The Anonymous Widower

Kiva – On-Line Microfinance

Kiva is almost a cross between peer-to-peer lending and micro-finance.

You choose an entrepreneur with a business in some faraway country, who needs some finance to either start or expand their business.  The business might be a recycling business in Pakistan or a cafe in Vietnam, but the list is endless.  You then contribute something like $25 to the loan they require.

The About page on their web site tells you more. I just signed up and then lent $25 through my PayPal account to a pharmacy in the Congo to buy more drugs. Of the pukka sort that is! It was a very simple process, where you just sign in and then start lending in chunks of $25 to those borrowers you choose from a map of the world.  I have since made a loan to a woman starting a restaurant in Ecuador.  I chose Ecuador, as I have experience of the country, so know a bit about the way they work.

So far they claim they have lent over $337 million dollars and they have a near 99% repayment rate.

I regard any money, I give to Kiva as a donation to charity.  If I get any money back, then that is a bonus. If I get all my money back with interest, then that’s an investment.

I think the big disadvantage of Kiva is that it appears you have to pay by PayPal or a credit card, whereas Zopa or funding Circle can be fed using a direct bank transfer.

Perhaps if you’ve had a clear-out and got rid of unwanted clutter through eBay, Kiva is a good way to spend your PayPal funds creatively.

Remember too, that most of our charity donations are either made by cash or credit card, often through something like JustGiving. A lot of these will be increased by Gift Aid.

August 12, 2012 Posted by | Finance, World | , | 1 Comment

A Comedy Turn At Highbury Corner

I went up to the new littleWaitrose at Highbury Corner this afternoon. No problems in the shopping and in fact the shop is better than its medium sized sister at Islington, as the gluten-free selection is better and the self-service tills are easier to use.

Catching the 277 bus home, I was treated to one of the funniest comedy drunk acts in quite a few years.  An obese lady, probably about fifty, with hair died a bright purple, was trying to board a bus. The stream of invective would have outshone a navvy, who had just dropped a sledge-hammer on their foot. When I arrived the lady driver of the bus, opened the door and let me in.  she seemed totally unmoved at the invective and smiled widely, when I said thanks for waiting for me.  In the end, the drunk was left on the pavement, still screaming loudly, much to the amusement of passengers.

One of the great advantages of Routemasters and their predecessors, was that the conductor could give a signal for the driver to leave quickly. I’ve actually seen a conductor do this, when a drunk was balanced on the rear platform and then give a small push, to make sure the drunk toppled into the road. Health and safety would stop such extreme measures these days.

August 12, 2012 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Magnificent Olympic Park Flowers

So many have remarked that the best part of the Olympic Park is the flowers.

Judge for yourself! Read about how the gardens were created in the Daily Telegraph.

August 12, 2012 Posted by | Sport, World | , , | Leave a comment

Britain’s Secret Ingredient – The Twenty-Third Of March

Someone has just pointed out on Radio 5 Live, that Steve Redgrave, Chris Hoy and Mo Farah, all share the same birthday; the 23rd of March.  They were born in 1962, 1976 and 1982 respectively.

Believe it or not they share the date with Roger Bannister, who was born in 1921.

The theme is carried on by Chris Hoy’s colleague Jason Kenny, who won gold in Beijing and London.

August 12, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment