Compiled by Isabel Balderrama | KF17 + KF18 | Bolivia
On this week’s update we have a great collection of posts describing some of our Kiva Fellows’ Class 18 arrival to their new and exciting field assignments. But first, we are treated to an article from an out-going fellow who takes us on a visually-pleasing journey through Mexico’s largest artisan fair. This week’s journey also takes us to Kosovo and to its capital Pristina, where we will learn more about this small new state in the Balkans. Then its off to Peru, where we are given the opportunity to learn more about Kiva’s goal of creating a global link between lenders and borrowers by examining one example: promoting community development through team sports. Yey for soccer! Finally, the narrative wouldn’t be complete without a Kiva’d up take on The Real World which you should read if you have always wondered what the famed week of fellows’ training in Kiva Headquarters, San Francisco is like. Enjoy!
Beyond Financial Services: Mexico’s Greatest Artisan Fair 
Emmanuel M. von Arx | KF 16+17 | Mexico
It’s definitely fun and interesting to sometimes look beyond the financial services that Kiva’s field partners provide its borrowers and to also take a look at the non-traditional ways in which these MFIs help their customers grow. Emmanuel’s article on how Vision Fund Mexico (or FRAC ) contributes to Mexico City’s Expo FONAES, which has been called ““the biggest marketing event of Social Entrepreneurs in Mexico and Latin America,” presents the reader with a great example of how some MFIs go above and beyond their financial role to get involved in more diverse community projects.
Warm welcomes all round and a brief introduction to Kosovo 
Alice Reeves | KF18 | Kosovo & Albania
Alicia’s first few days in Kosovo have been filled with new information about her new home and in this article, she shares a lot of it with the reader. From giving us information about Kosovo’s geographical location, its size, and the cultural diversity of its people, to introducing us to the MFI she will be working with, KosInvest, Alicia’s post definitely gets us interested in learning more about this fellow’s new field assignment and looking forward to her articles to come.
Real World – Kiva: Nine Strangers Living and Learning Together 
Ward Lassoe / KF18 / Armenia
Ward’s post about KF-18′s first week in San Francisco is sure to get past fellows nostalgic about training week and leave many of us wishing we had also thought of renting a “Real World” style apartment in the city during out time there. Not only does Ward’s post come with a slew of interesting photos from KF-18′s time at headquarters, but it also gives the reader a great inside look at what it is like to take the decision to become an intrepid and adventurous Kiva Fellow. Aspiring Fellows should certainly take special note of this post.
Scoring goals and helping construct a global community from Peru 
Icaro Rebolledo |KF18 | Peru
Team building by building a team… a soccer team! As Icaro learned, Kiva’s global message has the power to translate itself in many ways, depending on the local culture, customs, and ways. In Icaro’s Chiclayo’s field assignment, it translated itself into a super-fun Father’s Day tournament which… they won! Read on and get excited for Icaro, for his assignment sure sounds like it’s off to a great start.
Updates from the past month:
Appreciating Volunteers & Poetry from a Newly Arrived Fellow 
Introducing joinFITE.org, a new platform designed to empower women in entrepreneurship 
Past and Present, Last-Minute Contemplation and General Appreciation 
Nomadic lifestyles, road trips + cultural perspectives 
Plus more pictures from the past week: