Stories tagged with Tanzania

Jun 6, 2010 TZ Tanzania

By Sara Strawczynski, KF11 Tanzania

Five months after boarding a plane to San Francisco, it’s time to wrap up my Kiva Fellowship.  For my last post, I’d like to honour a tradition set by past Tanzanian Kiva Fellows (see  posts by Alec Lovett KF4; Jara Small, KF5; and Jennifer Gong, KF9) and share a few of my observations from this crazy and charming country.  Hope you enjoy!

You know you are in Tanzania when…

  • Handshakes can last several minutes –as long as it takes to get through daily greetings.
  • If it takes under...
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    Jun 6, 2010 TZ Tanzania

    By Sara Strawczynski, Tanzania

    That’s a question I’d never considered before serving as a Kiva Fellow.  I figured that charcoal is a dirty and unsustainable source of fuel, and not one that I want to support.  Charcoal production causes massive deforestation and produces considerable emissions of carbon dioxide.  So when presented with the option of lending to a charcoal seller on Kiva’s website, I always selected an entrepreneur in a different sector to support.

    Flash forward a few months – I have now enjoyed hundreds of meals cooked on charcoal stoves and...

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    Jun 6, 2010 TZ Tanzania

    By Sara Strawczynski, Tanzania

    Yesterday I spent about 12 hours on hot, crowded and bumpy buses in Dar Es Salaam.   At least half of that time was spent idling in traffic jams, an inevitable experience whenever one travels to the far-flung corners of this sprawling city. I was trying to reach a couple of Tujijenge Tanzania clients and interview them as part of Kiva’s borrower verification process (learn more about that by reading some excellent blogs on the topic).  I found one of the two clients I was hoping to meet, so the day was partially successful.

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    May 5, 2010 TZ Tanzania

    By Sara Strawczynski, Tanzania

    The Rideau Canal in my hometown of Ottawa, Canada is the world’s largest skating rink.  Each winter, the canal freezes into a winter wonderland, and I love skating along its 7.8 kilometres of ice.  No skate would be complete without a taste of beavertail at the end.  Despite what its name might imply, beavertails are actually a delightfully deep-fried pastry, covered in cinnamon and sugar.  They are available at huts along the ice, and in my mind, beavertails are as much part of winter as skating, cold feet and hot chocolate.

    That’s...

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    Dec 12, 2009 TZ Tanzania

    By Jennifer Gong, KF9 Tanzania

    As my fellowship draws to a close, I would like to contribute my last post to a tradition set by past Tanzanian Kiva Fellows.  There is something unique about the country that fellows have been compelled to share.  Alec Lovett (a KF4 and my interviewer!) first started the series “You know you are in Tanzania when…” back in 2008 and later added a Vol 2.  Jara Small (KF5) brilliantly added her observations and wrote Vol 3.   In my 90 days here, I’ve been privy to witness some of the unique characteristics of Tanzania and its inhabitants....

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    Dec 12, 2009 TZ Tanzania

    by Jennifer Gong, KF9 Tanzania

    The Blue Sweater is a book that recounts the experiences of Jacqueline Novogratz, social venturer and founder of the Acumen Fund. The book contains a string of stories, but the most poignant is the tale behind the title of the book. When she was young, her uncle gave her a blue sweater, which she eventually outgrew and donated away. It would turn out that the journeys of Novogratz and the blue sweater would eventually cross paths a decade later in Rwanda – She, jogging along the dusty roads of Rwanda and it, covering the small frame of...

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    Nov 11, 2009 TZ Tanzania

    Rebecca Corey, KF9 Tanzania

    The first time I got shoved out of the way in a mad rush to the dala-dala bus, my friend Victor said to me, “This is the local local lifestyle, pole sana–I’m very sorry.” The next time he said it was when the electricity went out and I was reading in the living room. “This is the local local, pole dada–sorry sister.” Then again when I had Malaria: “The Tanzania local local, pole sana, pole sana.” In the streets, when Tanzanians are shouting to me, “Mchina, mchina!” Chinese person, chinese person! : “They are local...

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    Nov 11, 2009 TZ Tanzania

    By Jennifer Gong, KF9 Tanzania

    YOSEFO has come a long way.  In 1997, it humbly opened its doors to 50 clients, for a total loan portfolio size of $5000.  However, with unwavering determination, it has succesfully expanded into 14 different communities around Dar es Salaam and has opened offices in Ifakara, Zanzibar, Kilwa and Tanga.  Today, YOSEFO can proudly claim to serve over 11,000 active clients and has seen its loan portfolio increase to $1.5m. This is definitely something to celebrate about, and celebrate we did!  To mark 12 successful years of serving Tanzania, my...

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    Oct 10, 2009 TZ Tanzania

    By Jennifer Gong, KF9 Tanzania

    My name is Jen Gong and I will be spending a few months at YOSEFO, a Kiva field partner in Tanzania.  I arrived in Dar Es Salaam about 2 weeks ago and here is my first entry…

    the YOSEFO CREW!

    There is something enchanting about Tanzania.  Most travelers would say the charm...

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    Oct 10, 2009 TZ Tanzania

    By Rebecca Corey, KF9 Tanzania

    After my first day interacting with Kiva borrowers I was exhausted but exhilarated. It was slow work, waiting while the money for the loans was counted out and matched with each client’s loan record booklet, paperwork was filled out, treasurer and secretary books were gathered. Outside the Tujijenge branch office in the heart of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, members of loan groups languished in the sun, clothes bright against the dusty ground. I glanced out of the window from time to time to watch them and try to guess what...

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