Oct 13, 2008 KH Cambodia

Well now is your chance!!!

I will be visiting the Siphat Yang Village Bank and the Chon Erm Village Bank Group this Thursday. If you want me to ask the members of the village bank a question, send me an email with your question: sanjaya.punyasena AT fellows.kiva.org

This is the first time I’m trying this, so I might run into some problems. I want to apologize in advance if I am unable to ask your question. If you could send me your questions before October 15th, that would be great!

Also, if you haven’t voted for Kiva on the American Express Members Project...

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Oct 12, 2008 TZ Tanzania

Hello Kiva Fans,

A little more than a week ago I was sitting on the plane for the last hour of what had been a 36 hour journey – Boston, New York, Zurich, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam.  I watched as the computer generated plane tracker moved across the Kenya/Tanzania border and tried to steady myself for the new circumstances I was about to enter.

This week, I want to share some of the pleasant surprises – of which there are many.  One of the unfortunate unintended consequences of the dogged, and at times heroic, efforts of many to highlight to suffering on this continent...

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Oct 10, 2008 UA Ukraine

Bangladesh needs microfinance.  Nigeria needs microfinance.  But Ukraine?

As a former Soviet state, home of the Orange Revolution, and under-journalized European backwater, Ukraine certainly has an image problem.  It brings to mind images of inscrutable bureaucracy, frozen winters, and monotonous apartment blocks.  Except to those of us who have visited the country or known citizens of Ukraine, it does not bring to mind the sorts of struggling poor that microfinance institutions typically serve.

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Oct 10, 2008 TZ Tanzania

A past fellow to Tanzania, Alec Lovett, posted two blogs on “You Know You’re in Tanzania When…” I’ve posted the links to his blogs and added volume III with my own observations. Enjoy!



Volume III

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Oct 8, 2008 DO Dominican Republic

Below is a video from Esperanza International (from YouTube), the MFI (microfinance institution) that I will be working with in the Dominican Republic. Enjoy!


Time until departure: ONE MORE WEEK!

Take care,


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Oct 7, 2008 UG Uganda

I came across a flier this morning that I found as humorous as I did frightening. I wanted to share it with you, perhaps deepening your insight into just one of the many day-to-day rituals of being a Kiva Fellow in the field. This is a sequel, of sorts, to my earlier blog. I promise to move away from (no pun intended) the transportation theme!

I paraphrase:

Public Transport in Uganda: Be aware. Be very aware!

Over 2,000 people are killed each year on...

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Oct 6, 2008 KH Cambodia


I hope you guys enjoyed the interview. To see a list of all the AMK loans that are currently fundraising on Kiva, click here.

If there aren’t any AMK loans on Kiva, you should check out the AMK Fan Club instead!

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Oct 6, 2008 KE Kenya

I found a snake in the living room closet.

I had been trying to mentally prepare for just this sort of moment, imagining myself cool and collected, taking snakes in the house in my stride. “Oh, just another snake!” I’d smile to everyone as I calmly shooed the snake from the house, proving myself not some silly American, but someone capable – someone who doesn’t fuss about snakes in the house. However, I hadn’t, in fact, thought that I would need to call upon my no-snake-fussing mental...

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Oct 6, 2008 UG Uganda

The 41 km road from the airport in Entebbe to Kampala is an endlessly spreading slum, the road choked with traffic and with boda-bodas and minibuses that serve as public transportation and which obey a vague set of driving rules. The banks of the road are littered with broken-down vehicles and garbage, and burning piles of garbage, and with ramshackle-looking developments. I can’t tell if they’re incomplete or if they’ve been left to deteriorate; every structure has heaps of sand and rocks and blocks surrounding it. The warm equatorial air is thick; the sun filters down through...

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