Stories tagged with blogsherpa

Nov 11, 2015
With over 2 years living in Brazil and speaking Brazilian Portuguese, I’ve reached the point of conversing where I have stopped literally translating in my head when I speak. I even find my instinctual reaction to come out in Portuguese. Nossa! Opa! At times, however, I have to chuckle realizing the literal translation of some Brazilian terms. I’ve compiled a list of common Brazilian words and sayings that in some ways exemplify Brazilian spirit but simply don’t translate (but I did my best).

1. “Saudade
Literal Translation: ... Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 2015 PE Peru

Whenever I travel outside Western Europe, the most common reaction is, "Wow, that must be really hard!" as if the developing world were little more than an array of obstacles, challenges, frustrations, and difficulties--unlike the unfettered convenience and ease of everything in the good old USA. 
Yet every time I settle back into the American Dream, I find myself pining for any number of things that were easier or better elsewhere.  But when I describe most foreign countries as "convenient," people look baffled.  So here are some...

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Sep 9, 2015 PE Peru
Proud papa of profitable plants

Shortly before leaving for my Kiva fellowship, I had an iced coffee so good that I thanked the barista.  Today, I got to thank the man who grew the beans--not the actual beans, probably, but the kind of high-quality beans that must have gone into such a drink.  Experts say that while Peru doesn't produce nearly the quantity of its famous neighbor, the quality of its coffee can be even bettter, in part because production is on such a small scale, mostly on tiny... Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2015 PH Philippines
Greetings from Cabanatuan City, nicknamed the “Tricycle Capital of the Philippines.” Tricycles, made by affixing a sidecar to a motorcycle, are a common means of public transportation in the Philippines. More than 30,000 tricycles for a population of 272,676 people (as of 2010) in Cabanatuan means that there is 1 tricycle for every 9 people in this largest city in the province of Nueva Ecija.

This is a tricycle, a common means of public transportation in the Philippines.

After attending Kiva... Continue Reading >>
Jan 1, 2014 US United States
E. 1st St. Bridge, Los Angeles

Kiva Zip is an innovative pilot program created by Kiva that uses mobile and electronic payment technology to enable direct, 0% interest loans to financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs.  The loans are crowd-funded on Kiva Zip’s website, where anyone with an Internet connection can lend as little as $5 to a borrower of their choice.
One of the principal aims of the program is to expand access to capital... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2013 GO Global Update, GT Guatemala, IN India, MX Mexico, PE Peru
In "Potluck fashion" the following blog post includes the perspective of 6 different Kiva fellows placed in 4 different continents.  Each fellow bringing something different to the table. Our work with Kiva in microfinance is so rewarding that celebration seems inevitable.  Thus, we thought it worthwhile to share a glimpse into recent holidays that we have witnessed around the world. ... Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 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 10, 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... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2013 CR Costa Rica, GO Global Update

Journaling. Is it a lost art or a relic of times past that has rightfully disappeared in a world of easy electronic fixes for expression? Journals are deeply private things, they represent ourselves poured out in ink. Our moods can be seen in every penstroke, our thoughts in every malformed word. We don't edit ourselves in journals. Looking back, our writing seems disjointed and without the structure or social awareness that is expected from a polished status update. Journals are the only places,...

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Aug 8, 2013 CR Costa Rica, SV El Salvador, GO Global Update, GT Guatemala, HN Honduras
This August, I completed 7 months on the road in Central America with Kiva!  I had once ignorantly assumed homogeneity among Central American countries, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover differences in each city, region, and country that I have visited. From climate, to cuisine, to culture, to colloquialisms, I found myself amazed at the variety and distinctions. 

So, here are 5 lessons learned and my Top Ten Favorites from my time in the Central America.

... Continue Reading >>