Jul 14, 2008 TJ Tajikistan

My experiences here in Tajikistan over the past several weeks have run the full spectrum of human emotion.  I have laughed with astonishment at the absurd amounts of food that have been forced down my throat, stuffed like a pig all in the name of “hospitality”; I have been saddened and amazed by the industry of young porters who abandon school at the age of ten, forgoing their childhoods in order to earn a couple dollars a day carrying fruit, bread, and meat through the vast, chaotic scene of the Panjshanbe bazaar; I have been humbled by...

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Jul 13, 2008 KE Kenya

I have made it safe and on time to my destination in Kisumu, Kenya. It has been a rush. Before I left, Dr. Omedi Ochieng, told me that nothing could prepared me to fully understand what Africa would be. Personal descriptions, books, photos, data, only go so far Prior to my departure I believed that I had a cerebral understanding of what Africa would be like, but being here the visceral experience is daunting.

My head is slowly catching up and as I look around I know that Kiva and micro-...

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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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