Rebecca Corey

Fellows Blog Posts by Rebecca Corey

Oct 14, 2011 TZ Tanzania

“This isn’t America. New Orleans is like a developing country.”

In the four weeks I’ve lived in New Orleans, I’ve heard this statement from nearly ten different people. Glancing around at the Wal-Marts, the boutique frozen yogurt shops, the SUVs, and the stately houses on St. Charles Ave., it’s been hard for me believe the comparison. But the complaints about the city do parallel those I heard about and witnessed in Tanzania: there is rampant corruption. Nothing works the way it should. Everything happens slowly. The labrynthine...

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Oct 1, 2011 TZ Tanzania

by Rebecca Corey, KF16, New Orleans, USA

In 2009 when I told friends and family I was moving to Tanzania to study international development and to work for Kiva in the field of microfinance, or the furnishing of small loans to the working poor, we all had certain pre-formed ideas about how impactful and necessary my work was sure to be. We understood that in terms of GDP, literacy, infant mortality, and other common measures, Tanzania is a “developing” country, Third World, periphery. In another word: poor. As a recent college graduate, I had established ideas about poverty...

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Jun 30, 2010 TZ Tanzania

Rebecca Corey, KF9 and KF10 Tanzania

I’ve now been in the field as a Kiva Fellow for almost four months! It’s hard to believe all that has happened in this short time. I’ve battled malaria, ridden the local daladalas ‘til I know their paths like a local, developed a healthy taste for “chipsi mayai” (an egg and french fry omelette–the most popular Tanzanian street food), learned every Kiswahili greeting around (and there seem to be hundreds!), and settled into life with my beautiful homestay family. I’ve also conducted a borrower verification of SELFINA (a...

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Nov 14, 2009 TZ Tanzania

Rebecca Corey, KF9 Tanzania

The first time I got shoved out of the way in a mad rush to the dala-dala bus, my friend Victor said to me, “This is the local local lifestyle, pole sana–I’m very sorry.” The next time he said it was when the electricity went out and I was reading in the living room. “This is the local local, pole dada–sorry sister.” Then again when I had Malaria: “The Tanzania local local, pole sana, pole sana.” In the streets, when Tanzanians are shouting to me, “Mchina, mchina!” Chinese person, chinese person! : “They are local...

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Oct 20, 2009 TZ Tanzania

By Rebecca Corey, KF9 Tanzania

After my first day interacting with Kiva borrowers I was exhausted but exhilarated. It was slow work, waiting while the money for the loans was counted out and matched with each client’s loan record booklet, paperwork was filled out, treasurer and secretary books were gathered. Outside the Tujijenge branch office in the heart of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, members of loan groups languished in the sun, clothes bright against the dusty ground. I glanced out of the window from time to time to watch them and try to guess what...

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Oct 1, 2009 TZ Tanzania

By Rebecca Corey, KF9 Tanzania

I’m sitting in terminal three at Dubai’s International Airport. The moving sidewalk beside me sounds like horses trotting on a packed dirt road. Since my 14-hour layover began a several hours ago, I’ve heard the Islamic call-to-prayer twice over the airport intercom system, followed soon after with enticing invitations to browse the duty-free shops that run down the center of the terminal. I should be sleeping, re-setting my internal clock, but the fluorescent lights and ribbons of Arabic that stream from the ceiling won...

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