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Vision and Verb

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Featuring a sampling of our personal favorites in our latest gallery...

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Kiva - loans that change lives

Vision and Verb KIVA Loans:

6/6/2012 -   Kalinisa, Kenesh Village, Kyrgyzstan 99% REPAID (currency exchange loss)

6/6/2012 -   Lama, Jordan LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/12/2012 - Mujeres de Xeconjom Group, Guatemala LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/12/2012 - Nuevo Horizonte Group, Mexico LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/18/2012 - Miriam, Negev, Israel LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/18/2012 - Noem, Ang Snoul, Cambodia  LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/20/2012 - Phally, Takeo Province, Cambodia LOAN REPAID IN FULL

7/10/2012 - Carmel, Cadiz, Philippines LOAN REPAID IN FULL 

8/4/2012 -   Julia, Boane, Maputo, Mozambique LOAN REPAID IN FULL

8/4/2012 -   Khishigjargal, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

8/11/2012 - Miladys Dayana, Barranquilla, Colombia

9/23/2012 - Dugarmaa, Arhangai, Mongolia LOAN REPAID IN FULL

9/29/2012 - Divino Niño Jesus Group, Caaguazú, Paraguay LOAN REPAID IN FULL

9/29/2012 - Armando, Tonala, Mexico   LOAN REPAID IN FULL

10/17/2012 - Doraliza, Ica, Peru LOAN REPAID IN FULL

10/27/2012 - Sola, Bilasuvar, Azerbaijan LOAN REPAID IN FULL

11/27/2012 - Sergio, Huatusco, Mexico LOAN REPAID IN FULL

11/28/2012 - Sophie, Yaoundé, Cameroon LOAN REPAID IN FULL

12/29/2012 - Paradi De Dolval Group, Trou-du-Nord, Haiti

12/29/2012 - Makieu Andrew's Group, Kenema, Sierra Leone LOAN REPAID IN FULL

12/30/2012 - Alia, Wihdat, Jordan

1/1/2013 -     Prudence 3 Group, Brazzaville, Congo LOAN REPAID IN FULL

1/8/2013 -    Marcia De Jesús, El Sauce, Nicaragua

1/21/2013 -  Caroline, Toluca Lake, United States

2/5/2013 -    Diana Cecilia, Huaraz, Peru 99% REPAID (currency exchange loss)

2/20/2013 -  Lorna, Poblacion 3, Clarin, Misamis Occidental, Phillipines LOAN REPAID IN FULL

2/20/2013 - Kwamboka, Nyamira, Kenya

3/15/2013 - Halima, Malindi, Kenya LOAN REPAID IN FULL

3/15/2013 - Mwanaisha, Malindi, Kenya LOAN REPAID IN FULL

4/25/2013 - Leda Del Rosario, Managua, Nicaragu LOAN REPAID IN FULL

4/25/2013 - Seda, Ujanis village, Syuniq region, Armenia

5/15/2013 - Vilma, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines LOAN REPAID IN FULL

5/19/2013 - Teimuraz, Kutaisi, Georgia LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/20/2013 - Leonora, Bogo, Cebu, Philippines

6/20/2013 - Sherry, Knoxville TN, United States

6/28/2013 - Zahava, Kiryat Ono, Israel

6/28/2013 - Ilkin, Azerbaijan

7/25/2013 - Sine, Albania

7/25/2013 - Luzdina, Pucallpa, Peru

7/25/2013 - Wossidji Iv Group, Warinibougou, Mali LOAN REPAID IN FULL

9/5/2013 -  Norma Carolina, Managua, Nicaragua

9/2/2013 -  Nubia Teresa, Montería, Colombia

9/22/2013 - Salina, Kapsabet, Kenya

9/29/2013 - Purevsuren, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

9/29/2013 - Sambath, Kampong Chhnang Province, Cambodia LOAN REPAID IN FULL 

10/1/2013 - Rinat, Beit Shemesh, Israel

11/3/2013 - Asiya, Ibanda, Uganda

11/3/2013 - Nafisakham, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

11/13/2013 - Harriet, Bombo Road, Uganda LOAN REPAID IN FULL

11/13/2013 - Elizabeth, Naivasha, Kenya

11/14/2013 - Sonia Antonieta, La Esperanza, Intibuca, Honduras

11/26/2013 - Lidia, Cochabamba, Bolivia

12/11/2013 - Teresa Aracely, Osicala, El Salvador

1/4/2014 - Queren Yined, Bogota, Columbia

1/4/2014 - Jorge Carlos, Cochabamba, Bolivia

1/9/2014 - Esther, Sanniquellie, Liberia

1/19/2014 - Sarim, Siem Reap, Cambodia

1/20/2014 - Betty, Kampala, Uganda LOAN REPAID IN FULL

3/4/2014 - Hulkarkhon, Khujand, Tajikistan

3/4/2014 - Fenehas Jason, Hoima, Uganda

3/6/2014 - Maa Bastaren Group, MURIBAHAL, BALANGIR, ODISHA, India

4/10/2014 - Karine, Vanadzor, Armenia

4/10/2014 - Mona, Araara, Israel

4/10/2014 - Nermin, Kosova LOAN REPAID IN FULL

4/10/2014 - Juana Patricia, El Salvador

4/17/2014 - Mentari Group, CILACAP, Indonesia

4/17/2014 - Analiza, Segatic Daku Misamis Occidental, Philippines

4/17/2014 - Shahnoz, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

4/17/2014 - Susana Del Rosario - El Salvador

5/25/2014 - Violet, Kasse, Uganda

5/25/2014 - Alba Del Socorro, Somotillo, Nicaragua

7/13/2014 - Parbati Shg Group, Junagarh, Odisha, India

7/14/2014 - Trinity, Hurungwe, Zimbabwe

7/14/2014 - Madina Khaitsa, Nakaloke, Uganda

7/18/2014 - Alicia Afua, Mallam, Accra, Ghana

7/18/2014 - Alicia Afua, Mallam, Accra, Ghana

7/18/2014 - Alicia Afua, Mallam, Accra, Ghana



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    « On telling jokes | Main | Swahili 101 and the forgotten art of learning a language »

    Owning a Home

    Recently we looked at a house that is up for sale. We spent almost an hour there, meandering through the rooms, pondering the design of the kitchen, wondering who came up with such a weird layout for a living room. I strolled through the backyard, noticing all the trash that was lying almost everywhere.

    The state of the house was terrible. We could easily see that it needed more than just a little bit of TLC. New windows, new floors, preferably hardwood. A fresh coat of paint in warm Mediterranean colors. A completely new color on the outside to chase away the sadness that covered the house. New bathrooms. And the kitchen… it was the best room in the entire house. I envisioned my favorite kitchen from IKEA, a kitchen isle with a basket of fruit on top and a huge wooden dining table where everyone would gather. Flavorful smells coming from the oven and a happy fire crackling in the wood stove.

    So, will we put an offer on the house? Is there a chance that we eventually will become homeowners after decades of renting?

    The honest answer is that I don’t know. But since we looked at that house I have been wondering what it means to me to own a home. Is it really a dream of mine? Is this something I cannot live without?

    I have never owned a home in all my life. Actually, before I came to the States I hadn’t lived in a single-family house, but in apartments. I grew up in a two-bedroom apartment on the third floor of an apartment complex that was built in the sixties. I spent years and years in one-room apartments. When someone made me a good offer for the purchase of a beautiful rooftop apartment I ran. I wanted to travel, see the world and not putting my money into a place that would make me feel being stuck permanently.

    I love the house we’re currently renting. We have been living in this mountain-sage green ranch-style house for almost ten years. It’s a very average, mediocre house. The kitchen drives me nuts. The dining room functions as my studio. The three bedrooms have a good size, but are way too cluttered. The yard was a desert when we moved in that I have converted into a beautiful little paradise ever since and is loved by wildlife. The house is never tidy, but full of laughter and music and loud happy voices.

    Sometimes I wish we would own our home so that we could put in new windows – in the cold season we’re heating the world! We have asked our landlord multiple times whether he would sell the house to us. He would not.

    So – we’re renting. It’s still our HOME. We don’t have to own it.

    Reader Comments (17)

    I like how the birdhouse is tilted a bit in this photo.

    November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChantal

    It's an interesting question, Carola, especially now that I live in Europe...from whence you have come. There's a different mentality here about owning a home, which I actually kinda like. It costs more, for one things, and makes you think twice about what it is you really want. I'm guessing there are pros and cons. Why would you spend a lot of money on an apartment to fix it up the way you want. Which makes me wonder if your landlord would let you do the renovations but pay for them?

    In today's economy, owning a home may be nice until you want to sell it. It's a buyer's market, not a seller's (which may mean you could get a good deal on the place that's now a dump?). They used to say the best place for your money was real estate. I'm not sure that's true anymore? So perhaps renting has its value...like for us here in senior living where everything on the outside is taken care of for us and even some stuff on the inside. Not bad when, as you say, you want to travel and spend your money on other things.

    Sometimes the benefit of a one-room birdhouse is very appealing! In that case, you might want to buy it. :)

    November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGinnie

    Home-owning is a part of the great American dream...mostly unique to this country and nowhere else in the world. If your heart is in it - then wherever it is you are living is 'home'. I'm sure someday - if the right house falls into your lap..and if you can comfortably afford it - you'll buy. But for now - it sounds like you've made your rented house your home. What could be better than that??

    November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarcie

    Hey Carola,I've just always been too much of a moving around girl to own a house, neither of us have, and for awhile I always felt like I had to explain that to people, make excuses. But renting works for us, I don't feel that need inside me, I never have a problem making a place, no matter how small or different it may be, into a home.
    I'm sure you will know when and if the time comes, could just depend on the house. But it seems like you are very much enjoying the home you are in now and that's what matters.

    November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

    i loved your introductory image of a bird house that includes the very notion of transitory which prepared me for the lovely flight of fancy in your prose. "should we or shouldn't we?" a real smile with my morning coffee. it is so nice to start a day with delicious ambiguity that has no right or wrong but is an idea put out there for thoughtful discussion.

    enjoy looking, renting, mess, and laughter. loved it.

    November 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhoney

    We're discovering the flaws in the "American Dream" myth right now, via the financial crisis. Sounds like you have much more sense of place than some people who do own. What works for you is what's important!

    November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJ.G.

    ahhh what a heated subject...to buy or not to buy.....to make a long story short...from my own experiences with renting and now finally buying and putting two LONG years into making this place a dream house. I would NEVER go through this AGAIN even if you paid for it:)
    By the sounds of all the remodeling you would need to do to this place...just by my experiences,I would say right away,,NO, DON`T do it ,,,not a house that needs this much work. BUt that is just me and my last two years of hell I just went through...it is stil way tooooo fresh in my mind and this is so different here than in America...in America I would just go out and buy a brand new home and FORGET all about the hassle and headache with the workmen...that is a torture trip in and of itself dealing with the Firmen...but I have lived in America too and it is all so much easier over there.
    Sounds great where you are renting now and if I had to do it over again I would still be renting here but you know how HIGH rent is in Germany so you might as well build a place of your own here and my husband wanted it more than I did,,,but funny, he never had to deal with all the workmen,,,HE WAS OFF at work all day or travelling the globe so for him he does not have nightmares about the whole experience. With all the work you would need done you have to ask yourself,,,who would do it,,,what would it cost,,,is it even cost effective to rebuild so much in an already run down house or just forget all the stress and headaches and just find something that does not need soooo much work. I don´t think owning is anykind of a dream...it is more like a nitemare:)....so the the long story that I was GOING to make SHORT turned into a book:) and I would say,,,no stay where you are,,,drafty windows and all:)

    November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

    Your lovely bird house photo is reminding us that homes come with many variations of ownership. The birds own it as long as they are there, and yes, your home is yours because you are in it and love it for all its problems. Here in Brooklyn, we own "shares" in a co-op (but long for a place with a little land in the country).
    With the amount of renovation that place would need, do not think of taking it on unless you are ready to put your life on hold and are willing to make the house your full time job for the next few years. Whatever time and money you think it will take, double or triple it, at least.

    November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate on Clinton

    Carola, it sounds like you don't want to move. I wonder what you will decide. Love the picture

    November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPOBSB

    We have been trying to sell our house for a year. I desperately don't want to be a homeowner any more. It's stressful, the house is too big, the mortgage payment too high. I want a break. But having said that, owning a house is the most fabulous thing, it's yours. And it does feel different than a rental that first time you walk through the door.
    Oh bother, I'm NO help at all ... follow your heart!

    November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKath

    Love the birdhouse. Carola, there are pluses and minuses to home ownership. Our reason for owning was partly due to the fact we considered it an investment. We have owned houses for 46 years now so we have indeed built up equity. But as some of your comment-ors said: selling a house now is not a good idea, due to the economy. So keep in mind that there may come a time when you need to sell and can't. However, the joy of being able to decorate and change things is indescribable.

    November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFaye

    hi carola, so funny as james and i are just in the same situation; well, he's owned homes before, i never have. like you i've always only ever rented. we've lived a bit of a transient existence her in africa - it's not always so easy to put down roots here, but now we're wondering about buying the house we're currently renting - a wonderful old stone 'gothic castle' of house up on the foothills of meru. it is for sale, it is do-able...but boy is it scary!!! love the idea of owning something, but it feels very 'adult' :)

    November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEliza

    Since I was first married we've owned our home, then after the divorce I rented for a few years and absolutely hated it. I wanted my own place, a place that I could make my own, paint and decorate and do things with without having to get permission from someone else. Having said that, however, "home" is just a place - it's the people you love (or your pets, if your people are grown) that make your house a home. I think Ginnie mentioned it, but a lot of landlords will let you make improvements and deduct it from the rent. It is to their benefit as well as yours.

    November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterToni

    As they say, "Home is where the heart is" and I have seen small apartments that are quite "homey" and grand houses that leave much to be desired. Physically and emotionally I would struggle at having to do an extensive re-model at this stage of my life. But..."where there is a will, there is a way!" I also am a firm believer that things have a way of working out. If you are meant to own a home, it WILL happen.

    Love your birdhouse image. It is a perfect accompaniment to your post.

    November 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentershenry

    Love this birdhouse image with this post it's perfect. We live in a housing cooperative and own our row-house but share the surroundings with the co-op. We recently started to look for a small house and perhaps we will move someday. Home is where your heart is.

    November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrida

    Home is where you make it, where you feel like you. Whether you own or rent is a whole different issue, and it is a very good question these days. It used to be that it was always better to own, but these days I'm not so sure. Lots of food for thought here, and I love the sound of your backyard...that alone is enough to make it home.

    November 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkelly

    Interesting topic. It raises questions of possessiveness and why we humans want to own things.
    My parents never owned a house. They lived in many types of places--cold water flat, funky set of rooms made into an apartment, duplex, tiny house, medium sized house, huge house that also served as headquarters for the organization the worked for. They did now even own their own furniture until they retired. Yet, all were home. Pictures on the walls, curtains, bedspreads, dishes, pots and pans--all these were the same wherever they lived. Growing up, I never felt deprived for not owning a house. Life was an adventure. Our family made the home.

    November 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnita Bower

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