A Travellerspoint blog

USA

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)

Paris: Here We Come!!!!!!

The Tour de France Wiki Article Competition (Revised)

"Broadcasting live from Montpellier, France, the TP Foundation has two very big announcements to make - so, take it away, Isa!!!!!"

"Thank you for that introduction!" This is Isa reporting live from Montpellier, France for WTPW!! This report is brought you to by the TP Foundation. Hey, I'm required to put in a plug for the sponsor. It's been a brutal day at the Tour de France time trials. The spokes have been flying out here in Montpelier. But first, a word from that above mentioned sponsor..."

Join in on Travellerspoint's own Tour de France!
As some of you already know, Peter has launched the TP Tour de France Wiki Competition:

"For 3 gruelling weeks, we will challenge any and all of you to help us write the guide articles for the starting and finishing towns of each stage. Travel along with the cyclists by researching these locations and writing up your findings. If you have actually been there, all the better! It will be a great accompaniment to the beautiful footage that is always shown while the Tour is on."

Now, if you follow the TP Tour Route, you will see that there are rewards for authoring wiki articles about the real stage locations:

"For every article about a stage location with over 2000 characters added, we will put $25.00 into the Travellerspoint Foundation." These funds ($50/day maximum) will be used to fund more loans through our favorite organization (yup - you guessed it) Kiva.

The Tour de France wiki sections need your input. Seriously. Nope, not kidding. Hey, someone has to know something about France!!! Besides, do you really want Peter to hang on to that yellow jersey for the duration?? He's already awarded himself the jersey for the first leg. Come on - take it away from him!!! Aussies are good at sailing - not biking!!! (Oooohhhh, maybe we can have an America's Cup Competition for 2010...)
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TRAVEL UNRAVELLED - New Travellerspoint blog, looking for articles!
In the previous TPF blog entry, the Foundation announced A Traveller's Self Help Guide Blog would be launched very soon. Well, guess what??? It's here! Again, there are still a few details to be ironed out. But, put on your thinking caps and get ready to write. As you see, the blog now has a bona fide official title. (The Traveller's Self Help Guide subtitle - we like it - but it has issues.)

Along with the Book Club and Tour de France submissions, Travel Unravelled will have a nice little perk also. For each published entry, a $5.00 contribution will be made to the Foundation and used to fund Kiva loans. Now that's a pretty sweet perk!

Just to prove we're serious and really want your submission - I'll paraphrase Peter:

"...if you don't volunteer your own awesome writing, we're going to come knocking on your door and beg!"

Please don't make us coming knocking on your door. Yes, this is my begging you to contribute. The Travellerspoint Foundation Give Us Your Money Good Will All Around The World Project will thank you over and over with each new loan!!!

Isa now gets down on her knees to beg for Tour de France wiki articles and Travel Unravelled entries or she WILL show up on your doorstep armed with the TP crowbar to pry those words out of you - one by one.

Posted by Isadora 08:38 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!!

As dawn breaks, Isa stands on the street corner hawking the TP Times... "Extra! Extra! Hot off the presses! Breaking news you don't want to miss! You won't be seeing this on your 6:00 news so get a copy while you can! Extra! Extra! Read all about it!!!"

HEADLINES NEWS:

The Book Club - Travellerspoint's Book Review Blog
The Travellerspoint Foundation is extremely proud to announce the launch of it's first, of two, new programs. The Book Club blog is an extension of the Off Topic Forum The TP Book Club is now in session thread, which saw its beginnings in 2005. Due to its success, (our illustrious Overlord) Peter, felt an expansion of the thread to a blog would be an excellent idea. It is. It also appears that no other travel website has an area specifically dedicated to book reviews. (To be fair - none that have been found anyway.) The grand scheme: Let's be the first and conquer the world book by lovely book!!!!! Oh, guess you want to know the rules, eh? Okay - here they are:

    • All members, regardless of rank, are welcome to submit book reviews.
    • Each potential reviewer must contact Peter, Eric or me to be added as a blog author.
    • At that time, each author will have access to the Book Review Style Guide, which will explain how to make the appropriate Amazon affiliation links, insert images, etc. (The Guide and it's format are currently "under construction" by Overlord Eric.)
    • All books - old or new, travel-related or not, are accepted.
    • Note - The "Debbie Does Dallas" comic books do not qualify and will be removed. Just a heads-up.

The TP Foundation applied for and has been accepted as an Amazon Associate too. This is how it works:

    • Reviewed book titles will be linked to Amazon.com. (The Style Guide will explain how authors make these links themselves.)
    • References to any additional titles, by the same or other authors, in a review can also be linked to Amazon.com.
    • Purchases made on Amazon that originated by someone clicking a link on TP, will generate income for the TP Foundation who is listed as the Associate.
    • All Associate earnings will be added to the TP Foundation fund and contributed to Kiva in the form of entrepreneurial loans.

By the way, Peter's feeling a bit lonely out there being the only reviewer thus far... So, let's write some reviews to keep his company and read, read, read, read, read!!!

A Traveller's Self Help Guide Blog
This particular program will be coming to a blog near you any day now! Presently, it is in the final stages of development so you won't have to wait too long to become a participant. As with The Book Club, this guide is being launched under the TP Foundation's umbrella. Yes, we understand it's not the catchiest of titles... But, that's okay because it's not really the title! It's just the subtitle and we happen to like it - a lot. So, what do we mean by "self help guide"? Well, glad you asked!

A Traveller's Self Help Guide will be a blog where TP members contribute helpful information on any number of subjects. As Peter put it to me initially: We would have blog posts on any topics that help travellers be better at travelling. The types of entries I imagine are things like "How to do your banking while travelling" or "How not to get mugged" or "How to keep a blog"... I couldn't have explained it any better myself. With that said, it's time for the "how this blog will work" stuff. Yup, different than the Book Club submissions.

    • All members, regardless of rank, are welcome to submit content.
    • All entries are to be sent to the "Central Submissions Desk" in triplicate. (The submission format and "Central Submissions Desk" aspects are still being worked through at this time.) Okay, just kidding - single copy only unless otherwise requested. No. Really. Don't need three copies.
    • Each entry will be reviewed to ensure proper formatting and grammar by one of the Guide editors. (For more info about Editors - keep reading! Had to keep you interested somehow...)
    • All members submitting entries will have their hands stamped and identities confirmed by robot people.
    • That's all, folks!

A Traveller's Self Help Guide Editors
Please give a rousing round of applause for and a big welcome to the brave souls who have accepted the arduous job of Guide Editor!!! Shall we start with ladies first? Oh, yes, good idea!

    • tway - Our resident copywriter extraordinaire from the land of moose - Canada.
    • GregW - Our resident blogger par excellence, now roaming around the UK somewhere.
    • Piecar - Our resident ex-pat non-sequitur storyteller currently in the Caribbean.
    • zaksame - Our resident Irish writer living and writing in (guess where) Ireland.

THANK YOU ALL - CONTRIBUTORS AND EDITORS ALIKE!!!!!!!! Your sacrifices to the cause are greatly appreciated!! And, we look forward to some very interesting self-help tips. The way we look at it - nothing better than helping someone help themselves while out on an adventure and exploring the world!!

Travellerspoint Wiki/AdSense Program
Yes, I'm almost done! Promise! We reached our $100 threshold on June 12th, which meant the payment hold was removed so the funds could be processed. Those funds are now being audited by AdSense to ensure no click discrepancies. (Part of their T&Cs.) Even though the threshold was reached mid-month, they do their reviews at the end of each month. Sorry - we have to wait just a little bit longer. Not my fault. I'm as anxious to make those first Kiva loans as all of you. The good news - the ending balance for June was $117.28 which ain't all bad!!!

Once again, a very large THANK YOU to all who have chosen to participate!!!!

ps: Sorry - our musical entertainment for this month had to cancel... Oh well... Maybe next month...

Posted by Isadora 13:31 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (1)

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