Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mrs. Phim, Maria & Nelson

Have I mentioned any of these folks to you?  No?  Really?  That’s a surprise.  Okay, well, I will right now.

Mrs. Phim lives in Cambodia with her husband who has a well-digging business. Maria runs a stationary & dry goods shop in Mexico. Nelson sells medical books in Bolivia. I’ve lent all of them $25 to help them out with their businesses.

Mrs. Phim & Maria are both paying me back.  Nelson is still trying to raise the $1,200 he needs to purchase inventory to sell at a fair in his city in July.

I found all three of them through Kiva.  I was actually the first person to lend to Nelson, which I found kinda cool.

I joined Kiva in April and since then, I’ve lent a total of $75.  $6.42 of that has already been repaid.  You can see more details about my loans on my lender page.  The average Kiva user has loaned $236.11 and has $41.56 in outstanding loans so I still have a ways to go. 

If you’ve even remotely pondered the idea of getting involved in microlending, give it a try.  It is such an easy way to make a difference.  As of right now, there are 814 loans that are fundraising.  I’m sure one of them would interest you.

Join Kiva.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And it starts...

Today, I bought an orchid.  It was on sale at the grocery store.  Obviously, that was a sign from God that it was time to start working on Thing 30 (Get an orchid and keep it alive for six months.)  It came with instructions of 1/4 cup of water a week but if you noticed the comments on Thing 30, you saw that Steve's wife, Kim, has been keeping an orchid alive by giving it three ice cubes a week.  Of course, I googled this to find out if I'm supposed to give all three ice cubes at once or if you are supposed to spread them out.  And there's an ENTIRE BLOG dedicated to giving one's orchid three ice cubes a week.  Don't believe me?  The name of the blog is Just Add Ice Orchids.  This blog will even send you email reminders to add your ice cubes once a week (yes, I signed up.)

Anyway...  We don't actually have any ice cube trays so I'm going to have to pick one up this week.  For today, I'm going to just water it with the 1/4 cup the instructions says.  I'm going to try to remember to post a photo of the orchid every week so stay tuned... 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May 2011 Recap

So my first full month is done. And what did I accomplish? Well, most excitingly, for me, I finished writing up the individual descriptions of each of my Things. Man, was that ever a lot of work. I didn’t really do much proofreading before I posted so feel free to point out typos, etc. I’ll probably just ignore you but at least you’ll feel like you’ve done your part. Anyway, with all the things written up, my list is now final.

I also got two Things completed – one was inspire/encourage someone to set up their own lists. I know of at least three people that started a 101 Things list after seeing mine and two have now posted on Thing 64, saying they’ve finished something on their list. So that one got crossed off the list. And, I also managed to get up when the alarm went off for an entire week. I can’t say I’ve kept this trend up every day but I have been getting up quickly enough that Penny and I are going on a longer morning walk than usual, which is going to be important if we get the hot summer they are calling for.

I’ve got lots on the go. In May, I made my second Kiva loan (and got a repayment on my first one – yay!) My second loan was to Maria in Mexico – she has a stationary store and needed a loan to invest in more inventory for her store. She plans to use the profits she gets from the sales to buy a computer for her children’s school. She’s part of a group called Lago Ness, which is named after Loch Ness. Which is why I lent to her. If anyone is interested in microlending, I really urge you to check it out.

As for some of my ongoing Things:
  • I’ve kept on track with my handwritten letters. Canada Post is threatening to derail this one with a possible strike on Thursday. If that’s the case, I’ll be hand-delivering my letters until the mail gets going again.
  • Penny and I have walked a total of 19.55 km
  • I’m up to 20 books read for my 50 Book Pledge and my TBR pile is sitting at 51
  • 2 new recipes in the form of Teriyaki Salmon and a new banana bread recipe (both decent)
  • My transfer of shares finally got picked up so my TFSA is coming along nicely. I’ve also kept on track with my $25 for each Thing finished.
  • I bought tickets to see Train & Maroon 5 in August, which will be my second concert, after seeing the Hip in July.
  • I’m up to 39 Wikipedia articles read.

Probably the most exciting Thing I’ve been working on is learning to play the drums. In May, I rented a drum kit (yes, it did fit in Gilligan) and started lessons. I’ve had two so far (the other two I should have had by now were cancelled) and it’s been pretty fun. Penny isn’t the biggest fan of the noise but she’s surviving. Private concerts are available via Skype.

I’m expecting June to be a good month for making progress on my 200km with Penny. I’m also hoping my reading will pick up now that I’m done writing up all my Things. Also, if the rumour mill is correct, the free iPod deal will be on soon so I’ll be ordering a Mac fairly soon. Which is good, the USB ports in my monitor are no longer working and updates no longer seem to be installing. Though, the new OS looks pretty cool so I might wait until that comes out later this summer. I’ll keep plugging away at my ongoing Things, of course, but I don’t have anything else specific planned. We’ll see what the month brings.