Oct 19, 2013 GO Global Update

When I first learned of the possibility of a fellowship with Kiva, my mind raced with visions of exotic food stalls on bustling streets, colorful people conversing in strange tongues and moped rides through pastoral countryside to conduct borrower verifications. So, when I learned that Kiva wanted me to work, here, in my adopted city of San Francisco, I was a little hesitant at first. Then I heard about this innovative program called Kiva Zip, which had the potential, quite literally, to revolutionize micro-lending across the world. This was a chance to work in a start-up... Continue Reading >>


Oct 18, 2013 PH Philippines

 
If I could sum up this day in a couple words, I would say "emotional rollercoaster". The day just seemed like a series of good and bad news that resulted in phenomenal footage. And so it began...
Hopped onto a fishing boat to do a time -lapse. Photo credit: Yungkit
Our original plan for this day was to get on a fishing boat at 4 or 5 in the morning so that we could shoot the client and her crew fishing through the sunrise -Picturesque? Very. Practical? Not at...
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Oct 18, 2013 CO Colombia

When Medellin beat New York and Tel Aviv this year for Wall Street Journal’s “Innovative City of the Year”, news articles reminded everyone of the long way Medellin has come from its dark past as the playground for Pablo Escobar’s drug trade and violent crimes. While this is true, Medellin’s forward thinking spirit should become Medellin's defining characteristic. Medellin has transformed into a city with low crime rates, delicious tap water, a free bike sharing system, and a new metro system. All of this was accomplished by focusing on the future rather than dwelling too much in the past.... Continue Reading >>


Oct 17, 2013 NI Nicaragua

Loan officers are ambassadors in their communities; they are the liaisons between their employers, the Microfinance Institutes, and the borrowers. They are responsible for identifying responsible clients, ensuring they repay their loans on time, and fostering ongoing relationships with them. Inevitably, they are most in tune with the borrower’s behaviors and needs, which makes their work invaluable to the MFI’s performance.   It’s tough work. Pana Pana, the new MFI partner I work with in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua, has 11 loan officers currently serving 2,378... Continue Reading >>


Oct 17, 2013 MX Mexico

We all work hard.  We all put in time into something we are passionate about.  Or, we exhaust all our efforts into something we believe will make a difference.  Studying for tests.  Crunching numbers in the office.   Life is work.  Work is life.  Throughout my entire life I’ve been fortunate enough to meet extremely hard working individuals that have inspired me to not only work hard (my father) but follow your heart (my mother) despite any setbacks you may face (my sister).   However, in only a few weeks into my Fellowship I encountered a person,... Continue Reading >>


Oct 15, 2013 GO Global Update

 
I have some good news and some bad news...
 
Bad news first? My output of sweat has not decreased even though I have now been in the Philippines for more than a week. The humidity of the Negros Islands continues to feel like 100%. But, I really can't complain because without this tropical weather, I wouldn't have the beautiful landscapes to see or film.
 
The good news? I am starting to get a handle on the learning curve of my new equipment. The camera is starting to feel like an extension of my arm...
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Oct 15, 2013 PE Peru

The majesty of Peru extends far beyond Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. This country is teeming with cultural, historical, and geographical diversity.  The following post combines the perspective of three Kiva fellows recently in Peru.  Each offers a brief glimpse into a region where they served and a specific example of how micro-finance with Kiva is making a difference on the ground. The Spanish conquerors oversimplified Peru into three geographic regions: 1. Sierra (mountain highlands), 2. Selva (broadleaf rainforest), 3. Costa (desert coast).  Although these regions do... Continue Reading >>


Oct 13, 2013 KE Kenya

If you are privileged enough to visit Nairobi, you can decide to approach the city out of fear and simply visit the airport, hotels, and expat bars.The other more rewarding option is to enjoy the vibrancy and rich culture of Nairobi (aka "Silicon Savannah") by using public transportation to navigate the capitol.

Make sure to remember a few things to lower your chances of over-paying, getting lost or getting stressed:

  • Death and taxes....and traffic:...

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Oct 12, 2013 UA Ukraine

I'm going where? Ukraine! Being Kiva Fellow is being flexible, and for me that meant both the fear and the thrill of going where I'd never thought I'd go - the former Soviet Union!  As a media fellow in Eastern Europe, I've been traveling and photographing Kiva borrowers in Southern Ukraine and Crimea - near the black sea - for about a month now.  I've met farmers who have taken out loans for greenhouses, drip irrigation and small motor tillers through one of Kiva's field partners here - ACM (Agro Capital Management). Many...

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Oct 9, 2013 KE Kenya

Man performing Muslim prayers while waiting for the terrorist siege to end
The media hype may be winding down but many of us here in Kenya are still shaken by the Westgate terrorist attack. While my own experience may not be as compelling as those in the news, it has left me with a deeper compassion for those who live in constant fear. 

Early afternoon Saturday, September 21st, I was sitting in a seminar at the Storymoja Literature Festival at the National Museum of...

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