While I didn’t quite get it together enough in the midst of scrambling to get ready to go to write a pre-departure blog, here’s a go at some initial impressions and aspirations for my fellowship. I’ve been in Guatemala a little over 48 hours, and one of the things I’ve been most struck with is how friendly people are here. As with any with any adventure into a new place, there’s a lot of uncertainty. And as I’ve asked for directions, inquired about how to say...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with Friendship Bridge
The past six months have been indescribable. I’ve attempted to wrap my thoughts around them and put them to words, but the result does not compare to the experience. I’m home now, trying to find a way to live here, in this world, with the same passion that comes so naturally when given the constant inspiration and education I received from Kiva’s entrepreneurs. Here are some thoughts I scrambled together on the plane ride home, reflecting on what there is left to do and how to possibly take on the challenge:
Poor little rich girl with the luxury of picking around the slightly...Continue Reading >>
Over the past five months I have, several times, made the ignorant mistake of poking fun at the perceived idea of ‘cold’ here. Coming from Minnesota, land of ‘the nation’s ice box’, where just a couple weeks ago it hit a record low of 40 below, before wind-chill, I have a different mentality of cold than someone from a not-so-northern state, who might put on a winter jacket when the weather hits 60, when we don a t-shirt come spring when the thermometer notch reads above freezing. So, when traveling to places in Peru and now Guatemala, that are known to the locals as unbearably cold, I...Continue Reading >>
I am finding myself in situations here that require much moral thought, and I can’t seem to come up with the right answer, no matter which choice I make. There are children everywhere, all of them somehow under the age of twelve, and all of them working the same trade, selling bracelets, scarves, and little souvenirs on the streets, sharing their stories of sadness and begging for your business. I don’t know what to do with them. Long ago I couldn’t have seen anything but goodness in giving to a child- believing that my money and my food will help them out of their poverty. Now, I see...Continue Reading >>
By Maren Misner, KF3
I’ve found myself lately in a state of peace I can’t seem to explain nor justify. But peace is much preferred to chaos, and I’ll take it, no questions asked. For the first three months of my fellowship I was based in Lima, traveling from there to the different branch offices around the country. While amazing to experience the intense variety of Peru, it can be unsettling to be in a constant state of movement- just as you get used to a place, you have to leave, wondering what you could have accomplished with a bit more time, what relationships you...Continue Reading >>
A few years ago I was told a story of how to tell a first, second, and third time missionary. If you are drinking a glass of lemonade, and a fly lands in it, a first time missionary will ask for a new glass of lemonade. A second-timer will simply remove the fly, but continue to drink the lemonade. And a third-timer will look at the fly, and without interruption, drink the lemonade, fly and all, giving thanks for the extra nutrition! Last week I left Peru and moved on to Guatemala to begin my fifth month as a Kiva Fellow. Sitting down to a delicious lunch of tortillas, chicken, and...Continue Reading >>
Here’s a little video of a more average women’s group meeting at Friendship Bridge. The women meet, pray, have a little team-building exercise, have some “informal education”, this time about how to vote in the upcoming election, then pay their “cuota”, the monthly payment, and figure out about the next meeting. The informal education is one of the facets of Friendship Bridge that they’re most proud of. They want the credit program to be a path to educational growth.
The Friendship Bridge women attend these meetings every 28 days (4 weeks)....
Ever wonder what a real women’s group meeting looks like? Here’s a Guatemalan example, a paperwork meeting for Friendship Bridge in Tecpan. This is where they make the all-important and sometimes stressful decision about how big a loan they want to ask for. Everybody has to come and bring their “cedula” or national identification card. There were 30 women in the group last time, and this time they’re adding four new ones. All 34, with various children and other relatives (and the occasional dog) are crammed into a little unfinished room with a dirt floor...Continue Reading >>
This morning we woke up at 4am to catch a microbus from Nebaj, Quiche, Guatemala to interview a group of women in San Francisco Javier. The reason for the interview is to write the story of their business and lives in order to help obtain microloans on Kiva.org for Friendship Bridge in Guatemala. The rain was pouring as we made our way through the deep puddles of the dark streets. Only a few people were out at...Continue Reading >>
We put the best pictures of the wonderful señoras we’re meeting up on our Flickr account and wanted to invite you to see them. These women are some of the most amazing and admirable women. And oh, so photogenic. We grow in respect for them daily.
The entire set is here – we invite you to browse it.
You can browse all the women’s stories on Kiva here./> Continue Reading >>