Stories tagged with blogsherpa

Feb 2, 2013 PH Philippines

Keith Baillie | KF19 | Philippines

Part I: Construction of a New Community

Following the Sendong typhoon, many Cagayan de Oro residents were displaced. I visited one of the resettlement villages, Xavier Ecoville.  Flood victims are still currently living in temporary wooden accommodation built by agencies like Habitat for Humanity.

Temporary housing:

But new permanent housing is being constructed, with the philosophy “We are not just building houses, we...

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Feb 2, 2013 NI Nicaragua
Mural outside Tecnosol's office in Managua, Nicaragua

For a moment, think about what you do in a normal, everyday, 24-hour time period.  Take a second; no rush. 
Got it?  Now imagine it without electricity. 
I’m guessing a significant portion of your everyday activities would suddenly become impossible, extremely less efficient, or flat-out uncomfortable.  Sure, you could probably go without some of the not-so-necessary first... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 KE Kenya
One of the best parts of being a Kiva Fellow is sampling the local cuisine. I have been in Kenya for three weeks and many things have impressed me. From the vibrant people, to the bright dresses, to the breathtaking scenery, this country has surpassed my expectations. But the food has been the most unexpected and pleasant surprise. Here is a glimpse into some of my favorites and the favorites of Kenyans alike.

Last week, a few local students came over to my apartment to share in the joy of cooking their favorite Kenyan dishes. While I tried my best to help, it was clear early in... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 KH Cambodia

Ever since I found out I was accepted to the Kiva Fellows program, I've felt very fortunate. Fortunate to volunteer with an organization that does incredible work in the mission to alleviate poverty. Fortunate to be based in Hanoi, Vietnam, one of my top choices for country placement. Fortunate to spend three weeks in Cambodia (prior to Vietnam) in order to interview actual borrowers and hear about the...

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Feb 2, 2013 AZ Azerbaijan
Dimitri Zakharov | KF20 | Azerbaijan

It’s been 2 weeks since my arrival in Azerbaijan for my Kiva Fellowship and every day I grow more confused. 
Serving in Azerbaijan is a very different experience from the typical Kiva Fellow placement.  The scenes here of the capital, Baku, aren’t the stereotypical poverty we envision in Africa or south Asia.  By World Bank figures, Azerbaijan is wealthier than more than 54% of the world’s countries; amongst Kiva’s portfolio countries (which include the U.S., Israel, and Mexico... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 RW Rwanda
Kigali is in the mountains.  Way up in the mountains. As high as Denver, Colorado even.  But without any of the flat plains - except for the slim valleys snaking between the hills where there aren’t any houses presumably because of the looming threat of flooding.
Car engines roar as they try to make it up some of the hills. Only the most skilled manual transmission drivers can make it 50 Kigali-miles without stalling out.  Even automatic transmission cars tend to stall on hills like these.  At first, I wondered to myself why this... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 CO Colombia, HN Honduras, US United States

By Rose Larsen, KF19 Colombia, with excerpts provided by Wesley Schrock, KF19 Honduras, and Luan Nio, KF18 Nicaragua/KF19 United States

Loan officers are the hidden heroes behind the Kiva model.

Lenders, borrowers, Kiva staff and Kiva fellows all show their beautiful faces somewhere on, and while Kiva’s field partners have profiles of their own, there is little explanation or clarity behind who actually, physically, goes to the clients’ businesses, evaluates their requests, delivers loans and picks up repayments (hint: it’s loan officers!)....

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Feb 2, 2013 RW Rwanda

On the plane to Kigali for my Kiva Fellowship at Urwego Opportunity International, I realise that my knowledge of Rwanda, the country of a thousand hills, is limited to the famous mountain gorillas and the tragic history of genocide in 1994.

I have little idea of what the people and the country will be like. Wary of the fact that everyone over 19 years old must have a significant story, I approach the city and its people with cautious optimism. I should not have been worried. Everywhere I go, gracious, smiling and incredibly polite people...

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Jan 1, 2013 US United States

For the past four months, I have been serving as a Kiva Zip Fellow in Denver, Colorado.  As a fellow in the US I was required to work independently without the comfort of a home office or co-workers.  The Zip fellowship is in and of itself, very entrepreneurial.  First came research, then networking, then meetings, then events, then more networking.  I’ve met so many fascinating people and have come to know so many amazing organizations doing crucial work in my own backyard. 

The work of one organization in particular has really resonated with me...

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Jan 1, 2013 CO Colombia

Rose Larsen | KF19 | Colombia

After traveling for almost a month over Christmas holidays, I was struggling to figure out why I was so happy to be back “home” in Barranquilla, the hot, humid, chaotic city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia that I’ve been living in for the past 4 months. I had just visited places of incredible beauty like:

Montezuma, Costa Rica

Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua

and Medellin, Colombia.

But as much fun as I had, none of these places measured up.

Then I read the news and everything made sense.

... Continue Reading >>