March 19, 2015

Kiva Update - Kiima Foods in Uganda

Another update from Kiva to share with you today.  This time it's regarding my Bare Foot Power loan to Kiima Foods.

Reposted from Kiva:
In this loan model, the organization Kiima Foods chooses and refers to Barefoot, small villages where residents do not have access to electricity. Then Barefoot goes to each village (with approximately 100 households) and meets with the different Kiima Foods groups to explain their solar home systems and gauge customer interest. If households want to buy a solar home system, they must pay 20% in advance as a down payment and then pay the rest in installments over six months.

However, not all households can pay the 20% down payment upfront. For these households, Barefoot instructs them to save up money for the down payment, and whenever they are ready with the down payment Barefoot installs their solar home systems.

Barefoot and Kiima Foods developed this arrangement in partnership, based on Kiima Foods' experience in the communities. Kiima Foods has reported, though, that households are struggling to pay the 20% down payment, so Kiima Foods' sales are slower than expected. Kiima Foods does hope that sales will pick up and intends to revolve the Kiva loan amount twice in the 12-month period.

Kiima Foods appreciates the help provided by all lenders.


This is such a great opportunity for these communities; the fact that so many of these families are struggling to put down a 20% down payment says a lot about their economy and living conditions, unfortunately.  That being said, if even just a few families are able to benefit from this programme at a time, I reckon that's still a win in the long run.  And hopefully, down the road, more families will be able to follow and join suit.

Want to get involved with Kiva, too?  Join Kiva today!

March 16, 2015

Mini Album: Sweden - Part V

Welcome back!

If you've been following this mini series, you'll know that I've been sharing a mini album about my friend Adam visiting me over the summer.  You can find the previous chapters here: chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3 and chapter 4.  And now, the final chapter 5: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Chapter 5: Copenhagen

The Little Mermaid

Copenhagen itinerary

Danish royal crown jewels

Leaving our mark on the Happiness Wall

Hop on/hop off bus tour sights

Canal at Nyhavn


At the end of this chapter I also included a few extra random tidbits:

Notes from a random sick day

Goodbye note

Extra photos & keepsakes envelope

And that's it!  Once carefully wrapped, it made its way over the Atlantic to Adam.  He absolutely loved it - worth every ounce of panic and stress getting it done in time.

Thanks for following along!

March 14, 2015

Mini Album: Sweden - Part IV

Hi again!

Welcome back to my little tour of a mini album I made for my friend, Adam, who visited me over the summer.  If you've missed the previous chapters, you can find them here: chapter 1, chapter 2 and chapter 3.  And now moving on to chapter 4: vikings!

Chapter 3: Vikings

Handmade Viking costume & fittings

And during our day in Simrishamn while paddling in the Baltic, we turn around to find a Viking longship sailing by.  You know, as you do when living in Sweden in the 21st century...  It docked in the harbour.

Longship in Simrishamn

Rune stones

Foteviken historical Viking museum

Viking longhouse and longship

Viking life

Viking ships with the Öresundsbro in the far distance

Viking attack!

Here there be dragons...

Eat your heart out How To Train Your Dragon fans.  ;)

One more installment left - see you soon!

March 11, 2015

Mini Album: Sweden - Part III

Hello, hello!

If you haven't seen the first two installments of this mini series on my mini album of my friend Adam's visit to Sweden, you can find the first two chapters here: Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.  Today we're moving on to chapter 3: fun and silliness!

Chapter 3: Fun

Selfie time!

Adam is a total gear head so we couldn't pass up the opportunity to tour the technical museum, which features a number of different vehicles and even a cool submarine!

Geeking out in the sub

Photo frame exhibition silliness

More photo frame silliness.

We enjoyed a day at the mini golf course, which features famous historical sights throughout Malmö.

Mini golf

Having fun playing on words in the park.

Playing on words

Accent card

Another little space for Adam to write some notes himself:

Note bubbles & interactive art

It turned out there's a big car museum in Simrishamn and they were even having a rally day so we had to go to it.  We jumped on the train and spent the whole day there and it was great fun.


Creepy mannequins & Ronald Reagan's car

Strangely, there is something about this photo and page that I also really love; perhaps it's the simplicity of it:

Paddling in the Baltic Sea

Random snippets

And that's chapter 3 all wrapped up!  Just two more chapters to go so be sure to come back soon.

March 08, 2015

Mini Album: Sweden - Part II

Hi there!

Today we're continuing on with the mini travel album I made for my friend, Adam, after he visited me over the summer.  If you missed the first chapter, be sure to check it out, too.  Chapter 2 features one of my favourite travel pasttimes - food!

Swedish meat fondue

A beer at Lillitorg

Scandinavian food list

Accent page

Plank salmon

I've had these fun crayfish confetti that I've decorated the table with every kräftskriva so I popped a few of them and some star confetti into the side pocket, then closed with some washi tape.

Kräftskriva - crayfish party

Yummy pasta

Three course surf & turf in Copenhagen

Curry & banana pizza, plus dinner at Lillitorg

Now, doesn't all that just make your mouth water?  Stay tuned for the next installment of chapter 3!

March 06, 2015

Mini Album: Sweden - Part I

Welcome back!

So over the summer last year my oldest friend growing up, Adam, came to visit me here in Sweden (finally - yeah!).  I had toyed with the idea of making him a mini album of the trip for his Christmas gift and then got busy with work.  As the holidays suddenly landed on top of me, I found a great set of Simple Stories travel themed SNAP! products at the local craft shop; they were even rather masculine colours.  I hemmed and hawed over whether I should buy them, for fear that I wouldn't get the album done in time but I just couldn't resist so I bought them anyway.

And then I dragged my feet in starting the album.  I mean, I really dragged my feet.  The second from last weekend before I was set to fly out, I finally ordered the photos.  Then I fretted over whether they would arrive in enough time for me to actually put together the album.  They did - but only just.  I whipped up this puppy in two days straight!

The album is divided into five chapters and today I'll share with you the first chapter, which features general sight seeing around Malmö, Sweden.  And apologies for the photos - due to having left this project so late to create, I had to photograph it away from home before handing it over so there are weird reflections and stuff that couldn't be helped at the time.


I love this photo of us together:

Chapter 1


I marked Toronto and Malmö on this world map:

World Map

For these journaling cards, I filled in two and left one with space for writing blank for Adam to fill in himself.

Journaling Cards

Accent cards

Some photo enlargements of special sights nearby:

Turning Torso


And a panoramic of the bridge with a really pretty sunset:


Paddling on the canal

Touring Stortorget

I added a journaling card for a top ten list and a little envelope for tucking away saved tickets:

Top ten & ephemera envelope

Sights of Stortorget

Sights around Malmö

Malmöhus Museum

Whew!  That's all for today; be sure to come back for the remaining chapters.