Alexis Ditkowsky

Fellows Blog Posts by Alexis Ditkowsky

May 2, 2011 AM Armenia

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky

Transportation is an apt topic when so many Fellows are saying goodbye (Sierra Leone pictured)

We’ve officially hit the point in the Kiva Fellows cycle where the current batch says goodbye just as the latest group is getting their bearings at Kiva HQ. Fortunately, there are a number of posts this week to help us through the transition and cheer us up. If you’re interested in a comprehensive image gallery of the hot...

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May 1, 2011 ZA South Africa

By Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Trying on a traditional Zulu skirt and necklace

Like most Fellows from Kiva’s 14th class, I am busily tying up the loose ends of my Fellowship. As much as I enjoyed my trips to the rural areas surrounding Richards Bay (although I wasn’t a huge fan of Richards Bay itself), I can’t say that I mind my current locale: the beach at Kommetjie, about an hour south of Cape Town. My Fellowship required a sustained...

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Apr 25, 2011 AM Armenia

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky

Kiva Fellows celebrated Earth Day around the world (Rwanda pictured)

Kiva Fellows observed Earth Day by sharing projects initiated by their partner microfinance institutions and host countries and by celebrating Kiva.org’s first batch of “Green Loans”. The upbeat mood also extended to anniversary parties at MFIs in Jordan and Armenia, enthusiastic endorsements to travel to Colombia, and reporting on a great...

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Apr 18, 2011 ZA South Africa

By Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Nobuthle at her spaza

Everything is better when you have a neighborhood corner store. In Brooklyn – the last place I lived for more than four months – a bodega was almost always a good sign. Not only could you get food and drink whenever you pleased, but its presence was as if someone thoughtfully left the lights on so you didn’t have to stumble home in the dark.

South Africa enjoys an abundance of...

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Apr 18, 2011 BO Bolivia

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Kiva Fellows love to learn about the intersection of food and business (Colombia pictured)

Let’s take a moment to vicariously consume baked goods in Colombia, coffee in Nicaragua, tomatoes in Ukraine, and a traditional meal in Nepal. Once you’re sated, you can read about the dismal state of trash collection in Guatemala, the lives of borrowers in Bolivia, what “mobile” savings really means...

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Apr 11, 2011 KH Cambodia

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Classic trip to the field moment: a loan officer chats with a borrower (Peru pictured)

It’s hard to believe but the current batch of Kiva Fellows has been in the field for over two months and most of us have only a few weeks left to go. We’re getting swept up in completing deliverables, making the most of our final month in country, and starting to plot our lives after Kiva. (Travel plans = fun....

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Apr 4, 2011 AM Armenia

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Most of the photos for April Fools' Day were ready before we even hatched our plans (Cambodia pictured)

We hope you enjoyed our April Fools post on Friday! While we were entertaining ourselves pulling it all together, we also found the time to attend to some serious matters: coffee in Colombia is no joke (in a bad way), some borrowers are easier to locate than others, and oftentimes Fellows must say goodbye to...

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Mar 28, 2011 GT Guatemala

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Many Fellows get around in fanciful local taxis (Indonesia pictured)

While it may have been a slower “official” news week than usual, I can assure you that the Fellows are keeping busy. One Fellow spent hours searching fruitlessly for borrowers in the jungle, another has been suffering from serious gastrointestinal issues (aren’t you glad he didn’t post about that?), and the rest of us have...

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Mar 21, 2011 AM Armenia

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

This week, take a trip to the field with Kiva Fellows (Mexico pictured)

For many Fellows, this week was about getting back to basics: the borrowers. In between fun facts about Kiva Fellowships, doing database detective work, and reflecting on the internal dynamics of Kiva’s partner microfinance institutions, Fellows found themselves in the field again and again, much to their delight and often to the delight of...

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Mar 15, 2011 ZA South Africa

By Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Taking a break from repayment reporting at Kruger National Park over the weekend

I realize your interest may be waning based on the title alone but I encourage you to keep reading because not everything a Kiva Fellow does is as wild and crazy and emotionally rewarding as a borrower visit. But, as a Kiva Fellow, I aim to please so I’ve also included pictures from a recent trip to the field at the end of this post. Now there...

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