Fellows Blog Posts by Kati Mayfield

Jun 9, 2010 CL Chile

By Kati Mayfield, KF11 Chile

Let’s hear it for everyone who works hard: supporting themselves, supporting their families, and trying to balance their professional and personal lives!

We all know that this balance is nearly impossible to achieve, but the formula becomes especially complicated when you run your own business.

While microfinance very much opens up otherwise inaccessible business opportunities to micro-entrepreneurs and their families, the obligations of running these businesses and repaying loans can be a cause of great strain and tension.


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May 18, 2010 CL Chile

by Kati Mayfield, KF11 Chile

Things have settled down in Chile – somewhat. At least once a week there’s another strong “réplica”, or aftershock, from the February 27 earthquake, that gives people jelly-legs and sets off anxiety attacks. Buildings are being gutted and have their innards strewn on the sidewalks as they await new walls and roofs. The previous inhabitants of these retail or living spaces have taken up business under tarps on the street, and have taken up residence under tarps on the outskirts of the cities. For the most part, they have proudly resumed a...

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Apr 16, 2010 HN Honduras

(meant to be sung, complete with hand movements:)

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider climbed up the water spout Down came the rain and washed the spider out Out came the sun and dried up all the rain And the Itsy-Bitsy Spider climbed up the spout again …

This song always comes to mind when I meet clients who seem to be trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty, loan dependence, and over-indebtedness. Meeting these clients makes me sad and disappointed. Sad that they are usually reluctant to talk to me although I try to tell them that I am not there to charge them money, only to charge a “...

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Mar 11, 2010 HN Honduras

Kati Mayfield, KF10 Honduras

Before I go to meet Prisma’s Kiva clients, I like to look at the pictures in the their  “funded by” list, and to see which are the top lending teams to have contributed to their loan.  Because the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious team has made the most loans overall on Kiva, it’s not surprising that it is the top lender for many Prisma clients.

It appeared as such for one client I spoke with last week.  Hers was a particularly powerful interview because her father...

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Feb 12, 2010 HN Honduras

Where am I? What am I doing? Who am I?

These are all important questions that Kiva Fellows ask themselves. I imagine that I will spend the duration of my Kiva Fellowship (and probably a long time after) seeking the answers to these questions. So, what of the questions I have asked of my surroundings this week?

Trying to orient myself, I have asked an endless stream of questions to the Prisma staff and to the borrowers we interviewed this week.

My first question Monday morning was far too ambitious: “Roberto,” I asked of the inter-office coordinator,...

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Jan 30, 2010

By Kati Mayfield, KF10 Honduras

We are the tenth class of Kiva Fellows (KF10), and we graduated from Kiva Fellows training! Now we must implement all that we have been charged with over the last week. Before I upholding my end of that promise, I need to reflect on the impact that the Kiva Fellows experience has already had on my life.

But how do I craft the perfect, viral blog that will accurately represent myself, my Kiva community, and the community in which I will be working and living?

I’ll start by trying to reflect the community that hosted us for...

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