I am beginning to think that Senegal is the land of happiness. Not only do young people often use this English word — along with “nice,” “fine,” and “cool” — to express that everything is OK (in reference to a popular comedian), but my Wolof teacher, Fatou, has informed me that the national language has no easy way of saying “I’m frustrated,” or even for that matter “I’m sad.” Or “what a pity.” Should I attribute this to the complexity of a language that also happens to have no adjectives, or...Continue Reading >>
Here’s an update from Kiva Partner Development Specialist, Daniel Kahn, about his visit to Nicaraguan field partner Asociación de Desarrollo y Promoción Humana de la Costa Atlántica (ADEPHCA)
To see loans currently fundraising from ADEPHCA on Kiva.org, please click here./> Continue Reading >>
“Jalloh, you alive?”
“Yes, Nick… of course.”
“Oh, Jalloh, Jalloh, Jalloh! I think it’s time to get out of here.”
It was 6:45 pm on Thursday. I was sitting in my office in Makeni, next to my coworker from SMT. It had been an exhausting day in the field and in the office. Drenched in sweat with my hands dripping on my keyboard, I had already downed...Continue Reading >>
A couple days ago, I had the privilege to sit down with Nanik B. Yayuk, a Kiva client in the Badung region of Bali who received a loan of $125 to help her with her recyclables business. Although there are quite a few Kiva clients in the recyclables business, the afternoon I spent chatting with Nanik was a true highlight. Nanik spent 45 minutes happily discussing how the recyclables business works and how she has been utilizing her loan...Continue Reading >>
This is my first blog entry. Many Kiva Fellow arrival tales involve foreign airports, sweaty travels across long stretches of rural countryside, and the onset of intercontinental jetlag. In contrast, I am probably the first fellow who arrived at his placement by Greyhound bus.
I write you from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, across the border from Laredo, Texas. On one of the local radio stations (local to Texas? local to Mexico? Hard to tell, since radio waves don’t obey borders) they refer to them as “Los Dos Laredos” – the two Laredos. If you just...Continue Reading >>
When I told anyone I was going to Bosnia this summer, the basic reaction I got was confusion. Everyone was supportive & excited, but definitely surprised. I was pretty surprised too. When you sign up for experiences like this, you never know where you will end up. In this case I’ve had the good fortune of ending up at Women for Women International, and wanted to take time to shed light on the both the organization & the people who do pretty amazing work here & around the world.
... Continue Reading >>
When I told people I was going to spend my summer in Paraguay, I got mostly blank looks. Unlike Jessica’s panic-inducing internet search results for Nigeria, my results were mostly, well, nonexistent. After all, Paraguay doesn’t have Machu Picchu or the “most dangerous road in the world”. It doesn’t have Patagonia or the Galapagos. No Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro. Mostly it’s just an unknown country with a name similar to Uruguay. Paraguay? That’s the one in the middle of South America or on the coast? Reminds me of when I moved to California from New...Continue Reading >>
Each morning before heading into the field, I read the New Vision, a daily newspaper in Kampala. A few weeks ago there was a special article about a town in Uganda in which the men do nothing but drink, gamble and nurse their hangovers while the women work and tend to the house, children and their needy husbands. The article speculated that the men needed therapy to deal with their lack of motivation resulting from the extreme poverty they are living in.
Upon mentioning the article to my associates at work, they said...Continue Reading >>
It’s 5:30am and after lying in bed all night, sleepless from both the strange Central Asian bacteria inhabiting my stomach and the sheer excited anticipation of my coming journey, the time has now come for what will be one hell of a ride. Kenjal, my trusty driver, arrives on time in his battered, white 4WD, his gold teeth shine in the morning sun as he greets me with the traditional “Osolom Aleikum!” “Vy gotovi? (Are you ready?),” he asks me in his thick Tajik accent. “Da, konechno, poyekhali!” (Yes, of course, let’s go!”) I reply with an enthusiasm...Continue Reading >>