Sep 24, 2008 CM Cameroon

Anyone who has spent time in some of the more remote parts of Africa will probably shrug their shoulders at my observations. But as a first time visitor it’s hard not to feel like a bit of a celebrity, at least with the children. Wherever you go, kids stop and look. Sometimes they laugh or point and every now and then they wave and shout ‘white man!’

At first I was a little taken aback, but now it has become quite routine. Mostly I rather enjoy being the local novelty and giving a wave as I walk or ride past.


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Sep 24, 2008 KH Cambodia

Hi friends.  I’m Whitney, newly-minted Kiva Fellow, class 6, headed to Managua, Nicaragua.

I am so ready to go.

The extensive 5-day training at the Kiva offices in San Francisco stimulated every facet of my mind.  Having a background more in exploration than finance, the prospect of living abroad is absolutely thrilling and rather accessible, while gaining confidence in my capacity to convey the inspiration and functionality of Kiva in Spanish is my struggle.

That, and the daunting task of learning to navigate a sizeable Central American city largely devoid of...

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Sep 23, 2008 KE Kenya

As the next round of Kiva Fellows finished their training, Nabomita, Zack, and Julie (KF5) met for a weekend getaway in Mombasa, Kenya. During our reunion, we came up with some words to live by both for successfully completing your fellowship and for happily taking a respite from the rigors of life at an MFI. Read on, for our pearls of wisdom.

1) Don’t let the signs fool you; greasing an Immigration Official’s palm can buy you entry into a foreign country

After 8 hours on a bus from Dar es Salaam,...

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Sep 21, 2008 SD Sudan

Please watch the video



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Sep 19, 2008 BO Bolivia

As I wrote in my last blog entry, my weekend’s planned excursions included a climb up the tallest statue of Jesus in the world (disappointing—turns out he’s closed on Sundays) and a hike in nearby Tunari national park. It also included an unplanned visit to the Clinica Belga Boliviana, the fanciest-sounding hospital in my Lonely Planet guidebook. I had learned the hard way that angry dogs really do bite you in the butt, just like countless cartoon mailmen. I told the clinic’s emergency room attendant that I’d been attacked by a wild dog in the...

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Sep 19, 2008 TG Togo

From the first time I happened across the Kiva Fellows website, I knew I had to apply.  Here was an opportunity to witness first-hand the successes and challenges of microfinance (the most promising poverty alleviation strategy I’ve come across), become fluent in French, and be a part of the cross-cultural, astonishingly successful microlending revolution that is Kiva!!  I generally tend to be somewhat pessimistic – my personal motto is “Expect the worst, and you’ll never be disappointed.”  This time, however, against my better judgment, I let...

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Sep 19, 2008 CM Cameroon

This is my first blog as a kiva fellow and as an individual, so perhaps I will use this time to introduce myself to anyone in the internet community who would like to know.  I am Jen McQuhae, 22, from Vancouver Island, Canada.  I recently completed a four year honours degree in international development with a major in economics at the University of McGill in Montreal.  I have been fortunate enough to spend a great deal of my recent past travelling to a number of countries and working in a variety of contexts.  My last adventure was to Kenya and Tanzania where I worked in HIV clinics,...

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Sep 18, 2008 BA Bosnia and Herzegovina

My name is Milena Arciszewski and I will be serving as a Kiva Fellow for a full year in Bosnia, Kenya and possibly Tanzania and Cambodia.  My first placement is in Zene za Zene in Sarajevo, which targets women affected by the genocide of the 1990s.

I have to say… I am so excited to be doing this!  For two years, I have worked in a cubicle coated with pictures of giraffes and elephants, daydreaming of escaping the office to pursue a career in international development.  The Kiva Fellowship feels like my golden ticket.

Training has been awesome. We eat curry pizza. Shoes...

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Sep 18, 2008 SL Sierra Leone

Everyone can breathe easy again.  After a brief hiatus between Kiva Fellow rotations, you will be experiencing again soon the joys of reading fresh, new blogs from the field in Sierra Leone.  Hi, I’m Adam Grenier and I’m your new Kiva Fellow heading to Sierra Leone, Africa.  You will witness this exciting adventure thru my eyes.  I hope you enjoy it.

Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Guinea in the northeast, Liberia in the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest.  Want to see it on a world map?  Check this out.


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Sep 18, 2008 KE Kenya

Jambo everyone! Or, to prove that I’m “in the know”, Mambo!

Okay, so these may be the only two words I know in Swahili at this point, but I am expecting/hoping that my vocabulary will exponentially increase in the next 13 weeks. At this moment, I am sitting among 29 other, and infinitely more interesting than I, future Fellows in a training session at Kiva headquarters. Here at the Kiva office we have been overeating and learning how to be the very best Fellows we can be (which of course includes learning how to post on this blog!).

This initial post is...

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