I am not a morning person. I know this about myself, but am starkly reminded of this fact when my alarm goes off at 6am. In a zombie trance I get out of bed, put the kettle on and have a shower. I put on the clothes I chose the night before, as I know that at 6am in the morning my brain does not work at its best and there is a high risk I may choose clothes and footwear completely impractical for riding on the back of motorbikes and sitting cross-legged on the floor. Today I head out to Bac Ninh, where SEDA has one of their regional offices and...Continue Reading >>
Hello! My name is Kieran and I am a Kiva Fellow, sixth iteration. I am currently sitting on a turbulent flight back home to London after an intense week of training at Kiva’s San Francisco offices. I am sad to be leaving, slightly worried about the ancient aircraft I’m on (hoping that the technology is more up-to-date than the Nintendo Gameboy headphones the flight attendant is handing out), but excited about my impending assignment in Cambodia.
The past week has been an eye-opening, exhilarating, and potentially life-changing experience. The outstanding training we...Continue Reading >>
Hello from Providence, RI! I can report that the New England autumn is rolling in right on cue. It is a time of year that I will be a little sad to miss; it’s crisp, completely refreshing, goes deliciously with hot coffee and your most treasured sweatshirt. The season, the city, my former college campus (as of this past May) will each receive their own “goodbye for now” before I drive back home to Washington DC and then fly to the Dominican Republic (departure: Oct 15th).
As many Kiva Fellows...Continue Reading >>
Anyone who has spent time in some of the more remote parts of Africa will probably shrug their shoulders at my observations. But as a first time visitor it’s hard not to feel like a bit of a celebrity, at least with the children. Wherever you go, kids stop and look. Sometimes they laugh or point and every now and then they wave and shout ‘white man!’
At first I was a little taken aback, but now it has become quite routine. Mostly I rather enjoy being the local novelty and giving a wave as I walk or ride past.
...Continue Reading >>
Hi friends. I’m Whitney, newly-minted Kiva Fellow, class 6, headed to Managua, Nicaragua.
I am so ready to go.
The extensive 5-day training at the Kiva offices in San Francisco stimulated every facet of my mind. Having a background more in exploration than finance, the prospect of living abroad is absolutely thrilling and rather accessible, while gaining confidence in my capacity to convey the inspiration and functionality of Kiva in Spanish is my struggle.
That, and the daunting task of learning to navigate a sizeable Central American city largely devoid of...Continue Reading >>
As the next round of Kiva Fellows finished their training, Nabomita, Zack, and Julie (KF5) met for a weekend getaway in Mombasa, Kenya. During our reunion, we came up with some words to live by both for successfully completing your fellowship and for happily taking a respite from the rigors of life at an MFI. Read on, for our pearls of wisdom.
1) Don’t let the signs fool you; greasing an Immigration Official’s palm can buy you entry into a foreign country
After 8 hours on a bus from Dar es Salaam,...Continue Reading >>
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As I wrote in my last blog entry, my weekend’s planned excursions included a climb up the tallest statue of Jesus in the world (disappointing—turns out he’s closed on Sundays) and a hike in nearby Tunari national park. It also included an unplanned visit to the Clinica Belga Boliviana, the fanciest-sounding hospital in my Lonely Planet guidebook. I had learned the hard way that angry dogs really do bite you in the butt, just like countless cartoon mailmen. I told the clinic’s emergency room attendant that I’d been attacked by a wild dog in the...Continue Reading >>
From the first time I happened across the Kiva Fellows website, I knew I had to apply. Here was an opportunity to witness first-hand the successes and challenges of microfinance (the most promising poverty alleviation strategy I’ve come across), become fluent in French, and be a part of the cross-cultural, astonishingly successful microlending revolution that is Kiva!! I generally tend to be somewhat pessimistic – my personal motto is “Expect the worst, and you’ll never be disappointed.” This time, however, against my better judgment, I let...Continue Reading >>
This is my first blog as a kiva fellow and as an individual, so perhaps I will use this time to introduce myself to anyone in the internet community who would like to know. I am Jen McQuhae, 22, from Vancouver Island, Canada. I recently completed a four year honours degree in international development with a major in economics at the University of McGill in Montreal. I have been fortunate enough to spend a great deal of my recent past travelling to a number of countries and working in a variety of contexts. My last adventure was to Kenya and Tanzania where I worked in HIV clinics,...Continue Reading >>