Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF16, Rwanda

Rwanda: Brand New Rice Paddies (by Adam Cohn)

It has been a busy week for bloggers. The 16th class of Kiva fellows (KF16) hits the ground running and invites you to share their first experiences in their host countries across the globe. Arrive in Georgia just in time for harvest season. Continue to Sierra Leone to watch a new Kiva field partner go from pilot to active. Jump out of a plane in Rwanda – but not without a few parachutes – and learn more about agricultural loans. Bump into a Kiva borrower in Ecuador. Travel to Burkina Faso – a poor country rich in culture. Study the effects of technology on social performance of microfinance institutions in Cambodia. And to top it all off, immerse yourself in the generosity and kindness of the people of Paraguay.

The Velvet Season
Country: Georgia / Fellow: DJ Forza (KF16)

DJ is lucky to arrive in Georgia during the harvest season.

Full Hearts, Engines Ready: Going Pilot to Active in Freetown
Country: Sierra Leone / Fellow: Tejal Desai (KF16)

Tejal can’t wait to be a part of the transition BRAC is undergoing to become an active Kiva field partner.

The Kiva Parachute: Landing in Rwanda
Country: Rwanda / Fellow: Whitney Webb (KF16)

Whitney opens a few parachutes to soften her landing in Rwanda: people, humor and a little zen.

What are Chances of Meeting a Kiva Borrower in Guayaquil?
Country: Ecuador / Fellow: Emmanuel von Arx (KF16)

As Emmanuel gets into a taxi on his first day in Guayaquil, he also meets his first Kiva borrower.

The Cultural Complexities of Poverty Alleviation
Country: Burkina Faso / Fellow: Allison Moomey (KF16)

Allison experiences cultural complexities in Burkina Faso, a poor country rich in culture.

Can Technology Influence MFI Social Performance?
Country: Cambodia / Fellow: Dave Weber (KF16)

Dave uncovers the empirical and anecdotal evidence for the influence of technology on the social performance of microfinance institutions.

Agriculture Loans: What Makes Them So Different?
Country: Rwanda / Fellow: Adam Cohn (KF14)

Adam takes a look at the differences between agricultural loans and the other microloans on Kiva.

Navigating Asunción through an Amazing Network of Human Connections
Country: Paraguay / Fellow: Alba Castillo (KF16)

Alba wonders if the generosity and kindness she is experiencing in her host country will ever cease to amaze her.

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Updates from the past month:
Costs of Kiva, Donkey Shares + the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns
Loan Sharks, Snapshots + “the Country with a Smile”
Update from the Field: Motorcycles, Ramadan + A Dollar a Day
Working Animals, Green Microfinance + The Ends of the Earth
Poverty Assessments, Bush Taxis + Meeting “My” Borrower
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Plus more pictures from the past week:

Georgia (by DJ Forza)

Sierra Leone (by Tejal Desai)

Rwanda (by Whitney Webb)

Ecuador (by Emmanuel von Arx)

Burkina Faso (by Allison Moomey)

Rwanda (by Adam Cohn)

Paraguay (by Alba Castillo)


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Kathrin Gerner As the Field Support Specialist for Francophone Africa, Kathrin works with Kiva partners to make sure they get the most out of working with Kiva, and to ensure that Kiva responds effectively to partners' changing needs. Kathrin previously served as a Kiva Fellow Togo and Rwanda and holds a B.S. in International Trade & Finance. After working at Deloitte as a Senior Consultant for four years, she decided to leave the corporate world to spend a year exploring several countries in East Asia and Africa. Her journey has now led her to Kigali, Rwanda, where she is based when she is not visiting Kiva partners in Francophone Africa. Kathrin is fluent in German and French and she is currently working on her Kinyarwanda.