Update from the Field: Man’s Day, Singing Fellows + Learning How to Count

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Last week, Kiva Fellows took you to places you may not have known existed (West Timor, Indonesia, pictured)

The Fellows will be covering International Women’s Day later this week but let’s take a moment to acknowledge its lesser-known cousin in Kyrgyzstan, “Man’s Day”. And while you’re appreciating culture and history in far-off places, take a trip to Peru and West Timor through photos, visit borrowers in Uganda and Rwanda through video, learn a little something about communicating in South Africa, and catch up on the latest from Liberia, Ghana, and Mexico (home to the “Singing Fellow”).

What does Lima look like?
Country: Peru / Fellow: Noreen Giga (KF14)

Find out why Lima is nicknamed “El Pulpo” (“The Octopus”) and learn about an unusual local business: transporting a washing machine around the neighborhood and renting it by the hour.

The Meaning of “Now” in South Africa
Country: South Africa / Fellow: Alexis Ditkowsky (KF14)

“Just now” and “now” are much fuzzier concepts than a type-A American was prepared for. Plus pick up a few more South African-isms in the post and in the comments.

Knowing and Understanding, Saber y Entender
Country: Liberia / Fellow: Carlos Cruz Montano (KF14)

Carlos explores some of the barriers to understanding between borrowers and microfinance institutions (MFIs) through examples from Liberia, Paraguay, and Guatemala.

The Rookie (El Novato)
Country: Mexico / Fellow: John Farmer (KF14)

The most important thing you need to know about this post is that there’s a video of John singing his own song about microfinance, a highlight from his 45 hours of loan officer training.

Video Blog: The Kiva Story
Country: Uganda / Fellow: Nila Uthayakumar (KF14)

This week, Nila introduces us Adella, Deborah, and Florence, three borrowers who discuss their loans, their businesses, and how they’ve used their profits.

Video Blog: Francoise, A Kiva Borrower’s Story
Country: Rwanda / Fellow: Adam Cohn (KF14)

Bright colors, catchy music, and the story of Francoise, a smiling borrower who started with a $25 World Relief grant and is now her family’s breadwinner.

Gone Fishing
Country: Ghana / Fellow: Mei-Ing Cheok (KF14)

Mei-Ing gives a detailed overview of the fishing industry in Ghana and how recent government regulations are impacting lending decisions at her microfinance institution.

Huh, There’s a West Timor?
Country: Indonesia / Fellow: Lisa Skowron (KF14)

In case you weren’t familiar with West Timor, Lisa shares a gorgeous slideshow from her first month plus some startling statistics about Indonesia’s poorest province.

Ensuring a manly man’s day
Country: Kyrgyzstan / Fellow: Charlie Wood (KF14)

Kiva Fellows learn about and participate in a wide range of local holidays. Charlie appropriately celebrates Man’s Day in Kyrgyzstan with a trip to an entrepreneurial eagle hunter.

The next generation of microentrepreneurs
Country: Peru / Fellow: Geeta Uhl (KF14)

Jumping off of last week’s post “Kiva Field Partners: More than just microfinance“, Geeta describes how her partner offers classes and activities for children of borrowers.

Five things you may not know about Rwanda
Country: Rwanda / Fellow: Michelle Curtis (KF13)

Before saying goodbye to Rwanda, Michelle shares some of the important things she’s learned, including how to count with her fingers. (FYI, five is a fist and seven is a fist with two fingers poking over the top like rabbit ears.)

Previous updates from the field:
Videos, Epic Commutes + Going Beyond Microfinance
“Christmas”, Trekking, Adversity + Good Company


Plus more pictures from this past week:

Peru (by Noreen Giga)

Ghana (by Mei-Ing Cheok)

Indonesia (by Lisa Skowron)

Guatemala (by Carlos Cruz Montano)

South Africa (by Alexis Ditkowsky)

About the author

Alexis Ditkowsky