A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Foundation

I HAD THE BLUES BECAUSE I HAD NO SHOES

Until Upon The Street I Met A Man Who Had No Feet


View Toyin Ayoola - Lagos State, Nigeria & Abdufatto Ganiev - Istaravshan, Tajikistan & Batrentsen Sonom - Tsetserleg, Arhangai, Mongolia & Kasokoso Central 1 West Nadego Regina Group - Iganga, Uganda on Foundation's travel map.

No Shoes. Photo by Isadora

No Shoes. Photo by Isadora

I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street I met a man who had no feet.
Ancient Persian Saying

FORGOING THE INTRO

I normally start my blog entry with "Welcome Happy Campers!" or "Welcome again kind friends, neighbors, acquaintances, total strangers, pets of the aforementioned, and anyone else reading this at the moment." or something similar. But, those of you who are reading these blog entries regularly are probably feeling "welcomed" enough - then again, maybe not... Just to play it safe - WELCOME TO BLOG ENTRY #8 - and enjoy this portion of "Hiking The Money Trail"!! Yup, it's going to be an ongoing theme from now on...

TPF HAS SPENT MORE OF YOUR MONEY

Please fasten your seat belts, make sure your seat backs are in the upright and locked positions and that your tray tables are securely held in place by that little do-hickey thing affixed to the back of the seat in front of you that the last kid on the plane tried to pry off with his Transformers™ action figure. Forget about the oxygen masks. You won't be needing them. I didn't spend that much of your money. Only $200 worth. Don't believe me? Take a look!!!

Oh, and keep reading because WTPF'S Travel Unravelled and Book Club updates are saved for last. Hey, they are still worth checking out because, thanks to them, we've earned more money.

OUR LOAN RECIPIENTS FOR AUGUST 19, 2009

Toyin Ayoola, Nigeria.  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Toyin Ayoola, Nigeria. Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Kasokoso Central 1 West Nadego Regina Group, Uganda.  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Kasokoso Central 1 West Nadego Regina Group, Uganda. Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Batrentsen Sonom, Mongolia.  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Batrentsen Sonom, Mongolia. Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Abdufatto Ganiev, Tajikistan.  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Abdufatto Ganiev, Tajikistan. Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

In the last blog entry, Hiking The Money Trail, I explained how I would be choosing the Kiva Entrepreneurs, or more specifically why I will be making certain decisions about the recipients. Just as a quick reminder (or if you accidentally missed the last edition), here is the game plan. The first 4 sets of loans will fall under the headings of food, clothing, shelter and health. Education may replace the health category if no Entrepreneurs are available during that lending cycle. What comes after those 4 issues have been addressed is still a work in progress.

DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT OUR ENTREPRENEUR'S MAP!!!!

WTPF LATEST LOCAL NEWS UPDATES

TRAVEL UNRAVELLED

A new entry has been posted in the Travel Unravelled Blog. Eric (aka dr. pepper) has kindly given us hints on how to make our blogs better - be it travel-related or just personal stuff. Please check out 7 Ways to Improve Your Travel Blog because it's really informative. Okay, he says Travel Blog but the "7 Ways" will work for anything. 7 Ways to Improve Your Daily Diary Blog, 7 Ways to Improve Your "I Hate My Boyfriend/Girlfriend" Blog, 7 Ways to Improve Your Whatever Blog. (You get my point, and Eric's.) Anyway, check it out!

Oh, and don't forget to submit your own Travel Unravelled entry! TPF earns $5.00 for each published piece. Plus, you get your name in lights and accolades and all sorts of cool stuff! Well, we haven't gotten all the cool stuff yet so you're stuck with accolades and your name in lights as soon as we find the right switch. We're bound to find it soon!

To date, we've had 5 published entries which have brought in $25.00 for Kiva. Thank you, TP! (That's a loan's worth!!)

THE BOOK CLUB

A new entry has also been made in The Book Club Blog. Claire312 has added her second book review - Married to a Bedouin by Marguerite van Geldermalsen. Claire and her husband are about to embark on a year-long RTW adventure via a motorhome (campervan). If you want to read more about Claire's soon-to-be adventure - visit: European Adventures.

Please check out the book reviews and remember, any links you follow back to Amazon ending in a purchase is additional funds in TPF's coffers. To date, the Amazon Associates coffer is up to $11.02. Those funds will be transfered to the TPF bank account at the end of the month. There's still time to add to the pot....

Looks like that's all the news I have to share this time around so see you in two weeks!! THANKS again for stopping by for a visit as it's been a pleasure and, of course, that's just my two cents worth...

Posted by Foundation 07:59 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

HIKING THE MONEY TRAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or, In For A Penny - In For A Pound: Volume Two


View Jehova Es Mi Pastor 1-3 Group - San Pedro De Macorís, Dominican Republic & Cusi Ccoyllor De Chinchero Group - Chincheros, Peru & Pel Ly's Group - Siem Reap, Cambodia & Aminata Ndao - Dakar, Senegal on Foundation's travel map.

Welcome again kind friends, neighbors, acquaintances, total strangers, pets of the aforementioned, and anyone else reading this at the moment. In the humble words of Crosby, Stills & Nash, "It's been a long time comin'..." but that time has finally arrived and I absolutely need to share this news with all of you!! No! Really! I can't keep it to myself any longer!!

TPF HAS SPENT YOUR MONEY

Okay, we've spent some of your money. Actually, we've spent $200.00 of your money. On Wednesday (August 5, 2009), the Foundation made four Kiva loans in the amount of $50.00 each. Rather than me taking up valuable space describing each of the Entrepreneurs, I'll let Kiva do that instead. Click the image (or "Courtesy of" link for each one) to be taken to their respective Kiva profiles. They explain things much better than I could do in a sentence or two. (Oh, keep reading because there will be more (important) details at the end.)

OUR LOAN RECIPIENTS FOR AUGUST 5, 2009

Aminata Ndao, Senegal.  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Aminata Ndao, Senegal. Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Pel Lys Group, Cambodia.  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Pel Lys Group, Cambodia. Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Cusi Ccoyllor De Chinchero Group, Peru.  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Cusi Ccoyllor De Chinchero Group, Peru. Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Jehova Es Mi Pastor 1-3 Group, Dominican Republic.  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Jehova Es Mi Pastor 1-3 Group, Dominican Republic. Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

CHECK OUT OUR ENTREPRENEUR'S MAP TOO! It's pretty cool!! And, you'll be able to follow the money trail! WOOHOO!!

SO, WHAT'S THE PLAN, STAN??

So glad you asked!!!
On July 28th, TPF's PayPal account received an $850.00 contribution thanks to the Tour de France Wiki Competiton. On July 29th, the AdSense earnings of $118.13 were also transfered over to PayPal. (That one took a few days.) By August 5th, the transfer was completed and a total of $950.00 was placed in TPF's Kiva account. (We have a whopping $18.13 remaining on PayPal just waiting for some more friends (contributions) to stop by.) As mentioned in the last blog entry, that $950 could have been used to make 38 loans immediately. That seemed a bit excessive all at once. It also meant a lot of tracking, mapping, a very long blog entry, and an even longer waiting time before more funds would be available. Where's the fun in that?!

The Foundation will be making regularly scheduled Kiva loans over the next few months - well, 2.375 months to be exact. A set of four $50.00 loans will be made every two weeks, encompassing all parts of the world and all walks of life. In thinking about how Entrepreneurs should be chosen - randomly or with a designated purpose - the "purpose" approach won. What does everyone need for survival? Tops on the list should be: 1) food, 2) clothing, 3) shelter and 4) health because they are the basic necessities of life.

As you've seen (if you clicked the photos), these first four loans centered around food in one way or another because food is, after all, crucial to everyone's survival. Hopefully, the next set of four will revolve around the manufacturing of clothing. Following that, it will be supporting the construction of shelter and then supporting small clinics/health care facilities and personnel. It's a plan. One that may be subject to change depending on available Entrepreneurs in any given endeavor. But, it's a start and one we hope will work well.

OTHER REALLY COOL STUFF

TRAVEL UNRAVELLED

Please check out the Travel Unravelled blog. Again, it is designed to be a self help project where you, as travelers, have the opportunity to help others with their adventures. Click here for more details and the article submission process. (PS: TPF will receive a $5.00 contribution for each published article.)

THE BOOK CLUB

Please check out The Book Club blog too. TP members are encouraged to submit reviews about books they have read (good or bad) while sitting in airports or bus stations or coffee houses or wherever. Please click here for more details and submission information. (PS: TPF will receive contributions through the Amazon Affiliates program when purchases are made (on Amazon) by following a book review link. Those purchases don't need to be just books either.)

Again, thank you for visiting the TP Foundation's blog!!!! Stay tuned to WTPF for the latest breaking news about our Entrepreneur loans and other neat stuff!!! (And, that's just my two cents worth...)

Posted by Foundation 13:07 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Higher Ground

(Or More Like: "Is That Finally The Summit?")

Greetings Happy Campers

Welcome kind friends, neighbors, acquaintances, total strangers, pets of the aforementioned, and anyone else reading this at the moment. (Hey, my cats know how to read. Not well - but they try. Okay, they fail most of the time, but not always.) You have once again stumbled upon the TP Foundation's blog update. It's time to spread the news and guess what - we have news to spread!!! (Amazing, no??!!)

Where We Left Off

Tour de France Wiki Competition
Well, we do know who won the top three places for the real Tour de France: Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and (of course) Lance Armstrong. But, we also know who won the Tour de France Wiki Competition!!! The second place prize was awarded to Arif (arif_kool) because, after all, he's kool and wrote massive quantities of useful information! The first place prize was awarded to Michael (Utrecht) because he had more time on his hands (he works for the government) and wrote even more massive quantities of useful information! Both will be receiving accommodation vouchers for $50 and $100, respectively. THANK YOU BOTH FOR THE EXCELLENT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WIKI (and the Foundation, of course)!!!!! The GRAND PRIZE WINNER - the one and only - TP Foundation!!!!!!! The competition generated $850.00, which will be used to fund Kiva loans. The money is already sitting in the TPF PayPal account awaiting the finalization of the AdSense contributions transfer. (But, more on that down the page so keep reading.)

Travel Unravelled Blog
The Travel Unravelled blog was launched last week!!! Check it out!! Peter has contributed the Welcome To Travel Unravelled and Meet the Editors articles. (Read those first.) Kris (aka beerman) submitted the How To Travel With Confidence (Or At Least Look Like You Know What You're Doing) article (best to avoid the jellied ox testicles diner's package). It's definitely worth the read. Don't forget to follow up with the You Want To Stick That Where? submission. (Yeah, I know where your minds are wandering but you won't know if you're correct until you take at least a quick look.)

Again, the Travel Unravelled blog will be written by travelers (you) to help other travelers become better travelers. For each published submission, a $5.00 contribution will be made to the TP Foundation fund. The submission process is simple. Contact the Editors at unravelled [at] travellerspoint [dot] com and request authorship for the blog. Please include your subject matter and, preferably, a short sample of your article. (Again, for more information on the submission process, look here.) One important item... Please, whatever you do, do NOT submit anything written in text messaging format. Yes, we understand it's a great format for its intended use. Our Editors signed on to check spelling, grammar and do blog formatting. This does not include deciphering text speak. No disrespect intended and thank you in advance as you will make our Editors happy campers.

The Book Club
Last month, the TP Foundation launched The Book Club - a book review blog written by you, the members of TP. So far, we have two reviews - one written by Overlord Peter just to kick things off. So, I really only have one question here... Is everyone busily reading so they can submit reviews? Yes? Terrific!! The submission procedure is very easy - contact Peter, Eric or me and request authorship. For more information about submissions, please see About The Book Club.

Again, The Book Club blog is part of the TP Foundation and a member of the Amazon Affiliates program. This means anyone following a link in a book review, back to Amazon and making a purchase, generates money for the Foundation. Currently, we've had 2 purchases equating to $3.52 in earnings. With the Book Club thread in Off Topic having 330+ replies, I know there are more than 2 members out and about able to review what they have read. Books do not need to be of a travel-related topic - honest. (The About The Book Club will also tell you what's not acceptable material.) So, hurry up and finish that book! We're looking forward to your review!!

Sorry to make this blog entry as long as it is, but I'm almost done... I thought you might like to know the monetary bottom line so saved that for last.

Henna paintings, India.  Photo by snatterand

Henna paintings, India. Photo by snatterand

Kiva Contributions
The TP Foundation has a grand total (as of July 31st) of $1011.18 in various coffers. Hopefully, by the end of today, we'll have $968.13 available for loans. (Sorry, waiting on PayPal to finalize the AdSense transfer from the TP bank account. Bank was quick, PayPal is slow.) In conferring with the Powers-That-Be, it was agreed that loans would be given in increments. Basically, X number of loans for X amount every two weeks. (Oh, you want reasons? Okay.) We could loan $950.00 straight out of the gate - then wait and wait and wait for the next Adsense payment, Competition influx, Amazon paycheck and Travel Unravelled contributions. How boring is that! Spreading out the loans allows everyone to follow the progress, me time to link the Entrepreneurs to the mapping system, make informed decisions on recipients (of major import), add to the blog more often and a bunch of other stuff. It's a win - win situation.

Boring Accounting Stuff To Date

    • AdSense Earnings: $158.35 (through August 3rd)
    • Amazon Earnings: $3.52
    • Tour de France earnings: $850
    • AdSense/PayPal Test Deposits: $0.98
    • Travel Unravelled Earnings: ?

Yes, if you add it all up, you'll be off by $1.75, which are the earnings from August 1st through August 3rd (as of this moment - I did the math, after checking the coffers, too).

So, stay tuned to WTPF as there will be another blog entry made in the next day or two! May I suggest subscribing to this blog now before the line gets too long... First come first served!! Get your latest news here!!!! (And, that's just my two cents worth...)

Posted by Foundation 12:05 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Is Anybody Out There?

As Isa enters the TP Auditorium to welcome everyone and to present the next installment of the Our Two Cents Worth... Foundation blog, she trips on the stairs... "How very odd", she thinks to herself, "The auditorium is dark and there seems to be no one in the audience. Did I get the date wrong and it's really Cheap Trashy Horror Night at the TP Movies?" Isa leaves to find the light switches then quickly returns to the stage to wait for awhile.

Suddenly, the entrance door opens and a head peaks in. "Are we in the right place for the TP Foundation presentation?" "YES! Contestants, ermmm, I mean members, come on down!" replies Isa (sounding a bit like Bob Barker on the Price Is Right morning game show). Slowly the members file in and find their seats. "Alrighty, let's get this party started, shall we?!" With that, Isa begins the presentation...

Once again, I welcome everyone to the monthly installment of the TP Foundation's blog. I have good news and I have bad news. Which would you like first? (A call for bad news first echoes through the auditorium.) Okay, bad news first, it is. Always a good choice - get it over with and then move on. I like your thinking! The bad news: Our membership has remained unchanged since April. Where is everybody? Hello... Can anybody hear me?? This is a great cause, people! I don't mean to be pushy but... (With that, Isa now decides she better rephrase her comments and find a way to bring more members into the Foundation's fold. So, here goes...)

I have been trying to come up with creative ways to entice more members to participate in the Foundation program without violating the Terms & Conditions of both AdSense and TP itself. Unlike the Photo Competitions, we can't offer hotel accommodation vouchers nor travel logs nor even upgraded photo space. Frequent flier miles would have been an option had the airlines been cooperative - they weren't. So, given those "can not do" items, what can I do? I need some input from you. To help out, here is a short list of what we (again) can not do:

    • Contests - nope - out of the question.
    • Advertisements on every page - nope.
    • Mass PMs/e-mails - nope.
    • Holding members for ransom - nope again.
    • Giving the Overlords lots of code to write - good luck with that.
    • Threatening to break TP - been there, done that to no avail.

If anyone has suggestions that do not go against the (AdSense/TP) T&Cs or the list of "nope" things, please contact me via PM or at foundation@travellerspoint.org. I have contacted Bono and Eric Clapton about a benefit concert (they owe me some favors) but it seems they are incognito at the moment. Go fig...

For those of you who are new to the foundation blog and would like more information about it's workings, please see the In For A Penny, In For A Pound and For What It's Worth... entries. Also check out the Travellerspoint Foundation wiki page and the Join the Travellerspoint Foundation thread.

Oooohhh, almost forgot the good news!!! As of right this minute, we have $89.16 in the Foundation account. We are so close to our first $100.00 goal!!!! Rather like the Timex watch that just keeps on tickin', hopefully, our members will just keep on clickin'!

So, I now leave you with our entertainment for this evening... Please give a round of applause for the Derek Trucks Band performing I Wish I Knew!!!!!!! (And, that's just my two cents worth...)

I wish I knew how it would feel to be free
I wish I could break all the chains holding me
I wish I could see everything I had to see
Sing it loud, sing it clear, for the whole round world to hear

I wish I could share all the love that's in my heart
Remove all the bars that keep us apart
I wish you knew how it would feel to be me
Then you'd see, and agree, everyone should be free

I wish I could give all I'm longing to give
I wish I could live like I'm longing to live
I wish I could do everything that I could do
Though I'm way overdue, I'd be starting anew

I wish I could be like a bird in the sky
How sweet it would be if I found I could fly
I'd soar to the sun and look down at the sea
And I'd sing 'cause I know
I sing because I know
I sing because I know
I sing because I know everyone should be free

Guess what? It's graph time!!!!

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Posted by Foundation 11:17 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (2)

For What It's Worth...

Welcome to the second installment of Our Two Cents Worth... We thank all of you who have joined the Foundation and those who are revisiting the blog for the monthly update. (A roar of cheers and applause are heard throughout the website... YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I will try not to pontificate too long but you see how well that worked back in March. Anyway, there are some important issues to cover so I will get straight to the point. Really. Starting right now.

I realize everyone who has already joined the Foundation, and those considering the option, are curious about the timeline between "now" and the Foundation's first loans to Kiva's Entrepreneurs. Honestly, there is no "clear-cut" answer to that question. Wait! Don't go away yet - I can explain.

    • The Google Adsense program, for the US, has a $100 threshold for automatic bank transfers. (Meaning - the account has to reach $100 before they release the funds for automatic transfer.) Presently, we're sitting at $55.65 so just a few more clicks and we're there.
    • When the threshold has been reached, Google audits the funds prior to release. This can take up to 30 days. (Hey, it could be less - we'll find out.)
    • Following the release of funds, there is a short transfer period before the funds are received by Kiva and distributed to the chosen Entrepreneurs.

Though "our" world may be filled with instant gratifications, those receiving our contributions have rarely known such a luxury. And, as much I wish I could snap my fingers so we could make those loans more quickly, I can't. So, please have patience with the process. We will do good in the world. Promise.

Oh, one last comment on the $100 threshold and auto banks transfers... Yes, the Foundation could have opted for receiving "hold-in-your-hand-made-of-real-paper checks for smaller amounts, which may have hastened the first loans. Ultimately, the checks would have to clear (taking 7-10 days) before the money could be transferred to Kiva. Also, I did not want to be the one to break the news that a check had been lost in the mail. The thought of being tarred and feathered or hung by the yardarm was not very appealing. (Cocktails at sunset - yes, hung by the yardarm - I'll pass.)

Okay - now that you've gotten the "bad" news, I do have good news!

    • Kiva has granted permission for TP to use the photos of the recipient Entrepreneurs in creating a "money trail". That's all I'm going to say about it at the moment but it should prove to be pretty cool visually. (See, something to look forward to, right?!)
    • Both the blog and the AdSense account have been "connected" with Google Analytics so we should get some pretty groovy graphs as time goes on. Also, the blog has been connected with Feedburner so someone - ANYONE - subscribe to the blog! Please. I'm on my hands and knees, begging! (I'm wearing kneepads so I can wait. Oh, now that just sounds wrong... Just the same - subscribe or I'll send out the TP Pirates to find you...)
    • I know there was something else but until I think of it...

I leave you with tonight's performer who is none other than the illustrious James Taylor. So... Hit it Sweet Baby James!

When you're down and troubled
And nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest nights...

Again, a very large THANK YOU to all who have joined the cause and that's just my two cents worth....

(Hope you all enjoyed the music and for more information, check out the Travellerspoint Foundation wiki page and the Join the Travellerspoint Foundation thread.)

Oooohhhh - almost forgot the pretty graphs of April's activities... Can't have that now can we?!

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Posted by Foundation 12:12 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

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