Stories tagged with blogsherpa

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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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 >>

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