Stories tagged with agriculture

Oct 10, 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... Continue Reading >>
Sep 9, 2013 KE Kenya
As I sank into the plush seat on the overnight bus toward the Kenyan coast for the first time, I let out a sigh of relief. Nairobi, aptly dubbed “Nairobbery” by locals and expats for the high number of muggings, break-ins, and carjackings, was starting to wear me out.
 
“The coast is different,” my regular taxi driver had told me. “People aren’t as stressed out, and they enjoy life.”
 
It was true. Maybe it was the lingering humidity or the pristine beaches, but people sauntered through the streets in Mombasa as though to fill the senses with the salty air... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2013 CR Costa Rica
I'm a vegetarian. However, there are occasionally times when I relent and consume meat, especially if it's offered and refusal means either going hungry or—worse—being rude. Even this reluctant acceptance of the occasional meaty meal has its limits, though.

I will not eat pork. It's not a religious thing for me, nor is it a question of taste; I think bacon tastes fantastic and is a wondrous smell in the morning, particularly maple-cured smoked bacon, eagerly sizzling in the pan as the coffee brews. This is the smell that mornings are made of, that makes... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2013 US United States
Shaun Winter with his Hot Winter hot sauce


Portland, Oregon: where the dream of the 90s is still alive. Where you can put a bird on something and call it art. Where 20-somethings go to retire.
 
What’s funny about these stereotypes (thanks to Portlandia) is how very pervasive they have become in our every-day lingo. Friends in my immediate circle reference Portlandia more than any other show, not only because it’s funny, but because I think people really identify with it.... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2013 PE Peru
Alright, you caught me. No rivers were forded, nor were any woods traversed. Mostly dirt roads were traveled on and hillsides were (carefully) climbed.

Life in Peru has been wonderfully intense, exciting, tiring, and challenging over the last few weeks. I am not going to dwell on the awesome ceviche and seafood I have been fortunate enough to eat. Nor will I say much about the recent 5.1 earthquake that originated 50 miles off the coast of Lima (or 4.6, depending on where you get your earthquake news from).

...
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Jun 6, 2013 CR Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a land of beautiful beaches and some of the world's most astounding natural wonders. But, more than anything, Costa Rica is a land of coffee. Coffee in the morning, coffee at noon, coffee after lunch and coffee with dinner. Coffee not only powers your average Costa Rican worker through the day, but is also one of the country's biggest economic drivers.

So, it is with alarm that I note that I've only been in Costa Rica for a couple of weeks, but almost every Kiva borrower that I... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2013 AL Albania
This month I was lucky enough to meet a man that made a tremendously deep impact on me and I can't shake the image of his face from my mind.  Please allow me to introduce Hamit, an entrepreneurial pig farmer living in the Korca region in the south of Albania that I had the pleasure of meeting on a recent field visit.
... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2013 PY Paraguay
Wait, what exactly is going on at Fundacion Paraguaya? Why are they not just making loans?  Have I found the "journalistic" Holy Grail and uncovered Something Scandalous?

The Short Answer: (1) No, I haven’t uncovered anything scandalous and (2) they do more than make loans because, quite simply, it is helpful to the people whom they serve!

Important Context: I am a wet-behind-the-ears Microfinance Guy who undoubtedly still sees things as being much simpler than they really are. #Kiva

Now The Long Answer: As I climb the Development /... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2012 BO Bolivia

Agriculture has long been the anchor for the people of land-locked Bolivia. As a testament to the region’s horticultural richness, the number of foods originating here is impressive: potatoes, chili peppers, peanuts, pineapple, kidney beans, manioc, quinoa… foods we all know and should love.

You say potato, I say potahto: Cultivar diversity on display in a Bolivian market

And nowhere else in Bolivia is farming as vital as in the Central...

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