Aug 15, 2007 UG Uganda

 

Amidst many adventures, this week has had its share of sobering events. Many of Life in Africa’s (LiA) Kiva borrowers live in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Kampala. As a Kiva fellow, I travel to their homes to chat with them about the challenges they face operating small-scale businesses. On most days, the head of LiA’s microfinance program, Grace Ayaa, accompanies me on my interviews to serve as a translator. On Saturday Grace was late to our meeting. After some time she showed up looking dazed and disheartened. Grace informed...

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Aug 15, 2007 KE Kenya

 

So alas, despite my proclamations last week of being the ‘Britney Spears of Africa’ or as I prefer the ‘Princess Di’, no one has asked me for my autograph. But fret not, I still have about a month to go and many more adventures to have! I am really enjoying this blogging malarkey, I will admit that up until a few months ago, I was ignorant about what a blog was, but now I am getting into it, and it’s a really interesting way of communicating with people. So anyway, last week I remarked on how the buses were quickly...

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Aug 13, 2007 GT Guatemala

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This morning we woke up at 4am to catch a microbus from Nebaj, Quiche, Guatemala to interview a group of women in San Francisco Javier. The reason for the interview is to write the story of their business and lives in order to help obtain microloans on Kiva.org for Friendship Bridge in Guatemala. The rain was pouring as we made our way through the deep puddles of the dark streets. Only a few people were out at this time of the morning, walking in the rain underneath...

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Aug 11, 2007 GT Guatemala

Magdalena Santos

We put the best pictures of the wonderful señoras we’re meeting up on our Flickr account and wanted to invite you to see them. These women are some of the most amazing and admirable women. And oh, so photogenic. We grow in respect for them daily.

The entire set is here – we invite you to browse it.

You can browse all the women’s stories on Kiva here.

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Aug 11, 2007 KE Kenya

I’ve been in Nairobi since last Wednesday evening. Eb-F opened a new Unit here about three months ago. On Thursday we moved to a more permanent and bigger office and have just been getting settled. Friday I was able to go to the field – Kibera Slums. A lot of what I could write about Nairobi has already been covered really well by Kerry in other entries but I just wanted to share a quick few thoughts:

- Nairobi traffic is absolutely horrendous. It’s worse than any city I’ve ever seen in the US, except maybe Los Angeles.

- Al-Jazeera news gets a terribly unfair rap in...

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Aug 8, 2007 KE Kenya

So I’m in the home stretch of my time as a Kiva Fellow. I’ll be returning to New York next week. I have mixed emotions about this – it will be wonderful to see my family and friends again, to enjoy American efficiency and hot water and not eat barbecued red meat with every meal, but the past several weeks have been an undeniably instructive, formative and remarkable experience for me. Last Thursday night was my last in Nakuru, the town where Ebony’s head office is. I went to dinner that night with the whole staff. We spent several hours at the restaurant, dancing to the spirited Kenyan...

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Aug 6, 2007 UG Uganda

Greetings from Uganda! My name is Maura and I have been working with Life in Africa (LiA) for the past four weeks. LiA is a community based organization servicing families affected by Northern Uganda’s civil war. Approximately 80% of members belonging to the Kampala LiA Center are mothers living in the Acholi Quarters–an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp. Political instability and violent rebel attacks over the past two decades have caused people to flee from the northern districts to escape persecution. Many LiA members hope to return home in the near future.

As a...

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Aug 5, 2007 GT Guatemala

Hi all – Thought you might want to listen to our podcast explaining what we’re up to here in Guatemala with Friendship Bridge. You can listen to it here or go to our podcast page for other podcasts; you can subscribe if you’d like to.

-Randy and Nancy

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Aug 3, 2007 AZ Azerbaijan

OK, I’m not really lost, but I have been traveling like crazy the past two or so weeks and have not been able to keep up with journals or blogs! I apologize for the length of this, but I’ll try to recap:

14 – 16 July: I jumped on a mashrutka (a fancy name for a really old, unsafe, run-down mini-bus) and headed two hours north of Baku to NorMicro’s branch office in Khachmaz. I spent Saturday hanging out with Azerbaijani friends I have made on previous visits to Khachmaz this summer. On Sunday I went to the modest seaside...

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Aug 3, 2007 KE Kenya

Jambo Jambo everyone from Nairobi! Once again it has been a rather overcast week here in the highlands, but I have faith since we have had two sunny days this week! For all the Kenyans this weather is freezing, but as a Brit, its a normal English summer spent without sun and some rain, pretty standard. So this week has been quite exciting, lots of adventures to report, starting with another trip to Kayole slums outside of Nairobi on Tuesday. Most of the staff went, so it was rather a big day out for us all together, and we were interviewing some people for a project. I was surprisingly...

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