Calling for all T-shirts


So I’ve spent the last three months in San Francisco, anticipating my Kiva adventure in Nicaragua and familiarizing myself with the various players in the surprisingly small microfinance network. Now, I’m just four short days away from embarking.

Excited? Yes. Nervous? Definitely. Ready? Well, I don’t think it really matters at this point. The best way to learn, it can be said, is to throw yourself right into it.

Speaking of getting ready, I had a really great idea (or so it seemed at the time) on how to assemble an ideal wardrobe for my work in Nicaragua. T-shirts. I figured, since I’m going to be spending my days in the field, on the backs of buses and motorcycles, in the heart of Central American rurality, what better accessory to have than innumerable T-shirts. So, I started up this whole armamentarium, collecting unused, oftentimes old and unwanted, yet still charitable, donations from my friends. One of my friends in the Bay Area startup world had an even greater idea: let’s hop in the car, drive around to various startups, and ask for t-shirt donations. While it never happened, by the end of this venture, I had amassed far more t-shirts than a girl can hope to possess.

But wait, the punch. I emailed the Director of Finance of my MFI (ADIM) a few days ago, inquiring as to what the dress code is. His words: “Como gustes, no tan informal que contraríe la presentación normal de una oficinista,” or, “Whatever you prefer, but not so informal as to contradict the presentation of an office worker.” Well…that pretty much rules out t-shirts. Sigh. I guess I’ll have to give myself an A for effort. And now I have a lot more t-shirts.

While the above story marks a humorous beginning to my upcoming journey, what it comes down to is this: I am at a stage in my life where I am ready to make a tangible impact. I want to throw caution to the wind, let go of the comforts to which I am accustomed, and experiment with the road less traveled to get to my final destination…helping the world get that much closer to eradicating poverty.

More to come soon from Managua, Nicaragua!


About the author

Maya Mylavarapu