By Meg Gray, KF10 Costa Rica

Take 1: Me with "my plant business"

As Kiva Fellows, we have to do a little bit of everything. Train loan officers. Verify borrower information. Write journals. And yes sometimes, model for photos as a fake small business owners. Well maybe model/fake business owner isn’t an everyday activity for me, but I think it demonstrates how many different types of things Kiva Fellows fall into in the field.

In this case it was a loan officer who had never used a digital camera before. She was always a little vague, evasive, and distant when I asked her why various clients weren’t ready for the Kiva website yet. Then one day I finally figured it out. The camera was confusing. It never worked for her, she said. The pictures never turned out well and this REALLY stressed her out.

Take 2

So we spent a half hour before her next round of client visits learning her way around the camera. How to turn it on.  Halfway down to focus. No, the big button, the small one turns the camera off. How to not accidentally delete the photo you just took (harder than you might think). Etc. It’s amazing what a difference that half hour made.

Take 3: There's improvement right?

As you head out into the field, you never really know what skill sets you’re going to find at your host MFI. They could be ready to dive head first into the intricacies of the Kiva website or you could have to explain to your loan officers what the Internet is. Our job as Kiva Fellows is to meet them wherever they’re at (with digital camera in hand in this case) and help them figure out whatever steps comes next.

Meg Gray is currently working with Fundación Mujer, a Kiva field partner in San Jose, Costa Rica. Make a loan to a Fundación Mujer client or another entrepreneur on Kiva today! Or help me get the Friends of Fundación Mujer Lending Team off the ground. We’re hoping for at least 10 new members this week!


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