Mary Riedel, KF9, Philippines

It’s that day of the year when we look forward with hope as we let go of last year’s demons and angels; as they say, “let go or get dragged!” So we put on those funny hats, blow those horns, and dance like we just don’t care!

To inspire you this New Years I’ve collected some dance footage of Kiva Fellows bustin’ a move in the field at their respective Kiva Field Partners (Microfinance Institutes). Each fellow recalls feeling a little trepidatious at getting out on the dance floor, but all seem to recount the story with a smile. If  the US Post Office unofficial motto pledges that “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Then the Kiva Fellow unofficial motto might be something like, “neither typhoon, nor malaria, nor diarrhea, nor subzero temperatures, nor mouthfuls of exhaust, nor embarrassing dance exhibitions stays these fellows from tenaciously completing their appointed deliverables.

So when your out celebrating tonight if you feel like you’ve got lead in your feet or you catch a glimpse of yourself dancing in a reflection just remember the following 5 clips and keep on movin! If the Kiva fellows can do it…so can you!

1. Kiva Fellow: Ed Coambs, KF9, Philippines
2. Kiva Fellow: Josh Weinstein, KF9, Philippines

Occasion/Celebration: Negros for Women Staff Christmas Party

Type of Dance: Marcarena

Personal Experience around the dance: Ed and I (Josh) were the honorary judges of the dance competition at our MFI.  We thought that would give us an immunity from performing.  Unfortunately, the MFI had other plans for us and gave us no choice but to perform.  We had 20 minutes to come up with something, so we chose the only dance that we both knew – the Macarena.  We had to perform in front of 150 of our cheering coworkers.  Against my better judgment, I’m sharing the video with all of you.  As you can tell from video, neither Ed nor I is much of a dancer.

3. Kiva Fellow: Suzy Marinkovich, KF8, Peru (currently a fellow in Chile)

Occasion/Celebration: Finca Peru, volleyball competition

Type of dance: shopping cart and the sprinkler

Personal Experience around the dance: Finca thought our  volleyball should be immediately followed by a dance – in the same clothes. At first they laughed at us thinking gringos cant dance, but after we showed them the shopping cart and the sprinkler, they started copying our every move. Works every time! i just love how so often as kiva fellows you have this thought–
“whelp- just going to have to embrace the awkwardness”
me being embarrasing-

4. Kiva Fellow: Eva Wu, KF9, Philippines

Occasion/Celebration: Hagdan sa Pag-uswag Foundation, Inc. Staff Christmas Party

Personal Experience around the dance: I  totally gotten roped into joining the head office’s choreographed routine for the Christmas party dance contest. But I (unlike Josh and Ed) actually got performance immunity as a judge :D After the official party activities ended people started videoking in the office. There were a lot of crazy ’80s and ’90s songs for a while (think Backstreet Boys) which we tried to dance to, with limited or huge success depending on how you look at it. After everyone had gotten their fill of singing one of my co-workers blasted the videoke machine to party mix mode and we began rocking out to awesome songs, from Avril Lavigne to Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas. One of my favorite moments came when a project officer from Iligan brokedown traditional Filipino dance moves, which we proceeded to follow in a huge circle to “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire. Or when that same project officer made people do the tinikling dance while he improvised with a tennis racket and some other piece of office miscellany instead or the traditional bamboo poles.

Type of Dance: …rocking out clubbin’ style at the office? I didn’t manage to get any actual footage of me dancing – sorry!! But to make up for it, here’s a link to a video of another HSPFI Christmas party that I edited, where you can watch HSPFI borrowers do cool group dances for another dance contest. 

5. Kiva Fellow: Adam Preston, KF9, Philippines

Occasion/Celebration: ASKI Sports Fest (annual event where all branches compete in volleyball, badminton, and table tennis)

Type of Dance: Cheer/”Nobody but you” music video moves (Wonder Girls)

Personal Experience around the dance: (As told by Mary Riedel) Adam was asked to attend the “ASKI Sportsfest.”  Adam said “yes” thinking he’d be competing in some friendly sporting competition. Little did he know these were the final playoffs teams already chosen.  Adam was asked to join the as the cheering squad. Adam accepted the challenge!

6. Kiva Fellow: Brian Kelly, KF9, Armenia

Occasion/Celebration: Aregak Workshop/Conference

Type of Dance:  Classic Armenian Dance Moves!

Personal Experience around the dance: “While I didn’t get any footage of me dancing, here is a little sample of some classic Armenian dance moves.  These were taken at a company-wide party last Friday at the end of a 3 day conference/workshop.  Note the extensive use of arm movements.  I was most definitely dragged up there about 2 songs in, and luckily there is not footage to prove it.”

Happy New Years!! Thanks for watching!

Mary Riedel is a Kiva Fellow working for ASKI in the Philippines who is sitting in a hotel  bar in Cebu City called Le Swiss Chalet, which is neither Swiss nor a Chalet. She is using her new computer purchased after a tragic incident which included a full cup of coffee and her mac.

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