Earlier this month, two of my colleagues from Kiva HQ in San Francisco visited me in Phnom Penh as a part of their annual Kiva Staff Partner visit. The purpose of the Kiva Staff Partner visits is to allow Kiva employees that are based in San Francisco and don’t have regular contact with the day-to-day operations of Kiva on-the-ground to reconnect to our mission by spending a week in the field in a country of their choosing, where...Continue Reading >>
Call it fate, divine intervention, or mere coincidence, life sometimes — quite unexpectedly — gives you exactly what you need at just the right time.
That was certainly the case for me last week after the U.S. elections. The results were not what I’d hoped for, and I found myself questioning, well, pretty much everything.... Continue Reading >>
October 2016. Three people, one car, and a long day ahead. For the first time of my fellowship here, I will be out of Ouagadougou, for the first time I will be meeting borrowers’ groups. And no less than 4 are scheduled today! I feel so excited to finally be out there meeting Kiva’s and Microstart’s borrowers! Fast forward… October 2016, at the end of a very long day. Three people. One car. 3 chickens. MY chickens. Because I’m Nassara (the local word for “white person”),... Continue Reading >>
“We have very productive land here. We just need enough water to grow our crops” Irene said repeatedly as we were taking a tour of her farm in Kalamba, Kenya. Irene and her family’s primary business is managing their three-acre farm that sits in Makueni County in central Kenya. On their land, Irene grows a variety of crops including peas, tomatoes, maize and mangos. While the family has had several successful months of higher than average yields, Irene expressed her anxiety of having enough water in the coming months as we toured her farm. Irene’s concerns were not unique. I also visited... Continue Reading >>
Tattoos, t-shirts and elaborate sugar skulls have become increasingly popular in art and fashion, but do you know the cultural significance behind these intricate designs?
Dia de los Muertos—Day of the Dead—is a holiday celebrated throughout Latin America, though it is most strongly associated with Mexico, where the tradition originated. Assured that...Continue Reading >>
Coffee options in Monrovia are limited. Nescafe is typically the go-to option. Coffee grounds are sold at supermarkets, but they don't come cheap. There is one store with local Liberian beans, but then you have to grind your beans before making coffee. Who has time for that? So far, I’ve resorted to reusing grounds that I brought from home. This at least gets me my morning kick. But what happens when I want to go to a coffee shop? Where could I go? There are three options I know of in Monrovia. There’s Kaldi’s Coffee, outside of the Royal Hotel, which has amazing pastries and pretty decent... Continue Reading >>
This is Mrs. Giang! Mrs. Giang has two children, a boy and a girl, who she has raised on her own since her husband passed away. She has been managing a successful tofu making and selling business in Thanh Hoa for eight years. Mrs. Giang recently applied for and received a Kiva loan to purchase an additional, newer, tofu making machine. Her old machine would constantly break and even when it did work, it was very slow. ... Continue Reading >>