Jul 5, 2010

What I did with your money

When I was snowbound I got a great idea. The idea was that I spend your money and become an international financier. So that is what I have done. I have taken your money, and invested it in entrepreneurial projects on two continents. Let me explain.

It all started with the snow, and the delicious adventure of being icebound, housebound and self-reliant for about ten days after Christmas.  I decided to re-design my website and yes, get my life in order. The hours ran into days, the days into weeks, the weeks into months....Seemed like such a simple task, at first.

By March, I had finally completed writing my 'To Do' list. There was nothing for it, but to tackle each item head on. I
had several older entries (16 altogether).  I knew they were all excellent ideas (once upon a time), but
it seems I had written them in a mysterious code. The first was "Look in 2 Kiva". I considered this might be shorthand to get a kitten, but I had to resort to Google to decipher it. Now that I have, I realize that this word concerns you.

This is how I learned that  Kiva is a simple organization that allows people to lend money to other people across the whole wide world. Simply. Easily. Effectively. 

And where do you come in...  Remember my calendar? I hoped it would be self-financing and it was and then some. In fact, by the end of December,  I had quite a surplus, about €400. Much of your money came in from across the world via PayPal and it was my first real experience of electronic payments and together with the rolled up tenners in brown envelopes I was off. And it was just magical.

Once I had decided how to spread the magic of your dosh, within a few minutes I made an investment in a business inParaguay,  and by tea time, I completed a deal in Cambodia. You can read more and get details about Kiva below.

But what about the painting I hear you ask? Am I not doing any painting anymore? Well, yes, I am doing a bit. Quite a bit, even. I have been working on a number of portraits, and I even made a few videos available on my website of work in progress. (It did snow rather a lot.)

I have also been sending off a load of small pieces to the Old Market House Arts Centre in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, where Assumpta Nugent has been selling paintings like hot cakes.

 The latest on my organizational binge is that I bought an iPhone. It hasn't solved my problems, but it makes me desirous of having two heads instead of one...

with warm regards to you and yours,

signature of Mary Duffy
Become an international financier yourself.

There is something really nice to be able to lend out this surplus in places where $100 is a fortune. And you can do it electronically, with PayPal (which offers its services free).
Try it yourself! Go to Kiva's website and lend to someone across the globe who needs a loan for their business - like raising goats, selling vegetables at market or making bricks. Each loan request has a description of the business and how they plan to use the loan and you get updates letting you know how its all going.

When the entrepreneur pays back their loan you get your money back - you can lend again, donate to Kiva's running expenses or take it back yourself. Kiva's loans are managed by microfinance institutions on the ground who have a lot of experience doing this, so you can trust that your money is being handled well.

Since I made the loans with your money  in March, one has already been repaid. Being an international financier is good for the soul in these recessionary times. You can join me and start small if you like....you can loan as little as $25.00! 

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life as an artist

I write about life as an artist and the challenges that this choice presents. I was born without arms in 1961 and this makes my painting demanding, my life stimulating and my choices complex. I like it like this.