My Kiva Loan Scoreboard: 375 Loans, Zero Defaults

Yesterday morning, for the first time in my account, three loans — to a Nicaraguan tailor, a Peruvian student, and a Filipino grocer — were paid in full.

Sure, you can pocket the money when it comes back. (Which is almost always does — Kiva’s overall default rate is currently less than two percent. Given recent stock market downturns, you may well do better with Bolivian woodworkers than the S&P.) But where’s the fun in that?

So today, the $25 that came back from Nicaragua, I sent to a student in Costa Rica. The cash from Peru went to another shopkeeper in Uganda, and the money that came in from The Philippines went to a teacher in Mozambique.

When your loans get repaid and you shuffle the money off to somebody else, it feels like you’re running your own tiny foundation.  It’s really fun.

And remember: this costs me virtually nothing, other than the time value of the money while it’s out of my hands and the rare one or two percent of loans that default.  (That said, I haven’t had a single default so far.)  And for that fair price — a few farthings above free — you get to reach across the world like this:

Sample Image

Neat, huh?

Now that repayments are starting to keep my account almost reloaded on its own, this is starting to look like a lifetime hobby.

It’s one you might enjoy yourself.

Who Hates Whom to be published in Japan

Just found out.  I had no idea anyone in Japan even knew the book existed.  Neat.

First time I’ve had something like this happen.  I don’t have to translate or anything — the Tokyo publisher is doing all that stuff.

Still, nihongo wo renshu suru hitsuyou ga arimasu.  (I need to practice my Japanese.)  Arigato!

California Supreme Court on Prop 8

So the state Supreme Court has come to its decision, to wit:

Gay marriage is like a 1920s spitball — illegal unless you did it before the rules changed.

Idiotic we even have to have this discussion.

As the joke goes, gay people should have every right to feel as miserable, trapped, and full of recrimination and grief as straight people.

Btw, one of the most successful spitball pitchers of the 1920s was named Urban Shocker.

Make up your own punchlines.