Fellows Blog Posts by Maya Mylavarapu

Apr 6, 2009 NI Nicaragua

I recently picked up The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Director for the Study of African Economics at Oxford University and former director of Development Research at the World Bank. It has been a grim and simultaneously enlightening book, dubbed as a must-read by the New York Times and set to become a classic according to the Economist.

In a nutshell, The Bottom Billion states that our perception of development for the last forty years has...

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Mar 19, 2009 NI Nicaragua

I have been working with ADIM in Nicaragua for just over one month now, enough time to get a pretty advanced rough picture of how this organization works. It has been an interesting four weeks, the first two of which found me frantically trying to keep up with the high-speed pace and lively Spanish chatter of Javier Flores, the organization’s Credit Manager, who is also responsible for managing much of ADIM’s relationship with Kiva. I also found myself with a bit much downtime, which, ironically, stressed me out since I had so much to do during the three months I would be in Nicaragua. We...

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Mar 2, 2009 NI Nicaragua

Nicaragua is taking the “Christmas in July” concept to a whole new level.  The famous (or infamous, depending on who you’re asking) first lady, Rosario Murillo, commissioned the placement of giant, ostentatious Christmas trees in each of the several rotondas (roundabouts) scattered throughout Managua. Placed there in October 2008, the trees have overstayed their welcome well into 2009. And Nicaraguenses can plan on enjoying these magnificent, lit trees against the horizon for at least the next several months. Murillo has ordained that every tree...

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Feb 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

So I’ve spent the last three months in San Francisco, anticipating my Kiva adventure in Nicaragua and familiarizing myself with the various players in the surprisingly small microfinance network. Now, I’m just four short days away from embarking.

Excited? Yes. Nervous? Definitely. Ready? Well, I don’t think it really matters at this point. The best way to learn, it can be said, is to throw yourself right into it.

Speaking of getting ready, I had a really great idea (or so it seemed at the time) on how to assemble an ideal wardrobe for my work in Nicaragua. T-shirts. I...

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