by Alexis Guild, KF11 Bolivia

It is hard to believe that three months are coming to a close.  In two days, I return to the United States.  For my last blogpost, I would like to thank everyone who made my experience memorable and worthwhile.

THANK YOU

To the Kiva Fellows Program Team: JD, Julie, Zack, Eric and all of the KFP interns and Kiva staff

The Kiva Fellows Program (KFP) Team are the people behind the scenes who make sure that our fellowship is running smoothly.  They are our field support for anything and everything.  They educate us on all things Kiva and work hard to make sure we get the most out of our experience.   I didn’t utilize their support as much as I could have, but it was a great comfort to know that if I needed anything, they were there to help.  You are the reason the Kiva Fellows program is so successful! THANK YOU!

To the Field Support Specialist: Cynthia

The Field Support Specialist (FSS) is the Kiva staff member who works directly with the field partners in your region.  As the official voice of Kiva, she worked with myself and the Kiva coordinators to ensure the successful implementation of Kiva processes. THANK YOU for all of your support and encouragement.  It was a tremendous help throughout my fellowship.

To the KF11 Class

Every Kiva fellows class has a unique bond that starts during training in San Francisco and extends to the field and beyond.  Behind the scenes, Kiva fellows rely on each other for support, encouragement and advice.  Even though we are all in different countries working with different partners, it was comforting to know that there were others going through the same experience.  THANK YOU for your friendship!

To the Field Partners: IMPRO and Pro Mujer Bolivia

If there is one thing I learned during my fellowship, it is that it is not easy being a Kiva field partner (and it is certainly not easy hosting a Kiva fellow).  Yet both field partners brought me into the organization and made me feel like I was part of their community.  I learned a tremendous amount about Kiva, microfinance, and Bolivian culture.  Muchisimas gracias por todo!

To the Entrepreneurs

My favorite part of my fellowship was meeting entrepreneurs, a sentiment echoed by many other Kiva fellows.  These visits were the reason I wanted to spend my summer working in microfinance.  Their stories were inspiring.  Every single entrepreneur was so gracious and thankful.  While each entrepreneur had their own reasons for taking out a loan, all were happy to talk with me about how the loan improved their lives.  I want to thank all of them for sharing their stories with me – they are truly an inspiration.

To my friends in La Paz

I came to La Paz not knowing anyone.   Three months later, I feel like I have a group of friends from whom I learned a lot. Thank you to all of you for bringing me into your circles and helping make my experience in La Paz fun.  I hope we are able to stay in touch.

To my friends and family in the United States

They have always been a tremendous support during my numerous adventures in the U.S. and abroad.  They know how I feel so there is not much I need to write.  THANK YOU!!!

Finally…to the Kiva community

You are the backbone of Kiva.  You are the reason why I am a Kiva fellow.  Your support of Kiva and the entrepreneurs is remarkable.  Every time I told a client about Kiva, they were impressed that so many people from so many parts of the world cared about their success.  I especially appreciated your thoughtful comments to my various blog posts. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMITMENT TO KIVA!!  I hope you continue to support entrepreneurs from Bolivia and other countries around the world.

Showing off Kiva pride at the Salt Flats in Uyuni, Bolivia

Despite the challenges, Alexis had a wonderful experience as a Kiva fellow.  She will continue to be involved in Kiva and looks forward to sharing her experiences with others when she returns to the States.

Do you want to be a Kiva fellow? Go to the Kiva fellows page for more information and apply today!


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