I work freelance, which means most of my payments are made online. I currently work on GAF and Elance. GAF only releases money on Mondays or Tuesdays. What happens is I issue a withdrawal request latest Sunday night, and the funds are released on the next Monday or Tuesday. Requests issued midweek are pushed to the next Monday/Tuesday.

Since my Freelancer Debit card is still in transit, I can only access my funds through Moneybookers. When the card gets here, I’ll be able to withdraw funds straight from the ATM, though it’ll still be Mondays and Tuesdays, and I’m not sure there’s a Mastercard ATM in my neighbourhood.

Once the money gets into my Moneybookers account on Monday or Tuesday, I withdraw it to my Kenyan bank account by wire transfer. That takes another four to five days.

So this week with bills due and schools opening, I need some money, and all of mine is stuck on GAF, Elance, and wire transfers. I won’t be liquid until next Monday. Solution, soft loans.

I called three or four close friends asking for money repayable next Monday, and the answers I got were pretty interesting. One had money, but was holding it for someone else. Why? Well, it was borrowed money, and was due to be paid back – it just hadn’t been collected yet.

Okay. The collector was close to me as well, so I called him and asked if I  could divert part of the repayment. He explained that he needed it immediately, so that he could repay a soft loan.

So here’s the scenario. I go to person A for a loan. He can’t help, because he has money borrowed form Person B. Person B can’t help either, because he needs the money to repay a loan from Person C. And on and on and on.

I call these people my soft loan circle, so I know those weren’t avoidance tactics. We have a bit of a merry-go-round, except that instead of circulating deposits, we circulate withdrawals. We routinely borrow from one another, and the trust is maintained, because we always pay back.

What amused me in this whole scenario is that everyone seems to be borrowing. From each other. We all have solid incomes, but somehow it never quite stretches. So I may end up borrowing from this person, lending that other person, then using the money repaid from my lending … to repay my borrowing. It’s really quite puzzling.

Before I moved back to Kenya, I was warned that life here is really hard. They were sure life ‘out there’ was better, so they told me to stay away. I responded that the people here were surviving, so I would too. And somehow, I do survive, and I’m happy. But I’m really amused with our culture of cyclic borrowing.

Survival Skill Number One: find at least five people you can call for emergency loans. And whatever else you do, make sure you always pay them back; the plan doesn’t work if the cycle is broken.

♫ Pardon me ♫ Incubus ♫

375 thoughts on “Soft loans and hard lives

  1. Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossip and web stuff and this is really irritating. A good web site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for making this site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  2. Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and internet stuff and this is actually annoying. A good website with interesting content, this is what I need. Thanks for making this site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  3. Awesome write-up. I am a normal visitor of your web site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a regular visitor for a really long time.

  4. Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice while you
    amend your website, how can i subscribe for a blog website?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  5. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossip and web stuff and this is actually irritating. A good website with interesting content, this is what I need. Thanks for making this website, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  6. Awesome post. I am a normal visitor of your web site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I’ll be a frequent visitor for a long time.

  7. Hello there. I discovered your website by way of Google at the same time as searching for a similar subject, your website came up. It seems good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  8. Awesome post. I am a regular visitor of your site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I’ll be a regular visitor for a really long time.

  9. Hello there. I discovered your website by means of Google at the same time as searching for a related topic, your site came up. It seems good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  10. Awesome post. I am a regular visitor of your blog and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I’ll be a frequent visitor for a really long time.

  11. Hi there. I found your website by the use of Google whilst looking for a comparable topic, your site came up. It looks great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  12. Awesome write-up. I am a regular visitor of your site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I’ll be a regular visitor for a long time.

  13. Hey there. I found your blog by way of Google at the same time as looking for a comparable subject, your site came up. It looks great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  14. Hi there. I found your web site by means of Google whilst looking for a comparable matter, your website came up. It looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  15. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossip and internet stuff and this is really irritating. A good site with interesting content, that is what I need. Thanks for making this web-site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  16. Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and internet stuff and this is actually irritating. A good blog with exciting content, this is what I need. Thanks for making this web-site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  17. I like what you guys are up also. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I¡¦ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site 🙂

  18. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and web stuff and this is actually frustrating. A good website with interesting content, that is what I need. Thanks for making this web-site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  19. Hi there. I discovered your blog via Google while looking for a related subject, your web site got here up. It seems good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  20. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Today bloggers publish just about gossip and net stuff and this is actually annoying. A good website with interesting content, that is what I need. Thank you for making this web-site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  21. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and internet stuff and this is actually irritating. A good blog with interesting content, this is what I need. Thanks for making this web-site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  22. Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and web stuff and this is really frustrating. A good site with exciting content, that’s what I need. Thanks for making this site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  23. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and net stuff and this is really irritating. A good blog with exciting content, this is what I need. Thank you for making this web-site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  24. Hi there. I discovered your blog by the use of Google whilst searching for a similar matter, your website came up. It seems to be good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  25. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Today bloggers publish just about gossip and web stuff and this is actually frustrating. A good blog with interesting content, that’s what I need. Thank you for making this web site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  26. Awesome post. I am a normal visitor of your site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a frequent visitor for a long time.

  27. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and net stuff and this is really annoying. A good website with exciting content, that’s what I need. Thanks for making this web-site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  28. Awesome write-up. I am a normal visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I’ll be a frequent visitor for a really long time.

  29. Awesome post. I’m a normal visitor of your web site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I’ll be a frequent visitor for a long time.

  30. you’re in point of fact a just right webmaster.
    The web site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you are doing any unique trick.
    Also, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed
    a fantastic process in this matter!

  31. Awesome post. I am a normal visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I will be a regular visitor for a really long time.

  32. Awesome write-up. I am a regular visitor of your site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I will be a regular visitor for a long time.

  33. Awesome post. I’m a normal visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I will be a frequent visitor for a really long time.

  34. Awesome post. I am a normal visitor of your web site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a frequent visitor for a long time.

  35. obviously like your web-site but you need to test the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the reality on the other hand I will definitely come back again.

  36. Hello there, You have done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this website.

  37. This design is spectacular! You obviously know how to keep
    a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos,
    I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  38. hello!,I really like your writing very so much! share we be in contact extra approximately your post on AOL? I require a specialist in this area to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you! Having a look forward to see you.

  39. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and internet stuff and this is really annoying. A good web site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for making this web-site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  40. Hi there. I found your website by means of Google even as looking for a related topic, your web site got here up. It seems good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  41. Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this info. Today bloggers publish just about gossip and net stuff and this is actually frustrating. A good website with exciting content, that is what I need. Thank you for making this web site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  42. Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and net stuff and this is actually frustrating. A good blog with interesting content, that is what I need. Thank you for making this web site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *