Maren Misner

Fellows Blog Posts by Maren Misner

Apr 16, 2008 GT Guatemala

The past six months have been indescribable. I’ve attempted to wrap my thoughts around them and put them to words, but the result does not compare to the experience. I’m home now, trying to find a way to live here, in this world, with the same passion that comes so naturally when given the constant inspiration and education I received from Kiva’s entrepreneurs. Here are some thoughts I scrambled together on the plane ride home, reflecting on what there is left to do and how to possibly take on the challenge:

Poor little rich girl with the luxury of picking around the slightly...

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Mar 14, 2008 GT Guatemala

Over the past five months I have, several times, made the ignorant mistake of poking fun at the perceived idea of ‘cold’ here. Coming from Minnesota, land of ‘the nation’s ice box’, where just a couple weeks ago it hit a record low of 40 below, before wind-chill, I have a different mentality of cold than someone from a not-so-northern state, who might put on a winter jacket when the weather hits 60, when we don a t-shirt come spring when the thermometer notch reads above freezing. So, when traveling to places in Peru and now Guatemala, that are known to the locals as unbearably cold, I...

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Feb 19, 2008 GT Guatemala

I am finding myself in situations here that require much moral thought, and I can’t seem to come up with the right answer, no matter which choice I make. There are children everywhere, all of them somehow under the age of twelve, and all of them working the same trade, selling bracelets, scarves, and little souvenirs on the streets, sharing their stories of sadness and begging for your business. I don’t know what to do with them. Long ago I couldn’t have seen anything but goodness in giving to a child- believing that my money and my food will help them out of their poverty. Now, I see...

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Feb 14, 2008 GT Guatemala

By Maren Misner, KF3

I’ve found myself lately in a state of peace I can’t seem to explain nor justify. But peace is much preferred to chaos, and I’ll take it, no questions asked. For the first three months of my fellowship I was based in Lima, traveling from there to the different branch offices around the country. While amazing to experience the intense variety of Peru, it can be unsettling to be in a constant state of movement- just as you get used to a place, you have to leave, wondering what you could have accomplished with a bit more time, what relationships you...

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Feb 14, 2008 GT Guatemala

A few years ago I was told a story of how to tell a first, second, and third time missionary. If you are drinking a glass of lemonade, and a fly lands in it, a first time missionary will ask for a new glass of lemonade. A second-timer will simply remove the fly, but continue to drink the lemonade. And a third-timer will look at the fly, and without interruption, drink the lemonade, fly and all, giving thanks for the extra nutrition! Last week I left Peru and moved on to Guatemala to begin my fifth month as a Kiva Fellow. Sitting down to a delicious lunch of tortillas, chicken, and...

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Jan 14, 2008 PE Peru

As a Kiva Fellow you realize the journals you write quickly become lost in the depths of hundreds of pages, full of testimonials begging to be read. I wanted to share one story I’ve found particularly moving, and hope you will, too.

An excerpt from a journal from Ayacucho, Peru:

“Celia has faced many difficulties in her life- her husband left her 21 years ago to raise 11 children on her own. She has lost three of those children, one just last year, and of the remaining children left in her care, three of them are blind due to a hereditary illness. While a challenge...

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Dec 10, 2007 PE Peru

Ayacucho, Peru has a sad story. In the 80s and early 90s, it was there that the terrorist group Sendero Luminoso, ‘the Shining Path’, was thriving, fighting political and social battles that left 30,000 dead and 40,000 who remain missing. Setting foot in Ayacucho today, you’d never guess its painful history, and although not opposed to talking about it, the locals rarely mention it without being asked.

On a client visit, riding in the back of a moto-taxi through the bustling life of Ayacucho, we head out past the cobblestone streets and abundant colonial churches of the beautiful...

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Nov 29, 2007 PE Peru

Hello!  Over the past month I have been experimenting with the video feature on my camera to add to the depth of the journals.  If you’re interested in watching any of these videos (be warned, the quality is not the best!), you can go to youtube.com and search for Kiva Peru.  I believe at the moment there are twelve of them, and I will be adding more in the next few weeks!  Each video has an accompanying journal on Kiva’s Journal page, or you can search by the entrepreneur’s name on the Lend page.  Enjoy!

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Nov 18, 2007 PE Peru

Wow, what to say…

I’ve been in Peru now about a month and a half and have had a collection of experiences reflecting every aspect between the poles of ‘what am I doing here?!’ and ‘awe-inspiring beauty’… here are some thoughts I’ve gathered along the way…

Sitting in the idle combi, waiting for it to fill so we can get a move on to Lampa. Been here for about 15 minutes and so far no new passengers; I’m guessing we need at least 4 more until they’ll consider it worth the trip. The señora sits on the street corner, nursing her small child, calling out ‘A Lampa Lampa Lampa’,...

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