“Again it might have been the American tendency to travel. One goes, not so much to see but to tell afterward” John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley. As a Kiva Fellow, I travel differently. I have too. Instead of trying to throw myself into those great stories that I could tell over and over to friends—about the times when I sipped mate with Argentine gauchos on the Pampa or hiked Machu Picchu in the pouring rain, I am looking for a different story.
If asked before I got here, I don’t know that I could have put a finger on what that story would be. Staring my first day at the mound of challenges that await, I wondered where this story would take me, and how I would tell this story differently. Then I realized that this isn’t a story about me, it’s a story about you. It’s a story about the borrowers, and a story about the people of FAPE and all the other microfinance institutions that make it happen. It’s a story about connecting people across the globe, a story about overcoming poverty, and a story about plugging into something greater than ourselves.
I’d be selfish to think that this story is mine to tell, and I’d be naïve to think that I could do this alone. It takes all of us to make this story a good one. To make it a story worth telling. A story that I invite you all to be a part of.
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Eric Burdullis is a Kiva Fellow working with FAPE in Guatemala City. He is currently dedicated to discovering how many types of fast food there are in La Ciudad and blending in.