Chic Chocs Backcountry Skiing 
Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 02:44 AM - Outdoor adventure

Gorgeous trip to the Chic Chocs, Gaspesie park Quebec.

What is a Savings Group? 
Thursday, August 19, 2010, 04:31 PM - The Solidarity Economy & Microfinance

I work with informal unregistered savings groups. They use their own money (no loans or donations from outside), pool it, put aside some for an emergency fund, lend out to each other or invest. Each group makes its own constitution and policies for membership, attendance, fines, interest rates. I have seen fines for: gossiping, your cell phone going off during a meeting, being late, not knowing the groups' balances, coming to a meeting drunk. Each meeting begins with each member reciting one policy as they get their passbooks. As you can see here, passbooks use stamps so those with limited literacy can understand how much savings they have. If it is all their money and their rules, what do they need others for then? Support in weighing their options, governance issues, financial management, linking to other forms of support. Even then, the support is only for a time. In India, over 3 million groups are linked to financial institutions including banks, coops and rural banks.

Monday, August 9, 2010, 03:50 PM - Outdoor adventure

There are incredible wilderness areas for hiking and canoe-camping in NS. Maggy and I did a Keji-Tobiatic-Keji loop this September. Eel weir, down through Mountain Lake, Peskawa L, up the Shelbourne to Sand Beach Lake then back far side through Cobrielle, Puzzle and N. Cranberry back to Eel weir. Little bit of portage trail hunting and bush-wacking but well worth every scrape and bruise. Happy to give details.

Banff Writing Studio 
Monday, May 31, 2010, 03:33 PM - Poetry and Writing

Come to the mountains with gorgeous trails, an incredible community of writers and artists, wine, openings, prepared food, unlimited desserts and see how dedicated you are to working on your manuscript. Seriously, I turned a few corners with "Reverb," my first book of poems in Banff. A truly magical place to write. Thank you NS Talent Trust and Banff Centre for the Arts Writing Studio. Next project is a jazz-poetry collaboration with a jazz musician/composer Chris Tarry who I met there and a Halifax jazz trio, Sanctuary. Stay tuned.

My Luscious Backyard 
Thursday, March 25, 2010, 05:04 PM - Inspiring
This small business in Toronto gets people to trade space for a flower garden and then makes local,organic and edible flowers available. Can think of all kinds of neat adaptations for community associations. What a savvy approach to local. photo: Joan Francuz.

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