Stories tagged with Uncategorized

Nov 11, 2012 CR Costa Rica

thank you, Kiva

Trekking to La Danta

Two weeks ago I headed out for the last of my borrower verifications with EDESA, the microfinance institution where I’ve been working. All week long I anticipated my trip to Golfito, which is way down in southern Costa Rica, in the Puntarenas province. I asked my colleagues about our portfolio there and peppered them with questions like: ‘Have you ever been to Golfito? How far is it from the Panamanian border? I heard it’s...

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Nov 11, 2012 KE Kenya

On my second day in Nairobi, I had dinner with family friends, during which a 9-year old boy jokingly told me not to forget my umbrella when traveling to Kibera. I looked at him confused and he said ‘flying toilets’.  My roommates and I assumed ‘the flying toilet’ would be as enthralling as the name sounds.  Simply put, it is a plastic bag used as a toilet which is then thrown on to the road.

About 10 million Kenyans live in slums, and this number is growing at a rate of 7% per year. About 80% of these residents lack adequate sanitation...

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Nov 11, 2012 KE Kenya

Exactly one month has passed since I arrived in Nairobi, Kenya. As a complete newbie in Africa, I had no idea what to expect when I first landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Before my arrival, I had done some research about the country that was going to be my home for the coming months. A quick google search on Nairobi informed me that Kenya’s capital is the 12th largest one in Africa, the name Nairobi is a Maasai phrase that translates to “cold water” and it’s located 1,800 meters above sea level. My internet search also informed me that...

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Oct 10, 2012 SN Senegal

I’m piggybacking Holly’s great blog on Eid al-Adha – i.e. Tabaski – to give you a peek into how another West African country celebrates this highly anticipated holiday. Turns out, as you will learn, the brouhaha differs a bit from place to place.

My introduction to Tabaski began several weeks ago when I arrived for my first day at UIMCEC. Within the first 30 minutes of being seated at my desk, conversation with my supervisor was interrupted twice by clients seeking to take out loans for Tabaski. Both times, my supervisor shot me a look of: “Much more of this to come…”

Even...

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Oct 10, 2012 TG Togo
Happy Tabaski! Or Happy Eid al-Adha (for those not in West Africa).

The celebration of Tabaski started off last night with a neighborhood wide soccer tournament

Today is Tabaski, the Muslim holiday which celebrates the festival of the sacrifice. The day honors the prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrafice his first born son as an act of submission to  God until God  intervened and allowed him to sacrafice a ram instead.

Last night I...

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Oct 10, 2012 CR Costa Rica

En route to San Carlos for some BVs

Visiting borrowers in rural Costa Rica

By all accounts, borrower verifications (BVs) have been a highlight for all Kiva Fellows who have had them on their work plans. I started mine last week, but I have to admit I went into them feeling apprehensive—especially since not all borrowers fully understand how Kiva works or how Kiva is even related to them.They all know they get money from the local bank...

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Oct 10, 2012 SN Senegal

A Recap of My Visits to a Senegalese Soccer Game and Île de Gorée (Island of Gorée)

Among the first pieces of advice I was given by a local upon arriving in Senegal was: “If you’re to do only two things while here in Dakar, make them a trip to the Senegalese soccer stadium (watch a live game, too, “if you’re lucky”), and an afternoon visit to the emblematic Île de Gorée.”

Senegal’s soccer stadium — Dakar, Senegal

...
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Oct 10, 2012 SN Senegal

A Chance Encounter En Route to Dakar, Senegal

I have a strong tendency to read (ok fine — skim) blogs filled with photos; aesthetically, it’s what I naturally gravitate towards, and I’m sure many readers out there likely do the same.  Ironically, with this post I’m about to defy most all of my preferences as my camera has… unfortunately found a new home.

It was important to remind myself as my camera went missing (as it is in so many other situations traveling or otherwise) that keeping an open mind and rolling with...

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