Jul 24, 2007 GT Guatemala

Mother and daughter of a client

As we take photos and write down the stories of clients, they are almost always thrilled to see their picture on the display of our camera. But they often have no picture of themselves or their family, and sometimes come close to begging for one.

Well, we finally figured it out for the first time today. Yes, I know this is not that difficult a challenge, but it was progress for us. When we returned from the village to the nearest town, we found a photo printing place, printed out the...

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Jul 23, 2007 MZ Mozambique

 

Hi, I’m Shannon from San Francisco, CA and I am a Fellow working with Kiva’s MFI partner, Hluvuku-Adsema, in Mozambique on the southeastern coast of Africa. The country is probably best known for its magnificent beaches, but I will spend most of my time in the equally pretty interior.

After what amounted to 29 hours in flight and two more hours bumping along a dirt highway, I was happy to arrive at Hluvuku’s headquarters in the small town of...

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Jul 22, 2007 GT Guatemala

Wednesday I headed up to San Antonio, Solola, Guatemala. It was my second day doing interviews and photos to post profiles for Friendship Bridge.

Patti (the Friendship facilitator) and I hopped into the taxi (really the back of a pickup). We snaked our way along the shore and up the side of a mountain — the view was incredible. As I looked across the emerald lake toward the towering volcanoes, I wondered how such a beautiful place could house such incredible poverty.

All day I sat with the Mayan women in...

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Jul 19, 2007 KE Kenya

Well I have been here for over a month now and have a little less than a month left. I can’t believe so much time has passed already. Next week I will be taking some time off from my Fellow duties to visit Tanzania with some family. Then I return to Nakuru for a week. After that I will travel to Eb-F branch offices in Mombasa and Nairobi.

So it’s been a while since I’ve written. It’s going to be easiest to go with the bullet/list format I went with in my last entry. It’ll be a mix of recapping certain days/events and just random thoughts/...

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Jul 18, 2007 GT Guatemala

Clara in Santa Clara La Laguna

Hello to all of you from Mazatenango, Guatemala. We wanted to introduce ourselves – We’re Randy Fay and Nancy Lewis, and we’ve just started helping to post clients from Friendship Bridge. We’re in the middle of an epic bicycle trek from the north of Canada to the bottom of South America – you’re invited to follow us on our blog at hobobiker.com. But we’re thankful and excited to be able to spend a time here in Guatemala as Kiva Fellows helping to post...

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Jul 17, 2007 KE Kenya

Continuing on from my last blog, I believe I was talking about my adventures last Wednesday, which would have been July 11th. Firstly, one thing I would like to discuss was my bus ride that morning. I waited for 45 minutes to get on a bus, because they were all full. So imagine my delight when FINALLY a bus let me on! I sat in the last row of the bus, and settled into the quick 10-minute journey to ANK. Upon reaching the hospital stop though, this seemingly smooth bus ride turned into a roller coaster at Disneyworld, as the bus was pulling through the bus stop I was being...

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Jul 15, 2007 PY Paraguay

Hi All!

Its been a long and exciting week, and I’m just now finding some time to write. I hope you enjoy the chronicles of Argentina and Paraguay…note: photos will come in a seperate entry tomorrow:)

Buenos Aires, Argentina

I’ve dreamed about Argentina ever since I got to the point with my Spanish that I was able to tell the difference between a North and South American accent. Between Mexico and Nicaragua. Peru and Colombia. I’m not quite sure what it is, but there’s something completely irresistible about Argentine culture. Maybe it’s the vibrating jjjaah’s...

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Jul 13, 2007 KE Kenya

I must apologize since I have been in Nairobi for a week now and have not blogged! But fret not, I will make amends. There is so much to write already, I don’t quite know where to begin, so I guess I will start from the moment I stumbled off the plane from London after a sleepless overnight journey. Landing in Nairobi at the rude hour of 6am it was still dark and looked cold. Hmmmm I thought, I have only brought one jumper with me, oh well I am sure it will warm up during the day! Oh how I was wrong. Turns out this is the coldest month of the year- but keep in mind when I say ‘...

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Jul 11, 2007 HN Honduras

Some of you out there may be wondering what a typical day is like “in the field.” Yesterday was one of those days. I spent the morning driving around with Mario Cruz, one of Prisma´s loan officers.

We zig zag around town, dodging traffic in a 1982 Toyota Corolla disguised as a taxi. Esau, the husband of one of the loan officers, is driving us around town as he usually does. I’m more than happy to take the front seat today, as like most cars here, there are no seat belts in the back. (Although I’m not sure how much a seat belt would help in an accident given that most of the...

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Jul 11, 2007 AZ Azerbaijan

 

Walking with a NorMicro loan officer through a small town bazaar in Azerbaijan is like walking with a pop star through a suburban American shopping mall. In Devechi, Nafira was mobbed by dozens of prospective clients as she led me through the crowded market stalls in search of Kiva clients. As he helped translate my interviews in Agsu, Namik often had to field questions from clients about the likelihood of their friend or neighbor getting a loan. The weekly “reception day” in each NorMicro branch office – that is, the day when clients...

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