Posted by: guinness222 | August 8, 2009

Things to ponder,….seriously!

     About two years ago this fall, I happened to be puttering around the internet and came across an article on a new concept “company” called Kiva, based out of the San Francisco area. It was a non-profit with a great, (but honestly pie in the sky) goal. They were helping folks , individuals and small groups around the world, to be entrepreneurs. They had a lnding program, and the most you could lend was $25, AND you could pick exactly who you wanted to lend it to by going on thier web site ( and seeing who had applied, and how much each one needed in total.

        I figured “Hey, $25 bucks, that’s a couple of evenings Guinness at the pub, and it’s Christmas time soon, …and well I went searching. I had a number of misgivings, like, was this really on the up and up, or was it a scam. Tap the sympathetic folks for a hand out and then boggie with the money. Particularly if they really were giving it to these folks in Africa, Peru, Uruguay, and a ton of middle eastern countries. How did I know the guy who wanted $250 to buy a cow so he could milk it and start a retail dairy business was real, and not just a poster of some needy dude like you see in all the other charity appeals? That’s “short money”, and for a cow? Well what’s the worse I could lose $25, and a couple nights beers at the Pub. So I went looking on their web site. One request seemed to me to pique my curiosity. It was a woman in Azerbaijan who was 39 years old who was starting her own little farm. The picture showed her standing in a field of the scrawniest, most sickly looking “things” growing in obviously  not the best soil or conditions,….so I clicked on her name and it told me a little about ber “business”, she was married with 2 kids,…you know all the right heart strings so I hit the button, and gave this organization $25. It came up with a little box showing how she planned to pay it back, and when, and there was even a little interest included. Again being one of the worlds biggest cynicsI figured, and even remember thinking at the time, “Merry Christmas lady, enjoy my $25!” I then went on about my business and forgot about it, but feeling better that I had given something to someone in need and all.

Would you want to farm that dirt? It's gotta be tough.

Would you want to farm that dirt? It's gotta be tough.

        About a week or so later I got an e-mail saying that enough people donated, (excuse me, invested $25 in her) and the loan was funded. Again I remember thinking at the time, it’s like P.T. Barnaum said, “there’s a sucker born every minute” In fact it took 48 “suckers” to make the $1200 bucks happen. Again off I went back to life and about two months later I get an e-mail that she has made her first loan payment of $56 and it would be credited equally amongst the investors, sure enough I went to my “account” and there was like a whopping $1.83 added to it.

        Every month after that I got e-mails telling me she made another payment, and the loan was 8% paid back etc. Guess what? She paid the whole thing back, on time, and I presume was thankful for it. (See I told you I’m a cynic!) so I started casually looking over the sight, and another offer popped up.


This is Charley and the "motocab" she and her husband run

This is Charley and the "motocab" she and her husband run

    This one was a young lady with a couple kids, married, and she and her husband ran a “motokar” business. It looked like a golf cart that went bad, with a plastic sheet roof, bungee cords holding stuff together. The front of it was obviously like a small motorcycle. She was looking for $500 to buy new tires, brakes, and try and upholster the seats. “Oh what the hell.” I hit the button and made my second loan for $25, and incidentally I made a huge two dollars and change in interest on my first “loan”. This young lady’s name was Charlie, and she was in Peru. Charley did well and repaid her entire loan on time, with interest as well.

     The old adage about teaching a man to fish, versus giving him a fish came to mind, and I realized folks all over the world were willing to work hard and were determined to be entrepreneurs, even if it was running an old beat up motorcycle taxi, or getting pesticide and fertilizer to grow a tiny crop for both food and sales to support a family. So I’ve just been rolling my money over and re-investing in people for a couple of years now.

         This morning I was rolling on the ‘net again and stopped by their sight to check out who was looking for a $25 loan. As I was seeing all the faces and profiles from Peru, China, Angola, Azerbaijan, and dozens of other places, I found a strange one. There was a picture of a woman standing in front of a childrens gym/swing, in a fenced in area and she needed money to purchase more toy us and equipment to keep up her Childrens daycare business. She was from a country called “Massachusetts”!


      That’s in my own country! Not some third world backwards end of civilization destination,but in fact the New England State in which I was born. Why would someone in the United States apply to an organization like Kiva for money to buy toys for her business? She could have gone to a number of banks for a loan, or asked around until she found someone who would lend her the money. Why go to  Kiva? I started reading the bio and description with her application. She was from Ecuador, came to the U.S. ten years ago, has two children she has raised and put through school and her husband cleans commercial buildings for a living. But she wants more, she wants to combine her love of kids and business.

       But damn it this is America! Are we that sad, and in that bad a condition that our own citizens who are willing to work, who are willing to sacrifice and become entrepreneurs in hopes of capturing, and living “The American Dream” can not get a break?

      It beats the hell out of the lazy bastards who live for welfare, unemployment, food stamps and medicaid. These folks WANT to work, contribute, and be more, and pay back their adopted country, but they are reduced to asking for money on an internet web site who, until now, has been trying to help third world countries move up through the feeding chain, but now we are helping Americans survive. IS THIS HOPE WE CAN BELIEVE IN?

       I urge you to go check out the site and tell all your friends about it. It’s one of the very few “people helping people” things I’ve come across where you CAN bring hope around the world via my personal favorite concept of “entrepreneurial spirit”.

       “Teach that man to fish!!”


 P.S. For all my “peeps” I’ll be off line until late this week, gotta go get the plumber to clean out my carotid artery Tuesday morning. After that I should be 100%, well make that 90% cause I’m not giving up the Guinness, but we all can’t be perfect 🙂


  1. I had heard about Kiva, good to know it really does help people. I will go check it out again. Good luck with the plumber, hope it is quick, easy and painfree…

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