Stories tagged with kf2

Aug 8, 2007 KE Kenya

I’ve been in Nairobi since last Wednesday evening. Eb-F opened a new Unit here about three months ago. On Thursday we moved to a more permanent and bigger office and have just been getting settled. Friday I was able to go to the field – Kibera Slums. A lot of what I could write about Nairobi has already been covered really well by Kerry in other entries but I just wanted to share a quick few thoughts:

- Nairobi traffic is absolutely horrendous. It’s worse than any city I’ve ever seen in the US, except maybe Los Angeles.

- Al-Jazeera news gets a terribly unfair rap in...

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Aug 8, 2007 KE Kenya

So I’m in the home stretch of my time as a Kiva Fellow. I’ll be returning to New York next week. I have mixed emotions about this – it will be wonderful to see my family and friends again, to enjoy American efficiency and hot water and not eat barbecued red meat with every meal, but the past several weeks have been an undeniably instructive, formative and remarkable experience for me.
Last Thursday night was my last in Nakuru, the town where Ebony’s head office is. I went to dinner that night with the whole staff. We spent several hours at the restaurant, dancing to the spirited...

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Jul 7, 2007 KE Kenya

Well I have been here for over a month now and have a little less than a month left. I can’t believe so much time has passed already. Next week I will be taking some time off from my Fellow duties to visit Tanzania with some family. Then I return to Nakuru for a week. After that I will travel to Eb-F branch offices in Mombasa and Nairobi.

So it’s been a while since I’ve written. It’s going to be easiest to go with the bullet/list format I went with in my last entry. It’ll be a mix of recapping certain days/events and just random thoughts/...

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Jul 7, 2007 TZ Tanzania

I’ve only lived in Dar for a few weeks and only know a handful of people but each week I’ve been here someone I know has lost a family member of friend without warning.

First my roommate’s uncle lost a daughter at the age of 2. She went to sleep and didn’t wake up — no symptoms, no warning. The worst thing is that this is his third daughter ini a row to die before reaching the age of three.

The following week my colleague’s friend’s father died...

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Jul 7, 2007 TZ Tanzania

I wish this was a story about an overnight flight to Kenya, but it’s not. I literally have red eyes.  It’s a bacterial infection of the eye which turns the whole eye red. The eye swells and it’s quite uncomfortable and there is a bunch of mucus that comes out of the eye. Yeah, it’s really gross.

I’ve seen many people around Dar with “red eyes” and my roommates warned me against shaking hands with people I meet because the disease is so contagious. They warned me to always, always wash my hands if I touched anyone. I’ve been following their advice...

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Jul 7, 2007 KE Kenya

It’s been a while since my last entry and I have a few different momentsI want to cover, so I apologize in advance if the following is a little disjointed and meandering. (And for Russell, I apologize that I’ll most likely switch tenses several times in this entry.) I think the best way to cover the highlights of the past two weeks is list form:

June 23:

James (Ebony Foundation’s director) arranged for me to see the KCB Safari Rally. Basically, it’s a year-long series off-road derbies, or as I like...

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Jun 6, 2007 TZ Tanzania

Imagine a world without Walgreens, Macy’s, Banana Republic, Nordstrom’s, Blockbuster, Ethan Allen, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Safeway or Whole Foods. Instead of driving to your favorite mall or grocery store to buy clothes, food or supplies from a salesperson working for a corporation, you walk down the dirt road to your local market to buy goods from a neighbor, friend or acquaintance. Instead of one-stop shopping, you stop at several different stores to pick up all the supplies you need, relishing each transaction by engaging in conversation and slowly passing over the bills and...

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Jun 6, 2007 TZ Tanzania

When you enter a YOSEFO community bank you are sure to encounter business owners facing every stage of the business life cycle. Some entrepreneurs are just getting their ventures off the ground and are using their loan money to purchase their first sewing machine, food stuffs or rent a salon space. Other businesses are flourishing, sales are growing and customers are becoming more regular. A few businesses are on the decline; higher prices for goods or a new industry regulation could be making it hard to maintain profits....

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Jun 6, 2007 KE Kenya

Yesterday was my first day of field work – meeting entrepreneurs who have gotten loans from Kiva lenders and capturing their stories and lives to be written about in journals that are then posted on the Kiva site. The following is an account of the day’s happenings. Disclaimer: It was an eventful day so this will definitely be a long entry; feel free to skim.

I arrived at Ebony’s office around 9:30 in the morning. Jane made some brief preparations to leave and then we were off. Jane was a loan officer for Ebony and worked here out of the main...

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Jun 6, 2007 KE Kenya

A good friend of mine at college who is currently spending the summer in Cairo emailed me a comment in response my post about Mariah Carey being everywhere that I thought was really insightful and well-said and deserved to be shared:

“I really have to agree with you about how ridiculously pervasive American sh*t is everywhere—-even in the Middle East, which is supposedly the most anti-American place ever, basically every bilboard is about some American company…I just went to Alexandria and there was this one block where there was a McDonalds, Pizza Hut, LIttle Ceaser’s, KFC and...

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