Fellows Blog Posts by thefrenchlily

Jul 23, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurelie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

Thursday: The day where I break every KF safety rules

5am The day starts early to go and see clients with Jose Luis and Diego, the 2 Lon officers (LO) from Chillanes (meeting is at 10am, tells you how far it can be…). Because of heavy rains the previous days, road has transformed into mud and we cannot ride with motorcycle, that’s why we use the bus

7.30am Arrival in the nearest town and breakfast before another 1h ride

...

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Jul 21, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurelie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

After 9 weeks on the field, I thought I no longer could have first times. I was SO wrong. This is the story of my week…

Monday: Need for training on agriculture and borrowers on the verge of losing their harvest

8am A 1h30 motorcycle ride to do borrower verification and journal updates, with Danny the loan officer (LO) from San Miguel office

10 am Meeting with the borrowers group. 5 came to the meeting, 2 are missing.  I am confronted...

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Jul 14, 2010

By Aurelie Dagneaux, KF11 Ecuador

What’s that? And who?

Interview with those behind the scenes to better understand it.

A 5 person team is behind “Kiva en Français”: Jean-François Caillard, Skylar Woodward, Marie-Anne Haour, Evan Bartlett and Charlotte Riché

Jean-François launched the initiative to make Kiva accessible to French speaking people. This idea came from a frustration of not being able to contribute to a sustainable impact through Kiva if you do not speak English. Marie-Anne introduced him to Matt Flannery

...

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Jul 1, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurelie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

The minimum monthly wage in Ecuador for a 40 hours week. Farmers earn $200-$300 a month. Teachers, $500 to $1,500. Executives, $1,000 to $1,500. Per capita income in Ecuador is $3,700 yearly, which means $300 a month on average.

Not very high, especially related to living costs.

Food expenses make up to 50% of spending in the Andes; ~ $100 a month. That’s why farmers grow for their family. Cheap lunch costs $1.5 to $2.5; restaurants around $10-15....

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Jun 21, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurélie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

Volcanoes can seriously affect economy.  An Icelandic one recently decided to prove nature’s power over humans, paralyzing worldwide economy and airline industry for weeks, costing billions.

An Ecuadorian one has regularly been doing the same over the last 10 years, with smaller, but serious consequences. Its name is Tungurahua.

Ecuador is a country of volcanoes. No less than 70, 14 of which are active. Yet, there are pretty quiet, apart from the Tungurahua, that woke up in 1999 and then in...

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Jun 10, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurélie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

One of my favorite questions when interviewing borrowers for new loans and journals (update on a loan), is: “What are your dreams and hopes for the future?”

Tough question, but on this one I always get an answer. The top 3 are: “build my house”, “give education to my children” and “improve my economic conditions”.

Why do I ask that question? To write the loan story, we try to tell you who the borrower is, his family details, his occupation, why he needs the loan, what challenges he faces,  the little plus to make you...

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May 26, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurelie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

This post was originally named “I’m gonna be your eyes and ears”. This is how Kiva best describes his fellows’ job on the field. Indeed, we are sent to listen, watch and report how things are working over there, what neither Kiva nor you can see from San Francisco or your home country.

Why did I change the title then? Firstly, because the meaning of this sentence is not straightforward, it takes time to figure it out. Secondly, because we are more than just witnessing and reporting, we are also there to DO...

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