Posts filed under ‘world events’
After a frenetic week of packing our crate, preparing the contents of our house for auction and then finally packing the rest of our belongings in to suitcases, as we made our way to the airport in Springfield it all seemed just a little surreal.
The journey itself was pretty smooth going; a short layover in Dallas before the 8 hour flight to London Heathrow. The news in the days leading up to our arrival had been all about the riots in London and elsewhere in the UK but we didn’t encounter anything when we first arrived and haven’t directly encountered anything since, although the newspapers and TV featured little else fpr our first week or so here.
So here we are. Our new home is a market town in the middle of the country called Melton Mowbray. Melton Mowbray is known for foxhunting, pork pies and stilton cheese. It also happens to have a market that dates back over 1,000 years. More about all of that later.
Melton itself is pretty small, with around 25,000 people living in the town itself, and 45,000 in the borough (the immediate surrounding area). But – we’re in easy reach of Leicester, Peterborough and Nottingham. London is just 100 miles away.
We wanted to take this opportunity to break away from being car-slaves, and so are intent on using public transport (and our legs of course!). We’ve started being completely car-free – and will see how we fare with that as the winter sets in…..no promises!
The public transport infrastructure here is great. Melton has a railway station and numerous bus routes connecting to it. More blogs about that later, but a good example is the trip to London. It takes a little under 2 hours by train, and costs just £44 ($75) if booked a day in advance.
This weekend marks the end of the girls’ summer. Jilian started school on Thursday, and Marilian starts at her school this Monday. So now it really does feel like we’re here and settled.
We’re always excited to reach the point of making another Kiva loan. Of course Haiti is heavy on our minds at the moment – all the more reason to get excited about being able to make another micro-loan. These loans are making a substantial long-term difference to the borrowers and their community.
Our newest loan is to Benita Lopez and her group.
Benita Lopez is from the village of Villa Concepcion, Cauayan City, Isabela. She is 52 years old. Benita is the group leader of a fifteen-member group loan offered by ASKI. While each member of the group receives an individual loan, they are all collectively responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members if someone is delinquent or defaults.
Benita is married and has two adult children. She owns and operates a business selling bananas and vegetables. She has been engaged in her business for over twenty-six years and earns approximately 1,000 PHP a week.
In 2008, Benita joined ASKI to gain access to financial services to help improve her living situation and her ability to engage in business activities. She is requesting a new loan of 20,000 PHP which will be used to purchase more products to sell. This loan will be her fourth from ASKI. She plans to use the additional revenue generated from the business to improve and expand her business.
ASKI is one of the most successful microfinance institutions in the Philippines. It has twenty-one branches covering the Central and Northeastern areas. Its clients are mostly of farmers, fisherfolk and small entrepreneurs.
Yes – we’ve succumbed.
We’re tweeting or twittering, or whatever you prefer to call it…http://twitter.com/globalfayre
Not quite sure how this works in to the strategic plan for Global Fayre, much less how it will further the cause of Fair Trade, or empower artisans in developing countries.
I wonder how many weavers in Ghana have access to Twitter?
Then again, it can’t hurt, right?!
May 9th is World Fair Trade Day.
We plan to have a whole day of events at Global Fayre and we’d love to hear from anyone that wants to take part or that has something to suggest.
Here’s what on the agenda already:
Fair Trade food sampling – lots of gourmet food and beverages.
World’s Largest Coffee Break – we’ll be taking part in the world’s larges coffee break….the record currently resides with Finland, can you believe that?!
Drums – lots of them
If you want to get in touch, go to our web site at http://www.globalfayre.com
Thanks for supporting Fair Trade!
It’s sad sad news to see the latest developments in Zimbabwe. If the news reports are true, and Morgan Tsvangirai has pulled out of the election, then that marks another blow to any idea of democracy in that country. In our store we have many items that have been made in Zimbabwe, and these pieces bear testiment to the determination of the people there to do something about their lives and about the conditions that they are experiencing. Their strength should set an example to leaders in the ‘free world’ – we need these leaders to stand up to Robert Mugabe, and to insist on free and open elections for the people of Zimbabwe.