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.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Kiva, Honduras, Southern Poverty Law Center, City of Hope, and Futures for Children

Made a loan today to Erika Damaris Hernandez Espinal for her seamstressing business in Honduras. I just love her machine.

I also donated to a few of my regular charities, I made my monthly donation to Futures for Children to help Navaho kids finish school (my sponsoree is in college this year!) I donated to a local cancer hospital (City of Hope) for their fantastic research and care they offer. And I donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center to help offset costs they are occuring by having thier office vandalized due to a recent court hearing.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is one of the biggest groups that keeps track of hate groups and hate crimes and helps victims. The lawsuit is against klansmen who viciously beat a 16-yer-old boy of Lation descent. The klans men have threatened to blow up the Center. The Center does a lot of very important work besides helping victims, it monitors their activities and provides teaching tolerance programs. THE NUMBER OF HATE GROUPS IN THE US IS RISING, mainly due to anti-immigration groups.

I've also been donating to the Obama campaign to help close the gap; Hillary raised more than him this quarter (though she's giving a significant amount back) so Obama has cleverly done a fundraising and raised 2 million dollars over the last few days.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

kiva yesterday, kiva today, kiva tomorrow

Getting behind in my posts; having a busy week. PTSD genetics grant proposal is going in to the Department of Defense tomorrow. Had a collaborator in town these past few days. Learning Obama databases. And lending when I get a chance.

I made two loans to Uganda to people my kivafriend Glenda met when she was there, she even convinced them to become Kiva clients. I felt like I got to know them when I helped her put her pictures on the kivafriends board, so I had to bid on their loans! Daphne Kasiri
has a tailoring shop, and Sharifa Nalule has a craft store. As you can see in the description, they were encouraged to get a kiva loan by a kiva lender. How amazing is that!

I also managed to get a few more loans to Honduras, thanks to Kay (and my glasses breaking so I was home today after I got them fixed). María Valladares will be able to stock up on her creams and such for the Christmas rush.
Cecilia Alvarez has a clothing store and wants to buy more stock.
Debmy Osorto wants to buy more stock for her store, she sells clothes and jewlery.
The nice thing about lending to Honduras is that the MFI (microfinance institute) is Prisma, and they pay the clients right away. So these people will have money in hand in days. Some of the other MFIs can't afford to do this and it takes a while till they get paid. 45.4% of my loans are to Honduras!
I also loaned to Maximo Nicolas Perez to help his store, he's also in Honduras.
We have 269 loans.

Monday, October 15, 2007


New loan to a Julia today - in Mexico.
And busy working on my PTSD grant proposal to find genes.

gotta go, outage happening in 2 minutes!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Funeral for a friend

Today I went to a friend's funeral (cancer sucks).

Today I spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be alive. And how quick someone can go.

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world,
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own.
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the mornin brings,
But the heart has its seasons, its evenins and songs of its own.
There comes a redeemer, and he slowly too fades away,
And there follows his wagon behind him thats loaded with clay.
And the seeds that were silent all burst into bloom, and decay,
And night comes so quiet, its close on the heels of the day.
Sometimes we live no particular way but our own,
Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Honduran loans

Thanks again to Kay, I found a few loans from Honduras this morning. Abis Suyapa Alvarez does photocopying and secretarial services. Not jobs you would typically consider 'poor', but she still has no good access to capital.

The other loan was to Santos Daniel Cruz for his store. I liked the way he said his family collaborates with him in his business.

PTSD and Obama

yesterday I worked with a collaborator on a few projects about PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). I also learned all about the new Obama voter registration database, and how to 'cut turf' for the big canvas walk on Saturday. If you're an Obama supporter, now is the time to put on your walking shoes and canvas! I actually won't be going though. I have to attend a funeral of a friend. Cancer got another one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kiva loans with Kiva credit

I made a few loans today, using Kiva credit I got back today. One loan was to Concepción in Chinandega, Nicaragua, for her clothing business.

The kiva site seems to be down, I'll edit this later and talk about the 3 Honduran loans I made today.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Embroidery in Pakastan

I got to use a Kiva credit on a a great loan from Pakistan, to Kalsoom Bibi for her embroidery business. Thanks to Kay for the link.

I posted a blog on Kiva friends showing some of the cool things going on in Second life.

This is a display I just made showing how we turn Lindens into loans. The box is a donation box, lindens go from there to our second life group, through sl exchange and paypal to our kiva lender group, to loans. Our group is set up as a donation, so the money can't be taken out, just perpetually loaned.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Interview for the UN, Kiva loan

So I just uploaded some pictures my husband just took of me, for an article for the UN works. They are highlighting some Kiva members. I made a Kiva loan while I was uploading the pictures. I loaned to Concepción in Chinandega, Nicaragua who has a store.

It took me a few days to write out the interview, and I made a few loans during that time and had to go back and change some of my responses 'cause the number of loans had changed.

Addicted to Kiva?

Spare Parts and Kiva Org in Second Life

I got a Kiva credit, so rushed off to spend it, and found a great loan for my husband.
Ilkin Khalafov is in Salyan region, Azerbaijan and has a 'spare parts' business.

Yawn. Was up late last night in second life, working on some Kiva displays and a todo list and job descriptions. I need to get more people involved and responsible for things inworld, so more can get accomplished. The plan is to delegate everything I'm doing so things don't fall apart if I"m not around, and to let more things happen. I think we can accomplish a lot with Kiva in Second life. Just need to get organized. Good thing I don't need that much sleep! (I laughed when I got a message this morning from our Kiva SL treasurer Elron saying he had been up late last night working on Kiva things!). I wonder if many non-profits get this kind of volunteerism. The stuff kivafriends is doing is incredible, and I keep finding more and more Kiva stuff going on everywhere.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday's mutterings

I found a great place to donate some of my fabric scraps - to an art director of an inner city LA school that lives relatively near me. She is willing to take all the scraps I can give her, I filled up my trunk today and dropped off a load of about 10 garbage bags. My business (Garb the World) is doing very well and we are generating a lot of scraps; several garbage bags daily. We used to donate them to someone who drove them to the Navaho reservation, but she doesn't do it anymore. I had about 5 people come by to sort through them last week, but they only took away a bag or two. I have been contacted by several other people too. I just don't want it to end up in the landfill. FREE FABRIC SCRAPS. We actually offer them free on our site, but you have to pay for shipping. But finding this person was wonderful, because she will take trims and buttons and anything we have, they have 'nothing' as she says. Maybe my fabric will keep kids out of gangs.

I have been working on some Kiva displays in second life, on a book with all our kiva loans
( I think its good to emphasize how we are changing lindens into loans. We've made 19 loans so far, many from recent donations through our displays and stalls. Can't wait till we get an office. Well, I can wait, the displays aren't ready yet anyhow!

And of course I've been doing Obama things.

"As a citizen, you have a choice between two different paths. One path is
easy. When you turn on the TV or open the newspaper and hear about all
the trouble in the world you could walk away from the stories about Iraq or
poverty or violence or joblessness or hopelessness. Just turn it off and
tune out. That would be the easiest thing in the world to do. There will be
pundits and politicians who will tell you that it's someone else's fault and
someone else's problem to fix.

I am not one of them.

There is a second path. This one is more difficult. It asks more of you. It
asks you to not just pursue your own individual dreams, but to help perfect
our collective dream as a nation. It asks you to realize there is more to life
than being rich, thin, young, famous, safe, and entertained. It asks you to
recognize that there are people out there who need you."

- Barack Obama

Friday, October 05, 2007

Honduran's Girls Education Fund

Yesterday I sent off my yearly donation to the Honduran Girls School Fund. This year I sent enough to sponsor a university student ($200/year!) and a bit more for discretionary funds, 'cause I know Caroline runs things on a tight budget.

The project is pretty amazing. (I found it a few years ago just by searching for ways to help Honduras on the web). The project was started in 1995 with the goals of helping poor girls get more than a grade 3 education. The response has been incredible, of the 100 initial students something like 9 of them are in university, one is in medical school. They never expected that. I think this is the first year that they have formalized sponsoring a university student. Tuition is free, so they just need help with books, transportation, etc.

They are having a meeting in Honduras January, and I think I'll try to attend. It will be at the start of the primaries and I will be needed a vacation. I have been doing lots of Obama things - had our real life meeting last night to discuss the October 13th canvass. We got new coordinators in our group - YAH! I can pass on a few of my hats.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Peace rallys and meetings

Went to a peace-rally yesterday. It was the 5th anniversary of Barack Obama's speech where he says NO MORE DUMB WARS. Hard to believe its been so many years. $275 million dollars a day we are spending on our dumb war. And then there is the real loss, the deaths and displacements of so many people. Our troops who will come home to PTSD and not much support. They are already starting to overwhelm our homeless shelters.

Last night was the Obama in Second Life meeting, which I seem to have become the secretary for. It becoming a looooooong primary season.

That ball of white light is actually the owner of the headquarters. You don't have to be human to be a Second Life Obama supporter.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Kiva Credit Burns Hole in Pocket

I turned my Kiva credit over today in record time. I got the email, logged on, and started the search. First on central America. Nope. Then looked through to see if any new countries. Nope. Then Sanaa caught my eye 'cause she had a sewing machine.