cpaci

Fellows Blog Posts by cpaci

May 25, 2012 ID Indonesia

Heather Sullivan | KF17 | Indonesia Chris Paci | KF16 & KF17 | Ukraine

When not sampling local delicacies or fording swollen rivers to visit borrowers, Kiva Fellows occasionally find themselves stuck in the office, chatting on Skype and sharing experiences (both raucous and ruminative) from the field.  In one recent conversation, the two of us, Heather and Chris, discovered that we were facing nearly opposite sets of problems surrounding the issue of borrower privacy. While Chris’s field partner in Ukraine was finding it hard to convince suspicious borrowers...

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Apr 30, 2012

Compiled by Chris Paci | KF16 & KF17 | Ukraine

Michael Slattery memorializes one of the smaller Togolese meals he's eaten; perhaps he was not hungry that day.

May has sprung, and the Kiva Fellows of KF17 will soon be returning home – hard as that is to believe at times. In our own ways, we are all trying to knit our experiences together and figure out the themes that underlie all we’ve done. This week, we have for you three very different approaches to that task. Read...

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Apr 9, 2012 CO Colombia, PS Palestinian Territory, TR Turkey

Compiled by Chris Paci | KF16 & KF17 | Ukraine

A Kiva borrower in Barranquilla with his family - Alex Connelly, Colombia

As regular readers of Kiva Stories from the Field will know, it’s not always easy to extend microfinance services to the people who need them most. Aside from the usual barriers - poor infrastructure that makes it difficult to connect borrowers with an MFI, the difficulty of disseminating information about available services, and the...

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Apr 2, 2012 CM Cameroon

Compiled by Chris Paci | KF16 & KF17 | Ukraine

The Quirimbas Archipelago from above - Micaela Browning, Mozambique

It’s been a busy week here on Kiva Stories from the Field! Most of our KF17 fellows have been in the field for two months by this point, and they’ve been drawing on their wealth of on-the-ground experience to unpack some of the more complex and troubling aspects of life in their host societies. In a series of fascinating posts, our...

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Mar 19, 2012 AZ Azerbaijan

Compiled by Chris Paci | KF16 & KF17 | Azerbaijan

Alex Connelly offers us a typically "light" Colombian "snack."

The 17th class of Kiva Fellows was turned loose into the field on January 27th, nearly two months ago – and how long ago it seems! By this point, our intrepid fellows are really starting to get the hang of their placements, forming routines, powering through their workplans, and learning the ins and outs of the national cuisine. But a few...

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Mar 13, 2012 AZ Azerbaijan

Chris Paci | KF16 & KF17 | Azerbaijan

We Kiva Fellows are a lucky bunch. Not only do we do truly consequential work in the field to turn Kiva’s social mission into reality – we also get to travel to places we never could have imagined, experience brilliant flashes of cross-cultural connection, and come back with stories our friends in the developed world can’t match. But here in Baku, Azerbaijan, I’m having an experience few other Kiva Fellows have: I am working to alleviate poverty while surrounded by wealth as far as the eye can see.

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Mar 5, 2012 BJ Benin, DO Dominican Republic, EC Ecuador, LR Liberia, WS Samoa

Chris Paci | KF16 & KF17 | Azerbaijan

The fellows of KF17 have jumped into their Kiva work with both feet, visiting borrowers and meeting their new coworkers at their host field partners. (Photo of a Béninois borrower by Allison Moomey, Benin)

It’s the beginning of March, and by now, most of KF17 has been out in the field for several weeks. We’ve settled in at our field partners, gotten to know some of our new coworkers, and started to dig a...

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Oct 27, 2011 TJ Tajikistan

By Chris Paci, KF16, Tajikistan

Note: I have given Rahim a pseudonym to protect his privacy. Photos do not picture the locations mentioned in the text.

“Be careful,” called Rahim from somewhere above my head. It was pitch black, and I felt for each stair with the toe of my shoe, slowly working my way up to where Rahim stood. Shards of fallen concrete snapped beneath my boots.

Rahim was standing in front of a door and fiddling with his keys. “Sorry, we have no lightbulbs in the stairwell. It’s difficult to see,” he apologized, just as the lock snapped...

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Oct 3, 2011 TJ Tajikistan

By Chris Paci, KF16, Tajikistan

For many Kiva lenders, loan use – or what an entrepreneur plans to do with the funds he or she receives – is their most important consideration in deciding which entrepreneurs to support. On the Kiva website, it’s the single most prominent piece of information supplied about any featured entrepreneur. Take a look at Muso, for example, a taxi driver from Tajikistan who has applied for Kiva funding through Kiva’s field partner IMON International. His loan use is stated just to the right of his picture – “To buy a car” – and expanded upon in his...

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Sep 8, 2011 TJ Tajikistan

By Chris Paci, KF16, Tajikistan

The valiant 4x4 that made the eight-hour trip from Dushanbe to Khujand.

Seeing a disheveled American with two huge suitcases standing by the side of the road, the taxi driver cuts the wheel, bombs horizontally across four (blessedly empty) lanes of traffic, and screeches to a stop in front of me. I open the passenger door and stuck my head inside. “To the Tsementzavod bus station, how much?” I rap out. He names a price. I counter. After...

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