Jul 10, 2008 KH Cambodia

I was surprised to discover earlier this week that I have approached the halfway point of my Kiva fellowship. Upon this realization I was frustrated because of how little I still know about microfinance, development, and rural Cambodia and how little time I have left in my fellowship to advance my understandings on these topics.

That said, I am incredibly indebted to both Kiva and MAXIMA Mikroheranhvatho Co. Ltd to the exposure they have provided me to these issues. Short of complete rural immersion, I cannot imagine a more authentic and candid glimpse of the...

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Jul 9, 2008 KH Cambodia

I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t experience it myself, but Cambodia is a great place to celebrate American Independence Day. If you don’t believe me, I have the pictures to prove it!

This weekend was jam packed with, among other things, a fireworks show on the evening of the 4th and a large celebration at the US embassy in the capital city of Phnom Penh. The event included the typical American fare of burgers, hot dogs, donuts and beer, and enough American activities to make me feel like I was at home again.

As soon as I...

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Jul 9, 2008 SN Senegal

I am beginning to think that Senegal is the land of happiness. Not only do young people often use this English word — along with “nice,” “fine,” and “cool” — to express that everything is OK (in reference to a popular comedian), but my Wolof teacher, Fatou, has informed me that the national language has no easy way of saying “I’m frustrated,” or even for that matter “I’m sad.” Or “what a pity.” Should I attribute this to the complexity of a language that also happens to have no adjectives, or...

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Jul 8, 2008 NI Nicaragua

Here’s an update from Kiva Partner Development Specialist, Daniel Kahn, about his visit to Nicaraguan field partner Asociación de Desarrollo y Promoción Humana de la Costa Atlántica (ADEPHCA)


To see loans currently fundraising from ADEPHCA on Kiva.org, please click here.

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Jul 8, 2008 SL Sierra Leone


“Jalloh, you alive?”

“Yes, Nick… of course.”

“Oh, Jalloh, Jalloh, Jalloh! I think it’s time to get out of here.”

It was 6:45 pm on Thursday. I was sitting in my office in Makeni, next to my coworker from SMT. It had been an exhausting day in the field and in the office. Drenched in sweat with my hands dripping on my keyboard, I had already downed...

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Jul 7, 2008 GT Guatemala



It’s hard to believe another two weeks have already flown by.  Since I last wrote, I spent another fantastic weekend in the gorgeous city of Xela, where I finally got out hiking, headed out of the highlands into the sweltering heat of Mazatenango for another round of interviews, and then back to Pana to write up journals and work on a few projects in the office for Friendship Bridge.  The hike in Xela was absolutely beautiful, which you can sort of see here, but of course the pictures never come even close to...
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Jul 7, 2008 ID Indonesia


A couple days ago, I had the privilege to sit down with Nanik B. Yayuk, a Kiva client in the Badung region of Bali who received a loan of $125 to help her with her recyclables business. Although there are quite a few Kiva clients in the recyclables business, the afternoon I spent chatting with Nanik was a true highlight. Nanik spent 45 minutes happily discussing how the recyclables business works and how she has been utilizing her loan...

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Jul 2, 2008 MX Mexico

This is my first blog entry. Many Kiva Fellow arrival tales involve foreign airports, sweaty travels across long stretches of rural countryside, and the onset of intercontinental jetlag. In contrast, I am probably the first fellow who arrived at his placement by Greyhound bus.

I write you from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, across the border from Laredo, Texas. On one of the local radio stations (local to Texas? local to Mexico? Hard to tell, since radio waves don’t obey borders) they refer to them as “Los Dos Laredos” – the two Laredos. If you just...

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Jul 1, 2008 BA Bosnia and Herzegovina

When I told anyone I was going to Bosnia this summer, the basic reaction I got was confusion.  Everyone was supportive & excited, but definitely surprised.  I was pretty surprised too.  When you sign up for experiences like this, you never know where you will end up.  In this case I’ve had the good fortune of ending up at Women for Women International, and wanted to take time to shed light on the both the organization & the people who do pretty amazing work here & around the world.


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Jun 30, 2008 PY Paraguay

When I told people I was going to spend my summer in Paraguay, I got mostly blank looks.  Unlike Jessica’s panic-inducing internet search results for Nigeria, my results were mostly, well, nonexistent. After all, Paraguay doesn’t have Machu Picchu or the “most dangerous road in the world”.  It doesn’t have Patagonia or the Galapagos.  No Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro.  Mostly it’s just an unknown country with a name similar to Uruguay.  Paraguay?  That’s the one in the middle of South America or on the coast?  Reminds me of when I moved to California from New...

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