By Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda
When I boarded a plane to Mali last week, I was not exactly enthusiastic. One reason may have been the unpleasant 2 AM take-off from Kigali, another the recent Al-Qaida kidnappings in the North, which meant that all relevant tourist spots were off limits. And six months into my career as a Kiva fellow, a routine task such as a borrower visit was not enough to get me excited.
I was in for a surprise.
The borrowers of Kiva’s Malian field partner Soro Yiriwaso and their incredible hospitality, made my trip unforgettable. I came to check borrowers’ identities and look at loan papers. I left with a mountain of presents, a full stomach and a serious caffeine high after the countless cups of sweat tea offered to me everywhere I went.
But I was most excited about finally being in a country where people love to be photographed. Below are my favorite shots from my meetings with Malian borrowers.
If you are as mesmerized by Mali as I was, also check out Mali in Color (Part 2): Impressions from the Road.
Kathrin Gerner took a little detour from her fellowship with Amasezerano Community Banking (ACB) and Vision Finance Company (VFC) in Kigali, Rwanda, to conduct a borrower verification for Soro Yiriwaso in Mali. Support borrowers in Mali by lending to one of Soro Yiriwaso’s clients.
Previous posts by Kathrin Gerner:
Paving the Way to the Future (Part 1): Bad Roads, Transportation Costs and Microfinance in Togo
Paving the Way to the Future (Part 2): Road Construction and Its Effects on Microfinance in Togo
Isabukuru Nziza, ACB! A Kiva Field Partner in Rwanda Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary
Say a Little Prayer for the Portfolio: 5 Questions about Christian Microfinance in Rwanda