Oct 3, 2008 PE Peru

My week has been one of experiencing the meaning of the word ‘between’ (Not to be confused with the town of Between, GA which lies exactly between my parent’s house in Atlanta and my most recent house in Athens).  I have experienced and relished the state of being between, which I have conveniently organized into paragraph form for you. Yes, you.

The first state of between was geographical: between Kiva training in San Francisco and the start of my Kiva Fellowship in Peru and Bolivia.  I am one of the first in the 6thClass of Kiva Fellows to go...

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Sep 30, 2008 VN Vietnam

I am not a morning person. I know this about myself, but am starkly reminded of this fact when my alarm goes off at 6am. In a zombie trance I get out of bed, put the kettle on and have a shower. I put on the clothes I chose the night before, as I know that at 6am in the morning my brain does not work at its best and there is a high risk I may choose clothes and footwear completely impractical for riding on the back of motorbikes and sitting cross-legged on the floor. Today I head out to Bac Ninh, where SEDA has one of their regional offices and...

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Sep 24, 2008 KH Cambodia

Hello! My name is Kieran and I am a Kiva Fellow, sixth iteration. I am currently sitting on a turbulent flight back home to London after an intense week of training at Kiva’s San Francisco offices. I am sad to be leaving, slightly worried about the ancient aircraft I’m on (hoping that the technology is more up-to-date than the Nintendo Gameboy headphones the flight attendant is handing out), but excited about my impending assignment in Cambodia.

The past week has been an eye-opening, exhilarating, and potentially life-changing experience. The outstanding training we...

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Sep 24, 2008 DO Dominican Republic

Hello from Providence, RI! I can report that the New England autumn is rolling in right on cue. It is a time of year that I will be a little sad to miss; it’s crisp, completely refreshing, goes deliciously with hot coffee and your most treasured sweatshirt. The season, the city, my former college campus (as of this past May) will each receive their own “goodbye for now” before I drive back home to Washington DC and then fly to the Dominican Republic (departure: Oct 15th).

As many Kiva Fellows...

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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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