Robert Mittelman

Fellows Blog Posts by Robert Mittelman

Aug 14, 2009 PE Peru

By Rob Mittelman, KF8, Peru

Most days I struggle with what I see.

The academic in me would explain the concept of economic dualism as the coexistence of modern and traditional sectors within a single economy, especially as found in less-developed countries. Modern and traditional are perhaps polite terms for rich and poor (that’s not the academic in me, that’s the cynic). The division between rich and poor, or modern and traditional, is as great here as I’ve seen in Latin America. Statistics may say otherwise but I see a great...

Continue Reading >>

Aug 5, 2009 PE Peru

by Rob Mittelman, KF8, Peru

When I visit Kiva Borrowers, I bring along a colour printout of their Kiva Profile for them to keep. For many of them it’s a real thrill. They knew their information was on the internet but had never seen their page, their picture, or read their own story before (our stories appear in the original Spanish underneath the English translation). It usually gets passed around and shown to all present. There are always lots of giggles and some embarrassment as I tell them people in the US...

Continue Reading >>

Jul 5, 2009 PE Peru

by Rob Mittelman, KF8 Peru

A Kiva Fellow has many jobs. I have well over a dozen different tasks on my workplan.

Some of them bring us great joy and inspiration like interviewing Kiva Borrowers and getting to know new cultures and new people.

Some let us be creative like this blog and all the Flip Camera videos you see.

Some make us feel like management consultants or professors preparing PowerPoint decks and going through trainings with our MFIs on new Kiva policies or web tools.

We write about these experiences because of how fun it is to be a...

Continue Reading >>

May 28, 2009 PE Peru

by Rob Mittelman, KF8 Peru

In the immortal words of Austin Powers, “Allow myself to introduce…myself”.  My name is Rob Mittelman from Ottawa, Canada and I’m a member of KF8 headed to Lima, Peru to work with Edaprospo. When I’m not working as a Kiva Fellow, I’m a PhD in Management Candidate at Carleton University.

When I first traveled to South America and was called gringo, I was very defensive. I always thought it was a pejorative term for Americans. I’m a proud Canadian after all; I’m no gringo.

... Continue Reading >>