A Travellerspoint blog

Sunny Side Up, Please...

(An Accountant's Dream Come True)

Offering coins, by monkyhands

Offering coins, by monkyhands

So, I said I would be back and here I am... Though, only for a few brief comments and to show off a bit of math. No, you don't have to do the math. I had to do the math. I hate math. But, I did it anyway because our accountants threatened me with bodily harm if I didn't do the math. Luckily for me, the calculator didn't die halfway through.

For those of you who really like numbers, or just have an strange curiosity about how well I can add and subtract, I shall now try to make the end of the year financial report interesting. (Well, I did say "try"... I make no promises...)



TPF officially began it's financial career on March 7, 2009 with a grand total of $13.50 as seed money. Basically, it was all I had earned through Adsense up to that point. It was a start. As of December 31, 2009, contributions totaled $320.15 with 2 pay outs of $117.15 (July) and $109.27 (October), respectively. The remaining $93.73 is just waiting for more friends to arrive during 2010. (Actually, we'll be due for another payment at the end of January. WOOHOO!!)


The Amazon program has earned a grand total of $119.18 since July, 2009. We received an $11.02 pay out back in October. But, December was a very profitable period and we have $108.16 in that account awaiting release. Amazon works in mysterious ways. Maybe not as mysterious as time-consuming. But, we have the time.


The poor lonely PayPal account has $3.42 in it. That's okay. It'll see an influx of funds in the very near future.


We have had 15 entries published for a total of $75.00 in earnings. We received $40 in September and have $35 still waiting on Peter. Okay, can't blame Peter as the last blog entry wasn't published until December 31st. Hey, it's January 6th so we can blame him! (Mwahahahahaha!!!!! Just kidding Pete!!! Take your time. We're not goin' anywhere.) ;-)


Back in early March, both AdSense and PayPal gave away free money. We saw $0.98 in earning just for testing the bank transfer system. Hey, that's $0.98 we didn't have in February. (That's the freebie part in case you were curious.)

In July, we received $850.00 from the Tour de France Wiki Competition. (Oh, how I like these competitive sports and those who write about them!!!)


Currently, we have $84.00 in our Kiva credit account. We have made 28 - $50 loans which means $1400 has been put to good use. Contributions from TPF's outside earnings has totaled $1125.00 and we have used $275 from loan repayments. Our loan repayments have equaled


(Here comes the math part...)

From March 7th to December 31st, TPF earned a grand total of $1365.31. We have $240.31 still sitting in various accounts. We have made Kiva loans with $1125.00 of the total. So, if you add $1125.00 and $240.31 together you should come up with $1365.31, if I'm not mistaken. Yup - just checked my calculations one more time and it worked. I even did it backwards (using subtraction - a highly useful formula) and it still works.

Now that my calculator's battery has finally decided to give up the ghost, I shall make my exit and that's just my two cents worth... Happy New Year to all and to another year filled with good deeds!!!!

Posted by Isadora 12:00 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Oh, The Questions Of A Thousand Dreams

A New Day, A New Way, And New Eyes

My Friends (June, 1985), Photo Courtesy of Randy Martens Photography

My Friends (June, 1985), Photo Courtesy of Randy Martens Photography


The above photograph was taken in Niger by my brother-in-law back in 1985. He, along with several other "adventurers", toured Africa by traveling in the back of old trucks, using local buses and other assorted forms of transportation. Like many of you, he chose what is commonly considered the traveler's (versus tourist's) version of experiencing the world. He has since visited countless other countries (well, I quit counting them years ago) but his journey through the various African nations has been the one trip he's held closest to his heart. The walls of my house are home to many of the photos from that sojourn.

I have chosen this particular image to make a very simple point. Over the past several months TPF has made 28 loans to assorted global regions for assorted global reasons. We have covered agriculture, food production, housing, clothing, health care, transportation and most recently, retail sales. All of the Entrepreneurs are adults. Almost all of the Entrepreneurs are parents trying to provide for their families or young adults trying to provide for aging parents. Either way, the above photo (in my mind) depicts the true benefactors of our efforts - the children, as they are the way of the future.

They say the ringing out of the old year and the ringing in of the new is also a time for reflection. I've not always held to that belief as I usually choose to look forward rather than back. I do have my "nostalgic" periods but rarely for the 365 days that have just come and gone. Today is a different story. Today, I am more than willing to do the "2009 Year In Review" because, through the Travellerspoint Foundation, all of us have tried to make a difference in our world. Okay, I'm almost done with the sentimentality thing but please bear with me...


Thanks for sticking around and bearing with me!!

I take this time to express my sincerest gratitude to Travellerspoint, Sam, Peter, Eric and everyone single member who has supported the Travellerspoint Foundation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know that I can speak for the TP Overlords with this show of gratitude. We have had such great participation in this project that it has brought me to tears. Okay, it's made me almost weepy. Keep up the good work and I will be in tears. Between the AdSense contributions, Amazon Associates contributions and the Tour de France Competition, TPF has been able to do wonderful things. Come the end of February, the Hippo Roller Project will just be the cherry on top of that luscious (pick your favorite) dessert.


I will bypass all of the commentary and just say four more $50 loans were made on December 26th. We received several repayments which allowed us to add to our portfolio. So, without further ado...

Evelyn Rosaura Soch, Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Evelyn Rosaura Soch, Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Mohamad,  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Mohamad, Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Joyitas De Cosmos Group,  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Joyitas De Cosmos Group, Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Rezel Paderas Group,  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Rezel Paderas Group, Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org



This is where I would usually give the "bottom line" for each of the TPF accounts and projects. But today, you have been spared. Okay, I just don't have the tallies for the end of the year yet. By my clock, I still have 10 hours left to go before year end. And, since California is still 2 hours behind me - make that a good 12 hours or better before we have an accurate accounting. I'm even going to give it until January 2nd before making a report. All I can say - 2009 has been an exceptionally profitable year for a project that was just a spark in someone's mind not that long ago.


A very giant THANK YOU to everyone involved in this project and to those of you who have supported TPF along the way. We couldn't have made 28 loans and created the Hippo Roller Project without your help!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thanks to all of you who have been AdSense Contributors. Without you, this project would never have come to fruition!!!!
  • Thank you to the "Gang of Four" (Greg, Derek, Tina, Brendan and Kris) for your editing expertise with the Travelled Unravelled blogs. (Yes, there are 5 names there but sadly we had to say good bye to Brendan and happily said hello to Kris as Brendan's replacement.)
  • Thank you Michael, for being my mapping genius. I've learned how to map but there are 6 unconnected points that need connecting. Help!
  • Thank you to the Book Review contributors. Please keep reading and writing reviews. The written word has power.
  • Last, but certainly not least... Thank you Sam, Peter and Eric for creating such wonderful opportunities where members of this website can make a difference. You have my round of applause.

With that, I'm done pontificating for 2009. Let the decade roll over and that's just my two cents worth...

Little Accordion Player (Sept, 1999), Photo Courtesy of Randy Martens Photography

Little Accordion Player (Sept, 1999), Photo Courtesy of Randy Martens Photography

As her father looked on, this little girl was playing accordion on the sidewalks of Krakow to help support her family


A special thanks to Randy Martens (my brother-in-law) for the use of his photographs and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for the lyrics used in the title.

Posted by Foundation 12:30 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (2)

Have You Ever Seen A Hippo?

They Just Keep Rollin' Down The Road...

Green Park Chairs stretching to infinity, by GregW

Green Park Chairs stretching to infinity, by GregW

Yessireebob! That time has come again where I am allowed to pontificate about whatever strikes my fancy. Well, within reason. Guess what?! It just so happens I have a reason (maybe even two or three) and I am oh soooooo willing to share. I'll give everyone a couple of minutes to grab a beverage of their choice, pull up the easy chair and get comfy... (Insert "Girl From Ipanema" music here.)


Everyone situated? Excellent. Let's rock and roll...
According to Robert's Rules, this "meeting of the minds" should begin with old business. Makes sense. Especially if we were holding a bona fide committee meeting. We're not. So, into the circular file goes Robert's Rules of Order! (It was boring stuff anyway.)

Have You Ever Seen A Hippo?

Hippos, by Sponte

Hippos, by Sponte

No! I don't mean THOSE hippos!

(Are you sure those aren't rhino butts? Just checkin'...)

I mean THESE hippos:

"Collecting water can be fun!"  Photo Courtesy of hipporoller.org

"Collecting water can be fun!" Photo Courtesy of hipporoller.org

For those of you who have not been following the Wiki Travel Guide Forum (shame on you for that), a "new" (now not so new) competition was launched November 2, 2009. Aptly, it is The Hippo Roller Challenge:

"This simple technology has already transformed the lives of over 200,000 people.
A safer water supply system that has an immediate and measurable benefit."

Those words are taken from the Hippo Roller Project website and they speak volumes all on their own. It's a great cause and one that the TP Foundation is proud to support. But, it will take you, the members, to make this a success...

"The way this challenge works is very simple: The more people contribute to our wiki travel guide, the more hippo rollers we will donate. There are six milestones along the way, and whenever we reach a milestone, we'll donate a designated number of hippo rollers. The challenge will run from November 2 to February 28. If we reach 20 million characters in the wiki travel guide, we will have donated 63 hippo rollers (at $105 per barrel, a total donation of US$ 6615)!"

Not only has TP thrown down the gauntlet, so has one of our favorite members, Michael (Utrecht):

"I will add one more hipporoller IF we reach 20 million before or on the 28th of February. That's a promise! Anyone else wants to join me on that one?"

So, who's up for it? The wiki is just begging for more contributions!!!!!

Kudos to the TP Overlords for creating this challenge! I would also like to thank a couple of members named Rob and Polly for being the inspiration behind the scenes. You can read about their incredible volunteer work and bicycle journey across Africa on their blog: LONGWAYHOME. They are also contributors to the Travel Unravelled blog (see link below).

Money talks, by Magonia

Money talks, by Magonia



The current Kiva Account tallies out at $161.84. Hey, not bad since we were at $49.44 on the 6th of November! We have received $112.40 in repayments - which is ~10% of our total loan amounts. To date, all of our Entrepreneurs (who are in repayment mode presently) have paid their monthly amounts in full and on time. We still have a few that will begin their repayment cycles in December and January.



The month of November brought with it two new TU Blog entries!

Anyone Have A Stamp??? by Lil (lil_lil)

Lil has written a very good entry on the various ways one can stay in touch with friends and family while adventuring in exotic places. From postcards to mobile phones and most things in between are covered in this article.

How to Plan an Epic African Bike Ride - Part I by Rob and Polly Summerhayes (robandpol)

Rob and Polly have covered some of the important tips and tricks they have learned while touring Africa on bicycles. They are also involved with the Hippo Roller Project and Lulisandla Kwmtwana, which is an outreach program for orphaned children. You can read more about both projects on their personal blog.

How to Plan an Epic African Bike Ride - Part 2 is currently in the editing stages and slated for TU publication December 7th. So, stay tuned for more!!

Presently, we are working very hard to have one TU article published each week. But, we do seem to be having a bit of a problem with that master plan. We need some articles! (Here goes that shameless begging.) Please contact us at unravelled [at] travellerspoint [dot] com with any (and all) submission ideas you may have. As always, our Editors are ready and waiting.

Sadly, our editorial staff has had to bid farewell to one of their members this week. Brendan Harding (zaksame) has stepped down to concentrate on his own novel and other personal commitments. We are sorry to see him go but do wish him much success in his own endeavors. Thank you, Brendan, for being part of the team and we'll miss you.

On an upside, Kris Kalav (TP's illustrious beerman) has agreed to follow in Brendan's footsteps. So, please welcome our newest member to the TU editorial staff! And, by all means, send in some article submissions to keep them all busy!



November also brought two new reviews for The Book Club:

Korea: A Walk Through The Land Of Miracles by Simon Winchester - Reviewer: Rebecca B (bex76)

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell - Reviewer: Dave (TLWH)



KIVA ACCOUNT: $161.84 ($112.40 received in repayments.)

ADSENSE ACCOUNT: $69.96 (Earnings since last pay out on October 27th.)

AMAZON ASSOC. ACCOUNT: $3.32 (Awaiting $10.46 payment for August - October earnings.)

PAYPAL ACCOUNT: $3.42 (It's just waiting for friends to stop by.)

TU BLOG CONTRIBUTIONS: $15.00 (Earnings from October and November entries.)

TOTAL TPF EARNINGS TO DATE: $1234.24 (WOOHOO!!! Not bad at all!!!)


It does appear that my time is up and they want me off the stage. I've been informed I've overstayed my welcome and Disney's "Dancing Hippos Revue from Fantasia" was to begin half an hour ago. Who knew? (I just work here.) Not wanting to be crushed by a hippo in a tutu... That's just my two cents worth and enjoy your adventures!

Posted by Foundation 06:03 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (0)


No Application Required

View Isabel Sanchez De Vargas - Pucallpa-ucayali, Peru & Ayandiji Ayamakinde - Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria & Sabouratou Owatunde - Agoe, Togo & Mrs. Srey Mao Srun Village Bank Group - Thnal Teaksen Village, Cambodia on Foundation's travel map.


I'm sure some of you have been wondering why there haven't been Kiva loans made recently. I'm also sure those of you following this blog will have read the The Primrose, Pine Nuts and Post-It™ Notes entry explaining the Foundation's dwindling resources. Whether you read that entry or not, doesn't matter in the long run - we were fund challenged for a short time. It's going to happen again. It's just the way the game is played at this time. In a nutshell - we earn money, wait for the release of that money, transfer that money and finally get to use that money. It's a process that takes time and patience. I have the time and I know all of you have the patience. So, let's move on to the good news, shall we?! Yes, there is good news! There's always some good news!


On November 6th, we were once again able to make 4 - $50.00 loans to Kiva Entrepreneurs. The Foundation received earnings from both the Google AdSense Program and the Amazon Associates Program. The Kiva account has also seen several repayments from previous recipients which have helped fill the coffers for this round of loans. (Please keep in mind, Kiva Entrepreneurs repay loans as we would - a certain amount per month.)

Without further ado, let me introduce you to our latest Entrepreneurs! Take it away Gang of Four!

Ayandiji Ayamakinde, Nigeria  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Ayandiji Ayamakinde, Nigeria Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Mrs. Srey Mao Srun Village Bank Group, Cambodia  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Mrs. Srey Mao Srun Village Bank Group, Cambodia Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Sabouratou Owatunde, Togo  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Sabouratou Owatunde, Togo Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Isabel Sanchez De Vargas, Peru  Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org

Isabel Sanchez De Vargas, Peru Photo Courtesy of Kiva.org



In case anyone is wondering about the "WTPF" thingy - it's TP Foundation's FM radio call letters - or would be if we actually had a radio station. I like pretending we do...


When last reported, we had a whopping $46.54 in the Kiva account. With the influx of funds from Adsense, Amazon and loan repayments, we had a grand total of $249.44. We're now back down to $49.44 with several loan repayments due around November 15th. We may end up having to skip another loan period but as I stated above - it's the name of the game. To view our Entrepreneur repayments, please click here.


Sadly, we've had only one entry published in the TU Blog this month. Sadder yet - it was written by me. But, if you want a scintillating read - check out The Scoop on the Poop. Hey, it's everything everyone wants to know and it earned TPF $5.00. (Now you understand the HELP WANTED sign up at the top.) We need help!!!!! Submissions good and they aren't that hard to write. Really! Please contact us at unravelled [at] travellerspoint [dot] com with an article. We have 4 editors who really, really want to read your stuff!!! No, really!!!


My, my, my... The Book Club has seen only one review this month also. But, it's another good one!

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi - Reviewer: Kris

We received a transfer of $11.02 on October 28th. Currently, we have $10.46 in the Associates account which will be released at the end of November. Please keep in mind that Amazon funds take 60 days processing time. We will see that money in January, 2010. So, until then - shop early and often for the holidays and don't forget to follow an Amazon (book review) link. All purchases, including gift certificates, made through one of our links adds funds to the TPF account. You don't need to buy just books. Honest. It says so in the fine print.


Google Adsense transferred $109.27 on October 27th. We have $43.52 currently in the account. It's going to take a few more clicks to reach our next $100.00 threshold. As with Amazon, AdSense funds have an approximate 30 day processing time. It's gonna be a bit before we see another transfer. (Patience.)


With the transfer of the Amazon and AdSense funds ($120.29), we had a total of $128.42 in the account. A transfer of $125.00 was made to Kiva so our ending PayPal balance is now $3.42. WOOHOO! Hey - beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick (eeewwww) and more will be joining that small amount before too long.


Now that I have introduced you to our new Entrepreneurs, made my pitches for our assorted money-making "schemes" and given you the financial report - I think it's time to just shut up and finish with "That's just my two cents worth".

Oh wait - here's a little song for you too. It'll help pass the time while we wait on the "A" lists to give us more money. Take it away Bobby McFerrin!

Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy......

Posted by Foundation 09:39 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (2)

The Primrose, Pine Nuts and Post-It™ Notes

Things That Start With A "P" for $1000, Alex...

Shadow Walk  Photo Courtesy of Isadora

Shadow Walk Photo Courtesy of Isadora


Okay, you caught me. The title of this blog has nothing to do with it's content. But, admit it. You were curious. I can see the look on your face. What is this crazy woman talking about now?! To be honest, I'm here to talk about the TP Foundation once again. If you'd prefer, I could launch into my best rendition of "Let Me Entertain You" by Gypsy Rose Lee. Who is Gypsy Rose Lee, you ask? Well, I'll let you look that one up for yourselves. (Natalie Wood portrayed her in the 1962 film Gypsy".) But, I digress and now will return to the topic at hand. (Just thought I'd throw a little teaser in here for fun.)

For those of you following this blog, you will notice we do not have pictures of this week's Kiva Entrepreneurs. There's a reason for that. Yes, this was to be a "loan" week but we're a little shy on funds presently. Our objective was to make 4 - $50.00 loans every other week. We've done wonderfully so far - 20 loans given since August 5, 2009. Hey, that's nothing to sneeze at and a round of applause is given to all participants!! I know I say thank you a lot. Guess what - here it comes again... Thank you all!!!

Sands of Time  Photo Courtesy of Isadora

Sands of Time Photo Courtesy of Isadora




Our Kiva Credit Account had held steady at $46.54 until yesterday (Oct. 15th) when we received 18 loan repayments totally $73.74. We now have a grand total of $120.28 just waiting for some more friends to arrive. We need $79.72 and we'll back in business. Luckily, we should have that and a tad more by the end of the month. To view our Entrepreneur repayments, please click here.


During the month of September, the TU Blog had three blog entries published for a total of $15.00. YAY!!!!!!!!! Since that time, nada. Not nothin'. Not nowhere. I'm bummed. I seriously have 4 subjects pending (H1N1, Prescription Drugs & Travel, Entering The US With A Criminal Record and (the most important - trust me) Dealing with Diarrhea.) Now, I could write articles all day long but the blog isn't called Gretchen's Gallery of Goo or Isadora's Inn of Important Information. (It could be - but it's not.) PLEASE!!!!!!!!! Someone contact us at unravelled [at] travellerspoint [dot] com with an article. Our editors are really starting to nod off big time. They're even thinking about traveling themselves. We can't have that!


The Book Club has two new published reviews for your reading pleasure:

Amazon should be depositing $11.02 into the TPF bank account at the end of this month. To date, we have earned a total of $14.33 through book club clicks. (Basically, we can thank Peter for ordering all those gift certificates for the photography competitions.) Again, Christmas is coming so follow a link, shop early and often!!!!


We have reached out second $100 threshold through the AdSense program. In fact, there will be $109.27 that will find it's way to the bank account in the next few days.


There is a sum of $8.13 waiting patiently for company.


Everyone likes knowing the bottom line figure so I thought I'd include it. Between March 7, 2009 and September 30, 2009, the Foundation has earned a grand total of $1,142.06. This does not take into account the October Adsense donations. (It's not the end of the month - yet.) Add another $15.35 (as of this exact moment) for a total total. (The day ain't over yet either.)


Well, I don't really have an ending story so I'll just say thanks again and that's my two cents worth...

Posted by Isadora 11:54 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

(Entries 11 - 15 of 27) « Page 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 »