Stories tagged with blogsherpa

Aug 8, 2018 GH Ghana
inside a tro-tro

I left the Advans Ghana's (Kiva's Field Partner) office, with Kofi, the Advans Loan Officer, to meet the nearest potential Kiva borrower, Elizabeth.
For the first leg of our journey, we had to take three different tro-tros, minibus share taxis, and we eventually ended up at a busy intersection with market stalls all around. Now the exciting and unexpected part of the trip began – getting on a motorcycle for the last 6 kilometers to Elizabeth's village.

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Aug 8, 2018 HT Haiti
Mountains covered by forests are everywhere in the Dominican Republic –Here, Salto La Jalda

While I was in the Dominican Republic, I caught sight of the Haitian border and noticed that I couldn’t see as many trees when looking towards Haiti. My journey to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, confirmed this impression of 2 very different worlds on the same island. 

I knew about deforestation but was still taken aback to see it so clearly. Unlike its neighbor the Dominican Republic, which...

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Jun 6, 2018 GO Global Update
Hodrina holding her son in front of her new house.

While the Dominican Republic is famous for Punta Cana and its pristine beaches, its neighbour Haiti is mostly known for being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but both countries have much more to offer than these limiting stereotypes.

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Apr 4, 2018 SB Solomon Islands
Today I bring you a story of perseverance from the remote valleys of northern Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

It was the morning after a night of heavy showers, and I made my way to meet Eddry, a client of South Pacific Business Development (SPBD), a Solomon Islands-based microfinance organization. Along the journey, the road quickly turned from gravel, to dirt to wet mud and it wasn’t long before the staff 4x4 was unable to go any further and Vanessa, an SPBD staff member and my reliable guide, stopped the car in what seemed a location with no close proximity to any... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2017 PH Philippines

On a hot and humid Santa Maria afternoon, it seemed only fitting to visit Domingo, who is an ice cream maker in the Philippines. We left the van on the road and walked down the dirt path, navigating mud puddles enroute to his neighborhood. Along the way, there was colorful laundry hanging on fences, neighbors washing up and kids playing while curiously...

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Oct 10, 2016 LR Liberia
One of my favorite parts of traveling is the opportunity to try new foods. I’ve never been particularly interested in typical tourist attractions. I would rather explore and wander upon serendipitous experiences. The best way to truly understand what a culture is all about is to sample its cuisine.
 
Liberia is not particularly well known for its food. It’s a shame though. Trying Liberian food has been a valuable extension of my experience. The dishes are spicy, sweet, and salty; starchy, but full of various meats; and oh so exquisitely prepared and seasoned. Where else could... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2016 SN Senegal
Imagine for a moment that you live in a village with no electricity.  When the sun goes down each evening, you rely on the light of fires or flashlights as you cook your evening meal. Your children must study before the sun goes down, or else use the dimly glowing light of a cell phone to illuminate their work. And speaking of cell phones, the only way to charge yours is to travel to a charging station in the nearest town, pay a fee, and wait while your battery replenishes.
 
Now imagine that you are suddenly offered an affordable, safe,...
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Dec 12, 2015 EC Ecuador
The conventional definition of "Kiva magic" is when a borrower sees a printout of their Kiva profile and realizes, ecstatically, that they're involved in much more than an ordinary loan: dozens of strangers on the other side of the world have pledged them money on the strength of their photo and bio.  It's wonderful when this happens, and it makes inspiring photos and videos.  Yet in the course of visiting more than 25 borrowers, I've only witnessed this once.  In Peru and Ecuador at least, most borrowers are more overcome with bewilderment than joy.  In some sense this is... Continue Reading >>
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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