The first TerraClear sales event of the day starts early so the director and I are on the road at 6:30 AM this Tuesday morning. The goal is to get to the sales event an hour early to help the sales team set up.
Meeting borrowers may be the best part of being a Kiva Fellow. It's an incredibly enriching experience where we get to learn about the borrowers' lives; they all have businesses, homes, families, hopes, and dreams.
Conducting Borrower Verifications is one of the main responsibilities for many Kiva Fellows. A BV is essentially an audit of a borrower to ensure that they're a real person using their Kiva loan for its stated purpose and to assess its impact on their life. Needless to say, there's quite a few adventures to be had while spending three weeks on the road to do twenty BVs in Western Kenya. The following is an entry from my personal journal recounting one particularly trying day on the road.
Meet Jane, a young mother whom I recently hired as a porter in Southwestern Uganda. The duties of a porter in Bwindi’s Impenetrable Forest are not unlike those of a Sherpa in the Himalayas, except instead of climbing mountains, they are tracking jungle animals. Jane and I had
María Isabel has lived on her farm for fifteen years. Before that, she lived in the capital, San José. It was a hard life trying to earn a living when she didn’t complete school. But on her farm, María Isabel has been able to thrive.