women, like the majority of our clients, are that their businesses will grow in order to be able to give their children a better future. Mrs. María Lobos Lobos commented: “I want my business to grow so that my children will be able to attend school and will not have to deal with the problems that I have had to face.” Mrs. Candelaria Ajpop said “I want my business to be successful in order to give a little hope to my children.” It is for these reasons that we are asking for your help, in order that these women will be able to reach their dreams.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Campaigns and loans

Had a credit, gave it to the person with the oldest loan on Kiva - Efendiyev Yagub and his shoe sales.

I have been very busy with the Obama campaign, spending a few hours a day learning the databases and how to cut turf and make lists. Today was the opening party at the Headquarters.

Kiva in Bolivia

Elvira Mamani Calani is an expert in making crafts such as mantillas, aguayos and other garments. She learned this activity from her mother and is continuing the tradition.

Her customers are found at the most important fairs in the town of El Alto, at the doors of the "Iglesia de Gran Poder", one of the most traditional churches of La Paz because of its religious and folkloric connotations which are related.

Elvira makes her handcrafts alone but occasionally she needs an assistant to help out with the finish of her crafts.

Elvira needs capital to buy machinery so she can vary and improve the production and thus increase her earnings getting a better life quality with a real workshop to weave and knit the garments.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Obama - I got to shake his hand!

I had a real Obama day yesterday, starting with tabling at a local farmer's market.

Then I went to a friends house and listened to a conference call that Obama was on.

Then we went to East LA to help out volunteering. We ended up sitting by the place he walked in and he shook our hands! It was very exciting.

Next weekend is the grand opening of the California headquarters, it should be a big party.

Lots more pictures on my Obama blog.