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League of Extraordinary men, Are there such, in Vancouver?

In the small community of Commercial Drive I had recently learned about a group of men.
This gathering of men is called a Ukub. Look at this as global trade.

 On Every 15th of the month the men meet on commercial drive, typically at a Italian coffee house to watch soccer. Every month everyone puts aside 250 dollars.

Each month a person’s name is pulled. On the give day of the meeting, the person’s name who was pulled receives 1000, or more depending on how many men are in the group. In this case there are 5 men.

The person gets 1000 dollars, then they choose a place for them all to go eat, they all split the bill-but not with the 1000 dollars.  At dessert time everyone pitches in their 5 dollars for the lotto choice of the month.

The gentlemen I spoke to, says his mother started this in Africa and his culture has been doing this for years. 

The person that got the 1000 dollars pays one member at a time on the 15th of every month, therefore the money is paid back slowly.- 5 months typically, with no interest on a credit card or bank fees. If a person has something coming up, like snow tires or a vacation, they can request that there name is pulled. If none of the members have a problem with it-they help that person out.

That person is pulled out from the names and the next four go in and so on.

Not only is this a bonding of gentlemen to talk about, sports and financial purchases this is a way to always feel you have a community of help in economically frustrating times.

It is defiantly not about the money.  Sometimes like Christmas, the pot will increase to 500. This type of network helps make vacations possible and other things in life that a person may request credit for-

This is the old barter system to avoid debt and credit interest. I am sure to become a part of this group there is a code of ethics and you only go in with the intention of being able to afford to do so, and if you do not pay, you will have 5 men after you in your group.
I recently went for coffee with my friend, and realized in little Italy, he had a few friends there,
Secret hand shake, and the men kiss, yes they do! I realize that these men all are catholic as well, all pray before dinner, are thankful for what they have now, and live a lifestyle that may look extravagant from the outside, but is quite simple.

My friend drives a 40K BMW and lives in a brand new loft-I remember how excited he was when he was installing Bamboo flooring-for centering balance in his chakras..I laughed actually when he was getting the floors done. Until I saw his home.  This man lived on a school board wage, and casual work.

I would ask, how do you do it?? Mainly his focus would be work, yoga, the gym..dining out..reading..learning, then 2 months of the year world travel. The group of men would gather for pot luck dinners, things that were always kept at low cost-help each other out , to create a foundation. Investment discussions and so forth. I know this sounds like a bunch of old fogies!

These are a young generation of men, typically you can find them at places like The Libra Room, the belly dancing place with kabuki pipes, the Spanish dancing on Broadway, Kino. Some of the higher end restaurants on commercial drive.

I have been invited out a few times with my friend, who has big dimples a white smile, his favorite line is "Lara, Love Peace girl, that's all ya gotta worry bout!"
And hes right!

I am very interested in the Ukub, I think this is something I can add to my list for 2012 for a group of women. I have some great financial meet up coordinators to add to the group. This will be on the Lifestyles blog at a later date.

Signing off..
Buzy Day


  1. This type of practice with money is very common in the United states in the african american community. Its like most things,its sounds too good to be true and it usually is. IN the states people have often done it at work and then someone ends up absconding with the money in some way or other. It is about the money, most people who participate work two minimum wage jobs or a very low paying job,they see it as a way out,but what if, whoever holds all the money has other plans, like ripping people off. your friend probably does it with people he has known since childhood and trusts completely,thats the ONLY way to do it. 250 dollars from each person is a great deal of money,even $50 or $25 is if someone takes it and rips everyone off.
    Only a single guy could put $250.00 dollars into a pot like that but who the heck in Vancouver has $250.00 a month to spare,only,like you said people who don't care about the money,
    great piece though, I remember the drive when you were two,it was all itlaians,the whole street,great food, italian opera music playing loudly out of the windows,it was great. Back then they had restaurants with pool tables in the back and lots of italian guys sitting around, everyone thought they were the mafia lol.
    love you
    great story


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