Stories tagged with loans

Sep 9, 2013 KE Kenya
As I sank into the plush seat on the overnight bus toward the Kenyan coast for the first time, I let out a sigh of relief. Nairobi, aptly dubbed “Nairobbery” by locals and expats for the high number of muggings, break-ins, and carjackings, was starting to wear me out.
 
“The coast is different,” my regular taxi driver had told me. “People aren’t as stressed out, and they enjoy life.”
 
It was true. Maybe it was the lingering humidity or the pristine beaches, but people sauntered through the streets in Mombasa as though to fill the senses with the salty air... Continue Reading >>
Sep 9, 2013 GO Global Update, VN Vietnam
Hanoi view from the roof top


Departed my family and friends in Ho Chi Minh, my flight arrived to Hanoi at noon, I could feel the heat and humidity even worse than Ho Chi Minh. A cab from airport to downtown Hanoi somehow eased the heat, it was a fixed price trip of 350.000VND (around $15). The host family was so...
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Sep 9, 2013 MX Mexico
FIRST DAY

The first day can mark a unique moment, good or bad, in people's lives.  The first day of school.  The first day as a parent or newly wed couple.  The first day of opening a new business.  Although it does not dictate the rest of the experience, the first day commands a space in the brain that will remain permanent.  Heck, I'm still having night sweats of my first day at a new school when I was younger.  They are the beginning to an experience that knows no bounds and constructs a path unbeknownst to the agent of... Continue Reading >>
Sep 9, 2013 PH Philippines

As my time in the Philippines draws to a close, I want to take some time to reflect on the places I have had the opportunity to visit. I would like to preface this post by saying that during the week, I was actually working - I promise. However, those 48 hours in between Friday and Monday were just enough time to head out to the beach, scale a volcano, practice my karaoke, or visit nearby historical sites.

The common question seems to be "which place was your favorite"....well, that question is rather impossible to answer without two or three caveats, so the below list of...

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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 >>
Aug 8, 2013 NI Nicaragua
During my fellowship in Nicaragua I had the pleasure of working with an exciting new Kiva partner named Tecnosol.  Tecnosol is the Central American leader in the sale and installation of decentralized renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, hydro, and biogas.
 


Mural outside Tecnosol's office in Managua, Nicaragua

There is a high demand for renewable energy products in Nicaragua, especially among remote populations that are unreached by the country’s electric infrastructure.  Despite the need, however, Nicaragua’s vast... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2013 US United States


When I was first assigned to Newark for my Kiva fellowship, I didn’t know what to expect.  I live in Manhattan and up until that point the only time I had been to Newark was to go to the airport.  My first introduction to the real Newark was through a group of local organizations that serve as trustees with Kiva Zip.  Kiva Zip trustees are responsible for sourcing Kiva Zip borrowers, reviewing their business and personal finances, vouching for their character, and publicly endorsing them on the Kiva Zip website. 
 
I met with a number of... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2013 CR Costa Rica
Every city that I have ever visited has been decorated/defaced with lots of colorful graffiti. In some cities, the graffiti is confined to train tunnels, highway overpasses and other functional places that generally lack any kind of redeeming aesthetic qualities. In others, the graffiti can be seen everywhere, coating fire hydrants, schools and long-abandoned corner grocery stores (among other places).

The common thread in both types of city is that most graffiti, however colorful it may be, either advertises a gang's territory or functions as an artist's signature (or both);... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2013 KE Kenya
It’s a warm Sunday afternoon and I’m hiking in a volcanic gorge just outside Hells Gate National Park in Naivasha. A slender Maasai man named Joe is guiding my friend and I up the steep, slippery walls of hardened lava. After climbing a steep cliff, we sit down at the top to take in a view of Kenya’s stunning Rift Valley. Joe asks us for how long we are visiting.

“I’m here for awhile,” I reply. “I’m working with a company that helps people get loans.”

Not surprisingly,...

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