Jun 20, 2008 ID Indonesia

So… for me, one of the difficult parts of moving someplace new is getting used to things being different than I’m accustomed to.  For example, after four years of wonderful college goodness, it came as a real shock when I got a job, moved to San Francisco and realized I had to wear pants on a regular basis.  It still haunts me.  But I’ve adapted, and now some days I even wear pants on the weekend.  And sometimes I don’t.    

This seems to be true as I am adjusting to life in...

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Jun 18, 2008 SN Senegal

 

By Mary Moseley

Senegal Fellow

CAURIE MF, Caisse Autonome pour le Renforcement des initiatives Economiques par la Microfinance, is a mid-size microfinance institution that serves over 15,000 clients in Senegal and as of March 31st 2008, has a loan portfolio just over $4mUSD. They...

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Jun 17, 2008 KH Cambodia

I packed light for my trip, because I heard what a breeze it is to buy everyday items at the local markets in Cambodia. After settling in at my guest house in Phnom Penh, I headed down to do just that at the nearby Phsar Toul Tom Poung Market, aka “Russian Market.” Why do they call it that, you ask? Apparently they don’t…

Even before I stepped outside of the entrance to my guest house, a handful of men eagerly...

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Jun 17, 2008 GT Guatemala

I fell in love today. It started out as an innocent crush, evolved into a dangerous infatuation, and today turned into full-blown, head-over-heels in love…with Guatemala, that is! What an amazing place this is. I’ve spent quite a bit of time traveling throughout Latin America, but I’ve never been so taken by a place and its people. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what has swept me off my feet, but it’s some wonderful combination of the breathtaking countryside, the extreme warmth of the people, the crazy packed buses and terrible roads, the conversations...

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Jun 17, 2008 SL Sierra Leone

When I tell people that I am heading to Sierra Leone for the summer to do microfinance I usually end up getting the following three questions: 1) Aren’t they killing each other over there?  2) Did you choose Sierra Leone?  3) Are you crazy? 

So I thought I’d kick off my first post to the Fellows Blog by answering those questions.  And to keep you on your toes, I’ll start with question 2, follow that with question 1, and then let you decide for yourself on question 3.   Oh...

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Jun 16, 2008 BA Bosnia and Herzegovina

When I set out to write this, I thought it would be important to give some background on Bosnia and Herzegovina in this first blog.  As I tried to think of intros to sum up the situation in Bosnia, no quote or cliché seemed to fit.  And maybe I am not articulate enough (probably) or wise enough (definitely) to make sense of it.  So instead of pretending to understand what I clearly don’t, I’ll just write what I’ve learned so far.

 

Most of the history I read to prepare...

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Jun 16, 2008 UG Uganda

So much has happened since I last wrote that I feel it is necessary to cover three topics in this entry. For my friends who have inquired about Kampala, I wanted to speak more about the city. In addition, I have officially started work and have been in the field on several occasions, piquing my interest and desire to share information on both the loan officers at MCDT and the amazing women I have met. Please bear with me…

Kampala has completely surprised me. I realize now that unlike my last trip to East Africa, I was not mentally, emotionally or...

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Jun 14, 2008 MZ Mozambique

I wonder if Jessica and Matt Flannery, Kiva co-founders, meant to create a Microfinance Fund to help local entrepreneurs in developing countries have money to grow or help their business. When I decided to join Kiva as a Kiva fellow I told my friends I was going to work for a Microfinance Fund. Last week I understood I was completely wrong. Kiva is a global community, not a microfinance fund based on small individual lending.

The other Friday, June 6th 08, I posted a journal about a client I visited the previous day. Nothing special, that...

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Jun 11, 2008 ID Indonesia

After spending my first few nights in Badung, Bali at a local hotel, Mr. Alit, the Executive Director for DINARI (Kiva’s MFI partner in Bali), invited me to stay in his guest room.  I happily accepted and now enjoy sharing meals with Mr. Alit, along with his two children, Ayu and Jeremy, his very kind wife, Nenny, and their assistant, Neni.

 

For my first weekend in Badung, I was invited by my coworker at DINARI and new friend, Ferdinand, to join him on a trek to...

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Jun 9, 2008 ID Indonesia

So after three nights in Bangkok and two nights in the Bali surf town of Kuta, I was picked up yesterday by Ferdinand, who I will be working with side by side at DINARI, the microfinance institution (“MFI”) here in Bali that Kiva has partnered with.  Ferdinand drove me to Sempidi, which is 20 km’s inland and north of Kuta (and about 20 degrees hotter), where I met many of the 30+ employees at the DINARI headquarters. DINARI also has a second branch in West Bali (Melaya) and is planning to open two more branches in the coming year.

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