Stories tagged with Cambodia

Jul 7, 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...

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Jul 7, 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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Jun 6, 2008 KH Cambodia

It was kind of an inside joke between my father and I when I was younger that I would make fun of him for never using straws when he drank beverages. “Dad, it makes your life so much easier! You don’t have to bother picking up the glass. You just lean forward a little and drink. It’s great.”

My dad would shake his head at his twelve-year-old daughter. “Straws are superfluous. It’s an unnecessary step between me and my drink. I don’t need a tube to help me drink- I can do it fine on my own.”

We would argue like this back...

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Jun 6, 2008 KH Cambodia

I packed light for my trip, because I heard what a breeze it is to buy everyday items at the local markets in Cambodia. After settling in at my guest house in Phnom Penh, I headed down to do just that at the nearby Phsar Toul Tom Poung Market, aka “Russian Market.” Why do they call it that, you ask? Apparently they don’t…

Even before I stepped outside of the entrance to my guest house, a handful of men eagerly...

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Jun 6, 2008 KH Cambodia

So I had this crazy experience in Phnom Penh yesterday. I saw a sign for a $7 massage. Seven dollars!!! No way! Turns out the experience was a crazy experience in which this tiny Khmer woman twisted and contorted my—

 

Oh, blast. Gary already told this story. I guess I’ll have to come up with something else….

 

...

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Jun 6, 2008 KH Cambodia

Blackouts without notice
And “internet down”
Spreadsheets that prod me
To cry and frown
Riding on motos
And closing my eyes
Clients are always my humanity ties…”

Okay, fine, that was really corny. Consider yourself lucky, though, because it was either that or “In da Field” to the tune of “In da Club” by Fiddie Cent.

This wonderful woman read my palm. She told me that if I married it would be to an older man, then asked me why I would want to marry such an old man. I don’...

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Jun 6, 2008 KH Cambodia

Probably one of the biggest issues facing microfinance today is that of impact. To what extent has microfinance actually affected global poverty? In what ways can its impact be measured, and how sustainable is it? Will it continue to grow? Though I agree that understanding impact is crucial and developing social impact studies and matrices is a valuable undertaking, I question the ability we have to concretely measure the more soft-data effects. How does one quantify the feeling of being better off?

One of the main responsibilities of Kiva fellows is to assist with the...

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May 5, 2008 KH Cambodia

Higher education opportunities aren’t a reality for most females in Cambodia.  Making it to university is a feat for the average male, let alone female.  With limited household income, rural families have difficulties supporting their children through school, especially beyond a primary education.  The odds for children to make it through secondary school will inevitably be dependent upon the school’s distance from the household: transportation...

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May 5, 2008 KH Cambodia

Often when I visit clients with a loan officer, we show them a picture of their KIVA profile and explain that people around the world have read about them and helped to finance their loans.  Upon seeing their pictures, many blush with embarrassment.  (For many, it’s one of the few photos they’ve taken in their life.)  After a second look, a huge grin usually appears and the...

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Apr 4, 2008 KH Cambodia

Most of the clients I visit make just enough money from their businesses to get by day to day.  When you ask what their future plans or hopes are, some have none in sight- just repeating the same monotonous labor, day in and day out, to continue to put food on the table… challenging enough with the rising food inflation here (http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-04-21-voa21.cfm).  If family members are sick (with an 8+ member household in a developing country- odds are someone will be sick), medical...

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